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Targeted Tax Levies May Fly

The latest Pew Research poll results indicate that while there is little appetite among voters in the U.S. for generic state level tax increases to balance state budgets, there are some big nuances that may be useful to maintaining public safety budgets through targeted tax levies. Granted thi... [More]

Pension Fight, part two

Pension stories are coming fast and furious. This one from the labor reporter at the New York Times illustrates that public officials have ulterior motives [gasp!] -- they're using the pension crisis to tee off on public employee unions because they're getting political mileage out of it.

Fearing fear itself

Here is an excellent column summarizing just what the hold-up appears to be on the continuing, abysmal jobless numbers.  A slight majority in Congress favors continued assistance to the unemployed and a minor stimulus package to boost employment; but as we've all learned, a majority can't get a... [More]

Who owns your email?

Using a county/city/fire district provided email for your personal email? The planning director for Forsyth County, GA was, but he "has been on leave the past six weeks while officials review thousands of e-mails that include photos of naked women, bedroom talk and lewd jokes he exchanged with... [More]

Bipartisan support for Kagan

Going into next week's confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan, nominated by President Obama for Supreme Court, Kagan has landed support from past Solicitors General (her current post in the Obama Administration). Solicitors General from the Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II administrations all sig... [More]

Air Crash Response – Ready Or Not?

Once upon a time in my previous life as a fire fighter in a medium sized New Hampshire fire department, we ‘covered’ a small municipal airport.  My first day as a rookie on Engine 7 (called “Top Gun” for its unique cab controlled overhead turret) I was told the appa... [More]

Pension Fight

Public employees are repeatedly hammered for their pensions. That's because public officials have succeeded in shifting the debate -- the discussion no longer is about their failure to make regular payments into pension funds. Now the conversation is about cutting pension benefi... [More]

SAFER Grants - Round 9

Today DHS released Round 9 of the FY09 SAFER grants providing an additional $3.6 million to fire departments across the country. The SAFER grants are assisting fire departments who have faced layoffs and vacant positions left unfilled as the result of current economic conditions. Among the awardees ... [More]

The Charleston Nine

The third anniversary of the Charleston tragedy is today.  Please take a moment to remember the nine fire fighters that gave their lives on that evening -- Brad Baity, Mike Benke, Melven Champaign, Earl Drayton, Billy Hutchinson, Mark Kelsey, Michael French, Louis Mulkey, and Brandon Thompson &... [More]

Apply for Union Scholarships

A college education can open doors for those with a desire to learn. Unfortunately, for some, the high cost of education can shut that door. The IAFF offers scholarship programs to IAFF members interested in pursuing college-level education. The deadline to apply for scholarships to attend the Harva... [More]

Good News From Long Beach

Rich Brandt, president of Long Beach, CA Local 372, knows what it's like to be laid off. After leaving New York for the West Coast and a job with the Westminster Fire Department, he was laid off in 1993 during the economic downturn. Now a fire fighter with the Long Beach Fire Department, he sees the... [More]

Supreme Court rules on public employee privacy case

As discussed in an earlier blog entry here, the Supreme Court has ruled that a public employer does not violate an employee's Fourth Amendment rights (which protect against unreasonable searches and seizures) when it obtained copies of text messages sent by the employee (with a pager provided b... [More]

New FLSA Manual Released

The Legal Department and Woodley & McGillivary have completed the IAFF's FLSA Manual, which is available on the IAFF web site for IAFF affiliate officers.  Click here to log on to the Legal Department's web site. The new FLSA manual is over 140 pages of detailed case law summaries, updates... [More]

STAND DOWN better yet STAND UP!!!

The IAFC recently called for a STAND DOWN asking that fire chiefs stop all non-emergency activities and review their department procedures on responses involving “technical rescue.”  Perhaps a well intentioned declaration, but the mark was missed.  What led to the issue? Two ... [More]

Social Security

An IAFF member from Dexter, MI Local 4090 wrote us looking for some help from other IAFF brothers and sisters. He says his community wants to stop paying their Social Security and is asking if any other affiliates have faced this issue. IAFF members should be aware that, since 1983, if municipalitie... [More]

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