Friday Update 5-12-23
Updated On: Jun 14, 2023


Brothers & Sisters,

Fire Suppression Aids - Fire Fighter Trainee List 

Thank you to all our FSAs for your valuable input as we visited the camps to talk to the crews about various issues affecting working conditions in the camps. Thank you to the Executive Board Directors and Director Aaron Katon, who put together the meetings along with FSA Dorsey, McCosker, Tran and Schulz.

As you know, the number one issue is the situation with 57 FSAs hired from the FFT list to work as FSAs, eventually to processed and given offers for FFT towers being ineligible for a conditional offer of employment because our FFT list expired. We pressed the Department hard with a legal appeal and met with Chief Marrone to present our case. Chief Marrone and President Gillotte collaborated to find a possible solution that would not involve litigation or any slowing or job actions to stop Class 170 on May 22. The Chief agreed and went to work with the BOS, CEO, and DHR. We have received notice that we have successfully “reinstated” the FFT Hiring List making the FSAs from that list eligible for offers from the Department for FFT.

We want to thank Chief Marrone for meeting with us, reviewing the situation, getting all the facts, and agreeing with us on the general path of travel to make this right. We are far from done, as we now work with the Department and DHR to take the FSAs and split them up to capture all in Class 171 and 172 along with some of the general FFT List candidates already processed.

This has come at a critical time. A handful of our FSAs in this group have begun receiving conditional employment offers from other agencies, and we want to retain them. We will keep you posted. We are in contact with all affected FSAs and look forward to navigating the next steps with the Department.

In addition to the exam issue, we were notified of a unilateral change the Department and County implemented starting with FSA Class 85, halting credit for time for pay steps, EMT Bonus, and seniority for any FSAs in a “temp” status position and item number. These FSAs were also unilaterally denied access to “Choices” medical, dental and benefits and were only offered “Options” the less valuable benefits plans. Furthermore, the Union representatives presenting to the classes to review such items were not implemented in the last FSA Classes. We have some work to do on this to correct the situation. We have declared “Cease and Desist”. We are pursuing the administrative appeal through an Unfair Labor Practice Charge and any legal options if needed. This is standard to leverage our discussions with the Department as we seek bargained solutions that might fix the issue. This would appear to be another situation we are working with Chief Marrone to correct where Big County with our DHR has unilaterally made changes.

Our solution is to correct this situation in the future by moving all item numbers for FSAs to permanent positions. Now that we have moved to more paid crews and reconfigured, we believe all the positions should be permanent. We also assert that members in all positions are members of Bargaining Units 601 and 602, and as such, are entitled to all pay and benefits in the MOU regardless of item number status for logistics. We are seeking reinstatement of all time, seniority, pay steps, EMT, and access to Choices benefits back to Class 85 when the unilateral practice of change went into effect.

This is another example of why Union membership and our collective strength and communication between general members in the crews, camps, and Directors is critical. It is incomprehensible that these unilateral changes were made and NO ONE from the Department's management team said a word. At the same time, when they were putting their arms around the “Camp Kids”, time pay and benefits were being denied.

Again, thank you to the FSAs who organized, contacted the Board, and worked to get us all the data needed to put this item on the table with the Department.


We are on month three of the trial measures agreed to between Labor and Management through our staffing committee. The legal and MOU authority for such changes rests with the committee by appointment from President Gillotte on the Labor side and by Chief Marrone on the Management side. Chiefs O'Brien and Ewald have been working with Local 1014 Executive Board Members Tony Carcioppolo and Kurt Kobler to implement a shift of the recalls to the tweeners in an attempt to "protect" or last priority our 4-dayers. Local 1014 has worked hard and fought for BCs to have the ability to work down to prevent recalls. 

We had a small but fantastic group of general members, with some for and some opposed to the shifting of days up for recall, at the General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, May 9th. With a robust discussion on other impacts of the new TRIAL staffing policy, the conversation and input were valuable and lasted for about two hours with FSAs in the house. The discussion centered on OT and Recalls and the pros and cons of being recalled on tweeners versus 4-dayers. It was clear to all that the number one issue affecting us all, no matter what schedule we are on or what recall procedure we have is vacancies due to "Injury" and the number one priority of the Department and the Union must be to return our members to duty. We have over 450 members off work each month. This is NOT SUSTAINABLE. The number one cause of staffing issues limiting access to get days off, recall impact, and, of course, the impact on our budget, with nearly $220 million leaking out of our self-funded workers' compensation system. 

While our system with Sedgwick imperfections and lack of Department oversight of the third-party provider is overhauled by our Labor Management Task Force, we also need our members to be advocates for themselves with the help of our outstanding Chief, Captains and Staff in Return to Work. 

When we asked for volunteers who "wanted help to get back to work", we only received two members interested in case-managed help. Brothers and sisters, it is time for us to talk square and frankly about members getting back to work who are not incapacitated. We are all in this together, and injuries that hinder our members from work need and will have the protection of the rights we bargain and legislate for under 4850 law. But we also need those who are able-bodied and can get therapy, PT while working, or stay at work while waiting for surgery or other medical interventions to be back at work and help fill the need and the gaps for our vacancies. Someone else must work the spot and cover the gap when you are off. 

Thank you again to the handful of members who came and worked with us for over 2 hours on the trial.

48/96 Trial Proposal Final Update  

The Fire Chief and President Gillotte met to agree upon a plan to provide a final discussion and for Chief Marrone to issue a final decision to all members regarding the proposed trial. 

President Gillotte and Chief Marrone discussed that this issue is important and has lingered for far too long without resolution. The bulk of the membership with a majority vote want to try the trial schedule change. While many pro and con factors have been discussed, debated and worked through and the Department has valid concerns about logistics, health and safety, and response issues, it is time for the Chief to make a final decision.

The 48/96 committee will meet one last final time to review every aspect of each issue and refresh everyone's view of the plan and proposal, which we have now moved to 6-month trial with a "stop clause" for both the Union and the Department. The Fire Chief and the Union President will attend the committee meeting together, and as the two parties who must agree and sign on behalf of both labor and management, come to their final decisions and make their mark with committee recommendations published to all. 

We are seeking a partnership with the Fire Chief on the trial to have success with BOS approval. If the Chief objects, we will have an uphill climb to get approval from the BOS. Staffing is under the MOU always open to settle between the Union and the Department as defined. We are setting the committee meeting for June 1-15. We are confident the Fire Chief, who we have been patient and accommodating as he declared, "this is truly a decision for the next permanent Fire Chief and not the Interim Acting Chief," is giving this due diligence and every aspect of evaluation before making a decision. Now the next permanent Fire Chief is right here in the room so it is time to make a decision. 

This is both exciting and nerve-wracking because of the volatility and the emotion for all of our members, and it has been far too long to get this to a legit table with the Department, in part due to the situation of leadership and management over the past 10 years, but this is the time now, and Chief Marrone is stepping up to tackle this with us.

We will expect the 10th Fire Chief of the LA County Fire Department to look us in the eyes and give us his Fire Chief decision. We encourage him to be strong, judicious, bold, and the Chief who embraces a trial. Looking at a change of schedule is a benchmark working condition item that has defined member drive to get a work-life balance while serving our communities and the mission proudly. We seek your support, Chief Marrone, as you decide this critical issue for the men and women doing the work in the field. Thank you in advance for your work and we look forward to bringing this issue to a finish. 

YOUR LACERA-Understanding Contributions for Your Retirement.
From Local 1014 Director Jason Green-LACERA Board of Investments and Board of Retirement

It’s that time again leading up to the new fiscal year; where all active employee’s contributions to retirement, may change. 

What is happening, why this is happening, and how it works:
This process happens once per year for PEPRA employees (Safety Plan C) and every three years for LEGACY employees (Safety Plan A+B). For this year, both PEPRA and LEGACY employees are impacted. The process started in December with Board of Investments (BOI) approval of an experience study by an independent actuary of the funds’ assumptions and ability to sustain benefits for employees. The second report is an actuarial valuation that was completed in the 1stquarter of the implementation year and again it is evaluated and approved by LACERA’s Board of Investments. The actuarial valuation report includes the retirement plan’s funded status and new member contribution rates, and was adopted by the Board of Supervisors at the beginning of May. Any contribution changes, in any given year, will be implemented on the start of the new fiscal year, July 1st.

Our retirement system, LACERA, is governed by law and this process is required under the law. LACERA is dependent on both employee and employer contributions as well as investment returns. Also under the law, LACERA is required to assess the soundness of the fund and the ability to pay current and future benefits to the people that have worked so hard towards retirement their entire careers. 

For legacy members, rates are adjusted at least every three years; rates for legacy members vary by a member’s entry age into the retirement system. Typically, if you start at a younger age, your contribution rate is higher due to projected higher salary earnings expected in your career. For PEPRA members, rates are updated every year based on an actuarial valuation so that employees maintain at least a 50-50 sharing of total plan normal cost (amount required to be paid now to fund future retirement benefits) with the employer.

Rates are determined using the actuarial valuation that is based on demographic and economic assumptions.  Demographic assumptions include but not limited to mortality, salary increases, service retirement, disability retirement, reciprocity, beneficiary age, and probability of survivor benefits.  

Economic assumptions include the assumed investment return, wage and payroll growth, national and local inflation, and future Cost-of-Living- Adjustments (COLA).  These assumptions are reviewed and approved by the Board of Investments every three years based on the actuary’s review of the plan’s experience and recommendation of needed changes.
The Board of Supervisors adopted the final rates on May 2, 2023, consistent with the Board of Investments’ approval and the MOUs with employee organizations.  For both legacy members and PEPRA members, the new rates reflect increases due to the changes in actuarial assumptions.  The County’s contribution rate also increased. 

In a Nutshell:
This year we will see a small increase in employee contributions for all county employees. For LEGACY safety A+B plan and Safety C, please click hyper link below for more information and to see a chart of what your rate increase will be by age of hire. Remember that the County will also see an increase in its employer contribution rate to support our pensions. The County pays its share of the normal cost along with all of us, and the County is also responsible itself for contributing to cover the shortfall in funding for past years.

Safety Plan A Contribution Rates 
Safety Plan B Contribution Rates 
Safety Plan C Contribution Rates 

As an example, I am a legacy member and will be seeing an approximately 0.34% increase in my contribution which equates to about a $40.00 increase per month towards my retirement.  I looked at the chart on LACERA’s website, using my entry age and my approximate monthly salary to determine the monthly contribution increase. PEPRA plan C employees will see a fixed rate (0.43%) independent of age of hire, providing for a 50/50 Employee/County contribution.  An increase from approximately $17-$56 per month based on the employee’s salary. These changes are necessary to secure future benefits and ensure that LACERA remains financially strong. 

Finally, I have great confidence in the staff and Board of Trustees at LACERA. Please be assured that they have your best interest in mind as they all work very hard to ensure the heath and viability of your retirement, now and into the future. I am humbled by how professional and committed everyone is in the course of their duties at LACERA, and their dedication to all of us. I am also humbled and want to say thank you to all of you in the safety membership in that you had the confidence in me to fill these new roles. I take it very seriously and I have big shoes to fill following the great work of Will Pryor.  I will meet that challenge. Call me anytime with questions.

In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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