WILLIAM V. TAYLOR
4th District Vice President
In accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Article VI, §3, I respectfully submit the following report of my activities as 4th District Vice President for the period between July 2012 and April 2014.
Since the last Convention in Philadelphia, I have attended all IAFF and 4th District State Conventions, Conferences, Executive Board and committee meetings, MDA meetings and have carried out all other assignments given to me by General President Schaitberger. I have also attended various other educational conferences and seminars for the purpose of furthering my knowledge in specific fields so that I may better serve the membership.
Presently, I serve on the following Executive Board Committees: Emergency Disputes (Chairman), Employee Benefits and Human Resources and Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial. I am a trustee on the IAFF Employee and the Staff Pension Funds, and I also serve as a Director of the IAFF Financial Corporation and the IAFF Charitable Foundation.
Our efforts over the past two years have not changed focus much from the issues we always face. Again, healthcare and the economy have been dominant and have greatly affected us. The problems we see are numerous, including staffing cuts, furloughs, pension cuts/reductions, brownouts, station closures, and pending layoffs. But know that your leadership, from the local to the international level, has continued to move forward to find solutions to help curb detrimental consequences. We have also been facing numerous issues arising from IAFF members volunteering in jurisdictions that also employ IAFF members.
There is a movement in Delaware to create a state association. However, this has not yet occurred.
In the District of Columbia, an arbitration decision was reached, ruling that putting D.C. fire fighters on a schedule consisting of (3) 12-hour days, followed by 1 day off, then (3) 12-hour nights followed by 3 days off would not produce any significant monetary savings for the City and also posed potential health concerns for firefighters. However, the D.C. Public Employee Relations Board has now ruled that the administration can implement the new work schedule. Local 36 President, Ed Smith, intends on filing in the Court of Appeals to cease these actions. With elections taking place later this year, including a new mayor, Local 36 leadership feels confident they will prevail.
Maryland fire fighters are working to pass a few bills through state legislature. One would deem fire fighters’ retirement income as tax-free, and the other would make assaults on fire fighters and EMS workers felonies. They are also fighting the passage of two bills. These bills would require all state funding through 508 monies to go strictly to volunteer departments. The Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland are working with the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) to establish an appeal procedure for those who are facing suspension of certification by a Medical Director. Additionally, IAFF Local 1715 from Cumberland, MD, is fighting to remain as the bargaining unit for the city’s fire fighters. They received a notice that the city was voiding their contract as of June 30, 2014.
The Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association is fighting a “Wisconsin-style” attack on payroll deductions. Various anti-union special interest groups are trying to pass legislation that would stop automatic dues deductions for public sector workers. Although the majority of our membership in the state would be exempt, there are still a few airport and EMS locals that would be affected. The legislation in question would also prohibit all public sector unions from collecting PAC donations through payroll deductions.
The Virginia Professional Fire Fighters have presented three bills to the State legislature, all dealing with the creation of a Line of Duty Health Benefits Fund and increased funding. So far, the bills have been held over until 2015. Perhaps with the recent election of the new governor, we will be more successful in the future. Alexandria Local 2141 is fighting cuts to fire department resources under the city’s proposed budget. Reductions would include the relocation of one engine company, elimination of 10 vacant positions, and the elimination of one peak-time medic unit. The local does have a Facebook page titled “Save Engine 204,” if anyone would like to show support.
And in West Virginia, one of our brothers, Dave Palmer, a member of our Wheeling local, is running for a seat in the WV House of Delegates. We wish him luck and stand by to assist his campaign.
I would also like to thank my State Presidents Mike Campbell, Art Martynuska, Mike Mohler, and Brian Jones for all of their tireless efforts on behalf of this great union. Also John Niemiec (DFSR) and all the countless others from District 4 who help to make my job easier.
I would like to thank General President Schaitberger, General Secretary-Treasurer Miller, Assistants to the General President and General Secretary-Treasurer and every single IAFF employee for their assistance and guidance. Thanks also go out to all members of the 4th District for your continued support. Being your Vice President is a great honor which I do not take lightly. Collectively, we can remain effective and successful and I look forward to continuing my service to you in the years to come.