An open letter to LA County Fire Chief Osby and the
membership of Local 1014
in regards to EA-168 dated March 30, 2018
April 6, 2018
OPEN LETTER TO THE FIRE CHIEF AND MEMBERSHIP
Dear Chief Osby:
In your memo EA-168 “Return to Work / Risk Management Re-Assignment” dated March 30, 2018, you stated a Civilian Division Chief “will provide a greater role in relation to the Department’s Return to Work mission.”
This letter is to inform you that we categorically REJECT your selection of civilian Cynthia Maluto to work in any capacity in the Return to Work Division and demand a new appointment to this critical position with the Department. We find her to be averse to any and all aspects of labor/management cooperation and to progressive workers compensation carve out principles. The unilateral decision to appoint her to an active role in Return to Work (RTW) is a direct attack on our Dispute Resolution Agreement (DRA) - Carve Out Agreement.
As you know, under State law our DRA is managed by a Labor Management Voting Committee of 6 individuals, 3 people appointed by the Union and 3 people appointed by the Department to ensure a balanced voice. It is at this table that all changes to any aspect directly and indirectly affecting the DRA carve out should be managed. It is essential that we maintain a balanced approach to the DRA and we are committed to working with you to correct this action and move toward a bilateral labor/management agreement regarding RTW.
We would like to set up a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss this critical issue. If the Department’s intent is to withdraw from the DRA carve out, where at least 80% of our members are being treated and claims are picked up in a timely manner, we deserve to know immediately. We feel strongly that the DRA system is significantly better than the state system which has delays to treatment in excess of 6 months for Firefighters. We must do everything we can to maintain a balanced system that benefits our Firefighters and our Fire Service Personnel.
Additionally, in EA-168, you mentioned a “concerned Firefighter” letter and you committed to investigating the claims in the letter. While we know this was one case, all cases and all members are important to us. Your commitment to take care of Firefighters and Fire Service Personnel for their “injuries while performing their duties” should also include illnesses, and behavioral health issues both on duty and cumulatively.
We are committed to addressing any needs or concerns of the Department and the Union membership. Moreover, we will be addressing this matter with the County Board of Supervisors.
I look forward to your response and to working collaboratively with you to create a DRA and RTW system which focuses on taking care of the men and women of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.