Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bargaining Brings More Money for Skills and Late Nights

Bargaining is currently underway in the second half of our four year contract and bright spots are increasing the differential for night work and a new one for tree falling.

The shift differential for working on Saturday, Sunday and between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am had been $0.75 per hour and our bargaining team is working to raise it beyond the $1.00 per hour (a $0.25/ hour increase) recently offered by Management. While regular "weekend" shift work is generally limited to firefighting and recreation staff everyone may see this as a benefit when working on an incident.  The goal of our bargaining team is to raise it beyond Management's initial offer to recognize the willingness to accept incident assignments and off regular shift schedules.

Another move is recognizing ODF, Parks and ODOT tree fallers with a tree falling differential.  Cassie Zook represented ODF employees in describing the work involved with tree falling which aided the discussion in creating this new differential.  For ODF tree fallers doing "Level 3" work they will receive $1.25/ hour in addition to their regular salary while evaluating, falling and processing trees that will and are being felled.

Both of these differentials would not likely have happened without employee interest and solid work at the bargaining table.  The big issues still needing resolution are the pay and benefit package and any help and support you can give the bargaining team will be much appreciated.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Incident Management Rest New Safety Tool for ODF Wildland Firefighters

Incident Management Rest, Rotation and Recovery are words ODF firefighters should be aware of heading into the 2017 wildfire season.  A new policy effective January 1, 2017 establishes a new standard (with some exceptions) to mitigate fatigue following 14 consecutive days working on an incident.  This 14 day period, not including travel, is now recognized as the Standard Assignment and when called the time the employee should be prepared to be away from their regular work station.  

Following 14 consecutive days or nights the employee will be placed on “Incident Management Rest”, (IMR) relieved of their firefighting duties and receive 8 hours of straight time pay.  This even applies if the firefighter returns to their duty station on their regular day off.  This IMR rest period is not in the Contract and has been offered by ODF to mitigate the fatigue associated for those who have worked the full 14 day Standard Assignment.

Rest and Recovery refers to the 8 hours of paid leave when the employee returns on their regularly scheduled work day and has been away from their official work station for 21 or more consecutive days. This paid leave has been in the Contract for a number of years and is referenced in Article 60.3C.

Exceptions can be made in Rest and Rotation depending on incident severity and critical needs.

In short: Incident Management Rest: 8 hours of paid leave following 14 day Standard Assignment, that excludes travel.

Rest and Recovery, 8 hours of paid leave after being away from duty station for 21 or more consecutive days.