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Posted: 5/18/2018 8:07:56 PM EDT
I am in a department that recently has started going from private volly to paid. We are still not city employed but the depts payroll is provided by the city which has a contract agreement with us. In short what are some of the downsides to establshing a Union
Link Posted: 5/18/2018 10:09:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/18/2018 10:13:33 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By TOTHEMAX:

Downsides:
1. Dues
2. Can potentially protect turds
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That second one worries me. We have a few
Link Posted: 5/18/2018 10:22:00 PM EDT
As a volunteer department how active were you in the community? Did you have fund raisers? Help with community projects?

What are the political feelings toward unions by those you are serving? They can turn on you and make life miserable.

---- Retired Asst Chief
Link Posted: 5/18/2018 10:22:21 PM EDT
I am in a union and there are more turds than you can imagine. Where I worked before this we didn't have a union and very few turds. They are good for some things but damn I hate some of the lazy fuckers we have. I have had guys not help me on a code before.
Link Posted: 5/18/2018 11:03:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/19/2018 12:18:04 AM EDT
we dont have retirement yet. Have to be municipal and in union to qualify . Thats the issue
Link Posted: 5/19/2018 12:26:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By lafmedic1:
we dont have retirement yet. Have to be municipal and in union to qualify . Thats the issue
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Is it a state retirement or local government?
Link Posted: 5/19/2018 10:29:43 AM EDT
State
Link Posted: 5/19/2018 10:06:54 PM EDT
The biggest downside is the stress of the constant fight/tension between union and admin IMO.

Dues are a wash because your wages will almost always be better than a dept without a union anyways.

Protecting turds can be addressed by getting the right people into position to work on contract language for discipline and employee testing and evaluation. Depending on how the union is structured a board will decide what level of union protection and money will be spent defending members on a case-by-case basis.

State law makes a big impact. Here in Ohio we have binding arbitration. If we really can't agree over something eventually a guy from the state hears our case (and the city point of view), thinks it iver and decides. What he decides IS how it goes. Without that they would have us fighting fires with 4 guys, mowing the parks between calls and working 56 hours a week as little as 4 hours at a time, and all sorts of other BS.

I would never consider a full-time job at a non-union dept personally.
Link Posted: 5/20/2018 12:06:42 AM EDT
Thanks for the info
Link Posted: 5/20/2018 11:16:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/20/2018 11:25:24 AM EDT by Breedy]
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Originally Posted By lafmedic1:
That second one worries me. We have a few
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Originally Posted By lafmedic1:
Originally Posted By TOTHEMAX:

Downsides:
1. Dues
2. Can potentially protect turds
That second one worries me. We have a few
If they are allowed to be turds now, what makes you thinking going "paid" will make a difference?

Working in a Union department, retention of turds has a lot less to do with the Union, than with City and Fire Administration. Demographics and "social consciousness" play a large role in hiring in a lot of places. Going from a volunteer service to paid, I'm assuming you are not going to go the Civil Service route, so that should be a bit better for you.

There will be large disparity of differences when it comes to opinions of a Union or your Union and people have a hard time accepting that the best outcome for the whole is bad for themselves.
Link Posted: 5/20/2018 7:32:36 PM EDT
We have to be civil service for state retirement . We are currently a hybrid private department funded by taxes. I know its weird. The department is pretty much in its infancy still. As far as having to go civil service we are ok with it And I know what comes with it
Link Posted: 5/23/2018 1:10:19 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By TOTHEMAX:

We have a few turds floating around here. Lazyness when it comes to doing the job. They like to sit in the recliner and not get work done. That drives me crazy.

Our seniority system is another pain. Those turds just hold out and will someday be captains. Thats bs...
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That sounds like a huge problem with your promotional process not a union. If your department gives promotions based on seniority only you have a fucked up department.
Link Posted: 5/23/2018 1:29:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2018 1:33:00 AM EDT by smarquez]
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Originally Posted By FFMedic:
The biggest downside is the stress of the constant fight/tension between union and admin IMO.

Dues are a wash because your wages will almost always be better than a dept without a union anyways.

Protecting turds can be addressed by getting the right people into position to work on contract language for discipline and employee testing and evaluation. Depending on how the union is structured a board will decide what level of union protection and money will be spent defending members on a case-by-case basis.

State law makes a big impact. Here in Ohio we have binding arbitration. If we really can't agree over something eventually a guy from the state hears our case (and the city point of view), thinks it iver and decides. What he decides IS how it goes. Without that they would have us fighting fires with 4 guys, mowing the parks between calls and working 56 hours a week as little as 4 hours at a time, and all sorts of other BS.

I would never consider a full-time job at a non-union dept personally.
View Quote
Very good answer here.
I think OP is too young to even realize what the IAFF has done for firefighters and is just regurgitating the unions are evil bull shit.
In my department over the last 60 years or so the union brought us a change from 72 hour to 56 and you don't pay the county back for vacation days before you get overtime pay. Mandatory SCBA for every post position. Mandatory minimum staffing, no black out or shut down stations. Moved paramedic from a bonus position to a post position that is now pensionable. Longevity bonuses. Presumptive cancer legislation. More smaller though significant safety items that you can count. They have protected guys from heavy handed bullying brass and had a few of them put on time out. Your union is obligated to protect you as long as you are in policy. I've worked with some turds. The thing is with 99% of our turds is they have been there and done that and don't care to impress. They seem to want to hide out but usually come alive when their is smoke showing. I was a Captain for 13 years and while I was not a make work guy, the turds didn't want to work for me. Your union is usually the best bet for dealing with politicians att he local, state and federal levels.
All your bullshit volly fuck fuck games should go away because the chiefs cousins boyfriend will have to meet all the state standards to keep his job now, not because he is the chiefs cousins boyfriend. You will also have everyone drug tested and backgrounded. You might be surprised at who won't make the cut.
Link Posted: 5/23/2018 8:19:06 AM EDT
Hit a few good points there. For some reason we stopped back grounding months back . We no longer have any "true vol.". We go on our off time so the other crew doesnt get smashed. Only 4 guys a shift. Town is still small enough where
people care what happens so if I am not busy I will help. I have no issue with going Union. But I am also aware every situation has positives and negatives and wanted to feel you guys out . I did ask the rep a lot of questions. But again I know this is best place to ask. Sadly when I do get on state retirement the 15 years I have already worked private EMS wont count
Link Posted: 5/24/2018 6:23:44 PM EDT
My experience has been good. Our biggest turds were Chiefs who forgot where they came from. One in particular we nicknamed “Chief be-no”. If there was something he didn’t like the first thing he’d say was there’ll “be-no” more of this. He expected his word to be policy and hell to pay if anybody violated it. Lots of guys got in trouble for violating his rules because they didn’t know anything about it because it wasn’t a written policy.

We finally got a Union President who wasn’t afraid of him and piled a stack of grievances and lawsuits on his desk. It wasn’t long after that, that this Chief Retired. The entire suppression division breathed a sigh of relief when he left.

I was in the National Guard and had received orders for training and turned in a request for time off. It was denied by admin with a letter stating that if I didn’t report for work at the fire Station on the days I had requested that I would face disciplinary action. Our union president contacted the city manager who sent word to administration that not only would my time be approved, but I would be granted paid time off for it, that it would not affect any of my accrued leave time.

Our union was good for negotiating pay raises and insurance benefits. My only bad experience was when in my early years on the job and the president was taking care of himself instead of taking care of the members.
Link Posted: 5/24/2018 7:30:36 PM EDT
Like a few have said it depends on how the union is set up. Make sure when you start down the road I would talk to some of the other locals and get some advice/help. I have been a Union member for 18 yrs and I am in my last position that I will be able to stay in the union (Asst. Chief)
Link Posted: 5/28/2018 4:50:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/1/2018 12:00:45 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Tango7:

Our department inadvertently hired a felon many years back. Our PD ran his name (which the guy changed his name in prison) but not his prints and the Board missed that he left the "have you ever been convicted of a felony" question blank.

It was only when his SIL got pissed at him and dropped a dime that we found out.
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Link Posted: 6/1/2018 12:09:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/1/2018 12:10:18 AM EDT by BuckeyeRifleman]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FFMedic:
The biggest downside is the stress of the constant fight/tension between union and admin IMO.

Dues are a wash because your wages will almost always be better than a dept without a union anyways.

Protecting turds can be addressed by getting the right people into position to work on contract language for discipline and employee testing and evaluation. Depending on how the union is structured a board will decide what level of union protection and money will be spent defending members on a case-by-case basis.

State law makes a big impact. Here in Ohio we have binding arbitration. If we really can't agree over something eventually a guy from the state hears our case (and the city point of view), thinks it iver and decides. What he decides IS how it goes. Without that they would have us fighting fires with 4 guys, mowing the parks between calls and working 56 hours a week as little as 4 hours at a time, and all sorts of other BS.

I would never consider a full-time job at a non-union dept personally.
View Quote
Spot on.

My local had a lot of issues due to the fact those that got very high up in the Union were also chiefs on the department. (Conflict of interest? Never...)

But overall, unions are a net benefit. The PD union for my city kicks ass, the president gives no fucks and calls it like it is.

Our union for the FD OTOH is a lapdog for the city. I still wholeheartedly think our last union president (a deputy chief) endorsed and gave something like 38k to the now mayor in exchange for a future shot at the public safety director job. That endorsement or campaign contribution never was brought before the members for a vote, it just happened one day because he said it should. Oh, and that Mayor is a giant liberal douche who has screwed over several police officers just for doing their jobs. Rant off.
Link Posted: 6/1/2018 5:48:08 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:

Spot on.

My local had a lot of issues due to the fact those that got very high up in the Union were also chiefs on the department. (Conflict of interest? Never...)

But overall, unions are a net benefit. The PD union for my city kicks ass, the president gives no fucks and calls it like it is.

Our union for the FD OTOH is a lapdog for the city. I still wholeheartedly think our last union president (a deputy chief) endorsed and gave something like 38k to the now mayor in exchange for a future shot at the public safety director job. That endorsement or campaign contribution never was brought before the members for a vote, it just happened one day because he said it should. Oh, and that Mayor is a giant liberal douche who has screwed over several police officers just for doing their jobs. Rant off.
View Quote
No chiefs on our board. We have all ranks up to captain. Chief go into the AOC, association of chiefs when they promote. Some chiefs continue to pay the dues to stay in the unions medical plan and a few still attend meetings.
Link Posted: 6/8/2018 11:28:44 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/9/2018 12:20:19 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By TOTHEMAX:

I hate the system but thats a pretty common way to promote.
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Not out here on the west coast. They are competitive exams. A written exam, an appraisal of promotability and an oral exam including situational scenarios dealing withe both emergency and administrative situations. You get placed on the list based on your score. If you don't study, lay around on your ass and can't put a coherent sentence together about department policy you end up at the bottom of the barrel.
Link Posted: 6/9/2018 6:32:00 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:

Attachment Attached File
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Sorry, out of my lane. You can't be a felon firefighter? Is that an IAFF or state thing? The Chief of my home town has been a felon for years. It's the only reason he didn't get installed as police chief in the 80's. I'm pretty sure there are several vollies with records, too.

Not being contentious, just kinda stuck out to me as something I hadn't really given any consideration about...
Link Posted: 6/10/2018 3:06:08 PM EDT
You can here. It just takes a lot of doing . To be an EMR/EMT/EMTP you have to get a back ground check and be approved to work by state/nremt . Most departments require one of these certs
Link Posted: 6/19/2018 1:16:08 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By TOTHEMAX:
Downsides:
1. Dues
2. Can potentially protect turds
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Originally Posted By TOTHEMAX:
Originally Posted By lafmedic1:
I am in a department that recently has started going from private volly to paid. We are still not city employed but the depts payroll is provided by the city which has a contract agreement with us. In short what are some of the downsides to establshing a Union
Downsides:
1. Dues
2. Can potentially protect turds
This.

However it can protect you from shitty boards or mayors depending on your structure. We are union and while I hate how it protects turds it did protect us from a bad trustee who treated the department like a business rather than a public safety agency.
Link Posted: 6/19/2018 1:22:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2018 1:34:29 AM EDT by Fidel_Cashflow]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FFMedic:
The biggest downside is the stress of the constant fight/tension between union and admin IMO.

Dues are a wash because your wages will almost always be better than a dept without a union anyways.

Protecting turds can be addressed by getting the right people into position to work on contract language for discipline and employee testing and evaluation. Depending on how the union is structured a board will decide what level of union protection and money will be spent defending members on a case-by-case basis.

State law makes a big impact. Here in Ohio we have binding arbitration. If we really can't agree over something eventually a guy from the state hears our case (and the city point of view), thinks it iver and decides. What he decides IS how it goes. Without that they would have us fighting fires with 4 guys, mowing the parks between calls and working 56 hours a week as little as 4 hours at a time, and all sorts of other BS.

I would never consider a full-time job at a non-union dept personally.
View Quote
Prior to my department going union we always worked two guys short, were responsible for ridiculous maintenance items and had no structured shifts. We work a 48/96 but in those days before IAFF it wasn’t uncommon to be forced over on a three or four day stretch because somebody on another shift called off last minute. Let me tell you a four day shift is hell and a firefighter/paramedic on day four isn’t worth a shit to anybody.

I’d never go back to how it used to be despite my other grievances with unions.
Link Posted: 6/19/2018 1:28:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2018 1:30:43 AM EDT by Fidel_Cashflow]
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Originally Posted By smarquez:
No chiefs on our board. We have all ranks up to captain. Chief go into the AOC, association of chiefs when they promote. Some chiefs continue to pay the dues to stay in the unions medical plan and a few still attend meetings.
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Originally Posted By smarquez:
Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:

Spot on.

My local had a lot of issues due to the fact those that got very high up in the Union were also chiefs on the department. (Conflict of interest? Never...)

But overall, unions are a net benefit. The PD union for my city kicks ass, the president gives no fucks and calls it like it is.

Our union for the FD OTOH is a lapdog for the city. I still wholeheartedly think our last union president (a deputy chief) endorsed and gave something like 38k to the now mayor in exchange for a future shot at the public safety director job. That endorsement or campaign contribution never was brought before the members for a vote, it just happened one day because he said it should. Oh, and that Mayor is a giant liberal douche who has screwed over several police officers just for doing their jobs. Rant off.
No chiefs on our board. We have all ranks up to captain. Chief go into the AOC, association of chiefs when they promote. Some chiefs continue to pay the dues to stay in the unions medical plan and a few still attend meetings.
Chief officers should never hold board positions. At least here they don’t. As a captain myself I feel like serving on the board is toeing the line and mostly abstain from voting when possible. There’s a major conflict of interest when you get up to white helmets and administrative positions.
Link Posted: 6/19/2018 1:33:43 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By high_order1:
Sorry, out of my lane. You can't be a felon firefighter? Is that an IAFF or state thing? The Chief of my home town has been a felon for years. It's the only reason he didn't get installed as police chief in the 80's. I'm pretty sure there are several vollies with records, too.

Not being contentious, just kinda stuck out to me as something I hadn't really given any consideration about...
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Originally Posted By high_order1:
Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:

/media/mediaFiles/no-thumb.jpg
Sorry, out of my lane. You can't be a felon firefighter? Is that an IAFF or state thing? The Chief of my home town has been a felon for years. It's the only reason he didn't get installed as police chief in the 80's. I'm pretty sure there are several vollies with records, too.

Not being contentious, just kinda stuck out to me as something I hadn't really given any consideration about...
We’re a combination department like most in the area paid and volly. We won’t take a felon in either role. The very idea is abhorrent given our role and the trust that the public places in us.
Link Posted: 6/20/2018 6:19:44 AM EDT
Downside to fire unions....

They turn grown men into giant weeping vaginas, which most fire fighters are anyway so I guess it's really not that much of a change. I say go for it.
Link Posted: 6/20/2018 8:22:17 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Alive:
Downside to fire unions....

They turn grown men into giant weeping vaginas, which most fire fighters are anyway so I guess it's really not that much of a change. I say go for it.
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So you are a firefighter then? Or are you just expressing an opinion that I haven't seen at the three different departments I worked at?
Link Posted: 6/20/2018 3:11:11 PM EDT
Hey Frank, do you fight what I fear?
Link Posted: 6/20/2018 7:56:35 PM EDT
I don't know what you fear but I was a firefighter for 18 years and 8.5 years of that was for two different departments at the same time. I imagine anyone who has been in the fire service for any length of time got over their fears or they wouldn't have stayed long. I switched over to the EMS side of the department thanks to an injury that did not heal properly so there isn't much to fear anymore. There is always a chance of getting caught up in a mass shooting or some other craziness but the odds of that are pretty low.

Tip to the fatties out there, when I come as part of the SAVE team I drag the heavy ones last.
Link Posted: 6/21/2018 1:27:49 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Alive:
Hey Frank, do you fight what I fear?
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Trolling BOTS. It’s a bold move, let’s see how it plays out.
Link Posted: 6/21/2018 3:25:46 PM EDT
Pretty sure he trolled my other thread too. I have no idea why
Link Posted: 6/22/2018 1:42:14 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By lafmedic1:
Pretty sure he trolled my other thread too. I have no idea why
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I thought I was fairly clear as to why. IAFF members are giant weeping vaginas.
Link Posted: 6/22/2018 12:03:38 PM EDT
Thanks for clearing that up. I did ask for constructive criticism so I guess describing IAFF members as giant weeping vaginas explains the downside of fire unions to the best of your ability
Link Posted: 6/22/2018 12:18:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By lafmedic1:
Thanks for clearing that up. I did ask for constructive criticism so I guess describing IAFF members as giant weeping vaginas explains the downside of fire unions to the best of your ability
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You're welcome and I'm always happy to help.
Link Posted: 6/24/2018 8:31:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2018 8:32:43 PM EDT by samo38]
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Originally Posted By Alive:

You're welcome and I'm always happy to help.
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Good argument for ending school summer breaks.
Link Posted: 6/25/2018 12:47:39 PM EDT
Hey Samo, do you race the reaper? So that others may live?
Link Posted: 6/26/2018 5:36:20 PM EDT
My job has a very strong and aggressive union. I wouldn't even think about working a fire job without one.
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