Friday Update 10-1-21
Updated On: Oct 29, 2021
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FRIDAY UPDATE

Sisters and Brothers, 

As you read yesterday and will see today as the County continues to roll forward with the mandated plan as proposed by the County with their forms and policy updates. We ask you to refrain from registering with Fulgent and the County and wait for the Union and the CCU to give direction based on our ongoing bargaining over the impacts of such a plan.  We have filed an impasse motion at the bargaining table over the County's failure to complete bargaining before implementation of the policies. This will engage a third-party mediator. 

We want to be clear, regardless of your stance on the vaccine, this is an issue of fair bargaining. We need to have solidarity for the sake of our future bargaining process. We cannot set the precedent that it is okay to circumvent our rights.

Once again if ordered to comply with the policy, kindly follow these instructions. 

If your supervisor asks you to register or fill out any form, respectfully ask that they issue the request to you in writing. If you are pushed to fill out the form, respectfully ask to contact your Union representative. Use the following phrase if pushed: "My Union is currently bargaining accommodations for this item. If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative be present."

You will notice that the medical and religious exemptions are in place in the policy. While we have additional issues we are bargaining over, we have made great progress on the implementation of those exemptions.  Each and every word in policy matters, and the procedures of non-compliance matter.  We will continue to bargain. We have two issues that remain in the CCU Counter-Proposal relating to antibody and natural immunity once the CDC and FDA get on board and also alternatives to vaccination using safety gear and testing that have not been embraced.  These items are complex and detailed but we continue to push these items on behalf of our members. 

It is important to know also that these proposals and efforts from the Board of Supervisors (BOS) are driven by the public input to their offices.  The residents we serve want a safe workforce entering their homes, and we want a safe work environment for our members.  The COVID vaccine is one of the most valuable tools to ensure both our members' safety and the safety of the communities we serve.  We recommend our members get vaccinated and utilize all safety gear when operating in the field.  We worked very hard to get priority when the vaccines first came out, and we will always put our members at the front of the line when it comes to acquiring the gear and tools to stay safe when it comes to communicable diseases.  If you have medical and/or religious or moral objections, the legal exemptions are in place and you will have Local 1014 representation to navigate that process once adherence to any compliance is in place.   

We have had many members and their families raise issues with us asking about our support for the vaccine and our acknowledgment of the impact it has had on our members and our families.  We are aware and remind all that we have had over 55 IAFF Firefighters die of COVID and over 400 Police and Sheriff Officers have died of COVID nationally in the last year and a half.  We also understand that many of our members have lost family to the disease.  We have a significant number of our members off with long COVID issues and some that will battle to get back to work.  This is a serious disease and the impact on our members and communities is of primary concern to the Union.  While we oppose the mandate, we believe providing alternatives to the mandate will net more vaccinated members and safer working conditions.  Such alternatives include incentives, the use of anti-body and natural immunity for those who have had COVID, as well as testing alternatives. We are pushing hard with our Labor partners to embrace these areas as well as other medical best practices as medical advances continue to evolve.  

Finally, as we navigate this volatile issue we once again ask our members to be kind to each other, to empathize and understand all views and opinions on this issue as we work to get to the finish line together.  There are no enemies between us, and different perspectives and thoughts on the issue are rich and can be positive if we stay bound by facts and realities of law and best practices for the health and safety of our members and our communities.   

Local 1014 and the CCU back at the Bargaining Table 

While the COVID vaccine mandate has certainly taken the headlines the past couple of months, we have many other important items of business in progress on behalf of our members.  As always, there is perhaps no greater item than our contracts. 

We are moving to form Fringe Benefit proposals through the Coalition of County Unions (CCU).  We just finished and signed a 9-month contract that had a 2.5% increase in medical premium contribution, COVID bonus, and a new holiday.  To prepare and begin bargaining for this short term, our proposals will be crafted and sent to the County by December of 2021. 

In addition, we have sent to the County our letter to officially open the contract table for Salary MOU’s for 601 and 602 our Firefighter series.  This will begin the bargaining season for all units for 2022.  We have been preparing our proposal and once again at the top of the list and priority for any work is any and all movement to achieve Plan C enhancements to counter the PEPRA retirement reform impacts.  We are excited to get to work and grind to get a fair contract for our members and once again continue to progress in salary and benefits.  We will update the membership as we formalize the table and the meetings with the County.  

Fire Season 

Our members continue to work hard to protect our communities as brush fire season is in full swing and major incidents like the Avalon Incident and the El Sereno Incident occur throughout LA County. As always, we thank our members for their continued professionalism and dedication as your put yourselves in harm's way to protect our communities. 

OPEN ENROLLMENT IS HERE!

The LA County Open Enrollment period for 2022 begins today! Local 1014 would like to remind you to review your benefits and encourage you to look at The Local 1014 Health Plan as an option for your family. The Local 1014 Health Plan is among the most comprehensive plans available to Firefighters anywhere in the nation and is tailored to meet our Firefighters’ needs. It is also the #1 choice for our members and their families. Higher allowances, increased coverage, new fertility benefits, and greater options are just a few of the highlights of The Local 1014 Health Plan in 2022.

The Local 1014 Health Plan is the only health plan offered in the County that you can take with you into retirement and maintain FOR LIFE. It has never been more important for our members to review your healthcare options and ensure that you have the best coverage available for you and your family. 

Enroll now at www.mylacountybenefits.com. For more information about The Local 1014 Health Plan, please call member services at 800-660-1014 or email medicalplan@local1014.org.


In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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