Minutes from July 21st/22nd, 2015 – L416 General Meeting

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July General Meeting Minutes

July 21st and 22nd, 2015

Call to Order:  1904hrs

Roll Call of Officers:  All present.

Minutes from previous meeting:  Motion to dispense by Langsford, 2nd by Webb

Motion carried unanimously.

Officer Reports:

President: 

  • The World Police and Fire Games were held in Fairfax County Virginia June 26th through July 5th.  Local 416 had a very strong turnout and there were many compliments paid to our organization from other attendees.  Congratulations to all who participated in this great event.
  • The Executive Board and the IFD PAC Committee have met with both mayoral candidates as well as many of the City-County Council candidates for interviews and discussions regarding their vision for Indianapolis and gain insight into their thoughts on public safety for our city and more specifically for the Indianapolis Fire Department.  We will discuss the recommended endorsements under New Business.  This will only apply to IFD PAC members.
  • Decatur President Scott Johnson has been putting together a Fire Ops 101 class.  This program is designed to give politicians, decision makers and media people an insight into the work of firefighters and puts the participants through several scenarios; an vehicle extrication, victim search in low/no visibility, advancing a hose line in fire conditions and a cardiac arrest.  The event will be Tuesday September 22nd at the Ivy Tech/City of Lawrence training facility.  Scott has been doing great work and the class is receiving an above average response from attendees.  16 people are currently signed up to attend and this is an above average response.  Thank you to Scott for his work on this project and for all of the people that have volunteered their time to assist.  As a testament to our Local we have had more volunteers than there is work to do so thank you all for making this event a success.
  • We have continued meeting with Dr. Moffatt and Public Safety Medical to pursue options related to cancer diagnosis and early detection.  This of course is a big concern for the fire service and early detection is a key to better outcomes.  We continue to try and secure low dose radiation CT scans for our members and have been working to St. Vincent’s Hospital to come up with a program that can get all of our members tested.  I have done the test as a sample and it is very convenient and worthwhile.
  • As we all know now Public Safety Director Troy Riggs has resigned to pursue a teaching opportunity at IUPUI and Deputy Director Valarie Washington will be leaving to become the Assistant City Manager in Fort Worth Texas.  Both Director Riggs and Val will be greatly missed and have each been tremendous advocates for the Indianapolis Fire Department and our members.  We wish them both well in their new positions.
  • All of our members have access to EAP, (Employee Assistance Program), and additionally we also have access to our Peer Support Network made up of firefighters that have had special training in assisting members during challenging times.  This may be as simple as someone to vent with or assisting with bringing in more in depth resources to help our Brothers and Sisters during trying times.  Brandon Dreiman is leading this effort and there are Peer Support Counselors from many of the Departments in our Local.  If you or one of your Brothers or Sisters are in need of help please know that there are many avenues to get assistance and that all of them are done as discreetly and professionally as possible.  To be put in contact with the Peer Support group please contact the Hall and we will get you connected.
  • Secretary Williams has been working hard on putting together a building expansion plan and the work on our parking plaza across the street has begun. Thank you to Scott for his work on this endeavor.
  • As all of you know I am very committed to the family atmosphere of the fire service and the fire service seems to drift away from that sometimes.  On July 10th we had a Local 416 event at Conner Prairie with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performing the music of Journey.  We had over 150 of our members attend the event and it was a great event.  We try and do events like this that are family friendly so that our members and their families will continue to feel the closeness that has been a cornerstone of the fire service.  There are several other events coming up this summer and we hope you will consider coming out and bringing your families to keep the family spirit alive and well.
  • The PFFUI will have a Pension Seminar here at the Union Hall Monday August 31st at 1130hrs.  This event is designed to go over how our pension operates and the decisions that members will be asked to make and some of the issues that we need to be aware of including Social Security’s “Windfall Elimination” that affects members that have a public pension AND do not pay Social Security tax in that position.  (Here is a link to Social Security’s summary of the Windfall Elimination:  http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf )  The Windfall Elimination is only one item members need to be aware of and certainly will not be the full emphasis of the seminar but it is something that is often overlooked and even more often misunderstood.  You must register with the PFFUI to attend this class but it is open to all members.
  • We are working on the details for a September 11th Memorial event.  There will be the Remembrance Mass at St. Mary’s that day as usual and we are looking at doing another event to replace the America Remembers event that used to take place at the Rathskellar.  More information will come out as those details are firmed up.
  • We will have elections this year for Local and District offices.  The positions that are up for election this year will be Local Vice President, Local Treasurer, two of the At-Large Trustees, District Presidents in Pike, Speedway, Beech Grove, and the Airport and District Trustees in Indianapolis, IEMS, City of Lawrence, Decatur, Wayne and Communications.  Nominations will be taken at the October General Meeting, October 20th and 21st.  As a reminder, YOU MUST BE NOMINATED AT ONE OF THESE MEETINGS TO STAND FOR ELECTION.  Any member in good standing may nominate a member for Local office and any member from the Executive Board or member of the District may nominate members for District office.  If you have any questions please contact the Hall.  Secretary Scott Williams be coordinating this year’s election since the Local Vice President’s office will be up for election.

Vice President:

  • There are two events coming up for our members:
    • Friday July 31st we will be having a picnic at the Indianapolis Indians game versus the Charlotte Knights.  Tickets are $15 and children under 2 are free.  Your ticket will get you a wristband for all you can eat food and drinks prior to the game and a seat for the game.  Tickets are available at the Hall.  The picnic area opens at 1730hrs and ends 15 minutes prior to the game, (1900hrs).
    • Saturday August 8th we will be having a tailgate party and attending the Indy 11 game versus the Ottawa Fury FC.  The tailgate party will be in Lot D at the north-west corner of New York and University, (enter off University), and will start at 1700hrs.  The game kicks off at 1930hrs.  We will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers as well as having some side dishes and drinks.  The tailgate is free to members and tickets for the game are $10.

Treasurer: 

  • As per the Constitution and By-Laws the At-Large-Trustees have completed an audit of the Local 416 finances.  Lance Langsford and Matt Ervin have completed the audit of the 2014 finances and have found no concerns or irregularities.  Their report will be forwarded to the IAFF for recording.
    • Brothers Langsford and Ervin were each present and stated that this is a long process as each area and item are reviewed.  Additionally, the IAFF paperwork calls for a slightly different arrangement of the figures and that had to be corrected to fit their forms.
  • The financial statement for the 2nd quarter of 2015 shows that we are ahead of budget.  Typically the 1st quarter has us spending more than 1/4 of the budget and it starts to even out as the year moves forward.  Currently the savings realized are primarily due to the lower than budgeted maintenance of the building, likely due to the extensive work done last year.

Question from Brother B. McGrath:  What is line 540?  Answer:  Line 540 covers several items, such as fundraiser contributions etc., but also is where the contributions for members attending the World Police and Fire Games are accounted for.  We gave each of the 48 participants $50 to offset their registration and travel expenses.

Question from Brother T. Hanify:  Why are there roughly $1,100 in banking charges?  Answer:  That is primarily a function of the surcharge we pay for utilizing the “Square” at the FDIC booth.  They are not charges from the Fire Fighters Credit Union but that is where the accounting places those items.  Brother Hanify suggested that there could be a change in the accounting so that it does not appear that there are overcharges or such.  Treasurer Hansman explained that the Credit Union will be utilizing a new software program and that may help and he will also speak with the accountant to see how that can be made clearer going forward.  

  • Motion to pay the bills:  T. Hanify, 2nd by Webb.  Unanimously approved.

**(A copy of the Financial Report are attached at the end of the minutes)

Secretary:

  • Members will be receiving a post card notifying them of an upcoming Special Meeting regarding the building project.  Regrettably these cards were delayed by the printer and were not mailed in time to meet the notice requirements and as such we will be rescheduling and sending out new notices so that we are not in violation of the Constitution and By-Laws.  The original notice has a red banner at the top and those dates were:  August 18th,  August 19th and August 20th.  The new flyer will have a blue banner at the top and those dates will be Wednesday September 2nd at 0900hrs and 1800hrs, Thursday September 3rd at 0900hrs and Friday at 0900hrs.  Additionally, we will have informational meetings on Tuesday August 11th at 1800hrs and Wednesday August 12th at 0900hrs to discuss the project, the Building Committee’s recommendations and answer any questions people may have.   I apologize for the confusion this has caused and please know that we are looking at our printing options going forward so that this will not be an issue in the future.
  • Construction on the new parking lot has begun and they are moving quickly.  The contract completion date for the majority of the work, the parking surface, lighting and power, is August 13th and they appear likely to finish ahead of time.  The plantings will go in this fall to help assure their viability.
  • The new website design is completed and up and running.  It is the same web address as our old site; www.L416.com, but has been given a much needed face lift and the user experience is greatly enhanced.  All of the members from the old site have been imported and your user name and password will work when you log in.  You will be asked to verify your user information and preferences on your first login but that is brief process.  We will be able to update information in a more timely fashion with this website.  Additionally, each District has it’s own tab for their specific information.  Although any member can look at any of the District information this should make it easier for everyone to find the information they are looking for.  We are also adding each Department’s general information; Rules and Regs, SOG’s, Seniority lists etc. so that our members can get all that information in one spot.  Thank you to our Brother Ben Tupper for all the hard work getting this new site up and running.

District Reports:

  • Airport:
    • The Airport is still an unresolved situation and options are still being considered.
  • Beech Grove:
    • The Department will be hiring three new members.
    • Will be getting a new engine for the Department.
    • The City will be getting some of the Public Safety Tax disbursed that should help the Department’s budget.
    • The members have been very happy with the Mayor, Dennis Buckley, and unhappy with the city Clerk who has been a challenge to work with.
  • Lawrence:
    • The City has been slow and or delinquent in getting some of their obligations paid which has resulted in repair challenges for their stations.
    • The Indianapolis Central Labor Council has endorsed the firefighters preferred candidate for Mayor of Lawrence, current Councilman Steve Collier.  This is noteworthy because Councilman Collier is a republican and Local 416 has had challenges getting endorsements from the CLC for our endorsed republican candidates.
  • Communications:
    • No report this month.
  • Decatur:  
    • New Chief, Pascal Arnes, has implemented some positive changes for the membership and the Department.
    • Looking into 2016 budget and are hopeful to see pay increases to shorten the salary gap between Decatur and the other Marion County fire departments.
    • Fire Ops 101 will be held Tuesday September 22nd.  This class is designed to increase the awareness of decision makers about the work the our members do day to day.  The response has been above average for this type of event both for attendees as well as for volunteers to help.  Currently there are eleven political figures and five media figures confirmed to attend.  The class will hold up to 24 attendees.
  • IEMS:
    • The June 21st changeover to 12 hour trucks from a mixture of 12 and 24 hour apparatus has been going fairly well.  While everyone is not entirely pleased the Union was able to secure a few items that helped ease the switch over including negotiating to push the date back to allow for a five month notice before the change took effect and securing some bidding changes that were favorable to the members.
    • Labor-Management continue to meet and try to find avenues for progress.
    • A committee has been established to look at the IEMS rank structure and make recommendations.
    • Additionally a joint IEMS/IFD committee has been working to look at quality of life issues in co-staffed stations.
  •  IFD:
    • Condolences go out to the Kimbrew family for the passing of our Brother and past IFD Chief Joe Kimbrew.  Visitation will be Thursday July 23rd and Friday July 24th with a service starting at 1300hrs.
    • Promotional process is starting.
    • There are some proposed Merit Law changes that will be in front of the Public Safety Committee for approval tomorrow.  The main change is to provide points in future hiring processes for applicants that attended a Marion County high school and that have lived in Marion County for at least 3 years.  The Union and the administration were supportive of these changes.  (*these changes were approved by the Public Safety Committee 7/22)
    • Public Safety Director Troy Riggs will be leaving his position to work with IUPUI and Deputy Director Valarie Washington will be leaving to become the Assistant City Manager in Fort Worth Texas.  Both have been great advocates and friends to the fire department and will be missed.  Good luck to both of them as they pursue their new careers.
    • The Retiree Health Insurance Trust Board, (RHIF), has been looking into options to receive a better return on the cash balance it holds.  Currently it receives modest interest and a recommendation to retain a financial services person to increase these returns will be made under New Business.
    • Chief Malone recently held is open forum and it was well received and attended.
    • The Department will be starting an Officer Candidate School.  Currently attendance will be optional but it is expected it will become a mandatory part of promotion in the future.
    • The Department will be hiring 30 members this year and are hopeful to find funding for 40 new members in 2016.
    • The Health and Safety Committee are evaluating several processes and programs and will make recommendations when complete.
    • Looking for volunteers for the Fishing With a Firefighter event at the Indiana State Fair on August 15th.  Contact Brother Al Wood if you would like to help with this event.
    • Chief Malone is proposing a bond to fund apparatus replacement.  This is intended to keep the replacement schedule he set forth and is intended to set the Department on a steady rotation of apparatus.
  • Speedway:
    • Former Chief Mark Watson has been in the news and is suspected of misusing Department/City money.  (Mark Watson resigned in October of 2014)
    •  The Speedway Firefighters golf outing will be held August 24th at the Brickyard.  The event is already full.
    • The Department will be hiring one firefighter to replace one member that has left to go to IFD.
  • Pike:
    • Chief Saunders is doing well in his new position and there have been some positive changes under his tenure.
    • Looking to address staffing shortages as the overtime budget is ahead of schedule for this time in the year.  Members have been making efforts to cover the staffing shortages to avoid implementation of a mandatory call back policy.  A large part of the staffing shortages are a high number of retirements the Department is currently experiencing.
    • There are 10 recruits currently in recruit class and they will be graduating in late August.
    • Brother John Piper is improving and has been moved to RHI for rehabilitation.  This is a great improvement from his previous condition.  For anyone unaware Brother Piper was involved in a motorcycle accident and had been in hospitalized with multiple injuries.  He is a 13 year Pike FD veteran.  The Pike Township Just Cause fund has been assisting and will have a fundraiser and a motorcycle ride to benefit Brother Piper.  The motorcycle ride is currently scheduled for October 11th, 2015.
    • Expect to begin a hiring process in September of this year and a promotional process at some point as well.
  • Wayne:
    • The Contract Committee has begun its work but negotiations have not begun.
    • Currently have three members in the Peer Fitness Trainer class.
    • Brother Don Hochstetler will be placed on the IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Colorado Springs this August.  Brother Hochstetler passed away November 17th of 2013 from Line of Duty cancer.
    • Insurance renewal meetings have begun and the first number received is lower than usual which is promising.
    • A new L82 will be going out to bid.
    • One Captain has been promoted.
    • Congratulations to Brothers Derrick Butts and Andrew Roy for winning gold medals at the World Police and Fire Games this year.  Brother Butts won in wrestling and Brother Roy for the Fire Muster event.
    • The July Retiree’s Lunch was hosted by the Wayne District in memory of Wayne Merit Board President Don Wolf.  Thank you to everyone that helped make the event a success.
    • The Department is expected to begin a hiring process this fall.

At-Large Trustees:  No reports.  (Trustees Langsford and Ervin did speak regarding the annual audit earlier in the meeting.)

PFFUI President Tom Hanify:

  • September 1st will be the PFFUI Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial service at the Indiana State Memorial.  All members are invited to attend.  This year Rayann Davis, the widow of fallen Muncie Firefighter Scott Davis will be the speaker.
  • Brother Hanify will be running in 2016 to be our next IAFF 8th District Vice President.
    • On August 31st he will be holding a fundraiser at Ike and Jonesy’s.  All are welcome!

Firefighter of the Month:  There were no nominations for this meeting.

Old Business:  No Business carried forward from the April meeting.

Financial Report:  Treasurer Hansman covered the financial report under his report where it was heard and approved by the membership.

Moment of Silence for our fallen Brothers and Sisters:  Jim Long, Joe Kimbrew, Brian Short, Jim Keller, Richard Galden and Harry Polland as well as Barry Green, Greg Vincent and Ben West for the loss in their families.

New Business:

  • Changes to the Constitution and By-Laws will be proposed at the October General Meeting.  Per the Constitution and By-Laws the change was read and no comments, question or vote was in order.  The proposed changes will be read at each of the next two District meetings, where comments, questions or votes are also not in order, and then will be discussed and decided at the October General Meeting.  
  • (**A copy of the proposed changes are attached at the end of these minutes.)
  • THE FOLLOWING FOUR MOTIONS PERTAIN ONLY TO THE IFD DISTRICT AND WERE ONLY DISCUSSED AND VOTED BY THOSE MEMBERS:
    • Motion by the VEBA Board (Retiree Health Insurance Trust), 2nd by Al Wood:
      • Explanation of the motion:
        • Members receive up to $55 per month from this fund to reimburse the premiums for their Medicare Supplement plans from one of four providers:
          1. IU Health
          2. Anthem
          3. Mutual of Omaha
          4. Advantage Health Care
        • Due to several reasons including the consolidation of younger departments the VEBA has grown.
        • This money has not been invested in anything other than CD’s which currently do not pay a high rate of return.
        • To increase the rate of return and help shore up the fund two recommended financial advisers were interviewed by the VEBA Board and a local company has been recommended.
        • The VEBA Board will set the investment parameters and will only allow conservative investments at this time.
        • A healthy reserve will be left outside of the investment portion of the account as a backstop, that amount has been recommended by our accountant.
      • There was no discussion offered on the motion.
      • The motion carried unanimously.
    • Motion by Treasurer Hansman and 2nd by T. Hanify to allow Zach Reasoner to be reinstated into the Union.
      • Discussion was had about back dues and he will pay them in full over the course of several months.
      • The motion carried unanimously.
    • THE FOLLOWING MOTIONS PERTAIN ONLY TO IFD DISTRICT PAC MEMBERS AND ONLY THEY WERE ALLOWED TO DISCUSS OR VOTE ON THESE MOTIONS:
      •  Motion by the IFD PAC Committee, 2nd by L. Langsford to endorse Joe Hogsett for Mayor of Indianapolis and provide a $2,500 check to his campaign.
        • The PAC Committee met with both candidates and discussed a variety of fire and EMS related topics with them.
        • In light of the answers and their visions for the City of Indianapolis it is recommended that Joe Hogsett be the IFD District’s endorsed candidate.
        • Motion carried with no dissenting votes.  (three members did not register votes for this motion)
      • Motion by the IFD PAC Committee, 2nd by T. Hanify to endorse the Indianapolis City-County Council as recommended by the IFD PAC Committee.  (A full list of the endorsed candidates is attached at the end of these minutes.)
        • The PAC Committee selected races to be interviewed and some of the uncontested races were not offered an interview out of practicality.
        • There were only two districts that had discussion:
          • District 24 where incumbent Jack Sandlin is unopposed for re-election.  The IFD PAC Committee recommended staying out of the race because of Councilman Sandlin’s past treatment of Local 416 firefighters.
          • District 19 where current Councilman Ben Hunter is running against David Ray.  The PAC Committee recommended endorsing Councilman Ben Hunter because of his past history of supporting Local 416 initiatives and issues.
            • Question from Brother D. Feeney:  Could the PAC stay neutral in this race and divide the money evenly between the two candidates?  Answer: Both candidates did a good job in their interviews but the PAC Committee recommends endorsing Ben Hunter because he has a long history of being a friend to Local 416 including bringing items of possible interest or concern to our attention prior to hearing about them from other sources.  Additionally, since this is a two session meeting any change to the first nights vote would have to be pushed back to the next meeting.
        • Motion carried with no dissenting votes.  (Four members did not register votes for this motion.)
    • THIS MOTION PERTAINED TO ALL LOCAL 416 MEMBERS AND ALL MEMBERS WERE ALLOWED TO DISCUSS AND VOTE ON THIS MOTION:
      • Motion by A. Wood, 2nd by B. Wisehart, to buy a $50 raffle ticket to the Sacred Heart Reverse Raffle.
      • There was no discussion.
      • Motion carried unanimously.

Good and Welfare:

  • The Phoenix Society will be hosting their Annual World Burn Congress here in Indianapolis October 21st through the 25th.  There are many volunteer opportunities for this great cause.  The World Burn Congress brings burn survivors from all over the country and the world to one location for a week of camaraderie and to help the healing process.  Sister Vicki Morr and Brothers Chris McGrone and Lance Langsford are helping with this event if you are interested in volunteering.

 

Motion to adjourn: T. Hanify, 2nd M. Ervin, motion carried unanimously.

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