Saturday, September 23, 2017

Wildfire Assistance Offered by SEIU 503

SEIU 503 is offering a one time financial assistance award to those members effected by this summers (2017) wildfires.  The link to this assistance is here:

A more complete description of how SEIU 503 is recognizing the contributions of wildland firefighters and this financial assistance award is at the SEIU 503 homepage.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Save October 21st for Statewide Meeting and Stewards Conference

All members are invited to our next Forestry Sub-Local Statewide meeting on Saturday, October 21st beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial Street SE, Salem.  At 9:30 a.m. our meeting will transition to the SEIU 503 Stewards Conference at the same location.  A call in option for the Forestry meeting is being planned.

The agenda for our Statewide meeting has not been set but the Stewards Conference has a number of interesting educational programs that will definitely make it worth staying around.  Registration is now open for the Stewards Conference and for more information contact your organizer.

While our Statewide Forestry Sub-Local agenda has not been set, one thing that will definitely happen is distribution of swag and a drawing for custom belt buckles.  For the buckles you must be present to win.

Please, save this day to participate in the operations of your Forestry Sub-Local.  To submit agenda items please do so through any of your Local’s elected leadership.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Standard Assignment Needs a Revisit

"You mean if I had worked two more hours when I arrived at Horse Prairie that would have qualified me as working a full Standard Assignment”, yes that is the way the new Standard Assignment Policy is being applied.  The way the Standard Assignment Policy is being applied is that an employee has to work a minimum of 12 hours/ day at the fire or incident to begin the count. A full Standard Assignment is a total of 14 continuous days where the employee works a minimum of 12 hours per day. It was a bit of a shock to the employee quoted who drove 4-5 hours and began assigned fire duties for 10 more hours that they did not qualify as a day working on the fire.   Travel time to and from the incident does not count towards Standard Assignment calculations.

While the concept and need of a Standard Assignment and day of Rest and Recovery were brought to the bargaining table (thank you Brandon), at that forum there was just not enough time to adequately discuss, develop, and fine tune workable Contract language.  Standard Assignment and Rest and Recovery were developed as Policy and are not associated with our Contract and subject to interpretation through the grievance process.

The Standard Assignment/ Rest and Recovery Policy is a strong and bold move towards recognizing the health and safety of Department Firefighters and as noted in a June posting, welcomed.  Now that the Policy has been field tested it is hoped that there will be an after season review of how it helped maintain firefighter readiness and explore opportunities for improvement.  A forum for that input is the quarterly Statewide Labor/ Management meeting.  I anticipate that the Standard Assignment will be on the next meeting agenda and stories of how it worked and ideas for improvement would be greatly appreciated and can be forwarded through any of your elected leadership.  Don’t be shy, this is the time to make this very good idea better.