FOCUSED ON THE ISSUES IMPORTANT TO FEDERAL FIREFIGHTERS
When it comes to our 3,800 federal firefighters and retirees, I want you to know that I understand you're very different from any other state or provincial affiliate or even a city or county local.
You're unique in that the people who make the rules about your workplace work in the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol - in effect, your mayor is the President of the United States, and your city council is the U.S. Congress. And over the past couple of decades, you've endured pay freezes, furloughs, increases in employee pension contributions, and much more, while at the same time you have no presumption when the hazards of your dangerous job take their toll.
To address your unique issues, I would be personally involved in making sure our federal firefighter agenda remains a priority. Here's what I would focus on:
Immediately pushing the Biden Administration to cancel Trump's Executive Orders and DoD actions that seek to end or strip away your bargaining rights and restrict union time.
Engaging DoD and each branch of service to ensure every federal fire department is properly staffed and resourced to carry out their specific functions safely and effectively. This could take time because of the slow pace of hiring through OPM, but your safety is paramount, so we must take this on.
Advocating for Fire-based EMS across the entire DoD enterprise. Emergency medical care is our work and by making it fire-based it will provide additional staffing and value to understaffed departments.
Continuing to provide resources to the 16th District Legislative Committee as they meet monthly to work with IAFF Legislative Department staff on Federal Firefighter issues and to activate grassroots lobbying surrounding important legislation.
Fighting hard to establish presumptive rights through legislation, the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act, and push the Biden Administration to review presumptive/injury/disability claims using a fair process.
Fighting hard for the Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act, to ensure your pension is based on the full value of your pay and fix the disability provisions that affect pension qualification under 6(c) retirement status.
Continuing to track PFAS exposures, increasing studies on its toxic health effects, and eliminating AFFF foam use at all commercial and military airports. We will also fight to include PFAS exposure and linked cancers into firefighter presumptive legislation.
Fixing your trade time issue by excluding trade time from the calculation of overtime by passing the Federal Firefighter Flexibility and Fairness Act.
Fighting for strong personnel recommendations in impactful positions at DoD, FLRA, and the FSIP, while also pushing for the allowance of interest arbitration in collective bargaining agreements.
Providing additional resources and support to our federal affiliates, whether to support their participation in state/provincial associations, increase legislative activation, or increase your role in the IAFF Legislative Conference to make sure your issues are a priority for everyone.