Letter From The President
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Membership voted overwhelmingly for the Contract brought to the table by the Negotiating Committee from Local 798. Highlights include parity with the Police Department, holiday pay increases, mandatory time-off for line-of-duty injuries and an increase in hours from 48 to 48.7. I feel it was a fair deal for the firefighters/paramedics.

With the current economic conditions of the City and our country, it is our hope that inflation does not rise drastically, thus cutting into the benefits we have earned. With the 3-year package and continued parity language, we should be in good shape.

We are on the Ballot this November for a parity issue between Tier I and Tier II regarding line-of-duty deaths. With a Tier I line-of-duty death, the family receives 100% of the fallen firefighter’s/paramedic’s salary. With Tier II, the family receives 75%. With a victory on Proposition E, all surviving families of firefighters/paramedics and police officers will receive 100% of their salary. Vote Yes on “E”.

We are acutely aware of the Brown-Outs of some of our Engine Companies! This is a very dangerous position for the City. San Francisco is, by all experts’ accounts, the toughest and most dangerous city in America to fight fires. With our steep hills, narrow streets and obviously severe wind conditions it can become very dangerous in a manner of minutes. That is why we respond with full first alarm assignments to a “fire in the building” call. It becomes dangerous for us as firefighters/paramedics and the citizens of San Francisco when the next due Engine Company is closed; our immediate support is not there in a timely fashion. We have fought political battles recently over the issue of closing neighborhood firehouses and are doing the same with the present Brown-Out situation. We can’t stress enough to the Board of Supervisors how precarious a position we are put in when a neighborhood firehouse is closed.

We have a campaign walk planned for new District 7 Supervisor, Sean Elsbernd. The date is September 16, 2004. Meet at 6:00 a.m. at Squat and Gobble at One West Portal and Ulloa (at the West Portal Tunnel) before work and take a nice walk. It’s important to take care of those who have a track record of looking out for firefighters/paramedics at the Board of Supervisors. For those who are getting off work on September 16th, one can stop by and pick up a walking precinct.

Director Brendan Ward has been designated by the Executive Board to be in charge of those individuals who have been harmed by the change of hours. By our count, it may be as high as 212 firefighters/paramedics. Brother Ward is conducting a fact-finding mission in conjunction with the Fire Department.

Congratulations to Firefighters Fred Calonico and John Ferrando for taking First Place in both the Chain Saw and Log Rolling categories at the Northwest Woodsmen Competition. The event was attended by competitors worldwide.

Stay safe and God bless.
John F. Hanley


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