Friday Update 4-16-21
Updated On: May 21, 2021
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Sisters & Brothers,

This week we came together as a family to honor and remember Brother Brian “Sharky” Levasseur.  Our fire family from all walks of service came to Westlake Village Calvary Chapel to pay our respects and “talk story”.  A reminder to us all how short life can be.   

Brother Sharky, we shall never forget.  

LACOFD Peer Support 

The LA County Peer Support Team was called upon once again to help a small Department and Union in need.  Buckeye Fire Chief Bob Costello died on April 8th from cardiac arrest related to complications from COVID-19.  We have seen our share of brothers and sisters perish from this nasty disease and it is a reminder of the very real and serious nature of this virus.

Our LA County Peer Support Team is assisting Phoenix Fire and Buckeye Firefighters Local 4311 with infrastructure and organization for debriefing and providing support resources for those in need.  Chief Costello had been with the Department since 2004 and been the Fire Chief since 2008 and was admired and respected by his Department.  Proudly we stand with Buckeye as we have stood with so many.  May they, Buckeye Firefighters, know they are not alone. 

The Coalition of County Unions Fringe Benefits Bargaining 
On the bargaining front, the Coalition of County Unions (CCU) is preparing for bargaining fringe benefits.  We will be sending a CCU Survey on bargaining priorities and issues so we can hear from our members and the members of the CCU.  High on our list is medical, dental, and vision premiums and benefits.  For our Plan C members, post-PEPRA, we are aggressively pursuing the Retiree Medical Trust we have set up with the CCU, to allow our members to put away pre-tax dollars for use on spousal premium and medical costs in retirement.  Ultimately a contribution from the member and the County is what we are after.  No benefits changes to make it happen.  Stay tuned as we get the bargaining table convened, and set the priorities for our members and our families.  

Newsom Recall 
Governor Gavin Newsom may face a recall effort in California as the signatures gathered for such are validated and verified. While the Governor certainly needs to be held accountable for issues and items he is failing to address, and the Labor Unions in California are doing just that, he also has been a big supporter of Fire Unions. He has led the effort for critical funding, presumption legislation, health and safety, and workers compensation legislation for our members.  

The Governor has also been hard at work ensuring we have the allotted budget monies for strike team deployments to get it done again this year.  We will be working with the Governor on these issues to ensure LA County gets our fair share and also working to get monies to help move the camps to paid camps. 

The Governor has introduced two new Wildland Fire initiatives that provide funding for technology to predict fire weather and patterns and also reduced environmental restrictions to allow more fire and fuel load management work to take place rapidly.  Also monies for “boots on the ground” for both Cal Fire and the Municipal Departments that provide the resources for the State Fires and our areas in SRA that we protect (26 stations worth of work) are in the billions and we are hard at work to get our share of the allocations. 

As with any election, we will have a diversity of opinion among our members. As your Union, we will be educating the members on the issues pertaining to our profession, our salary, benefits, funding, and more so you can make an educated decision on your vote.  As always each of us owns our own individual votes. The Union and Unions in LA County will unite and cast support for the Governor for a variety of reasons related to our profession and our ability to secure funding for our members.  The CPF will be our voice in this effort that we believe is unnecessary prior to the 2022 regular election where everyone can cast their votes again for choice of Governor. 

Watch for more information on all of this next week and in the coming weeks as we move forward and secure our budget money and key legislation so critical to 2021.  Click to view a list of the legislative victories as a reminder of some of the work we have done in the State Capitol. 

Stay safe and take care of one another both on the job and off. 

In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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