May 5, 2022 – Brother and Sister Firefighters,

The Austin City Council sided with the firefighters and citizens today by adopting a resolution requiring the City Manager to abide by the City Charter and participate in binding arbitration, if requested.

This is a day to celebrate!! Had it not been for this Council action, we likely would have suffered the same 4-5 year legal battle that our Houston Brothers and Sisters are experiencing today.

Now that the City Managers misguided effort has been squashed, we can get back to the business of good faith negotiations, which will start on May 16th.

A heart felt thank you for the support you showed your AFA EBoard during this difficult time.

Here is today’s article from the Austin Chronicle on this issue: https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2022-05-06/city-council-helps-firefighters-keep-arbitration-on-the-table/

Bob Nicks
President, Austin Firefighters Association

May 4, 2022 –

 

Austin Firefighters Association, Local 975 7537 Cameron Road • Austin, TX 78752

(512) 441-7572 • Fax (512) 380-0803 • www.iafflocal975.org

 AGENDA FOR THE REGULAR UNION MEETING Date: 5-10-2022

  

Call meeting to order at 1300 hrs. Swearing in of new members

Reading and approval of the April 2022 General Membership meeting minutes

 

Agenda Items

  • Update on Binding Arbitration Plan to Oppose COA Opposition
  • Wildfire Battalion Assignment Pay Grievance Update
  • Material and Parental Leave Program
  • THC Grievance Filed – Legality with Prescription and AFD Drug Testing
  • Auto Aid Fire Ground Operating System

Reports

Political Action Committee

Pension Committee

Grievance Committee

E-Board Meeting

Budget Report

-Any other reports

May 1, 2022 –

Brother and Sister Firefighters,

Three Things:

  1. Although nothing is assured until the Council vote on Thursday May 5thThe passage of the Council resolution to direct the City Manager to abide by the City Charter that requires binding arbitration is highly likely to pass. After the agreement and resolution wording was finalized, we had so much support we had to turn down council co-sponsors that wanted to publicly support (any council resolution can only have 5 sponsor and co-sponsors). Once the Council had a chance to see both sides of the issue, they are supporting the firefighters.
  2. We do Not need firefighters to show up en masse at the Tuesday Council Workday or the Thursday. With current Council support being high we should not amplify the issue.

IF you still would like to come by and tell the Councilmembers how much you appreciate their support, please show up at City Hall before 0900 on Tuesday ( May 3rd Council Work session) and/or 1000 on Thursday (May 5th Council Regular Member date).

Attire would be an AFA T-shirt (non-AFD T-shirt). I will be there, early, each day and I will be available at (512) 217-3474 if you have any questions. If you need a T-Shirt, please let me know and I will bring it with me to City Hall.

The two following documents together comprise the deal to direct the manager to comply with the binding arbitration section of the City Charter
Here is the posted Council Resolution
Here is the draft agreement

  1. Here is a link to an excellent article written by Bridget Gurmit of the Statesman from last week. In this article the City finally answers the question, “what is the legal concern?”. COA answer is an utter joke! There is strong case law which rejects their stated concern that has been uniformly upheld in Texas courts. No wonder they refused to articulate their legal concern to us!

Here is an excerpt from the Statesman article:
“The key question is whether city voters can require binding arbitration when state law “does not require compulsory arbitration.” The city’s lawyers don’t think so. They want to see whether the Texas Supreme Court will provide clarity by weighing in on two cases involving other issues with the Houston firefighters’ union.

But the Austin Firefighters Association cites a 1991 appellate court ruling that seems to be on point. That ruling upheld a voter-approved firefighter arbitration mandate in Port Arthur. While nothing in state law requires arbitration, the court said, nothing forbids “mandatory and binding arbitration should the electorate through initiative process and through their reserved power elect to do so.””

That is for now, if you have any questions, please respond to this email or call me.

Bob Nicks

President, Austin Firefighters Association
(512) 217-3474

Come Support one of the Buda Firefighters in his battle against cancer! Sunday, May 15th, 2-8pm

 

 

 

 

April 20, 2022 – this Thursday and Friday, April 21st and April 22nd the Store will close at 11:30 AM as we are providing assistance with Peer Support training those days. Regular Store hours will resume on Monday, April 25th with store hours being from Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 2 PM. Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience.

April 8, 2022 – Retirement party for Lt. Bara Scotti on Friday – May 6th from 1 PM to 4 PM at the Aristocrat Lounge at 6507 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78757.

March 28, 2022 – Retirement Party for Chief Frank Alvarez on April 4th from 1PM to 5 PM at Lustre Pearl South Austin – 10400 Menchaca Road – Austin, Texas – 78748.