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What is the biggest threat facing your local today?

Over the past two years, IAFF members have fought to make sure they have a voice at the negotiating table by protecting their collective bargaining rights. They’ve fought for their pensions. And they’ve managed to keep the playing field even by turning back legislation that would limit their political speech and activity.

Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll finds a majority of Americans continue to worry about their benefits being reduced as employers keep seeking ways to minimize layoffs. About 40 percent of American workers reported being worried about a benefit reduction.

About 28 percent of Americans say they worry over wage reduction and that same percentage worry about being laid off. In cities like Scranton, Pennsylvania, fire fighters have fought cutbacks and keep pressing on.

Tell us what’s currently the biggest challenge affecting your local?

  • Protecting collective bargaining
  • Protecting benefits
  • Protecting wages
  • Protecting dues deduction
  • Protecting pensions

Comments (2) -

  • Karrie Boswell (Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters And Paramedics)

    8/30/2012 12:21:10 PM |

    Karrie Leigh Boswell

    Thanks IAFF for the opportunity to share, think, rant, lecture, complain, educate, oh well you be the judge. I'll repost what I posted on Facebook to this question.

    THE BIGGEST THREAT FACING MY LOCAL AND MY INTERNATION IS: the membership not understanding our endorsements. This translates into either an outright unwillingness, or a less than enthusiastic effort to put their boots on the ground. Those of us who are active in both our union and state and local government get it. We see it all the time because we are dealing with legislation, local changes to retirement plans, attending IAFF and state legislative conferences, reading International Fire Fighter Magazine, Watching CSPAN, watching MSNBC, monitoring IAFF website or Facebook etc. it’s who we are. The average member is not crazy like most elected union officials. Every day I get continuous streams of updates from my coworkers on Facebook involving Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Sean Hannity interviews and clips, racially charged political cartoons etc. I always wonder why it is so hard for them to understand that the organization they pay dues to that is responsible, not for whether or not they can own a gun, or if the gay neighbor can get married, or if government spending is in or out of control but instead exist to defend their safety and financial futures as it relates to their profession. It is a never ending battle. If you belonged to a prolife group and they write a check to pro-abortion candidate wouldn’t most Americans get pissed at the leadership of that group. Why then when IAFF groups support candidates that support our pensions does the membership not get it?
    Today my advice to all union officials is to share the link below to the 2012 Republican National Convention Platform Committee Report. The coverage of the committee meeting is on CSPAN featuring his Excellence, my Governor Bob McDonnell. The GOP has been kind enough to put in writing that the GOP actively supports attacking public pensions in order to balance the state and local budgets. In fact not only do they support what the already elected officials have done; they are encouraging those seeking election through an official party platform to do the same. How can any firefighter not understand why an organization that exists to protect their chosen profession through a commitment to ensuring their financial security in retirement could not support anyone who subscribes to this portion of the Republican Platform is beyond me? In my humble opinion, supporting anyone who does not denounce this through a voting record is supporting a cut to your own family’s financial throat!!!!!!!!
    The follow is a direct quote from the 2012 Republican National Convention Platform Committee Report.

    "We salute the Republican Governors and State legislators who have saved their States from fiscal disaster by reforming their laws governing public employee unions. We urge elected officials across the country to follow their lead in order to avoid State and local defaults on their obligations and the collapse of services to the public."

  • Brian Dressler (Professional Emergency Service Providers of Berks)

    9/3/2012 9:57:28 AM |

    I totally agree with Karrie Boswell's statements, with the excsption of the fonal quote from the RNC. I support neither the republican nor the democrat parties, because they are in my opinion, both in favor of circumventing our Constitution and essentially enslaving our workers. Neither which party wins, the only thing that will change is the signature on the illegal orders.
    The one thing that our Local has to deal with, on the Local level, is a management who constantly fights the contract they signed with us. They try at every turn to circumvent the contract and their own company policy handbook. Much of this comes from a former Loacl member who left to become our operations manager. This enfuriates the members of our Local and makes the job more and more difficult on a daily basis.

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