Posts tagged firefighters

    Wisconsin’s Anti-Union Model Faces Reckoning as Top Court Shifts

    December 12, 2023 // “They’ve been trying to overturn it through the legislature and the ballot box and have been wholly unsuccessful,” said Brett Healy, president of the conservative John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, which estimates Act 10 has saved taxpayers $16.8 billion as of this year. Act 10 also made it easier for school districts to fire low-performing teachers and retain good ones, said Walker, now president of the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative activist organization for youth. The former governor pointed to the state’s standardized test scores and graduation rates, which typically meet or exceed national averages. “We’ve seen tremendous success,” Walker added. “All the attacks they said at the time, how this would devastate schools, proved be just that—attacks. They don’t match reality.”

    When California’s public workers go on strike

    August 11, 2023 // On Tuesday, thousands of city workers across Los Angeles, including staff at LAX and Van Nuys airport, City Hall, animal shelters, public swimming pools and other facilities, walked off the job for a 24-hour strike, reports the Los Angeles Times. There have been some efforts in the Legislature to expand strike rights for public workers. State Sen. Tom Umberg, a Democrat from Santa Ana, has proposed a constitutional amendment that would enshrine every worker’s right, including public sector employees, to join a union and negotiate with their employers “to protect their economic well-being and safety at work.” Another measure, authored by Democratic Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes of San Bernardino, would protect public employees from disciplinary action if they join a sympathy strike, refuse to cross a picket line or refuse cover work for striking co-workers.

    Police unionization looms, accusations swirl in Key Colony Beach

    August 11, 2023 // It’s been several months since the Key Colony Beach police force, a team of five, filed interest cards in early May to begin the process of unionizing. Public employees’ right to unionize is written into the Florida Constitution in its very first Article in Section 6. Since then, little has occurred to either accelerate or slow the process. However, Andrew M. Axelrad, General Counsel for the Dade County Police Benevolent Association (PBA), who is handling the union efforts, said by phone that the situation should be crystallizing soon.

    Termination risks, collecting unemployment: A look at workers rights amid a ‘summer of strikes’

    August 7, 2023 // More than 200 strikes have occurred across the U.S. so far in 2023, involving more than 320,000 workers, compared with 116 strikes and 27,000 workers over the same period in 2021, according to data by the Cornell ILR School Labor Action Tracker.

    Va. firefighters, medics press city for union rights

    August 2, 2023 // Virginia Beach is considering collective bargaining for its employees and officers. In 2020, Portsmouth was the first Hampton Roads city to authorize collective bargaining for city employees thanks to a unanimous City Council vote. The resolution at the time called for a working group of city leaders and subject matter experts to explore procedures on how to make it happen when the law became effective the following year. But City Council reversed course when that time came after then-Chief Financial Officer Mimi Terry, now interim city manager, informed members that such efforts would likely cost the city $2 million to begin the process while limiting expansion of other services. The council then adopted a resolution to no longer grant employees the ability to collectively bargain.

    As Florida’s new union law goes into effect, it’s ‘do or die’ time for labor

    July 10, 2023 // In the face of the double-whammy law — creating a new process for paying dues while simultaneously requiring more people to pay dues — public labor unions are launching all-out campaigns to get their numbers up. “Are we at 60%? No. I can't give you a definitive number,” said Se’Adoria “Cee Cee” Brown, the president of AFSCME Local 199. “However, I can say that there has been a push and we've signed up 700 new members since we started this whole campaign, and when folks realized, ‘Hey, this is real.’” The Local 199 chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union represents about 7,500 employees of Miami-Dade County: transit officials, animal services, staff at the Medical Examiner’s Office, administrative clerks in the court system.

    Frank Ricci: Five Years After Janus

    June 30, 2023 // Following the decision and decreased national interest, laws meant to obscure union members’ rights have been adopted. As a result, public sector union management across the country has hesitated to inform employees of their rights, fearing they will receive charges from local labor boards. At the state level, unions have used their political clout to ban captive audience meetings where the employer shares their position on a topic and to bar management even from attending union orientation sessions. This allows the unions to utilize so-called “dark patterns” — techniques that lock members into deliberately deceptive contracts designed to deprive them of their rights.

    Has a Firefighters’ Union Burned Its Members?

    April 17, 2023 // New information from a federal court case against the International Association of Fire Fighters-Financial Corporation (IAFF-FC) reveals alleged backroom deals, “kickbacks,” coercion, and greed by IAFF union leaders. The IAFF-FC was chartered as a nonprofit with a fiduciary duty to safeguard firefighters’ finances by offering a plethora of financial services, ranging from auto insurance to retirement with a focus on wealth management. But a recent federal lawsuit filed by John F. Hughes describes a much different reality.

    Fairfax Co. first responders vote to unionize for the first time in 40 years

    November 22, 2022 // Firefighters and paramedics in Fairfax County, Virginia, became the first group in 40 years to unionize Friday, after members totaled more than 3,300 24-hour days of mandatory overtime in just one calendar year. The vote was announced by the union in a press release, stating that the roughly 1,500 emergency personnel would be the first public sector employees in over four decades to enter a collective bargaining agreement. Until 2021, employees in the public sector couldn’t legally unionize. That changed in Fairfax County in early 2022, when the jurisdiction passed an ordinance that allowed state employees to collectively bargain.

    CALIFORNIA; OPINION: WHEN WILL GOVERNMENT UNIONS STAND UP FOR ALL WORKERS?

    July 20, 2022 // Government unions in California have the power to make changes that help everyone, instead of just their members. For starters, they can stop marching in solidarity with the teachers union, which is incorrigible. Then they can find common ground on at least some issues with conservatives, while agreeing to disagree on others. They might take on the environmentalists, by supporting spending on new water supply infrastructure and by helping to restore California’s timber industry.