11th District Vice President
In accordance with the International Association of Firefighters Constitution and By-Laws Article VI, Section 3, I am respectfully submitting to the officers and delegates assembled at the 52nd bienniel IAFF Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio this report of my activities as the District 11 Vice President. My report covers the period from September 2012 through April 2014.
These District 11 fire fighters lost their lives through line-of-duty deaths. They will forever be in our hearts. Their families will continually be in our thoughts and prayers.
Lieutenant David E. Smith, L-975 Austin, TX, 3/4/2014
District Chief James A. Gardner, L-4405 Midland, TX, 1/9/2014
Enginee Juan Pablo Casanova, L-970 Brownsville, TX, 8/10/2013
Engineer Robert R. Beebe, L-341 Houston, TX, 5/31/2013
Firefighter Robert H. Garner, L-341 Houston, TX, 5/31/2013
Captain Matthew R. Renaud, L-341 Houston, TX, 5/31/2013
Firefighter Ann Sullivan, L-341 Houston, TX, 5/31/2013
Captain Walter J. Werhun, L-2359 Edmond, OK, 4/27/2013
Captain Kenneth L. Harris, L-58 Dallas, TX, 4/17/2013
Firefighter Marcos J. Aranda, L-872 Laredo, TX, 3/22/2013
Captain Robert Lee Wise, L-4405 Midland, TX, 2/23/2013
Lieutenant Gregory Pickard, L-1204 Bryan, TX, 2/16/2013
Lieutenant Eric Wallace, L-1204 Bryan, TX, 2/16/2013
Firefighter Keith Schoenberg, L-341 Houston, TX, 11/12/2012
Fire Investigator Joe H. Delgadillo, L-341 Houston, TX, 9/30/2012
District 11 continues to lead the way in the IAFF’s Fill-the-Boot campaign for muscular dystrophy. The Mighty 11th has held the top spot in collections for several years. In 2012, District 11 fire fighters collected $4,204,322. In 2012, Texas led the nation in collections by state with $3,491,755. In 2012, Oklahoma fire fighters collected $712,564. In 2013, District 11 collected $4,587,529 for MDA. Texas was again first in total collections by state and Oklahoma was ninth with $762,511. Of the top ten affiliates in collections for Fill-the-Boot in 2012, Houston L-341 was second in the nation with $502,261, Dallas L-58 was fourth with $425,738, Oklahoma City L-157 was seventh with $229,221, and San Antonio L-623 was eighth with $216,551. In 2013 of the top ten affiliates for collection in the Fill-the-Boot program, Houston L-341 was second with $510,564, Dallas L-58 was fourth with $421,507, Oklahoma City was sixth with $323,818, and San Antonio L-624 was ninth with $208,710. I want to personally thank every affiliate that works so hard to collect for MDA. The IAFF is the largest single contributor to MDA and the fire fighters in District 11 are a large part of our union’s success.
General President Schaitberger has re-assigned me as a committee member to the Executive Board Education and Training Committee, the Emergency Disputes Fund Committee, the Emergency Medical Services Committee, and the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Committee. I have been appointed by the General President as Co-Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and Chair of the Government and Political Affairs Committee. I have also been assigned as a member of the Legal Services Committee. During the reporting period I have retained my appointment to the IAFF Financial Corporation’s Board of Directors. For 2014, I have been appointed to the Executive Board Ad Hoc Resolutions Committee.
During this reporting period, I have attended all IAFF Executive Board meetings, committee meetings, conferences, and seminars as expected and required. However, I was excused from the September 2013 and June 2013 Executive Board meetings due to the tragic line-of-duty deaths in Bryan, TX and Houston, TX, respectively. I have also attended as many Texas State Association of Firefighters and Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma Executive Board meetings as possible. In addition, I have also attended the Southern Federation of Professional Firefighters Conferences and the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) Public Safety Conferences in 2013 and 2014.
The 11th District continues to grow. During this reporting period the District has seen the addition of several new locals. I frequently field inquiries from potential new affiliates, and the organizing efforts are continuous as we pursue our goal of representing every paid fire department in the 11th District. Since the 51st Convention, the following new locals have been added to the 11th District:
|Local||Name||# Members||Charter date|
|3237||Sulphur Springs Prof. Fire Fighters Assoc., TX||15||8/15/2013|
|3933||Cleveland Fire Department, OK||4||6/1/2013|
|4914||Ce-Bar Prof. Fire Fighters Assoc., TX||10||11/9/2012|
|4929||DFW Airport Fire Fighters Assoc., TX||3||2/1/2013|
|4930||Richland Hills Fire Fighters Assoc., TX||13||2/5/2013|
|4934||North Lake Travis Fire Fighters Assoc., TX||8||3/18/2013|
|4935||Spring Branch Prof. Fire Fighters Assoc., TX||13||3/18/2013|
|4937||Travis County Prof. Fire Fighters Assoc. Dist. 12, TX||3||3/11/2013|
|4949||Pantego Fire Fighters Assoc., TX||8||5/7/2013|
|4958||Smith County Prof. Fire Fighters ESD #2, TX||3||9/1/2013|
|4964||Pearland Prof. Fire Fighters, TX||27||10/1/2013|
|4970||District 7 Fire Rescue, TX||16||10/16/2013|
|4975||Howe Prof. Fire Fighters Assoc., TX||4||12/1/2013|
|4978||District 2 Fire Fighters Assoc./Bexar County, TX||3||3/18/2014|
|4983||Bulverde Prof. Fire Fighters Assoc., TX||8||1/7/2014|
|4989||Somervell County Prof. Fire Fighters Assoc., TX||6||3/18/2014|
Our mission of outfitting local affiliate leaders with the tools they need to be successful is ongoing. I believe education and training are critical to the long-term success not only of the 11th District, but also our union. One of the best resources for accomplishing the challenge of educating local union leaders is the material provided by the International’s Department of Training and Education. With the assistance of DFSR’s Rick Beams and Joe Tellez, we continue to provide educational opportunities around the District where we deliver IAFF educational material to union leaders. In October of 2013, we piloted a regional Affiliate Leadership Training Summit type of event for District 11. Our District Partnership Education Program (PEP) event was held in Irving, TX, which is centrally located in the district.
Our event was formatted in tracks, consisting of topic-specific workshops to develop a comprehensive cross section of workshops to provide focused instruction. The following tracks and workshops offered were tailored to meet the needs and issues facing a majority of the affiliates in District 11:
Understanding Union Leadership
Local Union Administration
Introduction to Grievances
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Overview and Updates
How to Run a Meeting
Local Planning and Politics
Overview of Member Services
Fighting Service/Performance Level Threats
Media Strategy and Messaging
Planning a Fire Ops 101 Event
Organizing and Implementing a Community Outreach Program
Advanced Negotiations and Contract Language
Advanced Skills for Negotiators
Writing Contract Language
Union Officer Responsibilities
Introduction to Political Action
Recruiting and Endorsing Candidates
Understanding Municipal Budgets
Achieving Goals: Non-Collective Bargaining Environments
Preparing for Negotiations
Our event had 135 paid attendees representing 48 local affiliates. Overall, the feedback was positive and the course material was well received.
We continue to make the “Establishing a PAC Fund” presentation in both Texas and Oklahoma as we work to build the local political operations of our affiliates. As a result, we have seen a significant increase in the number of affiliates who have established local PAC funds. This increase in the number of PACs across the district will have an enormous impact on our ability to advance the political agenda of fire fighters. Because of the sharp uptick in the number of affiliates with PAC funds, we have begun a PAC co-op program. Our co-op is simply a way to maximize the PAC dollars of our local affiliates with the single goal of electing fire fighter–friendly candidates wherever possible. We continue to make the presentation, “Winning Referendum Elections,” around the district as we work to educate affiliates on the nuts and bolts of running referendum elections. We recommended DFSR Joe Tellez and Conroe, TX L-2731 President John Riddle for appointment to the first ever IAFF Political Training Academy for Referendum Elections held in Memphis, TN. We plan to utilize these members to train affiliates and affiliate leaders who are considering referendum elections to accomplish their goals.
During this reporting period, I continued to consult with the affiliate leaders in District 11 daily. I worked as the Interest Arbitrator, consulted on grievance and disciplinary issues, and worked on negotiation issues for numerous locals in the district. I worked with countless local affiliate leaders and assisted them as they faced the challenges of leading a local union. I consulted with and assisted directly with the locals that pursued, worked and ran referendum elections.
I want to thank General President Schaitberger for his leadership, his guidance and advice he has given me over the years. It has proven to be invaluable, and I am thankful for it. I want to thank General Secretary-Treasurer Miller for his work and assistance to affiliates in District 11. To the other members of the IAFF Executive Board, thank you for your continued assistance.
There are not adequate words to express my sincere appreciation to all of the staff at the IAFF. Thank you for your outstanding work. I appreciate your assistance, and all that you do for this International and the members of District 11.
I would be remiss if I did not thank the leadership of the two outstanding state associations in the 11th District for all of the support and great work that is done on behalf of IAFF members in Texas and Oklahoma. President Guy Turner and Secretary-Treasurer J.R. Sullivan lead a great organization in Texas which provides outstanding service in all the areas that affect professional fire fighters. In Oklahoma, President Rick Beams and Secretary-Treasurer Jim Long lead an Executive Board of nine Vice Presidents that are always on the frontlines for Oklahoma fire fighters. To both organizations, keep up the good fight.
District Field Service Representatives Joe Tellez and Rick Beams are outstanding union leaders and great assets to all of the affiliates in District 11. I thank them for their loyalty and commend their efforts and commitment to advance the agenda of professional fire fighters. Without the support and hard work of these two exceptional leaders in the district who have shown an unwavering commitment to improving the overall well-being of professional fire fighters, I would not be able to do my job or deliver the service that is deserved by the members of the 11th District.
With the blessing and support of my wife Tina, my family, and my home local Tulsa fire fighters Local 176, I remain humbled by the experience and truly honored to serve as the IAFF District 11 Vice President. Thank you!