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Minutes from July 22nd/23rd, 2014 – L416 General Meeting

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  • Meeting called to order 1903 hrs.
  • Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Roll Call of Officers, all present.
  • Reading of previous minutes: Motion to dispense by Bonnie Hensly, 2nd by Jon Helrigel. All vote yes, motion carried.

President’s Report:

  • IAFF Convention in Cincinnati recently wrapped up.
    • Assigned to the Policy Committee and worked on an Active Shooter policy should Departments develop a team(s) for that purpose.
    • Fire Based Community Health Program also discussed. The IAFF will be developing research tools for communities to utilize in evaluating need and if appropriate implementing a program.
  • Local 416 nominations will be open at the October General Meeting.
    • The offices of Local President, Local Secretary, two At-Large Trustees, District Presidents for Indianapolis, Indianapolis EMS, City of Lawrence, Decatur Township, Wayne Township, and Communications as well as District Trustees for Pike Township, Speedway, Beech Grove, and the Airport.
    • To be eligible for District Office a person must have been a member in good standing for one (1) year and have attended at least two of their respective District meetings. (Many of the Districts do not have a separate meeting in the month of the General Meetings so those meetings can count for a District meeting.)
    • To be eligible for Local President, Local Secretary or either of the two At-Large Trustee positions a person must meet the District Requirements and have one General Meeting as well.
  • Reading of the names will be on October 1st this year, (B shift).
    • We will be adding Tim McCormick, Cody Medley from IEMS, Don Hochstetler with Wayne Township and Edward A. Ankenbauer with the Indianapolis Salvage Corp.
  • The Peer Support Group and Dr. Smith, (Dr. Bob), are trying to expand the group of peers to include retirees and tap their depth of experience and knowledge.
  • There have been questions about utilizing members to do various work around the Union Hall. Emails and requests for bids on jobs that are needed to members doing the applicable work and bids accepted from that pool. Members interested in being considered for future jobs should contact Cindy at the Hall so they can be made aware when bids will be accepted.
  • The Arsenal Tech program, (teaching firefighting skills to High School students), is expanding their Advisory Committee and Local 416 will have an appointment.
  • The Central Labor Council President Chris Brickey has asked Local 416 to offer an appointment for their Executive Board. The person must be a current Delegate and Mark Roberts received the appointment.
  • Pension attacks continue to come and thankfully have been beat back so far. In the most recent attack in Indianapolis the IAFF and AFSCME were very helpful in killing discussion of Proposal 101 at the Indianapolis City-County Council. We remain engaged and diligent in watching out for the next attack.

Airport:

  • The Airport Authority has delivered notice that they will no longer recognize Local 416 as the negotiating unit for the Airport Firefighters and will no longer collect dues from them via payroll deduction.
  • The Union is seeking a legal opinion on the Authority’s ability to do that. Municipal employees have a right to organize secured in State statute and it is Local 416’s opinion that they meet the criteria of being public employees.

Lawrence:

  • Currently in contract negotiations:
    • The City appears willing to agree to Kelly Days.
    • There will be some monetary concessions to make this viable as well as not reopening a station.
    • The City also appears willing to hire some civilians, for EMS, to ease firefighter staffing challenges.

Speedway:

  • Currently in contract negotiations. Vice President Waldroup is assisting the District with those negotiations.
  • Speedway has a new Town Manager.
  • They have two new hires, one of which left to accept a position with IFD, and have had one retirement.

Decatur:

  • Chief Dale Henson has retired.
  • Chief Pascal Arnes has been appointed as the new Chief.
    • Has been working well with the Union and included them in decisions.
  • Contract negotiations are wrapping up, appear to be headed toward a 1.5% increase in salary.

Indianapolis:

  • Insurance meetings continue.
    • Appear heading toward discontinuing the HMO option in favor of the HighDeductible/Health Savings Account program. No final decisions have been made or agreed to at present.
    • Retiree Insurance will be discussed. There has been no indication of where the City would like to see this go so far.
  • Welcome to Chief Malone.
  • Mary and Ralph Turner represented Local 416 in New York City for the LODD of FDNY Lt. Gordon Ambelas.
    • The Local maintains a list of people that are interested in representing us at LODD ceremonies. If interested please contact the Hall and we will add you to the list.

Question from the body: What is the reason/basis for not recognizing Local 416 as the Airport Firefighter’s representation? The letter from the Airport Authority made no mention of any reason for their decision, just that this was decided. There are some theories but none have been verified as factual. This has been coming for a while, President Wayne Smith had dealt with the threat of this during his tenure. Although we tried to explain the value of having Local 416 as a partner they have decided to go a different direction. The Executive Board believes there is a strong case for classifying the Airport Firefighters as public employees and are pursuing that angle to provide them the protections available under Union membership.

Treasurer:

  • Have been in the process of updating the membership database.
    • Intensive process because there are 2,311 members.
    • Please check your pay stub to verify correct deductions, not only for Union dues but for all deductions, are being withheld correctly.
  • There have been a lot of projects and repairs needed for the Hall this year. Some of the items covered so far are:
    • Leveling the sidewalk ($220)
    • Light repair and addition for Survive Alive ($2,200)
    • Replaced four AC units ($19,000). These units were 18+ years old.
    • Replace AC unit at PFFUI office (discounted due to other work done)
    • Repair leaks over Survive Alive ($1,200)
    • Mowing contract
    • Foundation repairs to PFFUI office
    • Barbeque grill maintenance
    • Rekey entire building ($1,400)
  • From the IAFF Convention there will be per-capita increases, 57 cents per month.
    • The Local will cover the increases until January 2015.
    • IFD members are reminded that their increase will be different because they will have two raises in addition to the per-capita increases all added at the same time.
  • America Remembers event at the Rathskellar has been discontinued.
    • Due to the short timeframe we will not try and do a separate event in 2014 but we are looking at ideas for 2015 and beyond to help raise money for the Benevolent Fund.

Secretary:

  • The last issue of the Helmet did not get sent out due to some technical challenges on my end.
    • Issues have been addressed and subsequent issues should not be delayed.
  • Firefighters Credit Union relocation/Union Hall expansion and St. Clair Parking Lot project has been moving toward approval from the Indianapolis Historical Preservation Society.
    • Project has been endorsed by the Mass Ave. Merchants and Chatham Arch neighborhood, by almost a 2:1 margin.
    • A strong minority of detractors have bottlenecked approval but we are addressing their concerns and objections.
    • Expect a final vote at the IHPC hearing September 3rd. If that vote is not in favor we will have to reconsider the options.
  • 2014 State Fair Family Picnic had to be cancelled.
    • The State Fairgrounds did away with the tented area we used.
    • They offered to Farm Bureau Pavilion but if utilized we would have had to use their catering and this was cost prohibitive.
  • Fishing With a Firefighter will be held Saturday August 9th at the DNR exhibit at the State Fair.
    • Volunteers are welcome, please call the Hall if you would like to help out.
  • Due to scheduling conflicts the Local 416 Golf Outing had to be moved from September 9th and10th. The new dates are Tuesday and Wednesday September 23rd and 24th, (C and A shift respectively). The event will be held at Winding Ridge. More information and sign ups to come soon.

IEMS:

  • June 8th notified that new hires will be placed in Defined Contribution retirement plans versus the current Defined Benefit plan.
    • Only given five day notice of this change.
    • Working with the Administration but does not appear this can be reversed.
  • Cancelled the most recent hiring class due to having fewer employees leave than anticipated.
  • Operations Chief Carl Rochelle has been named to Chief of Communications.
  • They have not named a new Operations Chief as of yet.
  • Congratulations to new District Trustee Tom Smith.
  • Congratulations to Union Steward Rachel Cazee.

Pike:

  • Currently in contract negotiations.
    • Have not discussed monetary items.
    • Debating language and policies and procedures that are either in the contract and theAdministration would like removed and or policies and procedures that are not included.
  • Seven recruits are finishing their training and will start on August 1st.

Wayne:

  • Contract negotiations beginning soon.
  • Benefits renewal meetings have begun, no indication of where they will end up yet.
  • Six recruits finishing training and will start on August 22nd.
  • New replacement apparatus, Ladder 84, has been placed in service in.

Beech Grove:

  • John Belay pensioned as a result of a Line of Duty injury.
    • Currently fighting an insurance issue for this Brother.
  • Contract negotiations taking place. Appears some of the settled matters are:
    • 1.49% increase in salary. (Have gone eight years without a raise.)
    • Addition of a PEHP benefit. (Post Employment Health Program)
    • Addressing of some staffing issues.
  • Discussions with the City of Indianapolis to contract fire protection.
    • Much misinformation being disseminated.
    • No agreement in place at present.
    • Misinformation being addressed as it presents itself.
    • No layoffs or discussion of layoffs has been considered.
    • Six to eight months before any decision is likely.
    • Conversation initiated because of an anticipated $2.4 million in upcoming expenses.

PFFUI:

  • Interim Study Committee to look at our pensions again.
    • The makeup of the committee appears to be favorable for us.
    • Never a topic taken lightly.
    • The PFFUI has a planned presentation that has been updated from past successful presentations and is expected to include current medical pension recipients and surviving spouses.
    • There are people, politicians and public alike, that would like to see our pension go the way of IEMS and those are the people we need to educate.
    • There is no action requested of the membership, other than to explain to people you meet/know the intricacies of the pension as not only a pension but a disability and survivors benefit program that is fully actuarially funded.

Question from the body: With what is happening at IEMS would this be a time to discuss fire based EMS for Marion County? That is too broad of a topic for now and any change along those lines would take much more study and consideration.

Comment from President Reeves: Has heard discussions on the radio about Unions using 30% of their dues on political contributions. Local 416, the PFFUI and the IAFF do not, and cannot, use dues money for political purposes. Only PAC funds may be used for political activism. Most L416 members are members of their respective Departments PAC and those funds are used solely for the education of and access to politicians with sway over their individual members. Many are members of the PFFUI PAC as

well and that is done by separate deduction agreement for use on State level activities that affect firefighters and EMS. Relatively few are members of the IAFF PAC, again done by separate payment initiated by the member, and those funds are used for activities on a Federal level. To be clear, your dues do not go to any political activity and money paid to the Local’s PAC is not used on State or Federal activities.

Financial Report:

  • Motion to accept by Rasmussen, 2nd by Alfke. Motion passed.
    • (The full financial report is available on the website)

Moment of Silence

Good and Welfare:

  •  The Local has donated $5,000 from the Benevolent Fund to the widow of fallen IMPD Officer Renn.
  • Laborfest, organized by the CILC, will be Saturday August 30th from 1100-1800hrs. The event is held on Georgia St. and will include live music, events for the kids and food. This is a family friendly event and is held to celebrate Labor Day.

New Business:

  • Motion by Rasmussen, 2nd K. Lang to purchase a raffle ticket for Hearts And Hands event. Price is $100 and the event will be August 9th. Motion passed. (website: www.heartsandhandsindy.org)
  • Motion by Reeves, 2nd Alfke to donate $500 for the upcoming L416 chaperoning of Honor Flight event. Motion passed.
  • Constitution and By-Laws change (copy attached, additions in green and deletions lined through)
    • No action or discussion at this meeting. The proposed change will be read at each Districts’ next two meetings, again without discussion, and then brought back to the October General Meeting for discussion and a vote.

Question from the body: How much did the State Fair Picnic cost? Roughly $1,500-$1700. Could that money be donated to the Honor Flight event? That would take an additional motion but can be done. Request from the Chair to see how their fundraising goes and what needs they have. No motion offered.

  • Motion by Helrigel, 2nd by Jeannette: There are a few Honorary Members of Local 416. In light of that, Clayton Thomas has been a tireless supporter of L416 and its events as well as many other organizations. I would like to offer Honorary Membership to Clayton Thomas in recognition of his many contributions to our Union. Passed unanimously.
    • (Subsequently a misunderstanding in policy has been clarified and Clayton Thomas, as a retiree from the Airport Fire Department has joined the Union as an Active Retiree with all the rights and privileges associated with membership.)

Body of proposed Constitution and By-Law change:

Article IV Officers

SECTION 7: The candidates for all officers shall be nominated at the general meeting in October with elections in December. Each member in good standing shall be given at least fifteen (15) days advance notice in writing, by newsletter or by electronic mail of the date, time and place at which nominations shall be made, and at least fifteen (15) days advance notice, in writing, sent by mail, by newsletter or by electronic mail to each the last known address of the member, of the date, time and place at which elections shall be held. Any member in good standing may nominate eligible members for office. The Australian Ballot System (secret ballot) shall be used in all elections of this Local. Voting for all offices shall take place at the designated locations established by the Election Committee. In the event there are uncontested nominations for any of the offices of the Local, the Chair shall declare a winner (by acclamation) after the nominations for that office are is closed. There shall be no voting by proxy in any election of officers, delegates, trustees or alternates. The candidate receiving a plurality (an excess of votes over those for any other candidate) shall be declared elected. The Local shall adopt the IAFF’s mechanism for resolving ties in an election by the drawing of lots in the presence of both candidates.

SECTION 13: Any member who is an officer, upon accepting the nomination for the office of General President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, District President or Trustee shall at that time automatically resign vacate their office at the end of the election cycle. Such member’s unexpired term shall then be open for provisional nominations at the General Meeting for a member to fill out the remainder of that term should they accept.

Schedule B addition: Provisional voting: any member planning to vote whose name does not appear on the union’s roster. The member must sign the roster with name printed along with District and Voting site and mark provisional.

Ballots are marked for the appropriate candidates. After marking the ballot, he/she will put the ballot in an envelope. Then they will put the first envelope in another envelope, seal and sign and print their name and add their district and voting site.

Schedule B addition: Any nominated member upon accepting his/her nomination may purchase advertising space up to . page in Local 416’s publication The Helmet.

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