Brothers and Sisters,
Yesterday, February 28, 2019, we celebrated and recognized 101 years of the International Association of Fire Fighters-IAFF. As we recognize this IAFF Anniversary, we acknowledge that the Union movement has paved the way for the working conditions we enjoy today. In California, we are fortunate to have legislated and used political action through to achieve some of the best wages, hours and working conditions, including retirement and healthcare benefits, in the nation.
Throughout our 101 years, IAFF also has been a leader in workplace equality issues, including race and gender. One of the first things we must do, and continue to do, is to talk openly about issues affecting our members. Local 1014 is proud to be part of the long history of fighting for our members and their families as we celebrate our own 70th anniversary this year. We will not be silent and we will boldly take initiative to lead on these issues that are important to our members.
This week, we are letting the Fire Chief rest a bit as we continue to press on some hard work that has strained our relationship, but we have movement in the right direction. One of those issues is our entry level test and recruitment of the best and most capable women in California to join our Department. We are meeting with the Board of Supervisors and the Fire Chief to address our dissatisfaction with the entry level testing process. Work is in progress to move to a standard we can all be proud of and has integrity, recruitment, and seeks the best and brightest of all candidates.
This month, we celebrated African American History and Recognition Month. Local 1014 was so proud to have participated in numerous community activities with the membership and the citizens we serve.
One such event was the African American Fire Fighter Museum Open House with my good friend and our fellow LA County Fire Captain Brent Burton narrating a “Black Fire Fighter History” Lecture. Brent is an amazing speaker and historian and he was joined by retired BC Ron Lawrence as we took a look at the past, present and future of Black Firefighters.
While we have come a long way, we can always do better in how we approach race and gender issues. We pledge to work with the Board of Supervisors, the citizens we protect and our rich and diverse membership to take a lead role as we not only open up discussions, but take action to ensure our work force is not only the best in the business, but one where every member feels welcomed and respected as we do the work we do.
I would also like to congratulate Johnny Gray III, another friend and well-respected Air Operations Paramedic who has been selected to serve as President of the Stentorians. I look forward to a renewed partnership on issues in common and the support of the Union work.
Let us all take time to remember, reflect, and personally work to make our workplace the best it can be for all. Have a safe and wonderful weekend. We will pick up with some more details on the work in progress next week and go Dodgers! The Season is about to begin—we are going back a third year in a row to win it!
President Dave Gillotte and your Executive Board