The Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that Right to Work States such as Kentucky experience workplace fatalities at a rate 52.9% higher than states that have collective bargaining. Collective bargaining allows employees a voice in their workplace safety.
Firefighters face numerous threats in the course of their normal work. There is no need to add additional hazards of unsafe policies and procedures or inadequate staffing. We exist to ensure our members are protected and treated fairly so they can focus 100% on serving the public. Unlike some jobs, ours requires a large degree of consistency so we can plan and effectively respond to a chaotic emergency. We need to know how we are going to respond and with what resources before the incident even occurs. These decisions cannot be made arbitrarily when the alarm bell rings. Our work agreement gives us this stability. It is our agreement with the City that operations will be conducted as safe as possible and follow the best practices of our field. It also ensures a competitive salary and benefits package that will continue to attract the best talent to our City. Our work agreement also defines what is expected of us, creating a standard of professionalism and behavior you have come to expect from members of the Local 1928. We sit down with the City every about every two years to negotiate a new work agreement in good faith. We at all time try to create a "win-win" scenario for al parties involved.
Ft. Thomas Local 1928 members - 18
Runs responded to in 2016 - 1768
Number of fires- 495
Number of EMS calls- 1225
Runs to date as of Jan 21st- 125
Square miles covered- 5.7 square miles
Myth: Firefighters can strike if they strongly disagree with their working conditions.
Fact: Firefighters are forbidden to strike or carry out any job action by state statute. Nor would members of the Local 1928 jeopardize public safety in such an irresponsible manner.
Myth: The Local 1928 has the ability to make demands or force the City into favorable wages or benefits for its members.
Fact: The Ft. Thomas Firefighters Local 1928 only has the ability to ASK for increases in wages or benefits through the negotiations process with the City. All changes to working conditions must be agreed upon by BOTH parties. As mentioned before we have no ability to strike or protest unfavorable treatment by management. We show up to work and respond to emergencies regardless of our working conditions. Our main purpose is to ensure the promises made to us by the City in our work agreement are upheld.
Myth: Firefighters sit around all day when there is no fire.
Fact: Firefighters complete many task through out the duty day including but not limited to: Maintenance to vehicles and equipment, responding to EMS calls, training, cleaning of vehicles, equipment, and the station, preplanning for incidents, training, meetings, grant writing, inspections ,and quality improvement. Firefighters work a 24 hour shift and may sleep at night if no emergencies are occurring .
Myth: The Ft. Thomas Firefighters Local 1928 is controlled by a large union or political party.
Fact: The Local 1928 is run completely at the local level, hence the name. We democratically elect our own leaders, and the membership body (all Ft. Thomas firefighters) vote on the recommendations of the leaders we elect. We do not endorse any specific political party. We endorse candidates that care about our safety and concerns. Period! We do not tell our members how to vote or what political affiliations to have. We support those who support us! We do pay a small portion of our dues to larger firefighter organizations that represent our concerns at the state and national level, however, these organizations do not run our day to day operations.
Myth: We don't need that many firefighter's because there aren't that many fires.
Fact: While the number of fires in the United States are steadily decreasing, the manpower needed to combat them is actually increasing. This is do to the large amount of synthetic materials used in modern construction. Today's fires are more plastic and petroleum than wood and cloth. These synthetic materials burn with incredible heat and toxicity compare with natural materials that used to be found in the home. This coupled with the use of modern lightweight construction techniques creates a fast moving toxic fire that can quickly collapse a building. endangering both occupant and firefighter alike. We need more firefighters responding quickly to contain and extinguish the fire before collapse occurs. Even with the decrease in residential
fires, the loss of life and property in the United States is unacceptable when compared to other industrialized nations. This despite the best efforts of firefighters to decrease fires nationwide through the use of inspections, smoke detector installations, and public education initiatives that were not available in the past. We are in every local school every year teaching children how to be safe around fire. In our opinion the safest fire for everyone is the one that never starts!
Duty, Commitment, and Courage