Letter From The President
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As you are all aware, we met with Civil Service for 4 years to discuss future promotional practices in the SFFD. When we could not come up with an agreeable way to select a Promotional Rule in the SFFD, Civil Service imposed statistical grouping (known as “banding”). Your Union felt that “banding” was a clearly unfair system, that was not consistent with promoting through a fair standard. Imagine taking a test, studying hard, scoring high and finding out that you are equal to almost everyone on the list. Your promotion /career would be in the hands of the Chief. What if the Chief didn’t like you or you didn’t run in the same circles?

The Union felt an alternative “Rule of 5 Scores” was a fair selection criteria with less of a chance for

favoritism to come into play. Your Union filed a suit in Superior Court to stop “banding” and lost. Local 798 then appealed to the California Appellate Court and won. What we won was the right to to take the proposed Certification Rule change to a neutral Arbitrator.

Sounds simple! We are waiting for the City’s response. Congratulations to our attorney, Diane Sidd-Champion for the great work on the case. Congratulations to Pete Howes, our Public Affairs Officer. The Nob Hill Association had selected Pete (SFFD Public Information Officer, “PIO”) for the title of Firefighter of the Year. Pete’s picture is on this page,

along with Chief Hayes-White and Sally Casazza, our Toy Chair. All our members look forward to working alongside you Pete, as a Firefighter, on our Engines, Trucks and Squads!

We are working together with Chief Hayes-White’s administration to keep the lines of communication open. You can estimate the amount of work that needs to be done by the amount of letters sent to the Chief. We look forward to working with this Administration!

Lastly, the Administration needs to take a stand and not close engine companies and not balance the budget on the firefighters’ backs while ignoring other oversights. With all the excitement of the anniversary of the ‘06 Quake, let us remember that it was Chief Sullivan (COD) in 1906, who was sending the warning signals of inadequate staffing, lack of proper water supply and inferior equipment, prior to the ‘06 Quake.

Congratulations to Steve Gonzales from Truck 6. Steve actually caught Barry Bonds’ homerun ball number 700! Steve let go of the ball to answer his cell phone because one of the brothers called him about picking up a trade. Good Guy Award Steve Gonzales - estimated value of number 700? — $820,000!

John F. Hanley President, Local 798


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