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For more info visit www.yesonmeasurefd.com.
Measure FD will be the first additional revenue measure for our Department ever and will bring an additional $134 million annually for stations, equipment, and staffing. A stable and adequate funding source for our needs in the next 20 years will be critical.
DEPARTMENT HUMAN RESOURCES ISSUES
Local 1014 remains a constant watchdog and pressure point for the Department’s HR activities, specifically with regard to Payroll issues and Hiring of New Employees and Promotional Exams and Processes. To date, their performance has left much to be desired, but we are working closely with the Fire Chief and the Chief Deputy of Business Operations to handle both systemic and immediate issues.
Systemically it is clear that HR is understaffed with qualified individuals who can carry out the important work of testing and clearing candidates for our drill tower. We are making a case and providing data to help bring the Personnel and Payroll Department up to the levels and standards needed to properly process our members and future members' work.
Regarding Comp Time Off - as with the administration of any new benefit, there are bugs to work out in how the systems process and allows use of the time and or hours. We have been made aware that the eHR system has some limitations that have caused a glitch in the banking and use of Comp Time for our members. Essentially the agreement and the use of Comp Time is to be within Classifications of members (Firefighters, Engineers, Captains, etc) irrespective of any additional delineation for those classifications such as Paramedic and Haz-Mat or Air Ops.
We met with the Fire Chief and the Chief Deputy of Business Operations and we are working to correct this particular issue so our members in each of the classifications can use the Comp Time as intended and regardless of the payroll system processing. We will also be correcting and retroactively fixing any errors affecting our members over the last pay period including those who are in their last highest year.
One other issue identified is the eHR system will not allow the “use” of banked Comp Time hours until they are credited in eHR. This has a lag time so that members banking Comp Time hours cannot use them in the same pay period. For now, temporarily, that will be the rule until we can assess and make any programming changes to allow banking and working those hours in the same pay period.
As with any new benefit, we want to take care of the benefit and ensure it is not only used as we bargained but also as intended and no games or bending of the rules are used to take advantage of the benefit. Historically, time exchanges had a similar path when first administered and we have seen a couple of folks post to social media and indicate how to game the system. We do not encourage nor do we support that and ask our members to maintain a watchful eye to any abuse that might endanger this benefit as we seek to use it and increase the number of days in future negotiations.
Be patient as we work through the Payroll bugs. We will keep you informed as we work on this and feel free to reach out to any Union Director if you have questions. Thank you to the Fire Chief and the Chief Deputy of Operations for their quick and attentive action to deal with this complex item.
REMEMBERING OUR FALLEN BROTHERS IN PORTERVILLE
Finally, this week we were yet again faced with a tragic reminder of the dangers our members face each day as we protect our communities with the deaths of two of our fellow Firefighters in Porterville: Fire Captain Ramon "Ray" Figueroa, 35, (right) and Firefighter Patrick Jones, 25, (left) who died in the line of duty.
Brothers Figueroa and Jones were killed while battling the City of Porterville Library Fire. Over 50 firefighters worked to control the blaze where Figueroa and Jones sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene.
Fire Captain Figueroa, 35, began his career with Lindsay City Fire Department and was hired with Porterville in 2007. He is remembered as a dedicated firefighter and mentor in the community, known for his saying, “my men, the mission, then me.”
Firefighter Jones, 25, started his career as a reserve firefighter with Porterville Fire Department and was hired as a full-time firefighter in 2017. Brother Jones was known for his infectious positive attitude, work ethic and dedication to serving the community.
For those wishing to send a card address it to: Attn: Porterville Fire Department, 298 N Main Street, Porterville, CA 93257. For additional information and updates, visit www.cafirefoundation.org.
As we pause to remember and mourn our brothers, please also remember to stay safe and take care of each other--dangers we face each day are real.