1. #1
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    Default Anybody Hear On Non-Union Career FD's?

    Just wanted to know, is anyone here employed by non-union career FD's. When I lived in Florida I worked for a very small department, 3 stations, 3 trucks, like 28 firefighters in total. I was amazed coming from NJ that almost the entire county (11 departments in total) had no union representation. 1 department was IAFF and believe it or not, they paid the worst. Anyone else in a similar situation? Stay safe.
    Gary
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    Leather Forever......F.O.O.L.S.

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    Having lived in the south (St Marys GA, Near Jacksonville FL) unions are almost unheard of down there. I was not career on any dept, so i cant speak exactly. But I do know that a union was not a term you heard very often down there.

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    Exactly, up in NJ I do not believe there is a single department that is not IAFF or FMBA. In all of the Tampa Bay area where I was I think that there were like 4 out of maybe 200 departments that were unionized. These departments would hire, fire, lay off, do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted. When I brought up a union where I was, the guys didn't even know what I was talking about. Crazy to work like that, that is why I retreated t the peace and tranquility of NJ. Stay safe.
    Gary
    Firefighter/EMT-B
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    Leather Forever......F.O.O.L.S.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cincyone View Post
    I WISH!!!, After the IAFF has became the slave of the democratic party, I have lost a great deal of respect of "my" union.

    Why not get out then if you aren't happy?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Default Simple solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Cincyone View Post
    I WISH!!!, After the IAFF has became the slave of the democratic party, I have lost a great deal of respect of "my" union.
    You should just pack it up and quit the "Slave of the democratic party". The rest of us 280,000 of us will do just fine without you.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Cincyone,

    Does the IAFF thug go into the voting booth with you and press all the correct buttons?

    I think not. Last I knew Local 93 Cleveland is still up and running. Your dues do not go towards political activities, that is the Firepac. But you'll throw rocks and not have a clue what the IAFF actually does.

    Our statewide organization actually supported, ack a republican in the recent primary for governor. And will more than likly support him for the remainder, since he had signed collective bargaining bill for urban county governments.

    Also ignore the IAFF work for presumptive heart, lung and disease legislation for all firefighters, MDA, Burn Camps, the money given to my brothers that were hit in Katrina and Rita (faster help than the local, state or federal level,) GIS support for locals, low interest loans to local for legal expenses. Need I go on...

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    I spent 14 years w/IAFF representation Best 14 years of my life!!!!!
    My new Dept is w/o IAFF as of today..... very scary!!!!
    There is Life outside the Firehouse!

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    It is far more important to be in a unionized department, even if you don't always agree with some of the things that are done, especially at the upper levels.
    It makes even more sense to be aware and informed, and to try to make changes, even if the changes only come an inch or so at a time. Believe me, it can be frustrating, but you can have an influence, if you want to.

    It is kind of like the job itself. We sometimes don't care for the politics, hiring practices, or even some of the written guidelins that affect our life at work. The thing is though, life is alot better as a professional firefighter than it is to be in any other field.
    Life as an IAFF member is far better than it is to not be a member.

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    I work for a non-union career FD. We have no say in anything that goes on in the department. We have no negotiating rights. We have lousy benefits and a lousy salaries. Be thankful you're in a union.

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    When I went career my dept had a local that was all but nonexistent. During the past 2 years issues of equal pay raises and a decent pension plan came to the forefront. MY Local was revitalized by increased membership which now includes an overwhelming majority of fire fighter's. Due to the action of the local we managed to secure an 8% pay raise and to pass a new pension plan that takes effect Jan. 1 2008 which includes COLA, medical insurance, and public safety riders. Not only has the IAFF Local at my department helped me and the rest of the members of the department, our gains have benefited all county employee's. We are the only department in our area that has a union and while I do work in a "right to work state" and we don't have collective bargaining, being in the union has allowed us to address issues with one voice and one agenda.

    And to cincyone, if you don't like it leave. Stop reaping the benefits of the hard work of other's. Of course you could be one of those coat tail riding whiners who sit at the station and bitch about problems but never go to the meeting and do anything them.

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    Unions make it difficult if not impossible to fire bad teachers, firefighters, cops, factory workers, postal workers, electricians, etc.

    'Nuff said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ha11igan View Post
    Unions make it difficult if not impossible to fire bad teachers, firefighters, cops, factory workers, postal workers, electricians, etc.

    'Nuff said.
    Wrong, as usual...

    I find that the most virulent anti-uinon people have never belonged to a union, have no clue as to what a union does, and in the case of the IAFF, it has made the job a hell of a lot safer.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ha11igan View Post
    Unions make it difficult if not impossible to fire bad teachers, firefighters, cops, factory workers, postal workers, electricians, etc.

    'Nuff said.
    Oh really? I'll tell that to the veteran of about 10 years or so that was fired and the probie that was fired from my FD. Hmmmmm, maybe we all imagined they were fired.

    It is hard to fire someone without basis for the firing. It is incredibly easy to fire someone if you have enough evidence of wrong doing or lack of performance.

    FyredUp

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ha11igan View Post
    Unions make it difficult if not impossible to fire bad teachers, firefighters, cops, factory workers, postal workers, electricians, etc.

    'Nuff said.
    The failure in my experience has been that of administration. If you want to fire someone, you have to do the work. Most administrators aren't willing or are afraid of putting the time in to gather the facts. They just go on a witch hunt without proper documentation of EVERYONE. Then it looks like they are just picking on someone, even if they really do suck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cincyone View Post
    150% accurate. WELL stated.

    Yes I know!

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    TRfirefighter: Any chance you can name that dept? I'm very curious, thanks. Also, are you currently paid FF or do you volunteer?
    Last edited by wag11c; 05-27-2007 at 10:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireDawgEMT22 View Post
    Having lived in the south (St Marys GA, Near Jacksonville FL) unions are almost unheard of down there.
    Yeah... Ok...

    Not sure what part of Florida the topic starter worked in but Florida has a very strong union presence from our career firefighters. Most people who don't live here though don't realize that Florida has both ends of the society spectrum. The small, very low populated backwoods areas may not have union representation but then most of them sort of do their own thing anyway. I assure you though, that any city or county in this state that has any sort of population is likely to be 100% paid and 100% union.

    P.S. Firedawg, I see you're from Georgia though, so I wont hold that against you. Better luck next year Bulldogs.
    IAFF - Fire/EMS

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColdFireJT View Post
    Yeah... Ok...

    Not sure what part of Florida the topic starter worked in but Florida has a very strong union presence from our career firefighters. Most people who don't live here though don't realize that Florida has both ends of the society spectrum. The small, very low populated backwoods areas may not have union representation but then most of them sort of do their own thing anyway. I assure you though, that any city or county in this state that has any sort of population is likely to be 100% paid and 100% union.

    P.S. Firedawg, I see you're from Georgia though, so I wont hold that against you. Better luck next year Bulldogs.

    Manatee County Florida
    The only true Unionized department is the City of Bradenton (IAFF)
    Other than that, the other major departments are not. Cedar Hammock, Southern Manatee, East Manatee, West Manatee, North River, and Parrish Fire Control. Of those the only one that has close to a union is West Manatee, they have the West Manatee Firefighters Association. It is not a union in the truest sense of the word. They do have meetings and raise money, but when it comes to contracts, benifits, etc. they really have no say. The funny part is the City Of Bradenton Fire-Rescue, which is union seems to pay the lowest for a starting firefighter. As far as the other counties I know that Sarasota is union and most of pinellas and hillsborough are as well. Most of the guys on the non-union departments do not want anything to do with a union which is odd to me. Stay safe.
    Gary
    Firefighter/EMT-B
    -------------------
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    Leather Forever......F.O.O.L.S.

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    I work for a non union department, It depends on your situation. We, like everyone have had some problems here and there but as we sit today we are average in pay and days off, I don't pay union dues and we are the only department in DuPage county (1,000,000 residents) that don't pay for their health insurance.
    So while I have no doubt that one day the cards will get signed and we will be part of the IAFF. Right now we don't have much reason to go.
    It isn't a total solution for all the world's problems, it has a place. If your not union then something must have been going OK.
    If you want to go educate yourself to the pros and cons first. The union is not the answer to all problems, but it has a time and place.

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    Addison you and your guys can thank the AFFI whenever your pension benefits get better, have fair promotions and about a hundred other things MY union dues go for. I will say that it is better to get in while times are good, then playing catch up when they arent.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    To respond to the original question:

    I have worked for two non-union paid fire departments and know of several others in the area (West Tennessee). Generally speaking, unions have a poor reputation around here, and state law does not require municipalities to bargain with employees.

    That said, there are departments around here that I think would benefit greatly from union representation, while others would probably stand to gain little, or might even be hurt if they attempted to organize.
    ullrichk
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    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

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