8th District Vice President
In accordance with the International Association of Fire Fighters Constitution and By-Laws, Article VI, Section 3, I respectfully submit this report of my activities as 8th District Vice President to the General President, General Secretary Treasurer, Executive Board, and the delegates at the 52nd biennial Convention of the IAFF in Cincinnati, Ohio. This report summarizes my activities on behalf of the members in the IAFF 8th District from March 2012 through April 2014.
I was assigned by the General President to serve on the following Executive Board committees: Budget and Finance – Communications, Media and Public Affairs – Emergency Medical Services – Grants Administration/HazMat/WMD – Health & Safety/Redmond Foundation – Information and Technology – Organizing and Field Services – Rival Organizations – Ad Hoc Resolutions. I attended scheduled executive board and committee meetings along with completing assignments delegated to me by the General President.
The economies of state and local governments in the 8th District are slowly recovering from the devastating impact of the Great Recession. After numerous years of facing concessionary bargaining, many regions in the district are experiencing stable staffing numbers and modest improvements in wages and benefits. Although the economy is slowly improving, we need to remain vigilant in protecting our defined benefit pension plans and preventing attempts to privatize our work.
During the past two years I have worked with local and state affiliates providing personal support as needed, assistance using IAFF programs and staff, and assigning district field service representatives and state service representatives to work directly with affiliates.
Following is a brief description of some of the services and resources delivered throughout the district during the past two years.
IAFF TECHNICAL AND FIELD SERVICES IN DISTRICT 8
Over the past two years, we have provided hundreds of Municipal Financial Analyses (MFA), dozens of Geographical Information System (GIS) studies, and numerous contract database comparable reports for affiliates in the district. This data supported state and local unions in their efforts to improve wages, benefits, and working conditions for IAFF members.
Working with IAFF staff, DFSRs and Service Representatives, we provided many locals with assistance in collective bargaining, public relations, media collaboration, health and safety, political action, legal issues, and EMS along with all of the other resources readily available to local leadership from the IAFF.
District field service representatives and state service representatives delivered more than 200 days of service in the district organizing new locals, bargaining first contracts, and on special assignments assisting local affiliates on a wide range of issues.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMS
Education and training for local union officers and representatives are important functions of the IAFF and are critical to the success of affiliates. We have developed more than a hundred education and training programs in multiple areas: Collective bargaining – Grievance and Arbitration – Pension Systems – Health and Safety – Fire Ground Survival. Working in conjunction with state associations in the district, we provided our membership access to many of these programs with jointly sponsored IAFF/State Association seminars.
In the fall of 2012, we initiated a district training program for local unions offering a two-day 8th District PEP seminar for union officers and representatives. Over the two years since the inception of this program, we have provided additional training to more than 300 union leaders representing approximately 100 locals in the 8th District.
In addition, we continue to sponsor an annual training program for 8th District DFSRs and state service reps. This program provides the opportunity for service reps to improve their skills and abilities in providing expert assistance to locals on an extensive number of critical issues locals face every day.
ORGANIZING NEW LOCALS
We continue to increase IAFF membership in the district. Over the past two years, we have organized approximately 17 locals – both fire and EMS – representing more than 190 new members in the 8th District.
SAFER GRANT PROGRAM
The federal SAFER Grant program continues to support locals that are still recovering from the economic disaster caused by the Great Recession. More than one hundred local governments across the 8th District received $187 million in assistance through SAFER since 2010. The IAFF provided assistance on the application process for more than $102 million of these awards. Through the work of the IAFF political team in Washington and the lobbying efforts of our members throughout the country, IAFF members have remained on the job.
The SAFER program will continue in 2014 to provide assistance to local governments, ensure that adequate fire fighter staffing is in place to protect the public, and keep our members safe on the job.
In concluding my report for the 2014 Convention, I would like to take this opportunity to thank General President Schaitberger and General Secretary-Treasurer Miller, along with their staffs, for all of their efforts on behalf of the IAFF and its members.
I also want to recognize the state associations in the 8th District for the vital role they fill by representing IAFF members on collective bargaining and pensions issues at their state capitals, partnering with the IAFF in providing training and education programs, and working in conjunction with the IAFF to deliver resources and services to locals in their respective states. With their cooperation and efforts, we are able to work more effectively and efficiently ensuring that local leaders have necessary resources to fulfill their responsibilities.
And finally, I want to thank our members who provide the financial support that allows the IAFF to develop and deliver essential services and resources to assist affiliates in their day-to-day operations.
I look forward to a productive and successful IAFF 52nd Convention here in Cincinnati.