Brothers and Sisters,
As we approach the holiday season and get ready to fill for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, your Union continues to work with the Department to make sure all temporary and long-term solutions for staffing shortages are in place. This year, perhaps more than most, we have been feeling the impact of our staffing shortage. It is not lost our Executive Board, all of whom are also subject to recalls, the impact that our staffing shortage is having on our members and their families. We are working hard to try to ensure that no member works both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The Union crafted a series of temporary solutions to help with holiday staffing. We convened the Labor-Management Staffing Committee and presented our ideas and negotiated agreement on the temporary solutions for holiday staffing. We will continue to press the Department to find long-term solutions and hire more Firefighters which is the only true solution to this ongoing issue. We will keep you updated on this as we move forward. While these temporary solutions are not a cure-all for every member, we believe that these will take care of the majority of the membership, ensure that we can enjoy the holiday with our families, and take care of those who will be working on the 24th and 25th.
Trial Shift Schedule Change
Over the past week, the Executive Board has been discussing and debating the report given the to Board by the Trial Shift Schedule Change Committee. This issue as you all know has been the subject of much debate within our Board, at stations, and on social media over the past several months.
Your Executive Board has always been committed to having the voice of the membership speak on this critically important issue. Our schedules affect not only our working life but our home lives as well. A schedule change is both very personal to each member and their family and all-encompassing for every member of our Union. We do not take this fact lightly.
The work of the committee was extremely valuable in that we saw the diversity of opinion within the membership and the need for a swift but deliberate resolution to this issue. We would again like to thank the Committee for their work and research on all schedule options and for their report to the Board.
At our Executive Board meeting, we debated this issue at length and discussed the ongoing feedback we have had from the membership over the past several months. The Board was divided and presented multiple motions before we reached a resolution. There was disagreement on whether the committee recommendation to put forward only the 48/96 schedule change was the right path to represent all of our membership. The committee recommended only the 48/96 schedule be put out but by a very narrow vote almost even with 4/8. Based on the report and the assessment of the membership's interest in both schedules, the Board took action to put both schedules before the membership.
After debate, discussion, and multiple motions, the following motion was passed by the Executive Board for the ballot language to the membership: "Motion to put forward a one-year trial schedule change vote with yes or no (requires 50% plus one threshold), and secondly, if the first threshold is met, to list both 4/8 and 48/96 schedules as options for the trial and move forward with the schedule that garners the most votes for the trial."
We believe that this vote will be the most accurate measurement of what our membership wants and will put us in the best position to fight for a change with the Department and the Board of Supervisors. We appreciate the patience that you have had during these months. We do not take this issue lightly and have made great efforts to give every option consideration. This process has taken extra time, but we believe that it is the right thing to do to ensure all voices are heard. We will be moving to a ballot at the beginning of next year. We will keep you updated as we begin that process and set dates for the ballots to be mailed out and returned. There will be plenty of time to discuss and debate the issue before ballots are counted as we are going to give a full 30 days to vote to encourage everyone to cast a ballot. Stay tuned as we roll this out near the end of the first week of January.
Finally, attached please see a flyer created by Fjallraven specifically for Los Angeles County Firefighters. If shown in store between December 20th-22nd, you will receive 25% off on up to 15 items (excluding Kanken packs). We would like to thank Fjallraven for their support of our members!
Have a great weekend. Stay safe and take care of each other.