2019 Year In Review
Brothers and Sisters,
This year has been an extraordinary year for our Union. We have been able to accomplish so much for our members because we have stood in solidarity and unity with each other to improve our wages, hours and working conditions for all members. The power of solidarity, political action, and legislative advocacy is how we all get it done.
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As we close out the year, we would like to pause to recognize all we have accomplished this year:
Contract Ratification 601-602 Bargaining Units
At the beginning of the year, we successfully ratified one of the richest contracts in the County of Los Angeles for our 601/602 Bargaining Units members garnering bonus’ above the COLA for all members.
As part of that contract, effective January 1, 2020, our members will receive a four (4) level (approximately 1%) Choices Sustainability Bonus, as an acknowledgment of Coalition of County Union (CCU) members cooperation with maintaining the bona fide status of the Choices Cafeteria Plan. This bonus is pensionable. Just one of the many benefits our members received as part of our contract ratified earlier this year. We will also be receiving a 2.5% COLA on 7/1/2020 for 601/602 members. 2020 will be a great year!
Tentative Agreement for 603-604 Bargaining Units
As we close out the year, we are especially pleased to announce a Tentative Agreement (TA) has been reached at the 603-604 Bargaining Unit table for our Dispatch, Health HazMat, Forestry and Fire Prevention personnel. After many hours of negotiations over the past weeks, we reached an agreement with the County for a successor 603/604 contract. This contract includes higher raises than any other general member group and includes restorative pay dating back to 6/1/2019 something which no other group received as well as the following additional bonuses for our members:
- General Salary ALL 603/604 BU Members:
- 6/1/19 +2% COLA (restorative pay back to 6/1/2019)
- 10/1/19 +2.5% COLA
- 10/1/20 +2.5% COLA
- +2% Additional Skill and Responsibility EMD pay
- Health Haz-Mat
- +2% APSA Bonus (Above Ground Petroleum Storage Act)
- Increased Emergency Stand-By Pay Rate for Health Haz-Mat from $3.25 an hour to $4.00 an hour over the term of the contract
- +3% California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) program bonus for SHMS who work this program
- +2% additional skills and responsibility EMT Bonus
- +2% International Code Council Certification Bonus
- ALL Units - Compensatory Time Off - the ability to bank time for overtime hours worked to a maximum of 120 hours
We will go to a ratification vote and Board of Supervisors' adoption in January. This was a long hard table to get our members what they deserve. Our general member workers do than any other general members in the County because of the nature of their work and their commitment to carry out the mission.
Comp Time Off
The long-awaited and years in the making negotiated benefit of Compensatory Time Off is finally going to be a usable benefit in January. It took us time to write the language for our Manual of Operations and to work with the Auditor-Controller to get pay codes for Time Banked and for Time Worked but we have it done. We are looking for an EA in January kicking off our ability to bank Comp Time.
The general parameters are 96 hours maximum at any given time may be on the book. Members can use and bank use and bank up to 96 hours at any given time. When you work an OT, if you want to bank hours you will get 24 hours on the books and 12 hours of premium pay in your check. This keeps it simple - 4 shifts is 96 hours, always your pay is at time and a half. Using Comp Time days will be simply the same as using a Benefit day. No recalls to fill Comp Time Days same as V and F days. The 15 shift rule in house applies same as V and F days as well. If you work a “Comp Time day” you will not be able to bank a Comp Time day, this prevents pyramiding of the days and keeps the use and cost of the Comp Time days manageable and appropriately for why these days are in service. This is a crowning achievement for Local 1014 in that time and a half comp time off banking has been a benefit we have chased for many years and finally, we have attained for our members. Use it wisely and enjoy the ability to bank time.
Vacation Day Grievance
Additionally, we have also reached an agreement with the County regarding our Grievance In General Character (GIGC) regarding Vacation Day. This is a major victory for our membership and our families. We have eliminated the “Use it or Lose It” system the County unilaterally implemented on our members. No longer will you lose or stop accruing the additional Vacation hours in October, but rather you will be able to bank those hours if you don’t use them, and simply use them later or be paid for them post-termination pay - non-pensionable.
The agreement is divided into two basic parts: First, we have agreed that a vacation day bank will be established. If you don’t use your days, you will be able to bank them and if unused you will receive a post-termination payout at the end of your career. There is no limit to the days you can bank, and you can use multiple banked V days in a year with no impact to Ventura V day use. This is a great benefit for our members in their last year, and the last few years to retire with what they deserve under Ventura.
Secondly, we will continue to work on restorative hours for those who lost and stopped accruing hours in October of each year under the unilaterally implemented system from the County. We are hammering out an agreement on those lost hours as well as any impact to members who retired during the last few years who may have lost hours of accrual on this benefit. We will keep you posted on the second part of this negotiation to settle the Grievance General in Character your Union carried on behalf of the issue. Also, look for an EA soon on the new Vacation Day Bank and instructions on how to use the additional Vacation Day hours with no impact to Ventura V Day limits or to bank the hours if you cannot use them. More information will be forthcoming in January but this grind with the County is finally coming to an end, and our fight to get access to the benefit for our members has been a very worthwhile effort to allow us to use these hours appropriately or be compensated for them if we cannot.
Expanding Peer Support
Since its expansion, the Peer Support Behavioral Health Program has made significant strides in building a program that is structured and provides a range of continuous behavioral health services for our members.
In addition to the $1.25 million we were able to secure as part of our 601-602 contract at the beginning of the year, we have also doubled our Peer Support Team and instituted quarterly meetings and training. This has truly become a leading and nationally-recognized program and we are proud of all we have accomplished through our labor-management partnerships.
Local 1014 will continue the relentless push on management to hire more employees. This is the only long-term fix for our staffing shortage and we must maintain pressure to run back to back classes in 2020. We are pushing for at least 3 classes and more like 4 or 5 classes in 2020 to fill the vacancies and keep up with retirements. In addition to the hiring we have maintained a position of promoting to fill the vacancies in ranks as well as promoting into “long-term I spots” and we will continue to push that position in 2020.
You will see more work being done through the staffing committee to look at additional staffing policy changes that will help both in short-term and long-term to relieve the impact of the staffing shortage, recalls, and inability to access benefit time. This has already had a smoothing and helpful effect for our members as we saw during the Christmas fill and we will continue to utilize short term help until we fill the vacancies. Look to see the Chief post the dates of the proposed academies in 2020 as we have asked him to put it on the board for all to see.
COUNTY! - Local 1014 Strong!
We should be proud of our membership and the work we do to serve the residents of Los Angeles County. We have over 3200 members in the operations and logistics sections of the Department and together we handle one of the largest fire, EMS and all-hazards assignments in the world. With over 400,000 calls each year, serving over 4 million residents throughout LA County’s unincorporated areas and 59 contract cities, our members are the finest in the nation.
This year we have had several major incidents including the Tick Fire, Saddle Ridge Fire, Getty Fire, and the Saugus High Shooting. Each incident demonstrated the professionalism, resolve and heart of our members as they protect our communities. While 2019 was a big year for Local 1014, as we celebrated our 70th Anniversary as a Union, we know that 2020 will be an even better year.
Measure FD 2020
Our members do more with less but they shouldn’t have to, we need to get the resources and equipment to ensure we stay safe and continue to provide excellent emergency services.
This month, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the LA County Fire District 911 Firefighter/Paramedic Emergency Response Measure for the March 2020 ballot. This measure will change our Department for many generations to come. It will provide the funding for much-needed relief for our staffing crisis as well as replacement and upgrading of our aging fire stations and equipment. As the County has grown, we have seen an overwhelming increase in call volume and call complexity. While our members have adapted to the growing needs of the community, we need the voters to recognize that these needs are changing for the County and our members.
We have a lot of work to do before the March ballot. This will be our highest priority for next year. A stable and adequate funding source for our needs in the next 20 years will be critical. Four-person staffing on our rigs, stations and apparatus and equipment will be a priority for us in 2020. Your Union will be leading the political charge to ensure that the voters understand the critical need for this funding for our members' health and safety and continued service to our communities. Get ready to help as we push this effort across the finish line and change our future dramatically for the mission.
Trial Shift Schedule Change Vote
We will boldly be dealing with the membership voice to put to a vote whether we will negotiate for a one-year trial shift schedule change and if so will it be 4/8 or 48/96, the two popular shift schedule change trial models our members brought forward.
This is a divisive issue but the vote is what matters in the end. This will be an official vote held by California Elections Company, not be a poll or survey. It’s the real deal, so if you want to try a schedule change or you want to keep our current schedule you must vote to have an impact on the decision. There are pros and cons to every schedule and valid reasons to like them all so debate, and discuss but then vote! Ballots will be going out the week of January 10th and will stay open for 30 days to give everyone a chance to evaluate and vote for the future of their schedule and hours.
On behalf of the Local 1014 Executive Board, we would like to wish you and your families a safe, healthy and Happy New Year! Remember, please be responsible tonight as you celebrate the New Year!