|By Tom O'Connor, Treasurer|
|As of our deadline, the MOU was just approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors. This MOU is a HUGE improvement for the well being of all of our Union brothers and sisters. The pay raises are great, our benefits remain untouched, and we didnt have to give up anything. If the economy continues to perform the way it currently is, dont look for another MOU like this one for a long time.
As long as we are speaking of waiting a long time, it appears that a 6-month retro check for 4% of our salary is due our members look for those checks to be sent out in early January quite a difference from previous administrations where we had to wait in excess of 8 months for our retro checks.
Remember all that talk about the audit being released? Well, its out, and from what our sources tell us, it is brutal. Supposedly, the audit calls for the complete dismantling of the EMS Division into an EMS Unit
|under Suppression, and a revamping of the EMS Chain of Command. Apparently the auditors couldnt figure out why there are two separate management systems in the Fire Department.
Rumors are also swirling about the City that the audit calls for the closing of the Presidio EMS Academy and allowing local colleges to train our paramedics. Apparently the dismal graduation rate and high number of staff needed to teach was the deciding factor for the auditors.
Rumors are also indicating that the audit is calling for a reduction in the number of Battalion and Division Chiefs in the field, but leaving firehouses and ambulances untouched.
While many of us can agree with some of the audits alleged recommendations, we cannot, and will not, let them remove any of our front line employees. If the City wants to cut the fat, cut the fat from Headquarters and the Presidio and put those people back in the field where they belong. Chiefs are critical for our ICS system and if any lessons were learned from September 11th, one that particularly sticks out is that firefighters and Chiefs died together. And what the auditor didnt analyze was what happened to our promotional process over the last ten years, leaving us with a desperate need, most of our Chiefs in the field there is a giant knowledge gap in our department and a lot of the old-timer Chiefs still have many lessons to teach us. Lets hope our new administration trims the fat where it really lies and leaves all of our front line Chiefs, firefighters and medics alone. (By the way, how many ambulances could be staffed with the manpower of the Presidio?)
And as long as we are on the topic of the Presidio, we now have yet another delay in the ALS Engine/One + One Pilot program. After the initial doomed plan flamed out in July, the Union worked with the Administration on a new pilot program and everything seemed okay. Now we hear that the pilot program is delayed until January, so as not to make two rounds of assignment changes. Apparently there was also concern that some assignment changes would interfere with plans people had made for the holidays. Sounds good, well go with that.
What is missing though is any reports on exactly how many people signed up for the one and one ambulances, and if there was any need at all for conscripts for this assignment. And if the changes are going to be made in January, it is now December 6th, when are the new ambulance drivers/EMTs going to be notified of their new assignment? Come on EMS Division, lets get going here
Lastly, our promotional exams are still being held up by the Civil Service Commission. The problem is over the method of choosing candidates off of a list of eligibles, with the Civil Service Commission trying to impose some sort of crazy banding scenario and your Union fighting for the Rule of Three Scores which is what every other department in the City goes by. In the interim, Chief Trevino has devised a scoring system to promote provisional officers that seems fair to all in the Fire Department. And fairness, after all, is what Unions fight for