Friday Update 1-14-22
Updated On: Feb 11, 2022



Brothers & Sisters,

START WHERE YOU STAND

This Department, more than most, has dealt with tragedy over the last three years. Yet somehow, we amazingly find our feet and stand together, stand in solidarity, and stand as a Fire Family to help each other, and our families as we grieve. We use the collective spirit and energy of our membership to take care of all of the little things that matter.  
 
Thank you to everyone who attended the candlelight vigil to honor Brother Jon Flagler and his family this week. The love and support within the community and within our Fire Family for Jon, Jen, and the boys was overwhelming. 

Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly to take care of Jenn and Brody and Jack and the entire Flagler family and to those who will continue to work next week as we prepare for Jon’s Flag Ceremony and Services.  We hope and encourage every member of our Department to be there for the services and to bring our sea of blue for Jon’s family. 
 
Over 50 members of our LACoFD Peer Support Team and our Dr. Steve have been supporting our members and the family every day. Please reach out if you need PEER support help. Click here to get contact information for the Peer Support Team members or utilize the posters in your stations. The Chaplains have once again provided a protective shield and a safe place for Jon’s family to deal with their grief and all they must handle to move forward.

Let us finish out this next week with pride, honor, and courage as we continue to stand together as we lay to rest our Brother Jon Flagler.  We should not wait for tragedy to stand together. Let us honor Jon by continuing to stay strong.
 
A flag ceremony will be held on
Thursday, January 20th at 10:00 a.m.

 
Los Angeles County Fire Department 
Fire Station 13 
3375 Fruitland Avenue 
Vernon, CA 90058 
 
Local 1014 members and the LA County Fire Department are truly the best in the world because of the men and women who work here.

Start where you stand as we move forward and stay in this place of solidarity and strength. 
SIRT TEAM INVESTIGATION PRELIMINARY WORK 

Today the system worked like it is supposed to work.  The Serious Incident Review Team (SIRT), comprised of both Union and Management has been investigating, interviewing, and coordinating with arson, law enforcement, federal and state investigatory agencies. Their preliminary and final reports with lessons learned will be released soon enough. 

While we wait for those reports, the SIRT team identified a couple of radio issues that need to be addressed immediately.  These items are not solely a result of this incident nor would they change this incident, but have been identified as potential health and safety issues that need immediate correction. 

The Union and the Department met in very short order to produce a corrective action plan and it will be out by the time this Friday update hits your inbox. The issues involve reprogramming rig radios to hear the e-trigger warble tones and the second is the policy of primary channel for radios to ensure e-trigger is heard on the fire ground.  Please look at the EA and train and review these items with your crews. 

This is an example of a system and process that has netted rapid and timely response as a result of an incident and investigation without waiting or delay for a final report.  This is a build off of the Union action to halt the radio release originally, and thankfully many other radio safety issues were addressed before their rerelease. Special thanks to the radio SME team in particular Steve Weston, Landen Jansen, Chief Papas, and Director Carcioppolo for their work on the radio issues then and now. 

Chief Marrone and President Gillotte have been in communication and have assigned the current SMEs on this project with great care to ensure the top experts and radio technical issues are in play.  We will keep you updated as we know more. 
COVID VACCINE MANDATE UPDATE 

Local 1014 has consistently and repeatedly taken a position of support for the COVID vaccine but opposition for a mandate for the vaccine, and taken an aggressive stance on negotiations and policies for exemptions and reasonable accommodations.  This path is in alignment with the law and has proven to be the right path to protect all of our members.  
 
We have been fortunate to not lose anyone in our membership, but we certainly have more than a handful of long COVID members some young who may not make it back to work.  We have a legal vaccine mandate which has been held up in both federal courts and state courts and now in interest arbitration decisions in every state.  The federal decision to strike down OSHA authority over vaccine mandate in private business has no effect or impact on public sector employers or government entities. 

So, where are we?  The very law that empowers the Executive Order for mandate also empowers and protects individuals who don’t want to be vaccinated through consistently applied medical and religious exemptions.  The law also provides that reasonable accommodations must be provided to continue employment and work. For us, that is registering vaccine status and ring or periodic testing along with masks on calls and in places where we cannot distance, cleaning, and emergency protective gear in place while we work.  Click here to read EA 24. 
 
We have been in constant grinding negotiations with both the Department and the County with the Coalition of County Unions and we have kept our members in a very good place with regard to the mandate whether you are vaccinated or not.  We will continue to work with Chief Marrone on a path to keep everyone “in the boat” as we all cross the stormy seas.  You should be either vaccinated or registered and comply with ring testing at this point as we navigate this path. 

We had a breakthrough mediation session yesterday after leaning into the County, they responded with an emergency mediation to bargain over all of the exemption approval, appeal, and accommodation processes.  We vetted Shaw HR Consulting firm and have gone over all processes that are clear and unambiguous for each Department and its employees to understand.  The exemption process involves a review by an outside consultant, Shaw HR, a County Counsel, and DHR review, and then a recommendation sent to each Department Head for authority and sole approval or denial.  This leaves the final decision to approve or deny with the Fire Chief as our Department Head.  We believe that this system as it is constructed gives shape to a neutral and fair interpretation of the law governing exemption and also gives ultimate authority to the Fire Chief for decisions. We continue to bargain over appeal processes. 
 
Any members who are choosing to not register or not comply with ring testing are facing a 5-day suspension which will not be served, and not affect the single highest year per our negotiations, but will be applied on the books for the purposes of progressive discipline, and make no mistake this is a path to intent to discharge 10 days after that discipline is levied.  We do not support nor recommend any job actions to not register or test.  This puts your job in jeopardy and we will vigorously represent all members who choose this path with regard to rights of representation and skelly and the full force process for discipline.  Know that the Fire Chief has been extremely cooperative in working with the Union to handle the registration and testing order and continues to provide any and all mechanisms to bring all into compliance at any time.
 
Be kind to each other, be supportive of each other. Chief Marrone and President Gillotte meet daily on this and any and all individual situations are also evaluated and handled case by case.  Please contact the Union if you have any special needs or situations that arise.  
 
Finally, we are also asserting our rights under collective bargaining to challenge any and all proposed changes to competitive promotional exams with regard to the vaccine mandate and we will have more information on that work as we negotiate with the Department on any such proposed changes.    

 

In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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