threats to locals?

Union and union related discussion.
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splashover
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threats to locals?

Postby splashover » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:18 am

I saw this from a posting by the IAFF and thought I would throw it up here for a more Canadian perspective.

What do you believe is the biggest threat to your local?

note: it is assumed that opinions represent individuals and not locals as a whole.


For me it is the growing inability to have the members vote as a block in government elections causing a degredation of political influence.

braidjansen
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Postby braidjansen » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:14 pm

Apathy. We have had it too good for too long. It's hard to be engaged in your union when you make 80K+ a year and a) you only work 14 or 7 days out of 28, b) you are a small business owner who has a vested interest in minimizing union activity, and c) you don't live in the community in which you are employed as a fire fighter.

It's no wonder young fire fighters are not that interested in the union. So the same characters are acclaimed to positions on the local's executive, many of whom have personal axes to grind with management and who spend far too much time on issues like two hatting which the larger membership don't care about.

The good news (really bad news) is that the good times may be coming to an end. Ontario's teachers thought they had the government in their back pocket and are now having a two year wage freeze rammed down their collective throats. The provincial government is already making noises about changing the arbitration system and limiting bankable sick days for emergency service workers. Our unions are going to become very important going forward as we find ourselves under attack from the very political parties that we have supported in the past.

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dentedhead
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Postby dentedhead » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:39 pm

[quote=""braidjansen""]Apathy. We have had it too good for too long. It's hard to be engaged in your union when you make 80K+ a year and a) you only work 14 or 7 days out of 28, b) you are a small business owner who has a vested interest in minimizing union activity, and c) you don't live in the community in which you are employed as a fire fighter.

It's no wonder young fire fighters are not that interested in the union. So the same characters are acclaimed to positions on the local's executive, many of whom have personal axes to grind with management and who spend far too much time on issues like two hatting which the larger membership don't care about.

The good news (really bad news) is that the good times may be coming to an end. Ontario's teachers thought they had the government in their back pocket and are now having a two year wage freeze rammed down their collective throats. The provincial government is already making noises about changing the arbitration system and limiting bankable sick days for emergency service workers. Our unions are going to become very important going forward as we find ourselves under attack from the very political parties that we have supported in the past.[/quote]


Well said,the other problem, is pettiness in the local, a former executive member doesn't like a current officer or vice versa and it only creates animosity and divides the local.

Denetdhead
Thousand a week for hide and seek on call when Im paid to be.

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splashover
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Postby splashover » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:18 am

[quote=""braidjansen""]c) you don't live in the community in which you are employed as a fire fighter.[/quote]

Good points. Why do you believe that living outside your district contributes to member apathy?

braidjansen
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Apathy

Postby braidjansen » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:20 pm

Living outside the community in which you are a fire fighter is just a fact of life for many of us. The vast majority of personnel in my department don't live in the city that employs us. This makes it more difficult to shape us into a political force. We can't vote in municipal elections for the politicians who ultimately employ us because we don't live here or own property and our votes at the federal and provincial level are spread out over any number of ridings making it difficulty to have a definitive political impact in any given area. I know I'm more politically plugged into what goes on in my rural home community then I am with regards to the city in which I work. Under the circumstances it is more difficult to convince 300+ fire fighters, dispatchers, fire prevention officers, and clerks that they enough politically in common to shape them into a political force.

Perhaps apathy is the wrong word...saying that living outside the community in which you serve makes it more difficult to organize politically would probably be more accurate.

Just my opinion.
Last edited by braidjansen on Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: spelling

pyauthier
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Postby pyauthier » Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:14 pm

I myself, as a single dad, dont make enough to live in the city where i'm working... I would love to live in the city but cant afford it... I know I'm not the only one in that situation in my department... Anyone else going through that kind of situation?

I would think that one of the biggest threat to my local right now could be, in some extent, that the paramedic union has been able to push us back into stations and have us responding to the lowest possible amount of calls you can imagine... Sadly for the population (decreased level of service), sadly for them (well, carrying bags on their own , limited on scene manpower) and sadly for us (I've taken this job because I wanted to help, by putting out fires, by installing a smoke detector or doing chest compressions, just help...).

This devaluation of our services and the city buying into it will probably not help the public see how we could be used efficiently...

I think the biggest threat to any public service is losing spectrum of intervention and the devaluation of the services provided by that agency...
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