|Letter From The Directors ...|
|By Shon Buford, Director|
This is long overdue, but I would like to thank everyone who voted in this past election for executive board members, as well as all of the members who ran for office. This voter turnout for this election was an eye opener to anyone who may have thought that the members of Local 798 no longer cared about the affairs of our union. In an election where the four principle offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer all ran unopposed, we had 867 members return ballots for the twelve members who ran for director. This not only proves that the members of Local 798 care, but are willing to take an active role in determining who will represent them.
|I would like to give a special thanks to all the members who had enough faith to re-elect me to the Executive Board for a second term. I am truly honored to serve you, and pray that my service will be as admirable as those who served before me. From the inception of the David Scannell Club to the current Local 798, the men and women of the Executive Board (I havent forgotten about you Romy) have dedicated themselves to protecting the interest of its members.
This newly elected Board enters these next two years with a slight change of guard. Please join with me in welcoming Mike Walsh, as I with great consoles acknowledge the departure of Dennis Kruger and his 17 years of invaluable dedicated service. This union will miss you Dennis, youre a true ally to labor.
2007 Legislative Conference
The 2007 Alfred K. Whitehead Legislative Conference and Presidential Forum was one of the better IAFF events Ive been to. Over 900 of our brothers and sisters united as one on Capital Hill, bringing with them issues that are dear to our hearts. The top five issues being Collective Bargaining, Health Insurance for Early Retirees, Funding for the SAFER program, Alternative Minimum Tax, and the Federal Fire Fighter Presumptive Disability Act. Thanks to the leadership of our General President Harold Schaitberger and the work of all the brave men and women of our fire service, our voices were heard.
There was one Locals voice that stood out louder than most, as we proudly stood behind San Franciscos own, and our nations first Madam Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. The air was electric, as Speaker Pelosi addressed us with the progress of our 100th Congress, her continued support for labor, and her plan to strengthen our national security by supporting our troops, restoring fiscal responsibility, and supporting more funding for Police and Fire.
The fun did not stop there. The following day, the IAFF had the distinct pleasure of hosting the first 2008 Presidential Forum where the most prominent politicians all came out to address the Association. Presidential hopefuls like Senators John Edwards, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Hagel, Joe Biden, and John McCain to name a few, all spoke in hopes of garnering the support of the International Association of Fire Fighters. This was truly an historic event.
On a Local Level
Thanks to the hard work of firefighters locally and statewide, firefighters throughout California can collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions, have presumptive disability laws, and are working on fire departments to meet NFPA standards of 1 and 3 engines, and 1 and 4 trucks. This is a good start, but our work isnt done. Although the wages and benefits for firefighters have gotten better over the years, inflation has gone up faster, and our jobs have become more hazardous. With newer building codes affecting the integrity of roofs during a fire, more plastics, and denser living conditions, firefighters are continually fighting to protect their rights, and the security of their families. This is why Im pleading that firefighters take a more active role in your future. Although the Local has elected officers who proudly serve you, it is the duty of all members to who took the oath to protect the interest of union labor, and do their equal part. It is of my opinion that every member of this Local should attend at least two general meetings a year so they can view the work our union with their own prospective, and determine which direction they would like to see this union go.
Remember, this is your union, we work for you.