CPF District 7 represents Los Angeles County Fire Fighters, Local 1014.
Action at Home, in Washington and on a Growing Threat to Our Members
The 2017 year has brought a very busy quarter to all California Professional Firefighter (CPF) local unions and there is no exception for the 7th District - Los Angeles County Fire Fighters, Local 1014.
Our members took to the streets, social media, phones and media outlets to get our endorsement and support out for candidates in 14 city council races across Los Angeles County. On Election Day, the ballots were counted and Local 1014 endorsed candidates took the night with a 98 percent win percentage in our contract cities. These candidates will help us address and support firefighter issues in the areas we provide service.
Local 1014 also took positions on a variety of initiatives and measures, including Measure D in Palos Verdes Estates, Measure CC in Covina, Measure H and Measure S in Los Angeles County.
Measure D needed a two-thirds vote to reaffirm an existing fire tax that makes up 100 percent of the fire and paramedic funding for the city. We garnered 61 percent of the vote, with a measurable "Trump Republican effect" hindering the support in a community that has previously approved the tax three times before to sustain the service levels they enjoy. City leadership was in unanimous support, and we will help them go back out in 2018 to try and secure the votes needed to reaffirm the funding levels. Until then, they will use their reserves to pay the cost of fire and paramedic service.
Local 1014 was successful in getting 71 percent of the vote in Covina for Measure CC, a utility tax sunset measure to continue their funding, and we also helped achieve 67.5 percent of the vote to get the necessary two-thirds for Measure H, a homelessness funding measure that our county Board of Supervisors were putting forward to help curb the issues associated with the hundreds of thousands of homeless people, including veterans, on our streets. This was a great victory for our partners on the Board of Supervisors and the second time we were able to help pass an initiative that will improve the quality of life on our streets.
We also defeated Measure S in Los Angeles County, which sought to encumber funds that we secured through last year’s "Build Better LA Measure JJJ," which funded a variety of building projects in Los Angeles County. This victory will allow those projects to move forward, new jobs to take shape and the revenue to stream in for public safety services. Special thanks to the Los Angeles Federation of Labor and our union partners in the building and construction trades who worked so hard to get out the vote. A special thank you is also due to UFLAC 112 Los Angeles City Firefighters who joined us in these two efforts that affect our members. President Tony Gamboa and the UFLAC Executive Board along with the Local 1014 Executive Board committed dollars and sweat energy to get it done.
IAFF LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CENTER OF EXCELLENCE GRAND OPENING
Local 1014, along with many CPF and IAFF Locals from California, landed in Washington D.C. to lobby our United States Representatives on Capitol Hill.
Once again, Local 1014 and UFLAC 112 joined resources in our executive boards to hit the offices together and work on the issues that are affecting our professional firefighting needs. We advocated for protecting and authorizing SAFER and FIRE ACT grant monies, collective bargaining rights, opposing right to work legislation, protecting federal firefighter budget monies and positions affected by President Trump’s federal hiring and spending freeze.
Most notable was our opposition to a "tax" on the value of our health care benefits. We were successful in deterring the tax at this time, but the fight is far from over.
A tax on the value of our health care benefits as a form of "income" would harm all of our members and strike an economic injustice for the men and women who rely on those health care benefits more than most any other career. We are hopeful the new administration has heard our message and will back away from this position. With the failed effort to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we are in a better position. While many issues in the ACA need to be addressed, taxing firefighter health care benefits to pay for those changes is not how it should be done.
While in DC, we attended the state grand opening of the "IAFF Center of Excellence in Behavioral Health," a facility that will assist firefighters from across the nation as they address issues arising from post traumatic stress and critical incident stress, either acutely or cumulatively. This very important, and now documented, problem among our members is finally being addressed and given the priority it needs. IAFF’s action comes on the heels of the California Professional Firefighters, California Fire Chief Association and California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee’s Joint Labor-Management Behavioral Heath Conference, which demonstrated how critically important and pervasive behavioral health issues are in our profession.
Over 30 percent of all of our members suffer from some sort of mental health issues in a measurable manner. We should all be thinking about that as we address this issue. There has been significant talk about moving toward a PTS and critical stress presumptive law here in California. Canada has recently passed legislation making this a reality, and we need to work to make it happen here in California. While changes to workers compensation make this a difficult lift with the current administration, we must put it on our "to do" list and work towards a law that is passed and a Governor's signature to protect and care for our members. Stay tuned on the work over the next couple of years. Healing Our Own - we are committed.
Finally, we would like to welcome the hundreds of new Local 1014 members who we are graduating out of our drill towers. We also congratulate the Local 1014 members who recently completed the officer’s academy and have promoted up the ranks. They will soon lead other Local 1014 members into battle as we protect our citizens in the communities we serve.