Friday Update 12-3-21
Updated On: Jan 07, 2022

 


Sisters and Brothers, 
COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Negotiations Update 
This week, the LA County Sheriff penned a letter asserting potential security and medical data concerns with Fulgent, the contracted laboratory and service provider for LA County.  It is worth noting that Sheriff himself was supporting registration with Fulgent and the weekly testing for unvaccinated Deputies as late as last week.  We are very interested in any additional information that may have come forward from the meeting he and the County had with the FBI. 

In his letter, the Sheriff indicates these concerns were given to him in a meeting with the FBI on November 26, 2021.  While the letter has no data or formal reports from the FBI, it has certainly rocked confidence in the procedural and contractual obligations negotiated between Fulgent and the County.  As you are aware, the County Coalition of Unions (CCU) and the County held three separate meetings to renegotiate terms and conditions of consent forms, agreements for excluding DNA samples in testing and ensuring data security with the US hosted and protected systems in place.  Local 1014 was the last Union to hold our members from registering if they had not already done so until these meetings were completed. As we, and almost every other Union, have indicated they would not have been our choice of contractor, but they were the County's choice. See the County of Los Angeles response to the issues raised with Fulgent below. 

As a result of this development and the impact on not only our members but the members of every Union in the CCU, we convened an emergency meeting with the County to discuss this letter and the concerns raised by the Sheriff.  President Gillotte and your bargaining team members put forward four simple suggestions that were adopted by all Unions in the CCU and sent in a letter to the County on follow-up.  We requested 1) alternatives to Fulgent for registration and testing, 2) the tolling of any proposed discipline for any members not registered, 3) any facts and minutes and/or data from the FBI meeting be shared with the Unions, and 4) a confidential meeting between the County, the CCU, and the FBI under the protection of privilege by the attorneys to view any information that cannot be shared with the public but is germane to our bargaining and impact on our members' medical property and data security.  

We also met with the Department in our ongoing conversations with Interim Fire Chief Marrone and Deputy Chief Breshears in dealing with all of the COVID-19 mandate impact items.  We have put forward a proposal for temporary tolling of any proposed discipline or skelly meetings for any members who have not registered with Fulgent, any members who are hesitant to test in the ring testing or periodic weekly testing can provide their own PCR test from a certified testing facility, and the agreement for coverage of time off if positive and quarantine agreement items will remain in effect with the outside test results as compliance. 

In addition, we have requested the Department to evaluate longer-term alternatives for both testing and data hosting for our personal information in perpetuity.  We will keep you updated on these items as both the CCU and Department talks continue. 
 
Letter from Lisa M. Garrett, Director Of Personnel Addressing Employee Questions Regarding Fulgent Genetics
Local 1014 Letter Regarding Sheriff Fulgent Accusations and Concerns
For now please stay the course and call the Union if you are met with any resistance to our temporary plan for testing.  The testing is to also keep our members safe and our families safe when Covid does strike any of us.  We take seriously not only all we are working on with regard to the mandate, but also as we have consistently provided, our support for the vaccine, periodic and ring testing, safety gear and procedures, and all that we can do to keep our members and families safe.  There is ground for all of this to co-exist reasonably.  We look forward to a communique from the Department on the situation and a temporary agreement to help us all navigate this new development.  


Meeting with Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh


President Gillotte along with other Presidents of the LA County of Federation of Labor Unions met with Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su at the LIUNA Labor Hall.  LA FED Secretary-Treasurer Ron Herrera using his experience with Teamsters, help set the meeting so Labor Unions could discuss directly with the Secretary and his Deputy issues affecting Los Angeles County workers. 

President Gillotte tackled the infrastructure bill and moving federal money to California and Los Angeles County to not just provide valuable jobs but also tax and revenue to the County which helps our economy both directly and indirectly.  President Gillotte is a Vice President on the LA Federation of Labor Board and has been involved in Los Angeles County revenue and jobs recruitment for many years.  This work is critical to the booming California business economy that feeds the state and county.   

Also discussed were the positive impacts of President Biden and Secretary Walsh’s recommendation to leverage transportation grant monies due to California against the PEPRA violations in the transportation builders contracts.  This is a positive shoring up of our position on the California Rule protecting our pensions in California and will aid our court and political cases for such a position.  We are an issue-based Union and on this issue, we will be with team Biden / Walsh to protect our pensions.  This is very timely as we also look to combat a pension assault initiative that is in the works for next June. We will have to work to combat any and all efforts to erode our pension security.  President Gillotte also thanked Secretary Walsh who hails from Boston as the Mayor who took care of the Boston Firefighters including our own General President Ed Kelly, for the work on the firefighter cancer registry and PFOS legislation to keep firefighters safe and to help battle cancer in our profession.  
 
Establishment of the Wellness Division 

We would like to thank Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn and the 5 votes that continue to help Local 1014 members apply pressure and ensure accountability with the Department in our quest to protect and build our mental and physical health resources.

The ET-522 while we are grateful for the 
The Sierra Incident and the impact on not only our membership and families but on the Fire Service in US and Canada demands our continued work to develop our Peer Support and Leadership Training as well as hiring an occupational health doctor who will be a labor/management doctor to strictly take care of our members physical and mental health integrated with our IAFF Wellness Fitness Programs and Peer Support Programs.  This allows our final exit from County OHP as the medical authority over our members care and fitness for duty issues.  We have been working on this for many years and with the sense of urgency and also driven commitment as a result of the Sierra Incident and our previously high suicide rates, we thank the Interim Fire Chief Marrone for his continued push to get this done and leave our future brighter than before. 

Also thank you to the Peer Support Team Leads and Dr. Steve Froehlich for the continued guidance in how we resource and build out our program which has now become the premier Peer Support Team in the nation for the IAFF.   
Establishment of the Wellness Division 

The Sierra Incident and the impact on not only our members and families but on the Fire Service in the US and Canada demands our continued work to develop our Peer Support and Leadership Training as well as hiring an occupational health doctor who will be a labor/management doctor to strictly take care of our members physical and mental health integrated with our IAFF Wellness Fitness Programs and Peer Support Programs.  This allows our final exit from County OHP as the medical authority over our members' care and fitness for duty issues.

The ET-552 was issued yesterday announcing the establishment of the Wellness Division. While we are grateful for the efforts of the Department, we are once again in a situation where management is disconnected from the needs of the members. The Union is working to ensure that all members that need Behavioral Health services are not stigmatized by the labeling of those services and are able to go to a neutral location where they feel safe to heal. Unfortunately, ET-552 did not properly relay this message. The Union will be working diligently with our Peer Team to ensure that the behavioral health resources for members are appropriate and work to break the stigma within the Department and the fire service. More on this as we work to find a new location for the Wellness Division and find the right culturally-competent people to staff it. 

 We would like to thank Supevisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn and the 5 votes that continue to help Local 1014 members apply pressure and ensure accountability with the Department in our quest to protect and build our mental and physical health resources. Special thank you also to the Peer Support Team Leads and Dr. Steve Froehlich for the continued guidance in how we resource and build out our program which has now become the premier Peer Support Team in the nation for the IAFF.   

In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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