|Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Our prayers go out to our brothers and sisters in Local 1230 in Contra Costa. Brothers Matthew Burton and Scott Desmond died in the line of duty making a rescue on an elderly couple in a fire on Saturday, July 21, 2007. In our chosen profession, it is sad but true that we get injured and risk our own lives to save those in harms way. Folks come and do studies to attempt to reduce our injuries and deaths which is admirable, but the fact is, entering a burning building is extremely dangerous. Theres just no getting around it. God bless the families of Brother Burton and Brother Desmond and Local 1230.
We are in the process of walking our contract through City Hall. Well need the votes of the supervisors to have it approved. Thanks to the membership for all of their support during this four month process. Your negotiating team of Joe Moriarty, Frank Kelly, and Tom OConnor did a magnificent job. Also outstanding were Shon Buford and Floyd Rollins, two new members of your contract negotiations
|team. Thank you to those members for the time that they spent away from their families insuring that you receive a fair and adequate contract.
Special thanks go to Mayor Gavin Newsom at a precarious time in negotiations when he stepped in to support the unions key points in the contract. He stood behind the union when negotiations were at a standstill. Make sure that you in the field thank the Mayor when you see him.
It is our understanding that as of the date of this writing, those members that serve on the San Francisco Fire Department committees (EMS Workgroup, Aquatic Rescue Committee, HAZMAT Committee, High Rise Committee, and Mutual Aid Committee) will not be receiving time coming for attending meetings of these committees or performing committee-related tasks while off-duty. This item was clearly brought up in negotiations and addressed. It does not make sense for the Administration not to pay our people when they are away from their families doing outside work which results in improvements to the Fire Department. These committee volunteers are an asset and the past practice is to pay them for their expertise in improving our fire department.
With the wealth of information and experience readily available within the ranks of the SFFD, I would think that the Administration would relish the opportunity of receiving input from the field. It is disheartening and counterproductive for a professional fire department not to take advice from experts in the field. Let it be said that you cant build a building on the cheap. The Administration gets paid to attend these meetings. Whats offensive is that at these meetings, the Department expects you to be there and participate with no pay, while at the same time, those chosen few from the Administration sit across from you and are paid.
It is with sadness that we reflect on the passing of Harrison Leonardo, son of O.J. Leonardo. God bless his family and the members of Engine 23 for all their work.