Sisters and Brothers,
This week at the bargaining table, we demanded more movement towards the Unions United COLA amounts that we worked with our partners in Labor to set. The County has settled almost all units, most notably LACOLA Lifeguards and ALADS Sheriff Deputies and PPOA Sheriff Unions, while we continue to battle budgetary issues. We have done our due diligence and worked on every other item but still no movement on figuring out the COLA with relatively no participation from the CEO’s office or the Department representatives who sit at the table. Chiefs Peña and Breshears while operationally sound, have no capture of our budget during this critical time.
We have come out of the worst three years with the Department budget and finances in shambles as a result of a lack of leadership to coordinate priorities for critical expenditures, including the salaries and benefits for the workers who do the work. The number one resource our Department has is our people who do the work where the rubber meets the road. We have risen to the challenge throughout the last few difficult years, and we need our voice to be heard at 1320 N Eastern and the Hall of Administration as we work to get this table settled.
While Chief Marrone worked this week with the bargaining team to look at ways and ideas to help get this table settled, and after a long week of discussions off the table, we were met with no additional authority from the CEO and County to discuss the COLA.
We have broken off talks at the table. We need the power of our over 3,300 members to help us catch the attention of the CEO and the BOS, and the Department.
We are asking all members to WORK TO THE RULE. Work to the Rule means work to the best of your abilities, and in compliance with our defined job duties and, most importantly, with an absolute commitment to the best service we can offer to the residents in our communities. Do all the things you usually do to check out our rigs and equipment, to train and work together to compassionately and expertly do our work as EMS and Fire Multi-Mission Specialists.
However, the voluntary work of our members, which the Department and the County forget about and undervalues, must come to a halt. The Department cannot simply talk about supporting the members carrying out the mission. They need to value the members with a COLA offer. Inflation and the high costs of living have affected each and every one of us. Yet, we consistently do more with less and do it well.
Beginning today, all members who currently volunteer and serve in the following capacities should cease to serve in these capacities until we settle our contract:
1. All members are to immediately stop all online training this includes vector/target solutions, saba/learning net, or any additional training platforms. Only do online mandatory “Big County” training, or training that is required to keep your licenses current like EMT and Paramedic. Also, if you are a probationary employee, do all online training requirements to complete your probationary period. If you have questions regarding online training, contact Director Tony Carcioppolo.
2. All volunteer committee work, including:
- Explorer Program Committee
- Fitness For Life Committee
- Foam Committee
- Hazardous Materials Committee
- Health and Safety Committee
- Metro Committee
- Recruitment Committee
- Bids and Transfers Committee
- Equipment Development
- EMS QI Committee
- Volunteer CERT Training
- Memorial Committee
- Workers Comp Labor Management Committee
- Engineers Exam Cadre
- Engineers and Captain Academy Cadre
- Recruit training staff--Captains, FFS and FFs (forcible entry, ventilation, auto extrication, burn cadre, EMT, etc.)
3. Cease participating in all forms of recruitment from booths at schools and events from the Long Beach Grand Prix, to Women’s recruitment, including The Women’s Fire Prep Academy, Military, Veteran, and Minority recruitment efforts. STOP helping the Department with its goals. We need to show them the Department will not be able to fulfill its obligations to recruitment without you. Additionally, the County is asking for workers to run their County Employee Election Worker Program, which is outlined in EA-401. DO NOT SIGN UP.
It is important that we clarify a couple of things to keep our members in good standing and in fact, on the right side of the rules and the protections of the Union and the laws we have negotiated for our members.
We ask that all probationary firefighters continue with your regularly scheduled online training and requirements for compliance with probation. While most all the chief officers stand in solidarity with us and work to secure their future as well, some will push back on our members and intimidate or show their color of authority to combat what we are doing. Remember Work Now, Grieve Later. If any superior officer leans on you or orders you to do something… do it. Work now and immediately call the Union or e-mail us so we can go to work on the issue. This is critical to keep our members safe and our Union safe as we bargain under the law.
Simultaneous to our working to the rule, we will be meeting with the Board of Supervisors. We are also working with our Labor partners to support our job actions as we have done for them. The LA Federation of Labor, representing 800,000 Union workers in 300 affiliated unions, where President GIllotte sits as a long-standing Vice President, stands with us.
President Ron Herrera will be working with Local 1014 in carrying our voice to the 8th floor of Kenneth Hahn Hall. President Herrera has stated, “It is unconscionable that the Union Firefighters and Paramedics of LA County - IAFF Local 1014 who have served on the front lines, especially over the last couple of years with a pandemic and a brush season, once again impacting our homes and businesses, a group of proud men and women selflessly serving us would be one of the last to get a fair contract and settle their tables. We stand in solidarity with our LA County Fire Fighters and Paramedics as we help them get their recognition and support in LA County”.
Work to the Rule and stand proudly in Solidarity as we work to settle the table.