Friday Update 9-24-21
Updated On: Oct 20, 2021

FRIDAY UPDATE

Sisters and Brothers, 
 
Today we continue bargaining over the impacts of the COVID vaccine mandate with the County of Los Angeles which affects all LA County employees including our alliance of Coalition of County Unions (CCU) members.  We have consistently taken the position of supporting vaccination while opposing any mandate as proposed by the County.  At this point, the CCU has put forward counter-proposals that include labor/management education programs, alternatives to mandate with use of proper safety gear, distancing, washing, and testing in addition to the medical and religious exemptions as required by law.  The table has been intense, to say the least, as we bargain over every line of this issue.

As we have said before, we do not at this time recommend filling out any forms issued by the County regarding vaccination status. We are not done bargaining over the process and the forms and the systems in operation. The County sent out forms in advance of the final table work.  The Local 1014 bargaining team consists of President Gillotte, Vice Presidents Currier and Kobler, and Directors Reade and Carcioppolo.  You can reach out directly to any of them or the Executive Board for updates on the bargaining table. 

We do not feel the bargaining process will be completed by October 1 and the County has also recognized that date may not be realistic.  We will be working to extend that date as one of the primary items at the table due to the complexities of the proposal and the potential difficulties in staffing should such a policy go into place.  We have allied with SEIU and the Labor Fed to bring the weight of our collective workforces to leverage a non-mandated policy.  We will report out as bargaining continues.  

We ask that you be patient and let the process finish at this level before moving to any individual legal means. 

General Membership Meeting Update 

On September 14, approximately 180 members of Local 1014 came to the Union Hall to discuss the Covid Mandate proposal.  We had a detailed discussion and update on constitutional law and impact bargaining law as it pertains to LA County.  Attorneys from Local 1014 and other Fire Labor Unions in LA County were present to educate and take questions from members. The firm retained by Local 1014 Adams, Ferrone, and Ferrone are among the best in the business representing Fire, Police, and Sheriff Union members in workers compensation, labor law litigation, and constitutional law.  They have extensive case experience up to and including arguing in the United States Supreme Court.  Through legal counsel, we along with other Unions are tracking all court cases challenging the constitutionality of mandate authority, specifically, the LAPD and LAFD cases filed. The rulings on these cases should be any day now. We believe that they will align with all court cases to date affirming the authority to mandate, but protecting the right to impacts bargaining which we are already engaged in. 
 
Additionally, two motions were put forward at the General Membership meeting. One motion titled “A Resolution of the Los Angeles County Fire Fighters Association No. 1014 opposing mandatory vaccination, discrimination, segregation, invasive testing: and retaining expert legal counsel.”   And a second motion titled “A Resolution of the Los Angeles County Fire Fighters Association No. 1014 to provide members with remote electronic access to view, participate and vote in all membership meetings." Both motions were referred to the Executive Board for action and recommendation to the General Members. 

At the Executive Board meeting this Tuesday a motion was made by Director Cash, and seconded by Director Carcioppolo to “Refer Motion No. 1, A Resolution of the Los Angeles County Fire Fighters Association No. 1014 opposing mandatory vaccination, discrimination, segregation, invasive testing and retaining expert legal counsel to the next General Membership meeting following the conclusion of Impacts Bargaining over the Covid Mandate Proposal”.  This motion was passed unanimously and is supported by our legal counsel's recommendation and is in compliance with the Constitution and By-Laws of the Local and the IAFF.

The second motion regarding electronic meetings was supported in principle and intent. This has been a subject with the Local for many months including Local 1014’s purchase of the Zoom platform needed to host such meetings.  There are multiple legal issues with voting and the IAFF is also evaluating ways to secure secret voting mechanisms for any meeting where matters may be considered for vote or action.  The Executive Board discussed the matter at length and collectively agreed to appoint a committee to review the motion, the IAFF, and legal issues. This committee will also review technological platforms and report back with a recommendation on this motion for likely support after being amended.  This committee will be selected by the Executive Board Members, appointed by the President, and begin work immediately with the goal of a recommendation to be taken up at the next General Membership Meeting.  We are excited about the electronic platform and have been looking to launch this feature even prior to this motion.  The next General Membership Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 10 am at the Alfred K. Whitehead Labor Center - 1014 Union Hall in El Monte. 

Petition for a Special General Membership Meeting  

A petition with signatures to request a Special General Membership Meeting arrived at the Union Hall office and was delivered to the office staff.  We will begin reviewing and verifying the signatures on the forms. We are asking that the two members who dropped off the signatures please contact recording secretary 2nd Vice President Kurt Kobler to identify yourself so we have a point of contact on the item.  Once the signatures are verified, we will report back on the disposition of the request.  

Union Steward Program to be Resurrected  

In keeping with alternative communications to keep members informed and engaged on the issues affecting your wages, hours, and working conditions, the Local 1014 Executive Board has unanimously embraced the launch of the Local 1014 Union Steward Program.  Look for an announcement next Friday on interest, selection process, job duties, and more.  Political Action, Legislative Advocacy, Member Representation are all tenants of the Local and good stewards in each battalion and specialty units will be an effective and powerful tool to help that work.

If you are interested in being a part of the Local 1014 team, stay tuned and look for the start of our recruitment and proudly entering back into the steward world with next week's Friday Message.  Special thanks to committee chair Tony Carcioppolo and the Vice Presidents and Directors who put in countless hours to get this moving.  We look forward to the work ahead and the partnership with our general members who have an interest in the future of our Department and all that affects our profession. 

While the COVID vaccine mandate has certainly consumed our Union business the last two months, we also have other ongoing business that is critical.  We settled a 9-month fringe benefits contract with an additional holiday, COVID bonus money, and increased medical contributions (2.5%).  We are busy getting the forms and procedures to get our bonuses and also working to set our next session for 9 months into 2022.  The work begins now to stay ahead of the curve on the funding next year.  We also are in preliminary communications with the County to set the path for salary negotiations to officially begin following a one-year extension of our MOU along with all other County Unions.  We will also be preparing for bargaining units 603/604 as well as their contracts set to expire. We need a minimum of 3 Board of Supervisor votes for any contract. 

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

In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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