Brothers and Sisters,
As some of you may have heard, we had a contentious meeting with the Chief and his staff last week in Battalion 5.
First, on behalf of the Executive Board, we would like to thank all the members who spoke up at that meeting and made their voices heard to the Chief. Our Executive Board has been fighting hard for relief for our members; the most impact is always made by the personal stories shared.
Directly following that meeting your Executive Board got to work on pushing the Department to find both short-term relief and long-term solutions to this growing problem. As a result of our collaboration with Management, the Department is slated to begin the following items that will provide short- term relief, many of these strategies are temporary with a minimum of six months and may be rescinded later:
- The postponement of scheduled paramedic classes.
- Freezing bids longer than three (3) bid periods -Personnel can maintain bid after three (3) bid periods or gain bid rights.
- Personnel may voluntarily to work seven 24-hour shifts in a row before a mandatory 24-hour day off; however, personnel may only be recalled within the five (5) shifts in a row as per current policy.
- Solicitation of volunteers to work significantly impacted battalions - Promoted personnel may be detailed from selected post-position to a battalion of need.
Effective August 16, 2019-
- Reassignment of eleven (11) Probationary Firefighters.
Effective September 1, 2019-
- Volunteers to be placed in a battalion of need. (Volunteer requests will be vetted to ensure a significant vacancy issue is not created elsewhere. Volunteers will receive a Letter of Appreciation upon completion of the assignment.)
- Recall Swapping (Parameters to be developed and disseminated prior to the effective date.)
- 40-hour personnel mandatory assignment to battalion cardfiles.
Please see the attached EA for more details.
We all know that the root cause of this for all our members is the lack of hiring over the past several years by our Department. Until the Department has a permanent hiring plan in place we will continue to see these issues. While we have made progress, we are still seriously understaffed and our members are the ones who feel the pain.
Local 1014 has been pushing for change not only in the frequency of hiring but also the method and testing process the Department currently uses. These short-term relief solutions will only work if we followthrough with a long-range hiring plan that makes sense and takes into account the rate at which our call loads are increasing and our communities are growing.
We understand that some of our members are greatly impacted while others are not. However, if the Department does not make real lasting changes, we will all be affected.
We will get through this period and we will be better for it. Remember to take care of each other out there.
Your Local 1014 Executive Board will be continuing this conversation with the Chief and Management as we work towards finding lasting solutions to this problem.