Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tentative Agreement Reached on Forestry Proposals

Management and Union reached agreements covering the Work Capacity Test, boot reimbursement and incident lodging just before midnight Monday, May 16th. These were the last of a set of proposals originally brought to the table in February. The final package (where proposals are considered together and not separately) was telling of the work done as management and union each had two proposals in the mix. Dave Wells commented "it's tough out there, but there are solutions, you just have to keep looking, there were no losers this time". Union membership will have the final say with a vote in these proposals tentatively agreed to.

Details of the Tentative Agreement:

Work Capacity Test: In general if you are a professional (non-strikeable) permanent or seasonal firefighter you are expected to take and pass the WCT unless a you are prevented from taking it for a medical reason. A medical certification option that attests to ability to preform the duties of a firefighter is available if you cannot take the WCT.

Other employees (strikeable) who seek to assist in firefighting efforts need to pass the WCT at the appropriate level or get a medical certification to work on a fire.

A $25 reimbursement is available for those needing a medical release or certification to assist in co-pays.

Boots: Contract would change to provide both boot repair and maintenance and the dollar reimbursement raised from $200 to $220 for permanent employees and from $100 to $110 for seasonal employees.

Incident Lodging and Equipment: A six person committee (3 management, 3 union) will be formed to provide recommendations to the Executive Team about the tents, sleeping bags, pads, and fire field packs that really meet firefigher needs. Reasonable fit and agency identity will be considered.

Next dates:

May 20th Rally at the Oregon State Capital, this is important to show Bargaining Team support towards a fair contract. 11:30 A, front steps

May 31: ODOT Bargaining continues, 5:30 P at ODOT Human Resources

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Real Work to Resolve Real Issues

"Whatever it Takes" must be within us at ODF. Last night bargaining started at about 6:00P and as others of the ODOT Coalition left to sleep, ODF Management and Labor representatives met to discuss the finer points of the Work Capacity Test finishing just after midnight. In an unusual move, Tom Perry from the Department of Administrative Services will take another look at the latest WCT language presented by Management and try to make it clearer that the Medical Certification option is available for strikeable and non-strikable employees that cannot take the WCT.

Very real work to resolve a real issue.

"Lodging" at incidents and fire duty packs is another real issue. We received an innovative idea from Management, create an ad-hoc committee to see what the needs really are from our fire fighting community. Labor looked at the idea and is preparing a counter proposal with ideas gathered from others in the ODOT Coalition to include action items. Any ideas of what should be on the list? Contact me or your organizer.

More very real work to resolve a real issue.

Bargaining continues on Monday, May 16, 2011 beginning at 5:30P at ODOT Human Resources and ending at "Whatever it Takes"

Another important date:

Rally at the State Capital on May 20th starting at 11:30A.