1. #1
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    Default FLSA and Staffing Question?

    I work in a New Jersey fire department that is extremely under staffed. We operate with a minimum of 8 personnel per shift and will respond to approximately 6300 incidents this year. 72% of which will be related to medical emergencies.

    In our current contract we have a 4 Tour work schedule in which we work a 24-hour shift followed by 72 hours off. This averages to a 42-hour workweek. Any hours worked over the 42 we are paid 1.5 times our hourly rate in cash or 2 times the overtime hours worked in compensatory hours. calls for our members to get paid.

    Under this agreement we work 168 hours in a 28-day period before overtime. The Department of Laborís Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) permits firefighters to work 212 hours in a 28-day period before receiving 1.5 times their hourly rate.

    There is another, very poor and very busy Fire Department in New Jersey that works the same 24 hours on 72 hours off 4 tour system that we do. The difference is that they work over time for straight time over the 168 hours up to 212 hours in 28 days. They also have a very well staffed department. All companies have at minimum 1 captain (no acting captain), and three firefighters 24 hours per day 365 days per year. They also never work without the Battalion Chiefís and the Deputy Chiefís positions filled by actual BCís and DCís.

    My question is how much can my city increase our minimum staffing for the same amount of money if we worked OT for straight time up to 212 hours in 28 days as opposed to the 168 hours we work now?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    DKK
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    This is a very complex question that you need to consult the IAFF for. I am not saying that the members of Firehouse.com are not a good resource, but this has potential to be way bigger than anything that can be handled here...

    Good luck.
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    We have the same set up in my department. We are given a 24 hour "Kelly Day" every quarter to compensate us for time worked over the "normal" 2080 hours per year. We negotiated in our contract a system by which you are payed 24 hrs pay @ striaght time or have the option to have the day off (they used to assign the day off).
    This system only accounts for the excess hours in the schedule(24x4=96 + 14 odd hrs = 110 total). If everyone worked the "Kelly Day" my city would pick-up an additional 32..24 hr work days per quarter which would increase staffing by 1 per shift once a week. Its very complicated to explain but you do increase the staffing and you are compensated for your time. We had to go to court in NYS 35 years ago to force the city to pay us for this time. Hope that helps you more than it confused you.
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    This is a very complex question that you need to consult the IAFF for. I am not saying that the members of Firehouse.com are not a good resource, but this has potential to be way bigger than anything that can be handled here...

    Good luck.
    Thanks your concern Kobersteen, you can sleep well knowing that we never make a move without bouncing it off the IAFF first.
    DKK
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    "Above all, an assignment to a truck company should be considered a promotion."

    Chief John W. Mittendorf-1998

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    You could approach the IAFF about having a GIS study done
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smoke20286
    You could approach the IAFF about having a GIS study done
    Been there, done that. The bottom line is all about the ability to pay.
    DKK
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    IAFF Local 384:


    "Above all, an assignment to a truck company should be considered a promotion."

    Chief John W. Mittendorf-1998

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    Im assuming that your department runs 4 crews, Thats the first ive heard of such a thing, but it must be more common out east. That is a very complex question. Im sure youve already though of this, but to increase staffing you could try a 3 crew 24/48 and elimate one crew. You would them work a 53 or 56 hour work week depending on weather the city wants to pay you for Federal Leave time or give you the time off. Let me know if i am even close to understanding your issue

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    Im sure youve already though of this, but to increase staffing you could try a 3 crew 24/48 and elimate one crew.
    A three tour system is not an option. What we need to figure out is if the city will break close to even if we are willing to work OT for stright time up to 212 hours over 28 days as opposed to 168 hours in exchange for an increse minimum staffing by about 12%.
    Last edited by TruckSkipper; 04-21-2006 at 10:08 AM.
    DKK
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    IAFF Local 384:


    "Above all, an assignment to a truck company should be considered a promotion."

    Chief John W. Mittendorf-1998

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    I wish I could get whoever does your city's negotiations to come run for mayor in my town .Damn thats a sweetheart deal ya'll got there.I just hope you think it over for a LOOOOOOng while before you change what you have.You will never get that back if you give it up now.Running short sucks, we work with only 6 minimum staffing for a town of around 20,000 with far less runs than you mentioned and its hard to handle any structure fire with only 6 ,but you are talking about reducing yearly pay by alot.Better be 100% support to make the move or there will be some hard feelings afterward.Just make sure you get as much as your giving,hell I'd ask for a couple of extra days vacation or floating holidays just to even out the deal somewhat.

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    [QUOTE=but you are talking about reducing yearly pay by alot..[/QUOTE]

    Maybe I'm not explaining this correctly. But I am not talking about reducing our pay just our hourly OT rate. The increase in staffing will greatly provide many more opportunity to work OT.

    Although I enjoy the dialog I am still waiting for somebody to answer my original question.
    DKK
    Truck Man
    APFD
    IAFF Local 384:


    "Above all, an assignment to a truck company should be considered a promotion."

    Chief John W. Mittendorf-1998

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    We work a four platoon system and have the option of working a kelly day(striaght pay) or taking it off every quarter. This Kelly day accounts for the overtime that is accrewd over the year. This satisfied the FLSA requirments.
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    Ok lets see if this makes sense.

    Not sure what you make an hour so lets say $20.00 per hour is the pay rate.

    You currently work 168 hours before overtime kicks in, you want to go to 212 hours then start OT pay. Thats a difference of 44 hours.

    In your current system that 44 hours of OT at $20/hour would cost the city $1320/person. If you wait until 212 hours to start OT pay then the city saves $440 per FF.

    8 FF per shift saving the city $440 each per pay period comes to $3520 per pay period. I assume you have 26 pay periods per year so the total savings per of $91520 per shift. You have 4 shifts and the total overtime saved per year would be $366080 per year of over time savings. This assumes no one ever takes off and they work all hours scheduled.

    How many can you hire with this savings? At $50,000. per year starting salary and benefits, you could hire 7 additional firefighters.

    Hope this helps. and I think it's right

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