Friday Update 5-7-21
Updated On: May 28, 2021


FRIDAY UPDATE 
 


Sisters & Brothers,

This week, we have seen the positive impact of our COVID-19 response with California having the lowest rate of new COVID cases at just 1%.  Each week we see more and more businesses opening and fewer restrictions with the simple orders to wear a mask when near others or indoors, wash your hands, maintain physical distance from others. With a very large percentage of our citizens and our members getting the vaccine, we have also seen the positive impact on reducing exposure conversions. Remain vigilant.

We are still working on a few members in alignment with members statewide who have not fared so well with the health impact of COVID-19 and have not returned to work.  Our efforts to shore up the COVID-19 Presumption and ensure not only our members, but members statewide have the days off needed and the treatment needed to tackle the residual effects.  Without pay and benefits when battling a lasting medical issue or injury, our members, their families, and those statewide would be left without income to pay the bills.  It is critical we continue to lobby for presumption and workers compensation legislative and administrative efforts to keep the support for frontline health care workers. 
 

CPF LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE 

Lobbying on behalf of our members is an ongoing process each and every year at the local, federal, and state levels, but annually we launch our legislative agenda for the year.  In non-pandemic times the whole executive board would be in Sacramento, walking the offices of our elected leaders and seeking support from the Assembly, the Senate, and the Governor's signature for our legislative bills and funding issues.  

This year, we had a blend of in-person and virtual legislative efforts.  Your Local 1014 Executive Board, along with Executive Boards both large and small Locals up and down the state logged on and participated in the virtual conference, while President Gillotte and the California Professional Fire Fighters met in Sacramento in small groups to set our agenda for the legislative and budget session.  
CPF President Brian Rice and Legislative Advocate Christy Bouma discuss our legislative agenda with Union leaders and legislators.  
President Gillotte meets with the Governor to discuss LA County and contracting county funding.  
President Gillotte met with the Governor directly to carry our funding needs and to lobby for support for our Camps, Wildland Fire Mitigation, and Suppression budget needs.  Different than any other contracting County or Cal-Fire, Los Angeles County Fire Protection District has dedicated areas of the State we are responsible to protect and as such should receive our fair share of the funding.

The truth is we find ourselves each year needing to define the municipal fire and contracting counties' roles and responsibilities in the state versus that of Cal Fire.  While Cal Fire runs from about 4,500 to just under 6,000 firefighters annually with the seasonal hiring, the six contracting counties including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange, Marin, and Kern represent over 6,000 members annually.  Collectively our six counties cover over 18,000 square miles of California with 15.6 million residents. 

We work hand in hand with the Fire Chiefs represented in the Association of Contract Counties as we lobby to ensure the legislators and the Governor are educated on how the funding needs to be split.  Cal Fire has its own lobbying firm in addition to being the 6th District seat within the CPF, and we must ensure our voice and our votes are heard when it comes to budget.  In addition, the municipal fire agencies provide more than 80% of the firefighters for auto aid and mutual aid within the state’s master mutual aid plan, and that state funding for pre-deployment and wildfire reimbursement is critical to all of our budgets which includes our SRC and Regular pay.  

We also spoke with the Senate Pro Tem Tony Atkins and the Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon who respectively run both the Senate and Assembly and related committees that debate and eventually vote on legislation affecting our members.  We maintain great relationships with both leaders. During the conference, each was educated on and embedded in our effort for our legislative priorities as we talk with each and every Assembly Member and Senator in the state who will consider support on our issues.  Each Local Union also makes contact and sets online meetings with their individual district legislators to lobby our legislative agenda.  This process of supporting elected candidates and maintaining relationships with them, educating and lobbying our legislative and budget priorities is how we get it done each and every year.  

See the list of our legislative goals below.

AB 450 (GONZALEZ) PARAMEDIC BOARD OF CALIFORNIA: PARAMEDIC DISCIPLINE
Assembly Bill 450 provides accountability and impartiality to the process of licensing and disciplining a critical component of our state’s emergency health care system: paramedics. AB 450 would establish the Paramedic Board of California within the Emergency Medical Services Authority, to assume the duties of final determination and administration of licensure discipline for EMT-P license holders in the state.
 
SENATE BILL 450 (HERTZBERG) FIRE PROTECTION: POLICE PROTECTION: SPECIAL TAXES
Senate Bill 450 begins the long-overdue process of bringing a measure of balance and equity to funding for California’s independent fire protection districts. 
 
SENATE BILL 817 (SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION) FIRE PROTECTION: OFFICE OF STATE FIRE MARSHAL: STATE BOARD OF FIRE SERVICES: MEMBERSHIP
Senate Bill 817 helps to streamline operations of a critical board overseeing the fire service in California and allows for more transparency. SB 817 makes it possible for four key leaders serving as ex-officio members of the State Board of Fire Services (SBFS) to designate someone to represent them in certain circumstances at SBFS meetings.
 
SENATE BILL 284 (STERN) CO-SPONSOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS: POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS
Senate Bill 284 recognizes the critical importance — and excruciating mental and emotional toll — of California’s fire and medical dispatch personnel. SB 284 establishes a rebuttable presumption for public safety dispatchers, as well as other extended public safety personnel, for occupational post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI),
 
AB 389 (GRAYSON) – SUPPORT AMBULANCE SERVICES
Assembly Bill 389 helps to ensure smooth and effective delivery of EMS service in counties that choose to work through a Fire-EMS Alliance. 
 
BUDGET REQUEST: APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING CAL-JAC APPRENTICESHIP ACADEMIES — EMTS AND PARAMEDICS
This budget request points toward addressing two critical public safety issues in California: a need for well-trained EMS professionals and the need to build a skilled fire service that better represents the state’s diversity. It asks that the state dedicate $4 million from the 2021- 2022 State Budget to conduct Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic Pre-Apprenticeship Training Academies targeting candidates underrepresented in the fire service.
 
BUDGET REQUEST: CALIFORNIA CONSERVATION CORPS IMPLEMENTATION OF AB 1668, EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT RE-ENTRY PROGRAM
CPF supports the request of a $25 million budget augmentation to provide funding for the Education and Employment Re-Entry Program, addressing the substantial and growing demand for resource management, including forest management and restoration through the California Conservation Corps and pro- viding meaningful work and resources for formerly incarcerated individuals with a record of success on conservation camp hand crews.
 
SENATE BILL 278 (LEYVA) CALPERS: DISALLOWED COMPENSATION
Senate Bill 278 addresses a cruel and unreasonable provision in CalPERS law that can exact an extreme financial hardship on retirees who depend on fixed-income pensions.  
In addition, we spoke directly with the Governor to make sure our LA County Funding priority needs are known and supported. President Gillotte along with Chief Osby and the Contracting County Chiefs will continue to meet and work with the Governor to receive our share.  

Stay tuned as we move this agenda forward.  Strike teams within the LRA County Areas and the SRA State areas are also dependent on the funding both at the state and federal level and we continue to pursue reimbursement owed to our District from last year's fires.  The process is constant and we will be in the conversations throughout the year.  

Stay safe, be kind to each other, and Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers and the mothers within our membership and our families. 

In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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