A few things to update you on:
1014 CPAT Test Day
As you have been following the impact of the LA Times article on testing, recruitment and Members with same last names on the job. Local 1014 has been included on a task force of Labor, Management and County Officials to accomplish a few things related to recruitment, testing and integrity of all systems. We are to meet and work on the issues and report back to the BOS on our progress, and as part of that we are moving forward in a monitored way to administer the current written exam that is ready to go. This is important because we are nearing 200 vacancies and the written is the second component of the FSA "Bridge" combined with the A/P for banding. The hiring from the general list and the FSA Bridge list has been stalled due to the test not being ready to administer.
The future will hold any number of options to include the possibility of moving all entry level testing components to the CFFJAC where we currently administer the CPAT. This may be a great option to have a well vetted, legally sound test process which is EEOC compliant and the liability is with CFFJAC on the procedure. It has audits and independent evaluations in place for fairness to all for preparation and testing yet does not also disadvantage anyone inclusive of family members of those serving, a key component. The CFFJAC also has a robust Local 1014 and Department sponsored women in the Fire Service Recruitment process with a strong mentoring program that also naturally fits into the system. As a matter of fact the Women's Initiative is open to all candidates and nets about half men and women in the form of career days and recruitment laddered into mentoring.
We will be administering a CPAT Family Day in the first week or two of December (Date soon to be announced) and we have nearly 100 FSA's, Explorers, and relatives of Members in Good Standing who will test, and we will also use this day to expose the BOS, the County and County Fire to the CFFJAC Program of CPAT and the proposed written test relationship with CFFJAC. Thank you to all who signed up and we look forward to a great test day and presentation day for the Strike Team Members on the issues we must deal with in our entry-level testing.
USAR 103 and USAR 130 Paramedic Assessment Engines to Go in Place January 1
As a result of the crews on USAR 103 and USAR 130 coming to the Union and presenting an idea to change the task forces to include a Paramedic Assessment Engine will not only serve the public day to day, but also provide a Paramedic embedded on the USAR team. This will be in place in the IDLH environment to treat not only the potential victims, but also any responders that may need help at an ALS level if needed. This made sense and could be funded. We brought the idea directly to the Fire Chief and have worked with personnel from the USAR TF's and Department to reach an agreement on implementation of the transition to PM Assessment for these two task forces. The date will be January 1, 2015 for in service. Related to this we have ongoing talks on adding E233 to A/V, and some temporary relief with extra staffing / equipment to the Fighting 171 in Inglewood. This is until we can navigate the SAFER Act Grant and Funding maze to get Inglewood back to health to restore services. We will keep you posted and anticipate some changes in the very near future and at the conclusion of negotiations on this issue.
LA RICS AND CELL PHONE / RADIO ANTENNA PROJECT UPDATE
We are in for a real battle on this issue along with other Unions in LA County who are included in the LA RICS Radio Interoperability Project. As you recall this is a big County, Multi-Agency Consortium of Fire in Law Enforcement, Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City and participating cities to construct a radio system in place for interoperability capabilities. Along the way the use of cellular platform for back up communications was brought into the proposal and then Federal Grant Monies were introduced to pay for such addition and now the side project has become the high pressure get it done project by default.
The LA RICS group, under the CEO and ultimately the BOS is moving forward with full authority to order the Department Heads of all Public Safety Participants to start construction on the facilities where they have determined to place radio and cell antennas. These locations are at our stations and sites. We have a strong disagreement with the placement of these cell/ radio antenna and infrastructure sites. This is based on the impact to the working conditions of the membership and health risks that we believe are present for our members in exposure to radio waves from the sites. This subject is not cut and dry, nor agreed upon in the scientific community and this will be a hard battle to win, but we believe in our data and in caution on the side of safety for our members.
The County has moved forward and there is no indication they will slow forward movement without our challenge. We are likely to be in for a battle to either reach an agreement to move sites/alter sites/provide data collection and testing etc. or fight this out in the court of public opinion and support on this issue. We now see the measuring and studies of soil and so forth changing into the actual start of construction at sites.
PLEASE CONTACT DIRECTOR LEW CURRIER as the point person on this item. Lew is the health and safety director and is working with LA City and has been assigned to lead the plan of action for dealing with this at the ground level while we try and work this out with the BOS, CEO and LA RICS. Stay tuned and look at your web-blasts and e-mails for further details on this as it unfolds. This could be an extremely bumpy time and an adversarial issue with the Department and it is what it is. We will keep other business on track while we battle this issue as well.
Just a few update items with more on 1014 CPAT testing day, and Cell Issue.
Executive Board Local 1014