Letter From The President
We as a Union have accomplished a lot in the last month. However, the most important issue facing labor in California is the “Governor Davis Recall”. Most of our pension upgrades and job benefits are because of benefits granted to other jurisdictions by the Democratic majority in California and, as unpopular as he may be, Gov. Gray Davis. Without the pro-labor views of both the Davis administration and the Democrats, and the Local 798 would have had a difficult time passing our pension upgrade at the polls. Governor Davis is the guy who improved other jurisdictions that we compared ourselves to. We will not forget our friends. Remind everyone you know to vote “NO” on the Recall, but if they do, vote Democrat to ensure that your workplace protections remain in place, secured by the current Democratic administration. We will be asking for your help in the current months.

Many of you attended our Budget Hearings and/or have heard differing reports. Here is how I viewed the proceedings from the first row: some of our members came to the Budget Committee Hearings with a one-dimensional view “all for themselves”. They compared Battalion Chiefs to Rescue Captains, talked

about lost overtime, and generally did a lot of self-serving complaining. Could you imagine Joe Montana receiving the MVP for the Super Bowl and claiming that he did all the work? Or members of Engine Companies claiming they are more important than Trucks, Trucks vs. Squads, etc.? We are a team. Lets try to act like a team. I don’t know who the brain trust was behind the lobbying but I can assure you it will go down in Union history as being the most self-serving move I have ever seen. It was downright anti-Union. Some of our members need to take a gratitude check since the merger; your pension increase has gone up 40%, your pay 38%. Your future promotions have skyrocketed like the Dow in the good old days. Your overtime rates are better and have been fabulous for years. What’s the beef? Don’t make yourselves into victims, that’s a weak ploy. Is it because you were promised you’d be on an Engine by the small-minded Chiefs who set this program up? There were a lot of promises made by the zealots of this merger, namely that it would be cost neutral and all expenses would be covered by transport revenue. Tell that to the Division Chiefs and Operators we lost in the budget. All in all, the display by some of our members was distasteful and ignorant. I have contacted our own Karen Heald and she and I will be working together on issues directly related to Paramedics in an effort to formulate a strategy for future issues. The issue will be dealt with and well come to fair conclusions. Will everybody be happy? No. Will it be fair? Yes.

At the Budget Hearings, the poor performance by the Chief of Department explaining the job description of Battalion Chiefs and the Bureau of Equipment was very clear to all. At one point in the Budget Hearing we lost 3 full Battalions and the Bureau of Equipment. Your Union went to work that night to lobby each member of the Board of Supervisors. The Union, assisted in large part with the Mayor’s Office and Supervisor Chris Daly, were able to place those positions back into the Budget. I can tell you Brothers and Sisters that it was 7 days of work to ensure that we as Firefighters had adequate staffing for our safety as well as for the safety of the citizens of the City and County of San Francisco. In the final vote before the Board of Supervisors, your Union won those jobs back by a vote of the Board of Supervisors, 11-0.

Enjoy the rest of our summer with your families. Starting in September we will begin our campaign work with our Gavin Newsom for Mayor Election. A letter will be sent to all active and retired members laying out what is expected of all of us.

Be safe and GO GIANTS!

John F. Hanley


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