Letter From The President
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We achieved a sweet victory with Proposition F by uniting with community groups to protect the citizens of San Francisco. For a year and a half, we worked tirelessly to collect signatures, post signs, and to educate San Franciscans on the need to save our firehouses. The passing of Proposition F was not just a victory for us, but a victory for all of San Francisco. We are the first union to put this type of Proposition on the ballot, and it proves, once again, that we put ourselves out there to ensure safety for citizens and firefighters. I’d like to thank specific people for their tremendous efforts during the Prop F campaign, but there are too many to list. Your brothers and sisters clearly know the leaders in each firehouse.

As you are aware, with LIKE WORK/LIKE PAY (LWLP), a firefighter can no longer stay in his/her home station. Instead, he/she must be detailed out. Assistant Deputy Chief Siragusa came up with this idea and presented it to SFFD Administration. The Administration elected to change policy and enacted LWLP Automatic Detail. With LWLP, firefighters are essentially being taken away from their field of expertise and are placed in new neighborhoods where they are not familiar with field operations, hydrants, standpipes, streets, and crew. Each member of suppression could give numerous examples of the positive nature of firefighters working in a neighborhood and area he/she is familiar with. An example of good leadership on a policy decision is Mayor Newsom. When Mayor Newsom came up with the idea of placing firefighters on the street to deter crime, he consulted with all the appropriate people and organizations that would be impacted by this policy. On second thought, Mayor Newsom pulled it back; that didn’t happen with LWLP.

Any member of the SFFD who is truly concerned about MORALE, the health and safety of our Department can list examples of why this idea is sour to our members. Even Deputy Chief Kochevar who signed the memo can give very few examples of why this is a positive for the City.

Those who designed this policy should have brought it up at the Labor Management meeting as required in Section 50 of the MOU, where we could have discussed the pros and cons of the policy. However, that is not how events played out and the Administration enacted the policy. Firefighters, Lieutenants, Battalion Chiefs, Division Chiefs, and Captains agree that the Administration needs to sit down with the Local and review the plan, so members of suppression can weigh in on policy decisions. Local 798 will continue to take all avenues possible to protect the health, safety, and morale of all firefighters.

On a final note, I would like to thank you all for your participation in the holiday toy drive. No other entity in San Francisco does as much for low income children as we do.

God bless, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

John F. Hanley
President, Local 798


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