Senate backs increased workplace protections for fire fighters
SB 1518 promotes public safety, allows more fire fighters to negotiate workplace conditions
SALEM – Today the Oregon Senate voted to give fire fighters increased protections by expanding the number of employees eligible to negotiate for workplace conditions. Senate Bill 1518 passed on a vote of 16 to 14.
In 1995, reforms to Oregon’s collective bargaining laws had an unintentional impact on fire fighters who serve as lead workers. This bill restores the ability for these lead workers to bargain for better workplace conditions such as safety, staffing ratios, and compensation.
“Fire fighters put their life on the line every day to keep Oregon’s families safe and sound,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “They deserve the right to negotiate for safety issues and fair compensation.”
In 2007, the Oregon Legislature passed a law that allowed fire fighters to include safety and staffing issues as items in the collective bargaining process in addition to other items like pay and benefits. Senate Bill 1518 builds on that law by allowing fire fighters who assign, transfer, or direct work of other employees to participate in a collective bargaining unit.
Senate Bill 1518 will now head over to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.
The next meeting of Lane Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 851, will be held on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014. This is a "B" shift. Hope to see you at the Electric Station at 0900, breakfast will be provided!
Below find a link to the EXO presentation made by Jeff Sweet to the Safety Committee. It includes the NFPA requirements as well as several case studies where an escape system would have made a difference in firefighter deaths or close calls.
You will be voting on the revised 2014 budget on the ballot that will be coming around to worksites on December 17th, 18th, and 19th. The proposed version has been posted on this website.
They are accessed on the menu on the left, the budget under "BUDGET INFORMATION."
On December 17, 18, and 19, you will be voting on the E-Board and Vice President position, as well as the budget. When the tax issue with 1395 is resolved, we will vote again on the Constitution and Bylaws and a combined budget.
There will be a Union meeting on December 12, at the Oregon Electric Station at 0900. Please plan to attend this meeting to get your questions answered or contact the Union office.
We are going to Demo a vet project house this Sunday. We will be meeting at 10am at 1320 Jefferson to start. TO2 will be there to help. It shouldn't take long. I believe we will be removing cabinets, a wall, and some appliances. Should be fun, if anyone is interested in coming and helping out, contact me at (503)298-7100
Many of us have seen recent news stories about Right to Work legislation, most notably, union strong Michigan becoming Right to Work this year.This prompted me to do a research paper on the topic for a labor relations class.What I found was disturbing and I thought I would share it with you all.
Right to Work has been around for a long time, but it was in 1947 that the federal government officially allowed states to put the matter in statute. There is no one specific outline for the legislation, but generally it precludes mandatory union membership or the fair share option. If an employee does not want to join the union they can opt out and receive the union’s hard earned benefits for free. Depending on the legislation union political contributions can be changes making it more difficult to generate funds and be politically active.
The sales pitch for Right to Work is that it creates economic development, increased wages and increased buying power for the employee. The truth is the economic development comes from employers lured by lower wages and limited worker rights. Increased wages is a complete misnomer, my calculation of median household incomes in 2011 showed that employees in Right to Work states make 82% of what their non-Right to Work counterparts. The increased buying power argument is based solely on the fact that an employee will have the extra money they would have spent on union dues. Right to Work is really the Right to Work for less!
Why is this important for us? Of the 26 non-Right to Work states 19 of them considered Right to Work legislation in 2012. In Oregon, the initiative petition process for Right to Work has been started for the 2014 November election, bankrolled by Loren Parks, a Nevada millionaire. This should be concerning because in the current anti PERS climate many will be persuaded to vote for Right to Work legislation to weaken the unions. They are going to sell better schools and public safety to break the back of the unions. No matter which side of the fence you sit on, the union needs to show solidarity not just in the fire service but as the labor force in Oregon. I would encourage everyone to look in to the arguments for and against this legislation so when asked, you are informed. Now is the time to begin having these conversations with people, this may prove to be one of the hardest battles we have had to fight in a long time.
Regardless where you stand in the political spectrum, Right to Work is wrong for you, your family, your co-workers and the State of Oregon. Whereas we all may not agree on union backed political candidates, we have a common goal of earning for and protecting the future for families. The Right to Work debate in Oregon will surely become a referendum on public employees and the PERS system as a whole. The union backs politicians that back you and the career that provides for your family. They have fought long and hard to protect your pension, your safety at work and to protect you and your family if you have a life-threatening condition from exposures at work. This is my call to each and every one of my brothers and sisters; Educate yourself about the threat, Spread the message and Stand together! Solidarity is the foundation that labor in America was built upon; remember people died to earn the rights workers enjoy today.
If you want more information don’t hesitate to contact me!
Article 24, Bereavement Leave, states that "in the event of a death in the immediate or extended family...is defined by the City policy on health insurance coverage." Below is a list of those family members covered under the Bereavement Leave article:
Immediate or extended family is defined as, spouse, parent, child, sibling, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, step-parent, step-child, grandchild, or grandparent, foster parent or legal guardian and/or any individuals living within the employee's personal household. Immediate or extended family also includes domestic partner and the equivalent family relations for employees who are in a qualifying domestic partner relationship pursuant to the City policy on health insurance coverage.