Friday Update 6-25-21
Updated On: Jul 23, 2021

FRIDAY UPDATE


Sisters & Brothers,

While last week marked a week of healing and family, this week we return to the business of making real lasting changes in our behavioral health program and working conditions for our members. 

Click above to read the full story


This past Tuesday was a busy day for Local 1014 in partnership with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (BOS).  Supervisor Kathryn Barger (District 5 representing the North Ops Region) and Supervisor Janice Hahn (District 4 representing Central Ops Region) co-authored a motion to address behavioral health, peer support resources, and working condition accountability for Department management.  

The motion is a continuation of the 2018 work between Local 1014 and the BOS on peer support and behavioral health relating to firefighter suicide. The current motion is designed to enforce action to increase behavioral health tools, improve working conditions including staffing and help bridge the disconnect between the Department Administration and Operations. 

The motion, which President Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board helped craft, contains continued vigilance for suicide prevention and awareness, increased behavioral health peer support resources and best practices, and increases accountability. Additionally, the motion: 

  • Defines the Peer Support and Clinician Team 
  • Evaluates existing workers compensation treatment tools 
  • Works to secure workers compensation and health insurance coverage in a coordinated manner for behavioral health visits to 24 visits annually
  • Develops a plan to offer Department-funded mental health visits to employees and their immediate families with vetted culturally competent clinicians
  • Asks for the Department to work with LACERA to provide peer support and clinician support to retirees coordinated through the PEER support program. 
  • Directs Department to reduce staff recall due to vacancies and injury vacancies by at least 50% by March 1, 2022. 
  • Evaluate the Department’s Grievance process to provide timely and safe harbor for investigations, manager issues, other employee issues.  

Your Union will be a driving force to help make changes and restore the connection between Admin and the Field. This is key in any and all actions going forward to improve working conditions and items affecting our work life.  

Tuesday was a powerful day. In his testimony, President Gillotte called for a 30-day report back with ongoing reports instead of the 60 days as originally proposed. The co-authors took the friendly amendment and wrote it into the motion which passed unanimously and serves not only as a start but a mandate for the Fire Chief and his staff’s work. 
 

“I am going to be working week after week after week to make sure this is followed through because, on my watch, I am not going to have something like this happen again...The credit goes to Dave Gillotte and Local 1014, they have been pushing this narrative quite hard… The Union actually was the first to move on hiring (a psychologist) because it was not moving quick enough.”  
-Supervisor Kathryn Barger
 
“Our Fire Department employees have told us that they need support from peers, and they need mental health clinicians who understand what they are going through…thank you, so much, to Dave Gillotte and Local 1014 for all your help with this motion, thank you for being so strong during this tragic time and being there for all of your rank and file firefighters…” 
-Supervisor Janice Hahn 
 
“As a State Legislator, I served on the Labor Committee my entire 10 years there, this isn't the first time this issue has come forward, not only through 1014 who had legislation before the legislature, but correctional officers, law enforcement, and firefighters up and down the entire state who have really begun to come forward and acknowledge the trauma they experience in doing their day-to-day jobs and how we, as government, their employers, must acknowledge that and provide them with protection and safe options to confidentially seek help and service.”
-Supervisor Holly Mitchell 

 

Click above to listen to the audio of President Gillotte's testimony at the LACounty Board of Supervisors. 

“The selfless efforts of our first responders takes an emotional and mental toll, not only on those placing themselves on the frontlines, but also on their families,” said county Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley.

Through the pandemic, many firefighters were separated from their families as they worked increased hours and multiple shifts, Barger noted.

“As the county begins to reopen and the trauma our first responders have experienced over the past 18 months will be realized, it is imperative that we take action now to provide them with the support and care they need, just as they provided us with the support and care we needed during this pandemic,” Barger added.
(Click above to read full story) 

We will be embedded and actively driving the work from the Department for these items. We believe a true labor/management work product will have the best result for our members. If that does not happen, then we will work through our BOS partners to get it done. We expect swift and meaningful action from the Department and we will be following up on each and every item. 

Today we also followed up with the Fire Chief on our outstanding working condition items.  Effective July 1, 2021, sports for the purpose of team building and camaraderie will be released officially this afternoon with the details of the operations policy to be in place prior to July 1. In addition, NO ONLINE TRAINING except any emergent items dealing with EMT and PM certifications and licenses for 90 days!  This will go out in the message from the Department making that “official.” We are also working behind the scenes to ensure the programming ceases to populate material and that EVOC is removed from any and all systems.  
 
Additionally, in negotiations with the Fire Chief, President Gillotte garnered an agreement to appoint a Sworn Chief Officer to oversee the Exam Unit inclusive of entry-level exams, promotional exams with layering into training to ensure operational needs are included in the plan. Furthermore, HR and the Exam Staff will report directly to this Chief and will be a Direct report back to the Fire Chief.  We thank the Chief for hearing our needs and the needs of the membership on this particularly important item that affects staffing shortages in the most dramatic and long-term manner.  More on this as we get that appointment set and a 30-day turnaround on a plan for hiring and promotions annually.   

There is much more in motion with the BOS, the Department, and at the State level with regard to that need to be addressed with a sense of urgency following the events of June 1st. We must look at any and all issues with regard to behavioral health and working conditions to be better.  We continue to meet almost daily with the Department and the BOS to secure the needed changes.  
 
As we said to our elected Board of Supervisors, our members never complain, they come to work to get it done bravely and proudly but that doesn’t mean they don’t need support and tools to carry out this mission of protecting our communities. 
 

In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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