Friday Update 4-30-21
Posted On: Apr 30, 2021


FRIDAY UPDATE 
 


Sisters & Brothers,

This week, Local 1014 went on the road together with our California Professional Firefighters (CPF) partners to meet with our membership regarding critical issues at the State. We consider this a preview of Local 1014 getting the Regional General Membership meetings back up and running in a post-COVID environment. 

The day began at Fire Station 118 preparing a reserve rig, backfill, and getting the squad and truck ready before this April heat took hold.  We were reminded that the season is starting much earlier than we have ever seen with 90-degree temperatures in April and a few starts that kept our members busy for the last few days.  After some breakfast and talking about issues with the crews, we headed to East LA and the busy rigs of Fire Station 3.  Then we finished up the long day in Santa Clarita in the peak of the heat at Fire Station 126.  The vibe everywhere was “Brush Season is Here”, and it was clear we have begun to see starts and small fires growing larger every day with the North Fire in Castaic surprising everyone in growing to 650 acres in one very quick day. 

As always, Los Angeles County Fire Fighters Local 1014 Members in all facets of our work rose to the occasion and handled the fires and emergency calls throughout the County.  With our Air Ships, Wildland Crews, Heavy Equipment, Dispatchers, Firefighters, and Fire Personnel working together we made short order of the North Fire with no structures lost.  Great work by all. 

Our station meetings were very productive. We covered issues relating to our profession at every level, local, state, and federal.  We also had frank and open conversations about the recall election for the Governor and the issues facing our members.  While these discussions were passionate at times, everyone was appreciative of the perspective and balance as we dealt with this difficult issue. 

It was clear that opinions vary on the recall. Your issues with the Governor regarding COVID-19 shutdowns, the reopening of schools, and other non-fire issues were well taken and valid. The issues identified by polling were reinforced by our members in our conversation with the Governor getting low marks in his hypocrisy in mandating masks and shutdowns of businesses while holding himself to a different standard as evidenced by his presence at French Laundry Restaurant.  In addition, he rated very low on his initial handling of COVID-19 with regard to small businesses such as hair salons, restaurants, bars, and small stores while keeping all the big industry businesses open.  Members related stories of our own families including President Gillotte reflecting on the impact on his own kids' work and hardships during this time.

The CPF including LA County, LA City, Cal-Fire, and many others deliberated and evaluated all issues and unanimously have voted to oppose the recall of the Governor.  Just like all of you we also discussed the same issues as well as our specific Fire-related issues including our funding for camps, pre-deployment backfill for OT, Health and Safety, workers compensation, retirement legislation, administrative relief critical for our pensions and Department operations.  We also discussed the potential candidates running to oppose the Governor including businessman John Cox and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, both of whom we have been having meetings with on our issues.  It is clear that for both Cox and Faulconer, who crafted the pension assault on our brothers and sisters in San Diego, their position on removing our defined benefit pension and healthcare is still a driving force in their platform and agenda.  We will continue to meet and discuss these issues with the top two candidates as we always interview, communicate and work with everyone in the political process. 

For our part as your Union, Local 1014 reinforced that each and every one of our members owns their vote.  Our job is to educate everyone on the FIRE ISSUES ONLY and advocate for our profession at the State level through legislative advocacy. (Click here to view some of our legislative successes through the CPF this year)  Our membership understands the work and the need for Union advocacy in all that we have achieved including our salaries, OT, retirement, and healthcare benefits. We have a unique position now to have a real impact on the Governor’s decision-making as this issue comes before the voters. We will carry the feedback from our members regarding their opinions back directly to the Governor.

As always, we are a diverse membership and Executive Board. That diversity of opinion makes us stronger. We respect each other’s opinions, positions and ultimately our votes. We will continue to update you on the State legislative and funding work including that which directly impacts Los Angeles County Fire Protection District and Local 1014 membership. 

In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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