2014 IAFF Convention Report
2014 IAFF Convention Report
The IAFF convention biannual convention concluded on Friday of last week.
This is the required report of the activities of the local 975 delegates to the
A Brief History
The IAFF Convention is in essence an extremely large union meeting in which
the direction of the IAFF over the next 2 years is determined. Each affiliated
local and state organization has delegates to the convention based on the
number of members during the previous year. The Local 975 was listed at 1034
members for this year's convention.
Delegate Elections were held in May with President Nicks, Secretary Treasurer
Denzer, VP Pope and VP Buck elected with VP Walters listed as an alternate.
Each of these 4 delegates carried the following votes:
President Nicks 260
Secretary Treasurer Denzer 258
VP Pope 258
VP Buck 258
The first thing done prior to the convention is the District 11 caucus
meeting which was on May 29th and 30th. The "Caucus" is a group of
all locals from our district, which covers Texas, Oklahoma, and the Panama
Canal. Each proposed resolution is reviewed, discussed, and debated and the
group tries to come to on a consensus as to support or not support each
proposed resolution. Many are pretty simple while others are complex. For
example, Resolution 22 "the Union Activities Justice Fund" (Our
original resolution) was priced at a point in which many felt was too high (22
cents for each of us per month for 3 years). The Caucus determined we would
wait until the committees hashed out any changes to the resolution and price
prior to choosing to support it. President Nicks and Secretary Treasurer Denzer
attended the District 11 caucus and agreed to stand with the caucus on most all
of the issues.
Saturday, July 12th and Sunday, July 13th
Secretary Treasurer Denzer arrived on Saturday to allow
for him to represent local 975 in the IAFF committee meetings early Sunday
morning. He also met with the Dayton, Ohio President later in the morning to
discuss how online voting works.
The rest of our delegates arrived Sunday afternoon. The
reception party by the Cincinnati Local 48 was that evening. Your delegates
were able to connect with the San Antonio delegates as well as others to
discuss the upcoming resolutions.
Monday, July 14th
All delegates attended the opening ceremonies. IAFF business
session began in the afternoon.
Resolution 1 was heard first. This resolution was related to cost
of business increases due to inflation. Your delegates supported this increase
of 18 cents per active member and 9 cents per retired member the first year and
a further adjustment based on the 2014/2015 CPI not to exceed 3.5%. This
resolution created some great controversy on the floor and took a better part
of the afternoon. It passed overwhelmingly.
President Nicks rose to a Point of Personal Privilege and spoke
to the entire convention to praise GST Miller for updating the credentialing
process as well as the website.
Monday evening was spent networking and working on our
Tuesday, July 15th became a historic day.
Resolution 7 was debated with good points being delivered
from both sides. The resolution provides pay raises to the IAFF VPs for the
change in work scope and workload over the past 10 years. Most VPs are now full
time employees and are providing full service to the locals. While we did not
fully support the amount of the raises, the IAFF has been providing us with
incredible service over the past year. They have provided us with a VERY large
grant a couple weeks ago and continued legal and PR support on our Consent
Decree battle. The Districts in the NE staunchly opposed the resolution and did
a great job of using the parliamentary procedure process to ensure that each of
you were represented. For the first time in 20 years, a roll call vote was
called. This meant each local had to send a representative delegate to a
microphone to cast our delegate votes one by one. The doors were
"Tiled" which basically means they shut them and no one could come or
go, including bringing food onto the floor. After a couple hours of every
local casting a roll call vote, the resolution passed 97,354 for to 95,210
against. This resolution will cost each of us .09 per member per month starting
this year and an additional .09 per member per month beginning Oct 1, 2015.
Resolution 19 was also heard and debated. This resolution
will provide $3.5 Million dollars to upgrade the Fallen Firefighters memorial
in Colorado. It passed overwhelmingly. This will be an increase of $.21 per
month for each member and will sunset (stop) in 5 years.
Wednesday, July 15th
Resolution 22 was our resolution to create a fund to provide
financial relief to IAFF union members who are fired for providing union
President Nicks created the original Resolution that was first
heard at the 2012 IAFF convention. At the 2012 convention, the Resolution
Committee priced the resolution at $.54, basically killing it. Many on the
floor spoke to the fact that this is a great resolution that needed more
research and work.
Over the last couple years, President Nicks has worked hard on
the "Union Activities Justice Fund" resolution with IAFF VP Kelly Fox
and about 40 other locals from the Northwest and Alaska.
The 2014 Resolution Committee created a substitute resolution
that priced it down to $.06. The resolution will create a program that will
provide 60% of the monthly salary of the member, up to $2500 per month for 4
months. This will allow time for the member to arbitrate their suspension. If
arbitration is upheld, the member will have to pay the money back from his back
pay awarded. The Guardian program, that provides IAFF legal support, will be
the qualifier/filter. The While the payout was not exactly what we wanted, all
involved it is the beginning of a great program.
Debate on the floor was very exciting with a couple of attempts
to amend the resolution back to a longer and/or higher payout. At one point,
the Resolution was called a "Legacy IAFF Program" by an IAFF VP.
The Resolution passed with only a couple hands rising in
Many congratulations were given to President Nicks.
Resolution 27, The Censure of Chief Rhoda May Kerr, was also heard
and voted on. The Resolution Committee ensured that LMI and other
labor/management talks had happened prior to the Censure. They also confirmed
with legal that each point stated was based on fact.
President Nicks addressed the floor and asked for a
unanimous passing of the resolution. It passed unanimously.
In the afternoon, President Nicks and Secretary Treasurer Denzer
attended a special meeting with IAFF staffers and VP Jim Johnson and VP Sandy
McGhee to discuss Wildland Firefighting issues both at the local and national
Wednesday evening President Nicks, Secretary Treasurer Denzer, and VP Pope
met with the Portland, Oregon Firefighters to discuss Online Voting.
VP Buck represented AFA at the IAFF Financial Group meeting introduced by
President Schaitberger. Presentations were made on the various financial
products that the IAFF has including a 457 plan.
Thursday, July 16
Morning business included a vote on the location of the 2018 IAFF convention
which will be held in Seattle, Washington.
After closing ceremonies, President Nicks and Secretary Treasurer
Denzer attended the Wildland Taskforce Meeting. President Schaitberger
addressed the committee and indicated he feels it is time to have a larger
influence in this arena. The local 975 was asked to attend the next Taskforce
meeting at the Alts conference in Anaheim, California later this year.
We had 6 resolutions that impacted our Dues rate increases and they
are as follows.
per Active Member $ per Retiree
(Sunset 5 years)
(Sunset 3 years)
IAFF increase/month $0.57
Active Member increase from $12.48 per month to
Report from Secretary Treasurer R Denzer
Brother and Sister Firefighters,
I have recieved many emails requesting a link to the consent decree. The AFA legal team is working on a summary to send to the membership upon it's completion.
Until the summary is avialable, a full copy of the consent decree can be found at: AFD Consent Decree
A more detailed membership update will be released later today.
President, AUstin Firefighters Association
Brother and Sister Firefighters,
Just a quick note to direct you to some recent national and local news stories on the DOJ consent decree debacle.
Here is a link to the "news room" of the new AFA web site designed to get our message out to the media and public. At this link the lastest 3 articles I have not sent out to the membership yet and our very favorable.
Also, please do not forget about the upcoming vote on the auto aid lawsuit. I would recommend that, if time allows, watch the videos at the station as a group and discuss. The vote will be the 3rd week in Febuary.
AFA Members - Please click on the link below to view the AFA auto aid educational materials. The auto aid issue will be debated at the next membership meeting on 2/11/2014 and then the motion will go to on-line vote 2/18/2014 - 2/20/2014. Please take the time to review and discuss this very important issue with other AFA members. If you have any questions please contact your VP.
2014 Schlitterbahn Discount for AFA members
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Brother and Sister Firefighters,
The content of the Department of Justice and EEOC letters suggests further proof that the city is purposely not defending the cadet hiring process to manipulate the Department of Justice. DOJ Letter
The city appears to be doing exact as the city’s chief negotiator from past negotiations told us they would do; wait for somebody to file a claim and then provide a weak defense so the DOJ would place the cadet hiring process under a consent decree. By the city not providing the necessary information to defend the claim of discrimination the Department of Justice is reaching the only conclusion they can; the city is guilty of racial discrimination. Not because they really are guilty and not from of contractual constrains but because the city is “pretending” they are guilty by not properly defending the process. This tactic by the city manager’s office will end up costing the citizens of Austin many millions of dollars as well as harm the fire department by lowering the quality and moral of the incoming classes.
Of course, the Austin Firefighters Association (AFA) cannot know this for certain because the city has withheld any and all information from AFA that would let us substantiate of our claims. What we do know is that the city spends close to 1.4 million dollars a year to recruit and hire fire cadets. The hiring vendors that the city contracted with are qualified professionals, preformed a robust local job analysis and validation study, and did everything in their power to reduce adverse impact and lower their legal liability. In other words the city spent a large sum of money to insure they have the means to defend a title VII claim of discrimination and then it appears that the city is purposely not defending it. The Austin Firefighters Association looks forward to working with the Department of Justice on this matter. Eventually the truth will come out.
Your AFA Eboard has anticipated all that has unfolded and are prepared to respond. Your Eboard will be meeting Monday to discuss both the letter to stop certain workplace benefits after the CBA expires as well as the recent DOJ/EEOC actions.
More information will be sent to the membership after the Monday Eboard meeting. I would imagine there will be several membership educational videos and online votes in the near future in order for the membership to help set our direction.
President, Austin Firefighters Association