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  1. #1

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    Default Vacation coverage by non Union

    Hi there... wondering if our situation is unique. We are a new, small composite department with about 30 IAFF firefighters and 40 volunteer (Paid on call).

    Is there any departments out there that use the nonIAFF paid-on-call firefighters to fill in when career members are sick or on vacation?


  2. #2
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    Hell no! it's called over time fill in. If you live in Il they just signed legislation regarding filling for full time employees

  3. #3
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    No way, we are similar in size to your department, with 40 unionized and 30 call(10-15 active), and at no time due they fill the role of a fulltime employee. We have total different duties and responsibilities, all vacation/sick are backfilled by fulltime employees.

  4. #4
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    Years ago, we used substitute fire fighters to fill in full time openings. The subs were active volunteers. That practice ended over 30 years ago. My FD has 32 full time firefighters in line positions. The volunteer FD disbanded a few years ago.

    Minimum staffing is a contract issue and over time time is used to keep positions filled. Using free labor to fill full-time spots will give some politicians ammunition to reduce or eliminate those positions.
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  5. #5
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    This is an issue that you NEED to bring up at your next contract negotiations! We have 120+ IAFF members and 30 or so volunteers. Our contract states at no time shall volunteers fill in for paid firefighters. Very important issue.

  6. #6
    Forum Member KeithA8's Avatar
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    My last dept would on a very rare occurance hire a volunteer to cover a shift. This only happens when everyone refuses the overtime. Scenerios like a wedding where everyone is invited or something big like that where evryone is going to the same event. Like I said it's very rare! Maybe once every 5 - 10 years.
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  7. #7
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterAB View Post
    Is there any departments out there that use the nonIAFF paid-on-call firefighters to fill in when career members are sick or on vacation?
    Only if nobody in the bargaining unit wants it.

    FWIW, it's not something you want to have happen very often. The alternative to allowing non-career personnel to work now and again is forced overtime and you don't want that in your contract...

    If your CBA doesn't already address this, it should!
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 12-09-2007 at 09:28 PM.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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  8. #8
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    Can a vollie work a paid shift and the department still be compliant with FLSA? I didn't think you could volunteer and get paid for the same job for an employer, even if it was part-time.

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    Interesting point, my understanding is the other way around; full-time employees cannot volunteer for their employers in the same or similar job function.

    I suppose it is possible that if your volunteer time and paid fill in time exceeded the FLSA straight time hour limitations you would be entitled to time and 1/2 OT, but I an not sure.

    The full-time members should have the right of first refusal. In my FD, all off duty FF's are asked to fill in an OT slot. If everyone on the list says no, one of the guys in the station is ordered.
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    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
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  10. #10
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Can a vollie work a paid shift and the department still be compliant with FLSA? I didn't think you could volunteer and get paid for the same job for an employer, even if it was part-time.
    That's backwards. You can't volunteer for a job with the same employer that you normally get paid for.

    A "volunteer" can pull an odd shift here and there for pay but regular firefighter employee can't "volunteer" for his employer.

    Clearly, there would have to be some line to cross where any given "volunteer" could be getting paid to work often enough to begin being considered a regular firefighter employee. You'd have to research the precise language in FLSA to determine where that line might be.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  11. #11
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    When I was a volunteer in CA the idea of filling in for a career firefighter was simply not an option. We did however cover the station as an all volunteer engine company when the fulltime guys needed station coverage. The idea of mixing the 2 did not happen.

    In regards to fulltime guys working as volunteers with the same department. We had many guys at my old station that did it, but the department did away with it. It was my understanding that a PCF who is fulltime with the same department would get his fulltime hourly rate for every call and not the standard $8 like everyone else. If he went out on strike teams he could get 1.5 his normal fulltime rate and be gone for 2 or 3 weeks at a time. Eventually the department forced the fulltime guys to stop volunteering because they were making tons og money as paid call firefighters.

  12. #12
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    Well, we have some per diems to cover the FF/Medic slot. With only 2 career FF/medics, something's gotta give! Can't always get OT fill-in for sick/vacation coverage when there's not much people! But policy allows for per diem employee fill-in if no career staff are available to fill the shift. Some of the per diems are also call FFs, but our call FFs are considered part-time employees of the town, not volunteers. Career folks get first refusal though.
    Last edited by mtngael; 03-12-2008 at 03:11 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    That's backwards. You can't volunteer for a job with the same employer that you normally get paid for.

    A "volunteer" can pull an odd shift here and there for pay but regular firefighter employee can't "volunteer" for his employer.

    Clearly, there would have to be some line to cross where any given "volunteer" could be getting paid to work often enough to begin being considered a regular firefighter employee. You'd have to research the precise language in FLSA to determine where that line might be.
    I wasn't sure on all the caveats of that regulation, which is part of why I asked.

  14. #14
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    We have a similar thing we have one full time guy monday through friday and on holidays he has off, but who even is on our per diam roster and has firefighter certs and en ems lisence can sign up for the shifts

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