65-2 #3 January 22, 2002

Union Issues, Events & Benefits

  • Major Grievance Update
  • Fire Commissioner Corrects Statue Impropriety
  • Open Letter To FDNY - Very Important - Video Warning
  • Scholarship Fund For UFA Delegate's Son
  • WNYF Subscriptions - Other Than Firehouse Delivery
  • Commemorative Portrait Exhibition

Major Grievance Update
With the turn of the new year we are aggressively getting back into pushing our outstanding grievances including: 60/90-day involuntary details; conducting medicals on training days; providing therapy for line-of-duty light duty firefighters; involuntary details for training at The Rock; violations of PAID 5/74; re-certification of post 1/1/01 hirees for CFR-D; and probies working on a holiday at school. During the last several months, the UFA won the following cases:

  • Overtime for members assigned to Fire Safety Education and Recruitment Unit - The UFA was able to settle this case before the arbitration level, as members now will receive overtime instead of compensation time after 40 hours of work. Previously, this unit was illegally being ordered to switch tours on a regular basis to accommodate the Department and to make up for the extra hours within a cycle by utilizing comp time - something that is not in our contract.

  • Supervised Medical Leave Program (SMLP) Appropriate Documentation - The UFA, after an arbitration hearing, successfully established that the Department had not fully complied with the requirements of PA/ID 3-96 with respect to the Report of the Chief Medical Officer and the recommendations of the Chief of Operations/First Deputy Commissioner concerning placement of a firefighter under the penalties of SMLP. Our argument pertains to interpretation of the guidelines laid out by a federal judge in March of 1996, including the intent of our court discussions during this 1995 battle. The parties were directed to discuss a specific remedy and if no decision could be reached, the arbitrator retained jurisdiction. Because of September 11th, discussions have been held in abeyance and they will be scheduled in the near future.

  • Scheduling Classes for CFR-D Training for Firefighters Assigned to Ladder Companies - With the Department virtually ignoring the CFR-D Agreement to send Ladder Company firefighters for training, after an arbitration hearing we were able to mandate that the Department schedule three training classes per year until the balance of Ladder Company Firefighters are trained. Furthermore, the arbitrator directed that each class would be comprised of at least 125 untrained Ladder Company firefighters (not including officers) so the required training could be completed as expeditiously as possible.

  • 32 Hours of CFR-D Re-certification Training - The UFA, after an arbitration hearing, sustained its grievance mandating that Firefighters receive 32 hours of CFR-D re-certification training on overtime. The Department had previously provided 24 hours of training with an additional 8 hours of testing. Our interpretation that the contract specified training hours were exclusive of any testing was upheld. As a result of this decision, the Department must now provide the full 32 hours of classroom work on overtime before scheduling the required time for testing.

    There is still an outstanding argument on the impact of this win to members who have already completed the program under the 24+8 guideline. Both parties were directed to negotiate over the monetary compensation of this retroactive issue and if no remedy can be reached, it will go before the arbitrator to decide.

  • Rescheduling of Missed RSOT due to LOD Injury - This too went to arbitration. PAID 1/90 was improperly revised without discussion with the UFA concerning the rescheduling of missed roster staffing tours due to line of duty medical leave. We felt that a member being forced to repay those tours in such a strict and immediate way conflicted with the rights given to us by the Roster Staffing Settlement in January of 1996. Our argument was with the intent of the original stipulation pertaining to annual carryover, which was upheld by the arbitrator. A new revision should be published shortly which is more lenient with carryover tours into the next year.

  • Lose Fight for Rotation Portal-to-Portal Pay - We felt that firefighters should earn P/P pay one way at the start/end of each rotation. This is a detail that the Department has deemed a 'training detail', thus exempt from compensation as per our contract. Although the UFA was not successful in gaining portal-to-portal pay for firefighter recruits on their rotation, we were able to reduce the rotation from 3 years to 2 years. The arbitrator's rationale was that the rotation is 'on the job training' and therefore is exempt under the Article 23, Section 3 provision of the contract.

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    Fire Commissioner Corrects Statue Impropriety
    Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta has reversed another ill advised Von Essen decision - this one concerning the politically correct bronze statue proposed for FDNY headquarters. We are glad to see the new fire commissioner take a fresh approach on some hot topics. This certainly offers a positive outlook towards future labor relations, which can only get better. We thank Commissioner Scoppetta for his actions.

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    Open Letter To FDNY - Very Important - Video Warning
    James Hanlon from Ladder 1 and Jules and Gedeon Naudet are the filmmakers responsible for the only existing video footage shot in the World Trade Center during the attack of September 11, 2001. They have spent some 8 months filming the experiences of firefighters and many of them have become close friends. It has come to their attention that copies of this footage have been illegally circulating among members of the New York City Fire Department and in firehouses across New York. Such unauthorized use jeopardizes the special distribution and exploitation arrangements that are being currently negotiated in order to present this unique footage to the public in an appropriate manner. As you may not know, James, Jules and Gedeon plan to use the footage to raise money for the UFA Children Scholarship Fund. Diminishing the value of the footage through unauthorized use decreases the value of the footage and will therefore reduce the revenue that the fund will receive. In addition, James, Jules and Gedeon are extremely sensitive to the families of the firefighters portrayed in the footage and wish to provide them with an appropriate opportunity to view the footage for the first time. Unauthorized and unregulated circulation of the tapes increases the likelihood that the footage will fall into the hands of parties who will make use of the footage in an exploitive manner and without regard to the firefighter's families. However, the duplication or display of the footage constitutes copyright infringement under Federal copyright law and may result in criminal prosecutions and/or civil liability for considerable monetary damages. We therefore remind all firefighters of the serious nature of copyright infringement under federal law and we request that the duplication of the footage ceases and that all copies thereof are returned to the UFA immediately. Please, help us do the right thing! Thank you very much. James Hanlon, Jules and Gedeon Naudet.

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    Scholarship Fund For UFA Delegate's Son
    Haz Mat's UFA Delegate, Phil McArdle, lost his son in a tragic auto accident a week ago. Phil's family and friends intend to keep son Andrew's memory alive with a scholarship that was started in his name. Many members have asked if they could do anything for the family. The answer is simple - please help to build this scholarship fund. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Call Haz Mat for donation details at (718) 476-6288.
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    WNYF Subscriptions - Other Than Firehouse Delivery
    Subscriptions to the WNYF magazine can be made by any person outside of the firehouse by sending a check and personal information to fire headquarters. The rate is $18 per calendar year (domestic) and begins with issue # 1/2002. Mail your name, complete address, subscription request, and check to: Fire Safety Education Fund, Attention: Robert Scott - Director Fiscal Services, 9 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201-3857.

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    Commemorative Portrait Exhibition
    Barbara Marcus, a Professor of Fine Art, is organizing an effort to provide families with portraits of fallen rescue workers. In a show of solidarity, highly qualified professional artists will donate their time and talent to provide a lasting portrait for generations to come. Many of the artists are university professors, all of them have extensive resumes. As the paintings are completed they will become part of a traveling exhibit titled, The Face of Courage. Such an exhibition would serve as both a healing force and a solemn reminder of the magnitude of our loss. It would celebrate the lives of the victims and stand as a tribute to their courage. At the end of the show, the paintings would be donated to the families. Please contact her ASAP if you are interested. You can either e-mail her at figaroem@aol.com or send photographs and letters to: The Face of Courage, c/o Barbara Marcus, 1430 Wiseburg Road, White Hall, MD 21161. Please note: For our best efforts, we need clear photographs; try to send a close up with strong lighting if possible. A three quarter view is helpful. If you are not sure, send several. You can get excellent copies made these days, without great expense, so please do not send originals. And please remember, there is absolutely no charge for the paintings, we only ask that you be patient as the work is time consuming and organizing this effort cannot be done overnight.

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    Recording Secretary,