Just wondering if the union is the way to go. My dept is in super bad shape and we have nobody to back us up. The city stole all the old Firefighters pension guys that served this city for 30 years now don't get a pension . We just had a retiree die. The man had no power no water no food nothing this is unacceptable. Meanwhile our mayor with his gold teeth and his brand new house and Mercedes is pimping,and our firefighters are dying out with nothing and this really pisses me off to no end. I have been talking to a union rep and just wanted to get some advice to from the guys here that are a part of the union. Guys I could really use some advice on this.

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What city is this?

Definitely contact the IAFF. While each contact is done on teh local level, the IAFF can assist you greatly.

I'm a 29 year member of Local 1714.
I love having a union. They are there to back us up with anything. If I get into trouble I've got a lawyer in the union just waiting to help. It is where they try to write the new contracts so we get paid more and it just tries to take care of us. http://www.iaff36.org/
While I'm not exactly a fan of labor unions, I think your example is an excellent illustration of the reason they came about.
Is Alabama a "collective Bargaining or Right to Work state? And yes Oldman this is a classic example of why they came about many years ago. IMO people see and form an opinion on what they want to see, meaning multi year contracts with guaranteed raises and not any of the benefits or protection.

IAFF L-3265
They took your pension funds? That's criminal. It's incredible that people can be so blatantly abused after serving and protecting their city.
I have only been a member of a union for 5 years, but I have seen it's strength more than once. We do lose the odd time, of course, which stands to reason (you can't win everything), but the strength and protection our local, provincial and essentially the IAFF provides us ensures a relatively decent salary, average benefits, pension, and guaranteed rights, holidays, overtime, etc. Not to mention other IAFF locals will be able to come in and help you. Our city helps out smaller locals around us with bargaining at contract time, grievances, etc. It certainly does increase the members of your family! You may have a fight on your hands initially with your mayor and/or council, but it the way I look at the "hard fight", it will benefit those behind you.
It will not hurt to contact them and best of luck. I hope things get better there for you all!
Well we have to do something I mean they haven't even raised our pay to minimum wage. This city gets away with everything. I don't understand how this is.
This is a good reason that the national Collective Bargaining Bill should be passed.

I agree with the other folks here in support of unionizing. Spanner hits on many great points. This is definately something you should check out and the IAFF will give assistance in how to bargain.

Another option is if you are in a closer proximity to another dept that does utilize a local, there is possibility of merging with that local. You still negotiate your own contract and have your own dept, but you can benefit with the resources of a larger local. Our own local just recently merged with 2 other smaller IAFF locals and the airport, a private entity, also became part of the IAFF local.
Tough story to read Blake. It does in fact suck to read that your member was left in such a rotten state, while your pimp mayor "politician" lives the high life!
I too was never a real great fan of unions, but that is because I had always worked for small family owned businesses.. until I got my break in a large company doing the job of my dreams. Because we were considered management, we had no union, while the rest of the 2000 employees here were unionized.
I got sick one year, and long story short, they fired me because I was sick and disabled. nice guys!!! THAT'S when I wished I had a union!
Anyway, good luck, I hope you get the advice and help you are seeking here. Oh, by the way, if you are not in a union, be careful who you pee on.. they don't give two *hits about you (obviously) and I don't want to hear about you being out on your (_!_) for standing up and being counted!
Good luck!
yes, the union is the way to go, the pension goes into a fund where the mayor or the city cannot touch it, it is always there for u.. . they cannot just change the rate ur paid, or other benifits unless they go thru the union. i have seen so many other who work all there lives, never put money away , or have there pension/medical taken away and have nothing. seen them as greeters in walmart, trying to make ends meet to have food!!. yes on union!!! steve,
From reading your profile, I noted that you are associated with a Volunteer Fire Department... someone else out there more "union" savy needs to confirm this but I don't believe you cannot "unionize" your department unless you are a full time paid professional firefighter, but I could be wrong here... it's worth checking out and asking someone else here on the FFN.

From his profile page

Primary Fire/EMS Department:
Prichard Fire
Department Type:
Fire/Rescue Department - Paid
Some Brothers/Sisters, in a neighboring dept. were being miss treated by the district board president. The IAFF rallied the troops & we went down Handed out paphlets, knocked on doors did alot of walking sign making,hand shaking..After all was said and done we got him removed and a person the IAFF backed put in his place.
Join the Union now.. Just remember for it to work everyone must be active.Take part in meetings etc. no the issues use your union vote & voice. hope this helps
God Bless

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