ASHEVILLE FIRE FIGHTERS
What benefits are there in joining the IAFF? There are numerous reasons why all fire
fighters in Asheville should be a member.
A question that is
repeatedly asked is “What can the Asheville Fire Fighters, Local 865, IAFF, do
for me? When IAFF’s 12th
District Vice President Dominick
Barbera is asked a
question like this by fire fighters, he quickly answers, “The Union has already
done it. It is now up to you to keep
it.” You can do this by uniting with the members of
your profession. Every day, employer
groups are urging politicians at every level of government to take away many of
the benefits most public employees take for granted.
Every benefit that working
people enjoy today (that did not exist in the sweat shops at the turn of the
century) can be traced to the efforts of labor unions – FLSA overtime, employer
provided health insurance, worker’s compensation, paid vacation, OSHA
protection, retirement pay, Social Security and Medicare. This long list of labor won benefits
continues. Companies and sectors of all
levels of governments, who have never been organized by a union, offer the
benefits won by unions to be able to compete in the work force.
The IAFF has been a leader
in this fight since 66 fire fighter locals chartered the IAFF on February 18,
1918. The heritage of fire fighting has always been
one of bravery, loyalty and devotion to public service. Success in this profession is only possible
when there is unity of purpose. These
qualities are what shaped the IAFF into a Bold Union of over 2,500 locals and
265,000 members. Over 90% of the fire
fighters in the US and Canada are IAFF members. This document
offers a glimpse into why our members are proud of their affiliation with the
Networking: Your Local’s
leaders have a yearly updated IAFF directory to enable them to make contact
with the officers of over 2,500 locals in the United States and Canada. There is almost no problems Local 865 will face that someone else
has not already found a solution.
Advocacy: The IAFF and
Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics of North Carolina have legislation
introduced, as well as fight against bad legislation, to protect fire fighter’s
interest. In addition to legislation,
your interests are represented before the federal, state and local
agencies. The IAFF is an advocate for
you at all levels of government when your profession is under fire by those who
would take away benefits and danger your safety.
Discounts; As a member of Local 865, you are offered a variety of
benefits including life insurance, retirement investments, reduced home
mortgage plans and more.
Unity; The only way that fire fighters can have political
respect is to speak with a united voice.
Management will no longer make a decision affecting operations, pay or
benefits without wondering where the union will stand on the issue. And, remember, you are the union.
Recourse: When your
profession has a problem, there is only one place Local 865 has to look for
possible solutions. The IAFF can gather,
analyze and disseminate information to assist in preparation and conduct of
referenda and community relations activities.
They have the expertise to provide research and technical assistance
concerning major problems effecting fire fighters such as staffing,
privatization and consolidation to name a few.
Newsletters: The IAFF,
PFFPNC and Local 865 have expert publications relating to your profession such
as research, legislation affecting fire fighters and commentary that you will
not find elsewhere.
Seminars, Workshops, etc.: The IAFF and the PFFPNC offer numerous seminars and
workshops to train your association’s leadership to help your local become
Research: The IAFF has been the indisputable national leader
on research at almost no cost to its members.
Through federal grants in the 1970’s, the IAFF sponsored much needed research
which established the standard for fire fighter protective clothing such as PBI
and improved SCBA, etc. Asheville’s Local officers have access to the IAFF’s Health
and Safety Department and its training staff of researchers.
Training Development: Down through the years the IAFF has been the
nation’s leader in promoting and developing various training programs. During the1970’s, the IAFF secured grants
from the federal government and in cooperation with the International
Association of Fire Chief’s, sponsored the EMT Certification program. Also during this period, and in cooperation
with the IAFC and the US Department of Labor, the IAFF launched the Firefighter
I, II and III training and certification program. More lately, the IAFF developed ten hazardous
materials training programs and is currently offering training to fire
departments across the nation. Several
fire fighters from Asheville have had access to this training.
Legal Assistance: Local 865 is
able to offer legal guidance and assistance.
The IAFF, PFFPNC and Local 865 have quick access to the top law firms in
the nation and state should there be an issue where legal assistance is needed.
Political Activity: In attempting
to increase political power of fire fighters, the IAFF encourages political
involvement at all levels of government.
By uniting in a solid block of political activity, it is more difficult for
the politicians to ignore the requests of the fire fighter. The IAFF and PFFPNC provide information,
ideas and assistance so that members can become politically involved. This assistance comes in the form of
education, active campaigning and establishment of PAC funds. The IAFF, PFFPNC and Local 865 have leaders
who can mobilize members and get action going when it is needed.
Hopefully, you will agree
that the question should no longer be – Why bother joining Local 865 and the
IAFF…but…Why isn’t every fire fighter in the Asheville Fire Department a
additional information, click on IAFF benefiting fire fighters in Asheville.