Brothers & Sisters,
As 2018 comes to a close, we are reminded of all the good work our Local 1014 members have done throughout the year. From the massive Woolsey Fire response to our Dispatchers fielding hundreds of thousands of emergency calls for service, our members have bravely and selflessly answered the nearly 400,000 calls for those in need.
We are blessed to work for the greatest Fire Department in the Country with one of the strongest Unions in the Nation, Local 1014. All our Local 1014 members including Dispatch, Heavy Equipment, Health Haz-Mat, Fire Prevention, Forestry, FSA’s, Camps, and Pilots remain committed to the mission of providing world-class service to the over 4 million residents of the unincorporated communities of Los Angeles County and 59 contract cities we serve each day.
This year, Local 1014 is proud of all we have accomplished on behalf of our members and their families. We would like to highlight just a few of these accomplishment as we look to expanding on these successes next year.
First and foremost, we are pleased to announce that we have reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) with the County of Los Angeles on out Bargaining Unit 601/602 contract. We will be sending out the T/A for a membership ratification vote, and the Board of Supervisors must ratify with a vote as well. I want to thank everyone on the Executive Board who worked so hard over the past several months on this deal. It wasn’t easy but this is a fair and rich contract that reflects the value of our members and their service to the community. Our contract is the richest per member contract within public safety units, we left no money on the table. We will be recommending a YES vote during ratification and will be visiting stations over the next few weeks to discuss further.
We will immediately beginning bargaining for our 603/604 Bargaining Units with the County of Los Angeles. We will be fighting for every dollar for our members and will not leave money on the table. Expect to hear more about 603/604 Units in the weeks to come.
Additionally, over the past several months, Local 1014 Executive Board members have been actively leading the joint labor management staffing committee to revise the staffing policy andreduce the impact of recalls and shortages in our ranks. We have had several successes, like 7-day out staffing, but there is still work to do on items including special ops unit staffing, out of county and strike team staffing, recall procedures to allow credit for recalls when someone is on a strike team assignment, days in a row worked, and more.
While there is still much to be done, we have made significant progress and continue to fight for our members to have fair and equitable staffing policy that address the ongoing issue within the Department and enhances our quality of life. We will see more coming out of this committee in the next few months.
Finally, this year we made real and meaningful progress on the growing problem of behavioral health and post-traumatic stress and cumulative stress injuries in the fire service.
Working closely with Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Supervisor Janice Hahn we were able to unanimously pass a motion to increase behavioral health services to LA County first responders. Together with the Department we also engaged in a department-wide Behavioral Health Safety Stand Down which included kitchen table sessions and resources for stations.
Moreover, we were successful in negotiating $1.25 million into a behavioral health fund to be administered by the Union in a partnership with the County and the Department to handle our behavioral health needs. This is an unprecedented amount of commitment and resources to a Union-run Department-partnered Program where we can finally have best practices with stability of structure. While this is a victory, the fight isn’t over yet. We need to remain vigilant and actively continue this discussion for the sake of our brothers and sisters and our families.
The year-long fire season combined with ever-increasing call loads has put an unprecedented strain on our members as many of them are forced to work excessive hours in order to meet the demand for service in our communities. Responding to nearly 400,000 calls for service across Los Angeles County last year alone, our job takes a toll on our bodies and our families.
As we head into 2019, the Department should be acutely aware we are not stopping in our push for better working conditions. As we finish the fringe contract and we all have economic security for the next two years, we will be tackling important items like the leadership of the Department and the effect on our members. We will be tackling important issues such as: Where are our thermal imagers for each rig and every post position? Why are the exhaust systems in the stations in such disrepair and increasing cancer risk as a result? Why is the technology we use antiquated and slow with no common sense relative to passwords and usernames? From the simple to the lifesaving, we can be better and we can improve. Finding solutions to these questions will leave us free to deliver the best care to the residents we serve. The Department needs to commit to taking care of us, the employees, who get it done every day. We will be pushing aggressively an agenda that gets it all done. Stay tuned.
Holidays are a time of joy and gratitude but they can also be a time of stress and for our members a time when call loads increase and our jobs become more challenging and more demanding. That is why it is critically important to remind all our members to take care of each other. If you or one of your fellow brothers and sisters need help, please reach out and get that help. Please utilize the resources in your stations which were mailed out last week and take care of each other. The peers and support teams are always there to help and most of us will need that help at one time or another in this profession; reach out if you need that help.
On behalf of the Local 1014 Executive Board we would like to wish you and your families a joyous New Year! Please remember to celebrate responsibly. Don’t drink and drive, get a cab, get a room. Celebrate responsibly and enjoy the fruits of our labor in the best jobs in the world… working for The Los Angeles County Fire Department. COUNTY! - 1014 STRONG!