Brothers & Sisters,
Today, June 19th or Juneteenth marks one of the oldest national commemorations of the ending of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19 in 1865, more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, that news reached Texas and orders were read in Galveston that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free.
This year, in celebration of Juneteenth, as we have done every year for nearly two decades, Local 1014 will be a Gold Sponsor for our LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas' Juneteenth Celebration held by the African American Voter Registration Education and Participation project (AAVREP). Since 2002, AAVREP has been dedicated to increasing African American and urban voter registration, education, and participation through outreach to targeted communities in California. To date, they have registered over 200,000 voters and counting.
As part of Local 1014's political action efforts, we are consistently engaging in voter registration campaigns and efforts throughout the County and the State to ensure that the voices of our communities, and especially our disenfranchised communities are heard. Now more than ever we need to ensure our Black communities have a voice and that their needs do not go unanswered.
COVID-19 Budgetary Impacts
The impact of COVID-19 on our economy has been heavy. Labor Unions are dealing with a response to the loss of revenue due to sales tax declines. We have taken a multi-tiered approach not only to address the funding gap, but also to protect workers in the Coalition of County Unions (CCU).
We are lobbying together with the CEO and Board of Supervisors in Washington D.C. and Sacramento to get our fair share of CARES Act funds and revenue loss replacement for local cities and counties. This will be important for LA County and our smaller contract cities that pay a fee for service for our Fire and EMS protection.
Simultaneously, we are working with our CCU partners to negotiate a deal where the County will be able to capture a portion of the 457 match, similar to what has already happened to our chiefs. We are working on a deal where the County would capture the match for a limited amount of time in exchange for long term items for our members. We believe this deal will protect jobs and or curtailments. All departments are having to reduce their budgets to adapt to the changing economic environment. The Fire Department is primarily funded by property tax revenue as an exempt special district within the State of California. This is important in that we have no state ERAF shift money taken from property tax at the state. Additionally, property taxes are the most stable form of funding.
We will be back at the bargaining table at the end of this year, and working with the Department on the budget to ensure hiring, staffing levels, safety equipment, and training are priorities. We are embedded in the process with the Department and the BOS as we navigate this changing landscape. Stay tuned for updates on the CCU negotiations and details on our tables as we set to open end of the year. For now, serve the people well, do the best job you can, take care of each other at work and rest easy as we continue to protect your pay, benefits, and staffing.
The membership voted to direct our Union to negotiate a 48/96 shift schedule trial. We wanted to update you on this mandate and reassure you that we are continuing to work on this item with the Fire Chief and the BOS. While logistical items must be addressed, there has been positive feedback on this change so far.
We have had a delay on all matters of business because of both COVID-19 and the recent civil unrest movements. These two items have taken priority with the BOS and appropriately so. We must move our target date back a bit due to this delay. We are hopeful to get agreement and support from the BOS soon. Stay tuned. Do not let the rumors or social media chatter rile you. We are alive and well with the motion directive and discussions. We will update again on this matter in the next 30 days.
Recruit Class 157
Recruit Class 157 is in full swing with 56 more recruits in training to join the ranks of the LACOFD. Class 156 netted us 50 new firefighters who came to us from different agencies and our hiring list.
Keeping up with retirements and promotions remains a top priority of the 1014 Executive Board on behalf of the membership. We worked very hard to get things moving and we intend to keep them moving through the end of this year. The goal is to run two to three classes per year in perpetuity to keep staffing levels consistent.
Two 1014 Brothers Need Our Help
This week, two of our Local 1014 family members need our help as they recover from serious injuries and surgeries: Brother Tim Brun and Brother Germain Aguilera. Both families need assistance with prepared meals. We are asking for donations through Meal Train which is a donation platform where days and meals are sponsored by individuals so every day is covered for these families as they recover. Additionally, meals can be bought from many different local restaurants and delivered through meal delivery services.
Click here to donate.
Brother Tim Brun sustained an on-duty injury during a fire and now is battling a serious infection following his recent surgery. His family needs our help with funds for meals and other needs. Please keep the Brun family in your thoughts and prayers.
Click here to donate.
As many of you know Brother Germain Aguilera “Germ” was very recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. He went into surgery and now recovering. His family, his wife Carla and their two young girls, need support for the next few weeks as they stand with him in this fight.
Our members have already shown incredible support for both of these members. We need you to step up once again. Whether you do this through prayer, through a donation of a meal, or through words of support and encouragement all is appreciated. We are one family and we do not fight our battles alone.
Please remember to stay safe and take care of each other out there.