Brothers and Sisters,
This week, the Department began briefing members on the rules and restrictions regarding our March ballot measure--Measure FD. While the Department will still be conducting its community education program and educating the public about the challenges we are facing, it is critical that you follow the rules regarding Measure FD while on duty.
On the Union side, we are leading the largest ballot initiative and political action campaign in the Union's 70-year history. Local 1014 is at the helm of a monumental effort to ensure that Measure FD passes on March 3. This effort is the result of decades of political action, planning and preparing on the part of your Executive Board to be ready, able and properly funded for this campaign. We are ready for this moment and we will be successful on March 3. This will not be a ground campaign due to the size of the voter pool, rather this is a strategic campaign to reach the voters we need with the most effective methods possible. What we need from our members is your continued support and your continued exemplary service to our communities as we stand in solidarity to craft the future of our Department.
Measure FD will bring an additional $134 million annually for stations, equipment, and staffing. In 1997 Proposition E reaffirmed with the voters funding for our Fire Department, this measure will be the first additional funding for our Department ever. We have been good stewards of the public’s funds and have used them to provide world-class services to our residents. But since 1997, we have seen a dramatic shift in the scope of our emergency services, the intensity of our fire season and the use of technology as a critically important tool for providing emergency services.
With the passage of Measure FD our Department will have a stable funding source for the next 20 years. This is a legacy item not only for our current members' future but for the future of our Department and future generations of Local 1014 members. This is our #1 priority over the next five weeks and we will keep you updated as the campaign moves forward.
603/604 Contract Ratification
As we announced at the beginning of the year, we have reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) for the 603-604 Bargaining Unit which includes our Dispatch, Health HazMat, Forestry and Fire Prevention personnel. We are proud of the excellent contract we were able to secure which includes higher raises than any other general member group and restorative pay dating back to 6/1/2019 something which no other group received.
The Local 1014 Executive Board continues to meet with the County weekly to ensure the language on the successor MOU reflects the intention of the agreement. We hope to be out to a ratification vote shortly. This work is tedious but critically important to ensure our members get what was promised. Stand by for more updates as we move closer to ratification.
As a special note, this week, Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) introduced Assembly Bill 1945 (AB 1945) at the state level, which would recognize the brave work of public safety dispatchers by classifying them as first responders. Currently, the Federal government describes dispatchers as an “administrative” occupation. This classification does not accurately describe the work of dispatchers who undergo extensive training and whose work can mean the difference between life and death. We will be monitoring this legislation as it moves through the legislature and continue to support the effort to recognize the work our Dispatchers do for our communities every day.
Trial Shift Schedule Change-DON'T FORGET TO SEND IN YOUR BALLOTS!
The update from the California Elections Company is that we have already received a good number of ballots and we still have some weeks to go before the vote closes. We want every member to vote! Cast your vote and be counted! All Local 1014 members who are Firefighters, Firefighter Specialists, and Captains from 601/602 Bargaining Units have the opportunity to vote YES or NO and pick from one of the proposed shift schedules. Contact the Union is you have not received a ballot or if you mismarked your ballot and are requesting a replacement ballot.
President Dave Gillotte has spoken to President Tom Ray from the Association of Chiefs to get their input on the Trial Shift Schedule Change. While we cannot legally take their vote, our partnership has always beneficial to both memberships.
IMPORTANT: Please remember all ballots must be received in the PO Box prior to Monday, February 10 at 10 am. Be mindful of that when deciding when to mail in your ballot. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST DAY TO MAIL IN YOUR BALLOT.