Friday Update 12-4-20
Updated On: Dec 17, 2020

Los Angeles County Firefighters IAFF Local 1014

Representing over 3200 Firefighters, Paramedics, Dispatchers,
Pilots, Wildland Firefighters, Fire Prevention, Forestry

and Health Haz Mat Personnel

Friday Message 
 

Brothers & Sisters,

Every two years local Fire Union affiliates convene to set the political action and legislative agenda for the next 24 months of legislative sessions. The State Union is a membership of local Union affiliates representing nearly 30,000 Professional Firefighters, Paramedics, Pilots, FSA’s, Dispatchers, Health HazMat, Heavy Equipment Operators, and Fire Prevention Personnel throughout California. Small unions (the smallest being nine members) and large unions like Local 1014, UFLAC 112, Local 3631, and Cal Fire Local 2881 work together to protect our members' interests at the State Capitol and in our local boards of supervisors and city councils.

                                       

This year, we had to conduct a virtual convention due to COVID-19.  While not optimal to handle our business, we are making the best of the situation to work diligently with our partner affiliates in committee and on the committee floor on Convention Day this December 10th. 

Your Local 1014 Executive Board members serve on committees that address policy, constitution and by-laws, elections, rules, budget, and more.  This year we will consider 31 Resolutions dealing with cancer testing, LAFCO jurisdiction over new departments like in Placentia, suicide awareness and prevention, EMS issues, industrial disability issues, and USAR funding.  In particular, this year, we are proud to have amended two resolutions involving workers' compensation for post-traumatic stress injury and adding Fire-based Dispatchers to our peer support legislation.  We want all of our members who deal with the rigors of our job to be covered and taken care of concerning behavioral health.  All this week Local 1014 Executive Board Members have been discussing, debating, and voting on issues affecting our membership and the path of travel for efforts at the state to pass law and policy regarding our salary, benefits, and health and safety.  We will report to the members the results of the Convention and the next steps as we move this agenda forward. See Convention resolutions attached. 

Executive Board Sworn in at First General Membership Meeting in January 2021

We want to thank all members who ran for the 1014 Executive Board seats in Local 1014’s Election.  Congratulations to Brothers Mike Cash and Tony Carcioppolo who will be joining the Executive Board and become part of the TEAM of TEN, representing over 3,200 members.  This is a big responsibility, and the learning curve is huge. President Gillotte reached out to both new members and has begun taking steps to lay out the work, training, education, and responsibilities.  There is much work to be done and as fiduciaries and executives for one of the nation's largest and most powerful Unions. They will have a lot to get up to speed on in a short timeframe as we are in negotiations, working on starting a 48/96 one-year trial, and protect our staffing from projected budget cuts.  We will get them sworn in using Zoom technology so all our members can share in the proud moment when they become part of a legacy of leaders in Local 1014.  Congratulations again!

Department Budget and Proposed Curtailments 

President Gillotte and the 1014 Executive Board have begun meeting with the Department to review and breakdown the entire budget concerning revenues, budget shortfalls, expenditures, and expenses for our nearly $1.4 billion Fire Protection District. 

Our budget is complicated, to say the least.  Our Special District is primarily funded through property tax revenues and our special fire tax.  We also have small portions of the County General Fund budget for the administration of the Lifeguards and a few other items.  We have set costs to run the Fire Department, including engines, trucks, equipment, salary, and benefits of nearly $850 million with the increasing cost of overtime due to vacancies and injury.  We are a self-funded workers' compensation system. Every hour of overtime due to injury comes out of the pot of money for all expenditures, including our salary and benefits. 

While workers' compensation and our ability to be off work to get treated and returned to full duty is a benefit we have fought hard to get written into law and policy, we are nearing a crisis moment with regard to how many firefighters are off on injury.  OT of nearly $250 million and climbing is starting to crush our budget. We need to analyze the reasons for this climb, and ensure efficiencies for treatment and return to work.  As we do this, we want to remind our membership that all benefits like benefit time, workers compensation, time exchanges, compensatory time off, and more have been fought for and negotiated and have value to us all. They must be used properly and efficiently to ensure the benefits remain in place and fully funded.  Work together to ensure that injury is saved for injuries preventing a member from performing their job functions. 

We must self-regulate the appropriate use of this time and the resulting backfill while at the same time holding the Department and Return-to-Work accountable for proper processing and approval of claims and rapid treatment.  Working together, we can make a difference and fix the broken system.  We have three times the normal number of workers off. As we highlighted for the Department, the staffing shortages and lack of hiring and promotions have taken a toll on our members to some extent and has resulted in higher injury numbers.  We will be looking at our carve-out agreement and retirement policy and the insurances for on and off-duty injuries exceeding that which our members would make with a regular salary and SRC in a normal earning manner per month. 

All of these items must be looked at to ensure our system works as it was designed and, most importantly, to cover truly injured members and restore them to full duty and protect their jobs.  We will have more on this as we meet with the Department weekly to ensure our budget and revenue priorities can be met. 

These are trying times, and there is no magic wand to keep our balance sheet neutral. We will be battling proposed cuts to many items up to and including staffing.  To date, we have fought off any major attack towards our service delivery model. The shortfall is projected to be nearly $40 million this year and next. 
We will be working on setting priorities with the Department to deal with any shortfall. Chasing revenues and economic efficiencies will be challenging, to say the least, but we are committed to helping the Department find solutions. We will keep you informed as we progress in our talks and the resulting efforts.  

48/96 Trial Shift Schedule Change 

We continue to negotiate with the Fire Chief on this voted item for our members.  We are not asking for permission to work to implement a trial shift schedule change, but we are negotiating to gain and earn the Fire Chief’s support for the trial. We have met over the last two months to answer questions, educate, and evaluate the impact of the proposed trial.  This rests with the Fire Chief, and for the last two weeks, President Gillotte has been providing additional information and data as the Chief considers his position.  We will be bringing this to a close in the next week or two.  Ideally, we have indicated to the Chief we would like an agreement before the holidays with a January start for the trial.  We have also approached the Board of Supervisors to educate them and reserve the path of travel to deal with the Board as well.  We hope the Fire Chief finds the vote of the workers and the positive aspect of this change motivating.   

As always, stay safe and take care of each other.                        

 In Solidarity and Strength,

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 


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