The Official Publication of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters by dfsdf224s

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									The Official Publication of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association
                                                                                                                                     SPRING 2004 Vol. 12, No. 1




           The Members of the Safety Committee representing the
           Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association.
           Left to right, Ellard Beaven, Timmins, Richard McCurdy, Vaughan, Daryl Stephenson, London, (Chairperson) Gery Pedwell, Pickering.
The high interest in the OPFFA Safety Seminar is evidenced when nine (9)
     consultants from one Association attend this worthwhile event.
 From the Burlington Professional Fire Fighters Association, left to right,
    front row, Mark Arnett, Todd Fryer, Jim Simmons, Paul Maunder,
John Connolly, left to right, back row, Mark Kippen, Mark Mehlenbacher,
                        Dan Vanderlelie, Clint Smith.
                                                                                                                                                 ONTARIO PROFESSIONAL
                                                                                                                                               FIRE FIGHTERS ASSOCIATION

                                                                                                                                               executive board
                                                                                            SPRING 2004 Volume 12, No. 1                      President:
                                                                                                                                                            Fred LeBlanc
                                                                                                                                              Executive Vice-President:


INDEX…
Two-Hatters…Bad Judgment…And Destructive
                                                                                                                                                            Brian George
                                                                                                                                              Executive-Director:
                                                                                                                                                            Wayne De Mille
                                                                                                                                              President-Emeritus/Editor:
Pat De Fazio, Editor .................................................................................................................2
                                                                                                                                                            Patrick J. De Fazio
OPFFA 7th Occupational Health And Safety Seminar
                                                                                                                                              Vice-President No. 1 District:
Pat De Fazio, Editor .................................................................................................................4                     Greg Colton
Leadership – What Is Required Today?                                                                                                          Vice-President No. 2 District:
Fred LeBlanc, President .............................................................................................................9                      Barry Quinn
Executive Vice-President’s Report                                                                                                             Vice-President No. 3 District:
                                                                                                                                                            Jim Byatt
Brian George, Executive Vice-President ......................................................................................10
                                                                                                                                              Vice-President No. 4 District:
Collective Bargaining – The Part That Makes Me Go Hmmmmm!                                                                                                   Jim Simmons
Greg Colton, Vice-President, District #1           .....................................................................................11
                                                                                                                                              Vice-President No. 5 District:
Not Everyone Runs At The Same Pace                                                                                                                          Ed Dickson
Barry Quinn, Vice-President, District #2 .....................................................................................12              Vice-President No. 6 District:
Report from District #3                                                                                                                                     Randy Richards
Jim Byatt, Vice-President..........................................................................................................13         Vice-President No. 7 District:
                                                                                                                                                            Joe Adamkowski
Report from District #4
Jim Simmons, Vice-President .....................................................................................................14            Publications Mail Agreement No. 40065059
Report from District #5                                                                                                                        Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to:
Ed Dickson, Vice-President .......................................................................................................15            Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association
                                                                                                                                                            292 Plains Road East
The Over Managing Of The Fire Service                                                                                                                    Burlington, Ontario L7T 2C6
Randy Richards, Vice-President, District #6 .................................................................................16
                                                                                                                                                The comments expressed by an individual
Health and Safety Representative                                                                                                                 may not necessarily reflect the official
Daryl Stephenson, Chair, Health and Safety Committee .........................................................................17                  position of the Ontario Professional
                                                                                                                                                       Fire Fighters Association.
Ontario Federation Of Labour Occupational Disability Response Team Programs
Douglas Wendorf, Member, WSIB Committee ...............................................................................18                    Published & Designed by:
Contributions
Erik Leicht, Chair, Pension Committee .............................................................................................19
                                                                                                                                                         NATIONAL OFFICE:
Kapuskasing Fire Fighters Win Fight Against Terminations                                                                                       420 O’Connor St., Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1W4
Fred LeBlanc, President ...........................................................................................................20              (613) 230-0721 / Fax (613) 230-4964
                                                                                                                                                        Toll Free: 1-800-267-1266

                                                                                                                                                                 Art Director
                                                                                                                                                          Richard J. Robertson
                                                                                                                                                       e-mail: richrob@allstream.net

                                                                                                                                                            Assistant Art Director
                                                On The Cover:                                                                                                 Heather LaFleur

                                                                                                                                                    Layout Designer / Print Production
                                                The Occupational Health and Safety Committee are                                                                Ina Silva
                                                responsible for getting out information to the
                                                membership across the Province of Ontario. They do                                           ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:
                                                this by mailings, questionnaires, district meetings and                                      The Intrepid is published for the Ontario Professional
                                                the holding of an Annual Health and Safety Seminar.                                          Fire Fighters Association by CBU Publications Ltd.
                                                                                                                                             Reproduction by any means is strictly prohibited
                                                They are an important integral component of the                                              without the prior written consent of the publisher.
                                                service provided to the OPFFA membership. They                                               CBU Publications Ltd. assumes no responsibility
                                                                                                                                             for statements of fact or opinion made by any contributor.
                                                do an excellent job. Congratulations.
                    Pat De Fazio,
                    Editor




                        TWO-HATTERS…
BAD JUDGMENT… AND DESTRUCTIVE

O
      ne of the greatest, if                                             that we have to them as well as
      not    the   ultimate     of                                       those who are working on our
      occupations in the world is                                        behalf today. What I have said so
that of a professional firefighter.                                      far, from my point of view, is
It does not matter where                    “But if you look into that   totally indisputable. We should
you live or work, there is a
sense of belonging. You can
                                          mirror and you know today      be, and most are, grateful for the
                                                                         type of representation that we
feel it when you walk into a
room. The conversation flow,
                                              that I am a full-time      have received over a great
                                                                         number of years.
the air of confidence, the                professional firefighter and         But there are some of our
crisp handshake, the quick
                                                                         members that just “don’t get it.”
bonding, and that obvious sense          I am going to work part-time    When you get up in the morning
of collectivity that permeates
                                                                         and look in the mirror and
the gathering. You have an               in another Municipality for a   you are a full-time professional
immediate sense that we are
unassailable, that our adver-         lower wage and lesser benefits,    firefighter, and part of that
                                                                         family that I talked about
saries can not hurt us no matter
how great the might, or the             (better known as two hatters)    earlier, you should be immense-
                                                                         ly proud of yourself. But if
surreptitiousness of the attack.
It is a comfortable feeling, one
                                          you should feel shame and      you look into that mirror and
                                                                         you know today that I am a
we have earned and fought for            repulsiveness. Because you      full-time professional fire-
over a long period of time.
Protections that have been               have without a doubt sullied    fighter and I am going to
                                                                         work part-time in another
entrenched in our constitutions
and collective agreements and               your own reputation and      Municipality for a lower wage
legislative edicts. Benefits that                                        and lesser benefits, (better
are drenched in the sweat of              struck a damaging blow to      known as two hatters) you
representatives who have come                                            should     feel    shame    and
and gone, fought and left, and           the word professionalism in     repulsiveness. Because you have
some that are a distant memory                                           without a doubt sullied your
in the minds of those of us who
                                                the fire service.”       own reputation and struck a
are still around. And many who                                           damaging blow to the word
have died and are completely                                             professionalism in the fire
forgotten. We owe everything                                             service. Yes, you can cloak it,

2 INTREPID
“The continuance of “two-hatters” would                                      firmly entrenched. What we need is a
                                                                             lot more of the Whitby local resolve to
seriously impair the inviolability of our                                    this serious situation. This membership
                                                                             stood united in their effort to solve
organizational structure and we can not                                      the two-hatter issue in their municipality.
                                                                             And they won. They went the trial
let that happen.”                                                            route     under    the  IAFF      procedure
                                                                             and withstood all kinds of pressure but the
                                                                             trial board decision was in their favour.
disguise it, make it out what you want it to be, but you     I am not going to get into all the details of the
know in your heart it is wrong, terribly wrong and           trial and what transpired as this information
will only create acrimony and bitterness within our          can be acquired from the OPFFA office. Suffice to
membership. You have probably witnessed it already.          say that the “two-hatter” in this instance has left the
To get us fighting from within has always been a             Whitby department and is now working for the
loathsome “management tactic.” In this instance, you         office of the FMO. That in itself is another story that
are a pawn of your own making which others will use          drips with hypocrisy and was clearly set out in the article
to drive the proverbial wedge of division within our         “Two-Hatter or Two Faced” written by OPFFA President
organization. Those who would attempt this will never        Fred LeBlanc in the summer 2003 issue of the Intrepid,
succeed. They never have in the past, and they never         volume 11, No. 2.
will in the future. My advice to you is “don’t get in bed       In some instances two-hatters will defy everything that
with management.” They will toss you out quicker than a      is right and proper and continue to spurn the “team
municipal CEO picking up his outlandish severance            concept.” They could care less about you, your shift,
pay on his way out of town. For some inexplicable            the whole association, or for that matter the entire
reason there are some members of our Association that        organizational structure. They are not a team player and
notwithstanding the amount of factual evidence that has
                                                             are strictly in it for themselves. When it gets to this point
been presented by the IAFF and the OPFFA against
                                                             and all conventional methods of eradicating the problem
“two-hatters” they continue to participate in this very
                                                             have been exhausted, then its time to employ some good
harmful practice. How much consultation and dialogue
                                                             old “peer pressure”. There is nothing more humiliating
does it take to convince these members to stop carrying
                                                             and embarrassing than being rebuked by your own people.
on in this manner. This is an issue in my view that
                                                             In short, tell him or her to get lost. Don’t get involved
impacts on the very structure of our profession. Does
that not mean anything to those of you who insist            with them in any venture. If they come in the room,
on performing this so-called community initiative? I would   then you walk out. You may have to work with them
think so. But if it does not, then you as a result of        to do your job properly and protect the public, but you
your own action have “drawn the line in the sand.”           do not have to tolerate them even for a minute.
We must defend our position at all costs. We can not         If this approach sounds too tough, just think for a
do anything else. It is repugnant in the extreme to have     moment what they are doing to you as a professional
to battle with our own members, but that is what it has      firefighter and those who have gone before you. It’s time
come to at this point in time. We are left with no           to take a stand and do what you have to do. The
alternative whatsoever. The continuance of “two-hatters”     professionalism of our occupation is at stake. This is
would seriously impair the inviolability of our              something we can not afford to lose in any way shape
organizational structure and we can not let that happen.     or form.
I know that I am
a d m o n i s h i n g
a relatively small group
of our members who                             “In some instances two-hatters will defy
are carrying on this
practice but that is how               everything that is right and proper and continue
these damaging situations
begin. They have to be                    to spurn the “team concept.” They could care
stopped in the incipient
stages    or   little   by            less about you, your shift, the whole association,
little they become more
                                 or for that matter the entire organizational structure.”
                                                                                                           INTREPID 3
                    TH
OPFFA 7 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY SEMINAR
                   FEBRUARY 2,3,4,5, 2004
         COURTYARD MARRIOTT HOTEL, TORONTO, ONTARIO
                                                                      y

T
    here were one hundred and sixty-nine (169) consultants that           Canadian Safety Equipment.
    attended the foregoing Safety Seminar. This included the          y   Clarica.
    executive board of the OPFFA and the guest speakers. Lots of
new faces permeated the audience and the interest level was high.     y   Class “A” Fire and Rescue.
The Health and Safety Committee working very hard on behalf of        y   Draeger Canada Limited.
the OPFFA consists of Daryl Stephenson from London who is the         y   Family Services Employee Assistance Programs.
chairperson, Gerry Pedwell, Pickering, Richard McCurdy, Vaughan
and Ellard Beaven from Timmins. The President of the OPFFA, Fred      y   Fire Service Management Limited.
LeBlanc introduced the safety committee and the members of the        y   Hazmasters Environmental Equipment Inc.
executive board to the consultants and thanked them for the work      y   M & L Supply, Fire and Safety.
they are doing on behalf of the membership of the OPFFA.
                                                                      y   Metz Fire and Rescue.
  Subject matter for the Safety Seminar included some of
the following:                                                        y   Mi-Cell Fire Systems Limited.
• Westray Mine Tragedy and Bill C-45.                                 y   MSA Canada Limited.
•   Firefighter Nutrition and Wellness.                               y   MWG Apparel Corporation.
•   Auto Extrication and Firefighter Safety.                          y   Operation Respond Institute Inc.
•   SARS - Are we prepared for another possible outbreak?             y   Respan Products Inc.
•   Update on SCBA air quality in Ottawa and a respiratory            y   ResQtech Systems Inc.
    protection program.                                               y   Safedesign Apparel Limited.
•   Critical Injury Insurance for firefighters.                       y   Team-1 Emergency Services Inc.
•   Operation Respond.                                                y   Technical Standards and Safety Authority.
•   MSA - Firefighter SCBA facepiece - new information.               y   Total Fire Group.

•   Elevator Emergency Response Training for Firefighters.
                                                                         By all accounts, this was an outstanding Safety Seminar and
•   Ontario Health and Safety Act Overview.                           thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. The OPFFA Safety
•   Firefighters and Heat Stress.                                     Committee is to be congratulated for their work in this regard. A
                                                                      thank you goes out to all of the guest speakers for their excellent
•   Firefighter Rehabilitation.                                       presentations to the consultants. The OPFFA Safety Committee
•   Reading Smoke.                                                    are a key element in providing information and knowledge to the
                                                                      firefighter safety representatives, and others, so they will bring
  There were a large number of manufacturers who exhibited their      back this material to the local level, and use it to the betterment
products at the Safety Seminar and they consisted of the following.   of health and safety for their respective memberships.
y Acklands Grainger.                                                     There is a huge interest within the OPFFA with respect to
y   Angus Fire.                                                       health and safety and this specific Safety Seminar is getting
                                                                      bigger each year. This was clearly evidenced when you had nine
y   Association Fire Equipment Research.
                                                                      consultants from one local attend this Safety Seminar.
y   Bacou-Dalloz.                                                        Until the next OPFFA Safety Seminar. Stay safe!

4 INTREPID
 President Fred LeBlanc opens the safety seminar and welcomes      Caroline Smith speaks to the consultants on firefighter nutrition       Peter Methner, Professional firefighter from Niagara Falls gives a
                        the consultants.                                                   and wellness.                                         presentation on auto extrication and firefighter safety.




                              TH
OPFFA 7 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY SEMINAR




Denis St. Denis from the Ottawa Fire Department gives an update    District Chief John Lane from the Toronto Fire Services speaks to the   Robert Gray, Senior Advisor, Occupational Health and Safety for
 on the Ottawa air quality situation and discusses a respiratory   consultants on SARS and are we prepared for another possible out-              Via Rail makes a presentation to the consultants.
                       protection program.                         break, and what your department must do to protect its firefighters.



                                                                                                                                                                                     INTREPID 5
Assistant to the General President of the IAFF responsible for Canadian Operations Jim Lee, on the
 left and Sean McManus, Nelligan O’Brien Payne address the consultants on the “Westray Mine
                           Tragedy” and the impact of Federal Bill C-45.




          Kerin Sparks, MSA, makes a
    presentation on a firefighter SCBA
       facepiece and new information
                         in this regard.                                                                                         Adam Marton from Operation Respond provides information to the consultants
                                                                                                                                 when responding to hazardous material incidents and talks about free software
                                                                                                                                                                    and free training provided for firefighters.




Ken Langer, Technical Standards and Safety Authority makes a              Nicola Burton from Clarica speaks to the consultants about           Joel Waterman gives a complete overview on the Occupational
  presentation on Elevator Emergency Response Training for                         critical injury insurance for firefighters.                           Health and Safety Act to the consultants.
                         Firefighters.


6 INTREPID
Manufacturers Display Their Respective
Products At The OPFFA Safety Seminar
           February 2,3,4,5, 2004




                                    INTREPID 7
   Manufacturers Display Their Respective
   Products At The OPFFA Safety Seminar
              February 2,3,4,5, 2004




8 INTREPID
                    President’s REPORT

Fred LeBlanc,
                      LEADERSHIP– WHAT IS REQUIRED TODAY?
President




“T
          he toughest job in our union is local President” - it      standard of living. Our leaders need and deserve your support.
          has been said many times but it is as true today, if not   They should never be put in the position of asking themselves -
          more so than ever before. Looking back in recent           why am I doing this?
years our leadership has been tested with legislative attacks,          What is clear today is that we are now truly witnessing the
vast legislative change, municipal amalgamation, budget              fallout of legislation that introduced drastic changes to our
restraints, and high membership expectations.                        collective bargaining environment and resolution process to
   We are finding ourselves in an environment where local deci-      laws that facilitated agonizing municipal amalgamations, to
sions have come under intense scrutiny and challenge. Legislation    direct attacks on our democracy.
has introduced uncertainty, where there was                                                  What I have realized is that while the
once clarity, as we continue to experience
‘uncharted waters’. Low tolerance of these
                                                 “What is clear today                     names and faces may be different, our
                                                                                          organization has faced many similar
issues combined with a protracted resolution
process (mediation/arbitration) has resulted
                                                   is that we are now                     challenges and has been successful by
                                                                                          remaining true to the principles that
in membership frustration which has
unfortunately been misdirected at the local
                                                     truly witnessing                     founded our proud union many years ago.
                                                                                             These principles have been captured in our
leadership. While these emotions can be
expected we cannot simply focus on the
                                                       the fallout of                     constitution and polices. Their very existence
                                                                                          and our belief in them are constantly being
individual effects of the decisions but rather
than the advances of the whole. The constant
                                                     legislation that                     challenged whether it be from the legislature,
                                                                                          the bargaining table or from within our
grind of being reminded how a decision
made for the whole has potential negative
                                                   introduced drastic                     own membership. These principles were
                                                                                          founded by the same leaders whose determi-
individual effects can be extremely draining.
It is these attacks from within which present
                                                      changes to our                      nation to provide a working environment to
                                                                                          sustain a livable wage and fairness within the
the most difficult test of one’s leadership. This
type of frustration and discontent directed
                                                 collective bargaining                    workplace forged much of the legislation that
                                                                                          protects our rights.
at the elected officials despite their best
attempts to provide proper representation
                                                    environment and                         Our members must realize that today’s
                                                                                          standard of living was not simply a gift
leads to apathy within the membership.
   Apathy presents a dangerous situation
                                                 resolution process to                    from benevolent employers but a result
                                                                                          of struggles to have the essence of our
whereby important and sometimes life
altering decisions are made by the minority
                                                  laws that facilitated                   profession properly recognized. There were
                                                                                          many hard fought battles that occurred at
yet disputed in the fire hall and not the
union hall by what is seemingly the
                                                  agonizing municipal                     all levels – locally, provincially and
                                                                                          internationally. This hard work, commitment
majority. This style of criticism rings
hollow as every member is given the right to
                                                   amalgamations, to                      and honouring our values have provided
                                                                                          professional fire fighters in Ontario with
be heard on an issue facing its local union.
That time is at the local union meeting.
                                                    direct attacks on                     excellent working conditions that provide for
                                                                                          our members and their families.
Attendance at local meetings is expected by
all members and represents a small sacrifice
                                                    our democracy.”                         Despite the ‘new’ challenges (both
                                                                                          external and internal) our principles remain
in comparison to those who choose to step                                                 resolute in our collective ability to address
forward and lead. We all enjoy the benefits of membership, and       them. It is incumbent upon today’s leadership, and membership
there are many, but we must acknowledge and accept that there        to understand, respect, and uphold these principles.
are also burdens of membership.                                         Facing adversity can be difficult but remaining true to the
   Leaders at all levels dedicate much of their personal time with   principles that have established the professional fire fighters as
great sacrifice to themselves and their families to preserve and     one of the most envied unions anywhere makes our choices easy.
enhance our collective and individual rights as well as our                    Remember union membership doesn’t cost it pays!


                                                                                                                        INTREPID 9
Brian George,
Executive Vice-President
                           Executive Vice-President’s Report
T
     his years fall season has come and gone in no time at all it seems.    firefighters to be able to collectively bargain and run the their own
     The fruits of our labour in Political Action are still waiting to be   organizations our association will be under attack from organizations
     seen. The new government is attempting to claw themselves out          and individuals such as Ted Arnott. These members would gladly
from underneath the weight of a rather large albatross called debt.         see legislation forwarded to dismantle our recognition clauses in
   This year’s OPFFA Legislative Conference was another success-            order for them personally to make good wages as part time fire
ful event. While there were some real trials and tribulations with this     fighters at the detriment of everyone else. Let’s not allow them to call
conference, we did succeed in our goals. The conference was placed          themselves volunteers any longer, because they certainly are not!!
in jeopardy when the sitting government did not call an election as it      They don’t care about the how long it took to see these rights
was anticipated in the late spring, early summer, mid summer, or late       included into our Collective Agreements, and they don’t care if
summer. When it was finally called there was so much change to the          “Right to Work” legislation is allowed to enter into our legislation. If
face of the government we did not know what to expect.                      we continue along this path, we will lose much of our ability to
   The change to the government left many obstacles for the new             achieve the rights and decent wages fire fighters have worked so
government, a new set of cabinet ministers needed to be set, along          diligently to acquire. You can hear the screaming and whining if their
with ministerial staff and executive assistants. These were set             full-time wages aren’t protected though! They will likely blame it on
only four days prior to our conference and that made scheduling             their local executive not doing a good enough job even though it was
arrangements next to impossible. Some of the problems that we               that member who pulled the rug out from under them. Many of these
encountered were the lack of addresses for the new government.              members had committed to serving notice to their paid part-time
Offices had not yet been assigned in Queen’s Park. Many of the new          employers that they would be resigning these positions in the future.
staffers for the MPP’s were still unsure in their roles, and what kind      As well as Arnott’s letter, the Fire Marshal sent out a directive to all
of commitments they could make to scheduling of appointments. As
                                                                            fire chiefs to inform him of any department that had members resign
true fire fighters, we were able to overcome these obstacles and
                                                                            from their part-time positions and whether or not it will be a threat
move on. Our members persevered and were able to get into see a
                                                                            to public safety. When it was requested of him by the OPFFA to
large majority of the 103 MPP’s. Several more of the MPP’s had
                                                                            measure the impact of full-time fire fighters acting as part-time in
committed to visits back in their constituency offices, so by all
                                                                            another municipality, Bernie Moyle thought the career department
accounts, we had succeeded in our goal in getting our message to as
                                                                            chiefs could do that on their own. It is high time that the full-time
many of the MPP’s as possible. We will now hopefully be able to
                                                                            municipal chiefs and Administrators started realizing what it is
achieve some of our objectives over the next while with a new
                                                                            costing their taxpayers for allowing these two hatters to make a good
government that speaks of seeing “change” happen in the province
of Ontario. I want to emphasize that we are working with the                dollar off of their tax base! As usual the Fire Marshal of Ontario
different ministries and that we need to be patient as this new             apparently doesn’t have the care or concern of full time fire fighters
government attempts to find it’s course. We don’t intend to wait            in Ontario. It certainly is a one way street for Bernie Moyle and he
forever and we are looking for the assurances on different issues.          doesn’t mind proving it any time!!
Stay tuned, we will let you know things are progressing.                       As a membership we are growing again, we have a new local in
   The issue of two hatters is slowly creeping back into the land-          Orangeville, IAFF Local # 4328. We would like to welcome these
scape. At our legislative conference MPP Ted Arnott sent a letter to        new members to our growing family. This new local started out
the Association threatening action if any two-hatter was asked to           with three members and added seven more full time professional
uphold their obligations to our constitution and by-laws. Imagine           fire firefighters to that municipality. The local executive is
that! Someone being asked to live up to the obligations they                working with District Three Vice President Jim Byatt in an effort
willingly agreed to in order be able to derive the benefits that protect    to bring about a first contract. With Jim’s past experience in
their livelihood. Ted as usual could care less that some of these           working with locals getting new contracts we hope to see
members are using that very moratorium as a shield to hide behind           Orangeville come up with a good working agreement.
and are now using that moratorium to prod our local’s executives.              We are currently gearing up for the Spring Educational Seminar.
This practice has to stop before it destroys the fire service as we         The spring will go quickly as the convention creeps closer. I am
know it. Ted Arnott’s private members bills is nothing more than            looking forward to seeing the members again during the district
“Right to Work” legislation. His intent is to eliminate the ability of      meetings and the 2004 convention. Hopefully the members
fire fighter’s to have closed shops. Until such time as our own             will attend in full force to Richmond Hill and make this year’s
members stop putting their own greed ahead of the rights of                 convention a great success. See you in June and stay safe.

10 INTREPID
                    Report from                  District #1
                  Greg Colton,
                  Vice-President District #1




        COLLECTIVE BARGAINING –
                     THE PART THAT MAKES ME GO Hmmmmm!
W
       ell, it’s that time of year again and a number of locals   respective fire station. Let’s give that the importance that it
       in District One are just entering the collective           deserves. But what we do know, is that a company officers
       bargaining process. Some are fortunate enough to be        abilities are really tested when the rubber hits the road or
just wrapping it up.                                              when the “shit hits the fan.”
   The one item at the table that never seems to be an easy          I think that we can all agree that the company officers of
one to resolve is the promotional issue. You will have            today are not going to learn everything they need to
members that support the merit based system, and others           learn just by attending the fire college. It is a balance of
that will swear by the senior qualified system. My                experience that takes time to acquire. The training and
experience has been that your best bet is to want the one         willingness to be a good company officer. Somehow we
diametrically opposed to the one the Chief wants. Fire            need to convince our employers that we know what we are
Chiefs and Corporations are willing to go to boards of            talking about when it comes to promotional issues. This is
arbitration on an issue that costs them absolutely nothing in     one instance when we believe that we definitely know what
the way of overall compensation. That’s what I mean about         is best for our member and the fire service.
things that make me go Hmmmmm!
   Let’s break down why the Chief would
like to be able to hand pick his officers,               “My experience has been that your best
and in a number of merit based systems
that is exactly what happens. There are             bet is to want the one diametrically opposed
a number of locals in District One where
that one issue will break their union                                to the one the Chief wants.”
apart. If Fire Chiefs are able to promote
who they want, it can, and will have a very
serious impact on morale. Firefighters like anyone else have        The key I believe is to find that equilibrium between merit
to believe that they have an opportunity for advancement.         and experience and that is not an easy task. If all of our
Fire Chiefs quite often will select, not on ability or            locals stay true to our core values, bargain hard and fair,
experience, but on the members willingness to carry out the       I believe every firefighter in Ontario will benefit. I don’t
Chiefs wishes. It appears it has less and less to do with         profess to have all the answers to the promotional dilemma,
firefighting ability or fireground management.                    but I do know that a promotional policy where the Fire Chief
   We all know that part of a company officers duties and         can select or reject a candidate on a whim, is not in the best
responsibilities is the day to day management of their            interests of your membership.



 “Fire Chiefs quite often will select, not on ability or experience, but on
the members willingness to carry out the Chiefs wishes. It appears it has
 less and less to do with firefighting ability or fireground management.”

                                                                                                                INTREPID 11
                             Report from             District #2
Barry Quinn,
Vice-President District #2




   NOT EVERYONE RUNS AT THE SAME PACE
A
      significant experience of servicing a District is the privilege      Every one of these actions take a piece out of your representa-
      of meeting members from the various Locals. Most are              tive and eventually it’s the Local that begins to scar. I am not
      firefighters who became interested in specific issues in times    advocating that you resist questioning the actions of your
past. Some remained interested long enough that they never                representatives – in fact you must to ensure accountability.
realized they were hooked on presenting these initiatives, as well      Perhaps the methodology, location and motives are the question-
as many more as time ticked by. For the latter, many years have         able variables that should be scrutinized before launching an
past, now the battle scars don’t heal                                                             inquisition. I have not perfected this and
quite as quickly, and yet they still carry                                                        still find myself embroiled in discus-
the torch into the fray protecting those            “Indeed some of our                           sions that would be better suited in a dif-
who protect others.                                                                               ferent environment.
   Not everyone attacks objectives in the
                                                members seem strangely                                As a District; at the time of writing
same manner. Some are slower and                                                                  Smiths Falls have successfully fought
meticulous, others quicker and sometimes
                                                satisfied when phoning to                         four grievances which pertained to
offensive, others vary their offence to suit                                                      contracting out, disciplinary action, acting
the situation or even the foe. What we
                                             threaten law suits or confirm                        pay, and recognition for FPO duties.
must remember is to remain focused on                                                             Congratulations to Randy and his
our common goals. We all strive for the
                                                   they have commenced                            membership. Brockville has avoided
betterment of the membership as a whole                                                           going to interest arbitration by negotiating
at the end of the day – how that is attained
                                                  legal action against the                        a one year agreement that included
is up to the individual or group you have
entrusted with that task. It is much easier
                                                Association for whatever                          benefit and wage enhancements.
                                                                                                  Kingston is about to embark on a trial
to fight issues on one front than to fight
obstacles on both sides of the barbed wire.
                                             flavour of the month a lawyer                        24 hour shift and Pembroke’s president
                                                                                                  and health and safety chair may seek
   All too often I hear of how so and so has
decided to see what life outside the union
                                              might have convinced them                           redress from a misguided management
                                                                                                  attack aimed at them. All is relatively
is like. With them goes a decade or better
of dedication, education, experience, and
                                                 to put forward. Most are                         quiet in Quinte West while Belleville is
                                                                                                  investigating the demutualization issue.
knowledge. Some say it’s because of the
time away from family; others declare
                                                frivolous and disappear –                         Gananoque and Deep River have made
                                                                                                  their submissions and are waiting for
their tired of fighting the same olds battles
over and over, and some are just worn out
                                               but some, even though they                         bargaining to commence. Cornwall was
                                                                                                  still waiting the outcome of a strange
from taking the hits from both sides of the
fence. It’s bad enough that management
                                                  have vaporized, leave a                         round of negotiation which will be
                                                                                                  decided by an arbitration award. Nearby
takes an inch or two of skin over the
course of a union activist’s life span – now
                                                 scar deeper than anyone                          Hawkesbury is discussing certain work-
                                                                                                  ing conditions for their communications
we have our own members threatening
them with this and that and throwing in
                                                       would expect.”                             officers. Things are quiet in Renfrew and
                                                                                                  Prince Edward County while the Ottawa
some other things for good measure.                                                               Airport Local is working out the wrinkles
Indeed some of our members seem strangely satisfied when phoning        at the new airport terminal that recently opened. Napanee is
to threaten law suits or confirm they have commenced legal action       wondering what has happened with their OFM review as it appears
against the Association for whatever flavour of the month a lawyer      to have come to halt. And lastly, the Ottawa Local has exchanged
might have convinced them to put forward. Most are frivolous and        submissions for the 2004 round of bargaining.
disappear – but some, even though they have vaporized, leave a scar        Well that pretty well raps it up for this article. Take care and
deeper than anyone would expect.                                        stay safe.

12 INTREPID
                    Report from                 District #3
                   Jim Byatt,
                   Vice-President District #3




I
   must start by updating the EMS issue in the City of           in many other municipalities in Ontario who were sitting
   Owen Sound. As members, you are well aware that               back watching.
   this has been an ongoing saga. Well here is the latest          Unfortunately for all the workers involved (firefighters
twist. The OLRB decision finally came out in favour of           and paramedics) this has been three or four years of
the Corporation (as I last reported, Intrepid, winter 2003).     hell! The not knowing and not being informed of the
As it turns out the Corporation had never received passage       plan caused the rumour mill to run rampant within the
of this model from the upper tier level of government.           paramedics and firefighters. And without a plan on paper
In most cases the Provincial Government downloaded               to keep workers abreast, it contributed to the demise of
this service to the respective County, and in this case it was   this whole issue.
Grey County. Well, the Corporation wins the day at the             The Corporation’s vision had lots of merit and would
OLRB and now goes to the County council with their vision        have improved service to the residents of Owen Sound.
only to be turned down!                                          The saddest part of this issue is the simple truth that it came
   Anyone who says that political action (lobbying) does         down to a representation issue.
not work needs to pay attention to this case. It now               For the citizen of Owen Sound who is laying on the
appears that enough time had elapsed and the
municipal elections took place. The union
representing the local paramedics lobbied the         “Unfortunately for all the workers involved
politicians and raised enough doubts with the
Corporation’s plan that they were able to win              (firefighters and paramedics) this has
the day at the County level when this issue
finally came to a vote.                                          been three or four years of hell!”
   Unbelievable you say! Well you can
imagine the cost implications of this issue that
started back in the 1990’s. Everyone from the local,             sidewalk requiring assistance (maybe life or death)
provincial and international associations have invested not      TIME is the single most important factor. Trained
only financially, but with countless days and days of time,      firefighters may be able to assist this taxpayer sooner due
travel, stress and meetings dealing with “what if scenarios.”    to fire station location, response time, availability as well
   On the Corporation side of the question they probably         as other factors.
have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars when you                Throughout this whole exercise this issue has been
look at the number of staff consumed with this issue             overlooked, and the simple truth is that the politicians
for years. Not to mention legal costs for a particular Toronto   failed to recognize the potential improvement in service
law firm representing you for years and years.                   delivery as well as cost efficiencies. Once again, you can see
   Anyone who has been to arbitration recently is well           politicians who are guided by emotions and falsehoods,
aware of legal costs and can only imagine the cost               and facts were not allowed to cloud the issue when it came
implications of this long drawn out process. The                 to a vote.
Corporation’s model of how this integrated department               This model will one day re-surface in another area and
was to be put into place was in all probability the              may well be implemented to pave the way in Ontario.
correct way to go. It certainly would have paved the way            Take care and stay safe!


                     “For the citizen of Owen Sound
    who is laying on the sidewalk requiring assistance (maybe life or
            death) TIME is the single most important factor.”
                                                                                                               INTREPID 13
                       Jim Simmons,
                       Vice-President District #4




                     Report from                     District #4
A
     s we approach five months into the new Provincial              be useful in the next round of bargaining for firefighters in
     Government mandate, I suspect this may be a repeat of          the Halton Region.
     an old movie. The newspapers are all reporting                   The Oakville firefighters are in the process of electing a
that salary restraints might be in order and public servants        new President as Don Davis stepped down due to personal
should be part of the solution. The phrase “Dalton Days”            reasons. A number of grievances are currently pending
has a disgusting ring to it, but every decade since the             over staffing and time off.
seventies has had some form of                                                               The Hamilton Local has settled a
                                                                                         Collective Agreement for 2003 through
government interference in our Collective
Bargaining Process.
                                                    “I wonder whether the                2005 that mirrors the Police settlement.
   The legislative conference held in
November 2003 has failed to produce, to
                                                    liberals have deserted               There is a problem with their memorandum
                                                                                         identifying Part 1X Firefighters and the
date, the desired results with OMERS                   us? If that be the                ultimate resolve may be litigation.
                                                                                            Down Niagara way, the Thorold
autonomy, staffing and the audit of
the Fire Marshal’s office is still in limbo.         case, watch the next                volunteers are taking a strike vote and there
                                                                                         is a contingency plan in place, but has not
I wonder whether the liberals have
deserted us? If that be the case, watch the             elections with a                 been revealed to the firefighters.
                                                                                            The Port Colborne local had a member
next elections with a slogan that might be
“The Road Back.”                                     slogan that might be                wanting to stay past 60 and the City agreed,
   District #4 has some stability with 9 out                                             and members of the local decided to change
of 10 locals having a current collective               “The Road Back.”                  the collective agreement to age 65.
agreement. Halton Hills is currently                                                         As the winter trudges on, the number of
bargaining, as their agreement expired December 31, 2003.                                issues seems to be expanding throughout
   The Halton Police has ratified an agreement for 2003-2005.       the Province. The Burlington local will host the District #4
The details are available in the office, but the significant item   meeting on April 21, 2004, and I look forward to a productive
I believe is the 3,6 and 9 bumps for experience pay, which will     meeting prior to the 2004 Convention.




  CHANGE OF ADDRESS:
  If you are in the process of moving, or have recently             Name:
  moved to a new address, please advise us of the following
  information so that we may continue to provide you with a         Old Address:
  copy of this magazine.
                                                                                                  Postal Code:
  Please forward to:                                                New Address:
  Ontario Professional
  Fire Fighters Association                                                                       Postal Code:
  292 Plains Road East
  Burlington, Ontario L7T 2C6                                       Date:



14 INTREPID
                     Ed Dickson,
                     Vice-President District #5




                    Report from                   District #5
D
      ue to the different durations of most of our Collective     start negotiations anew without the weight of an unratified
      Agreements, the locals in the 5th District are at varying   agreement to interfere with the process. President Bernier
      stages in their respective bargaining processes.            and his executive board are to be congratulated for hanging
The following is a brief synopsis of how each are doing           tough and accomplishing as much as they have under
at this time.                                                     very difficult circumstances. As mentioned above their
  Woodstock: Currently in the last year of their contract and     agreement runs till the end of this year.
President Bloomfield is happy to report that all is quiet.          Chatham/Kent: The Association held elections recently
A new Chief has been appointed and former Association             and congratulations to Dan Parent on becoming the
president Scott Tegler now has the job.                           new Association President! Former President Mike Vinall
  London: London’s agreement expired at the end of                decided to step down and I know I speak on behalf of the
2003 and their negotiations are expected to start sometime        Chatham/Kent local in thanking Mike for his hard work
in March. The London Police Association should be                 and dedication. Currently they are putting together their
well into their negotiations and a better idea of where           submissions for the next round of negotiations.
they are going will help out President Holmes and the               La Salle: Their agreement expires at the end of 2004
London negotiating team. A threat of lay-offs may have            and they are looking at the trend toward senior fire
been avoided after a series of public meetings were held          fighter rates as a basis for the next round of negotiations.
at local malls at which a lot of the Association members
                                                                  Don Howson is happy to report that other than a string
attended. As a result the city re-allocated $1million back
                                                                  of car accidents and a major oil spill things are moving
into the Department’s budget so the future looks better
                                                                  along well.
as far as lay-offs are concerned. The city is still looking
for a Fire Chief, and has recently hired a Deputy Chief             Amherstburg: President Brush has submitted proposals
from Cambridge his name is Dan Oldridge.                          for this year’s negotiations as the agreement was up at the
                                                                  end of 2003.
  St. Thomas: President Scott is happy to report that
the final hirings has taken place which now brings the              Windsor: Currently in the middle of a three year deal that
on duty complement up to 10 fire fighters daily. A total          expires at the end of 2005. Not a lot else happening other
 of 16 additional fire fighters were hired as a result of         than the usual day to day issues.
the inquest following the line of duty death of Brother             That is briefly what is happening in our district. I look
Redman. In a surprise move the City fired several of              forward to seeing everyone at the April Seminar and
the top executives at city hall and have chosen to                I hope everything goes your way in your own locals.
eliminate the position of CAO and instead strike a                Keep the faith!
committee from the various Department
heads to do the job. Negotiations will
start at the end of 2004 when their current
agreement expires.                                      “In a surprise move the City fired several
  Sarnia: After a bumpy couple of
years and after a lot of very hard and
                                                       of the top executives at city hall and have
dedicated work on the part of the Sarnia
Association Executive Board, things have
                                                     chosen to eliminate the position of CAO and
turned around some for the local and they
are looking forward to the end of this
                                                     instead strike a committee from the various
year when their agreement expires, to
                                                                 Department heads to do the job.”
                                                                                                              INTREPID 15
Randy Richards,
Vice-President District #6
                             Report from       District #6
        THE OVER MANAGING                                                                                 OF
           THE FIRE SERVICE
I, like you, have seen many changes at the fire hall. Some good, some bad.
We have had red trucks, yellow trucks, and then back to red ones.
Some departments even have black ones.
We used to be a Fire Department, now we are a Fire Service.
But one change that is most disturbing is the proliferation in the number of people that are now deemed necessary to manage
our emergency responders.
This is a relatively new phenomenon.
They come with many names, Deputy Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs, Assistants to the Chief, Division Chiefs, Assistant Deputy
Chiefs, Manager of Emergency Services, ad nausea.
There is a cost and the citizens are paying.
They are paying with fewer fire fighters at their local fire hall in some communities.
The ranks of management are swelling at a time when the number of on-duty fire fighters has remained the same, and
unfortunately in some jurisdictions, on-duty fire fighter numbers have decreased.
I don’t know why municipal councils are not questioning this increase in managers.
Were fire departments that poorly managed before that an increase in management is necessary at this time?
One thing I’ve noticed is that in some instances, it is the same people doing the same jobs, but now as managers they are
eligible for the management pay packet.
It is pretty obvious that management costs have ballooned.
Doesn’t make any sense to me.
If as many tax dollars were spent on developing a plan to implement NFPA1710 in our communities as has been spent swelling
the ranks of management, just imagine the possibilities.
It’s time for this madness to stop.



    “If as many tax dollars were spent on developing a plan to implement
    NFPA 1710 in our communities as has been spent swelling the ranks of
                 management, just imagine the possibilities.”
16 INTREPID
                             HEALTH AND SAFETY
                             REPRESENTATIVE
Daryl Stephenson,
Chair, Health & Safety Committee




A
      fter many months of organizing,
      the OPFFA Health and Safety            “The feedback the committee members received
      seminar was held this year
from February 2-5 at the Marriot
                                              from the participants was that this seminar was
Courtyard in Toronto. The feedback
the committee members received
                                                 very informative and helpful to our health and
from the participants was that this               safety representatives across the province.”
seminar was very informative and
helpful to our health and safety
representatives across the province. Thanks to our locals           Nicola Burton, Clarica – Critical injury
for sending members to the seminar, and the 15 Fire                 insurance for firefighters
Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs who also attended. A total of
                                                                    Adam Marton, Operation Respond – information for
160 firefighters registered for this year’s seminar! A
                                                                    firefighters responding to hazardous materials inci-
manufacturer’s display was held on the Tuesday, and the
                                                                    dents, free software available to Departments
basement of the Courtyard was completely full. We even
had a waiting list for manufacturers who wished to                  Kerin Sparks, MSA – CBRN face pieces for firefighters
attend. For members looking for any new equipment,
                                                                    Ken Langer, Technical Standards and Safety Authority
this was the place to be. Displays were set up of bunker
gear, boots, helmets, gloves, SCBA, ropes and accessories,          – Elevator emergency response training for firefighters
thermal imaging cameras, etc. etc. the list goes on and             Joel Waterman – the OHSA and firefighters;
on. Next year we will move this display up to the main              Confined Space Regulation, Bill C-45 and firefighters
floor, and expand the number. The seminar continues to
grow each year.                                                     Dr. Tom McLellan – firefighters and heat stress
  For those of you who could not attend, here is a list of          while wearing bunker gear
speakers that attended and the topics for their presentations:      David Ross, Toronto Fire Services – firefighter
                                                                    rehabilitation – new information
     Caroline Smith, M.S. – Fueling the Fire Fighter
     Sport Sense Co.                                                Peter McBride, Ottawa Fire Services – Reading Smoke!
     Peter Methner – Auto Extrication and
     Fire Fighter Safety                                           As you can see, the seminar covered a wide range of
                                                                 topics affecting firefighter safety. The Committee is already
     John Lane, Toronto Fire Services – SARS –                   planning for next year, to be held in February 2005.
     are you prepared?                                             A request was brought forth by members at the seminar
     Denis St. Denis, Ottawa Fire Services – air quality in      for copies of all orders issued by the Ministry of Labour to
     SCBA and a Respiratory Protection program                   Fire Departments. As the Section 21 Committee does
                                                                                               not receive copies, would all
                                                                                               Associations please forward
“Displays were set up of bunker gear, boots, helmets,                                          copies of any orders from MOL
                                                                                               Inspectors to Wayne DeMille at
gloves, SCBA, ropes and accessories, thermal                                                   the OPFFA office in Burlington.
                                                                                                  Stay safe, train like your life
imaging cameras, etc. etc. the list goes on and on.”                                           depends on it, because it does.


                                                                                                                INTREPID 17
                       Workplace safety and
                       insurance board committee report
Douglas Wendorf,
WSIB Committee




    ONTARIO FEDERATION OF LABOUR
   OCCUPATIONAL DISABILITY RESPONSE TEAM PROGRAMS

R
     ecently on behalf of the OPFFA I had the opportunity to             the worker’s reluctance to submit a WSIB claim for working
     attend a Level Three course, Appeals & Dispute Resolution.          injuries. When a worker decides not to submit a claim to the
     The program took place last October at the same time as our         Workers Safety and Insurance Board, for injuries occurred at work,
Fall Seminar.                                                            they forgo a multiple of legislated worker’s benefits and rights.
   The program delivered by the Ontario Federation of Labour was              The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act legislates the
designed to provide the skills necessary to participate at the hearing   employer’s obligation to re-employ the injured worker, accom-
stage and various other resolution problems that may arise through a     modate pre-injury, and permanent impairment, wage loss and
WSIB claim. The Appeals and Dispute Resolution Level was                 benefits to age 65.
designed to be built on the previous Levels One and Two that have           If the injury is not reported to the joint Health and Safety
been offered at the OPFFA seminars.                                      Committee they have no recourse in preventing the incident
   The Program started on a Saturday evening and ran to the              from re-occurring with another employee. This gives the
following Friday. This was one of the most intense workshops             employer, the Health and Safety Committee an opportunity to
I have ever attended.                                                    research, investigate the incident and how to prevent further
   Brothers and Sisters who took the program were from all different     injury to the workers.
Unions, auto, steel workers etc. Forty-eight took part in the               The Ontario Federation of Labour continues to promote
workshop where we were each assigned to a group of four. Each            Occupational Disability Response Team (ODRT) programs.
member was given the opportunity to be involved in a work related        These are offered in different levels.
case where you were the worker, worker representative, Employer or           Level One, Rights and Obligation, is designed to provide an
Corporation representative.                                              overview of the Workplace and Safety board. This level will
   Participants were given in depth analysis of different dispute        provide a basic understanding of the WSIB.
strategies, including Mediation at the Appeals Resolution                   Level Two continues from Level One and deals with benefits
Officer level, the WSIB Alternate Resolution, Dispute                    and Changes to Bills in the Act. Members will learn how to
Resolution model, and at the Workplace Safety and Insurance              examine claim files.
Appeals Tribunal level. Each group spent endless hours                      Disputes and Resolution teaches representatives to properly
gathering information about their claims, which were to be               represent workers in disputed claims.
properly addressed and presented in a professional and                      Medical Orientation prepares the representative with basic
knowledgeable manner. By the end of the course, thirty–six               human anatomy, body functions, work related injuries and
hours of assignments were completed. Representatives were                occupational diseases. This is a complete six-day program.
prepared to properly represent workers and employers at all                 The last is an Early Return to Work. This course is to
levels of the WSIB system.                                               identify barriers, duties and suitable work for the worker.
   The purpose of all this, is for the representatives to be             This is a five-day course.
prepared; an ill preparation could be costly to the worker. Being           I look forward to completing the Medical Orientation and
well prepared will result in cost saving to the system. These            Early Return to Work portions of the ODRT.
representatives will have the skills to resolve issues earlier and          The Ontario Federation of Labour has resources, which
to develop alternative dispute resolution strategies that will ease      may be of assistance to our member.
the backlog throughout the appeal structure.                                Thanks to Colin Argle, of the Federation of Labour for
   By the end of the workshop I returned home feeling confident.         inviting the OPFFA to the workshops.
When my assistance is requested I will present an appeal at a               I look forward to assisting members if they have a
professional level. The recurring concern expressed by the team is       W.S.I.B. concern.

18 INTREPID
                           Pension Report
                                                CONTRIBUTIONS
Erik Leicht,
Chair, Pension Committee




A
     s everyone can see from their pay stubs, contributions are back.     •   No contributions enabling members to put away additional
     The original plan, for the return of contributions, was to have a        money into savings
     three-year phase in, which would have seen contributions at
                                                                          •   Opening the early retirement window from 1998-2004
2/3 the normal this year. Due to the three years of negative returns
the OMERS Board had a fiscal responsibility to move the date for            Recent federal changes governing pension plan surplus now give
full contributions forward to this year. The new full contribution        the plan some flexibility regarding reduction of contributions. In
rates are higher than full contributions were prior to the contribution   1997, the OMERS Board did not have any alternative than to give
holiday. The increase was required to maintain proper contributions       employees and employers a full contribution holiday, the law stated
for the benefits provided by the plan. Improved benefits gained           that if the plan’s value was higher than 110% of the plans liabilities,
through the surplus increased the cost of the plan, now those costs       the employer received a contribution holiday. The employees
need to be fully funded by contributions. The new rates are; for          received an equal contribution holiday as it is clearly stated in
normal retirement age (NRA) 60 - 7.3% up to the Yearly Maximum            the OMERS Act the employers and employees split costs and
Pensionable Earning (YMPE) which is set at $40,500 for 2004 and           surpluses. The new rules allow for plans to reduce contributions to
then 9.8% on any amounts above the YMPE, for the NRA 65 - 6%              75%, 50%, 25% or 0% depending how much in excess of the 110%
and 8.8% respectively.                                                    mark they are. It is unlikely that current active members will see a
   A recap of the past six years:                                         contribution holiday similar to what has just ended again.
    Up to December 31, 1997            Full Contributions
                                       NRA 60 - 7% & 8.5%
                                       NRA 65 - 6% & 7.5%                 Statutory Holiday Pay –
    January 1998 - July 1998           2% contribution reduction          Contributory Earnings for OMERS
                                       NRA 60 - 5% & 6.5%                    A bit of background on this issue, in October 2000, OMERS
                                       NRA 65 - 4% & 5.5%
                                                                          revised contributory earnings categories from three (must
    August 1998 - December 2002        Full Contribution Holiday          include, may include and must not include) to two (must include
                                       No contributions by                and must not include). This change was endorsed by the OPFFA
                                       employee or employer               due to the fact that employers were using the ‘may include’ items
    January 2003 - December 2003       1/3 of normal contribution rate    as negotiable items, which was not the meaning of the category.
                                       NRA 60 - 2.43% & 2.93%             The revised categories eliminated that problem but created a new
                                       NRA 65 - 2% & 2.5%                 problem. According to the OPFFA and many employers the
    January 2004 - Forward             Full Contributions                 “Statutory pay in lieu of holiday” (not overtime) was a ‘may
                                       NRA 60 - 7.3% & 9.8%               include’ item. With the changes in 2000 this item was moved into
                                       NRA 65 - 6% & 8.8%                 the must include category and then later moved into the must not
                                                                          include. The OPFFA immediately expressed its dissatisfaction
                                                                          with the change. The Pension Committee has completed a survey
Six years with reduced or no contributions                                regarding this issue to identify locals that have been contributing
  Having the surplus, increased some already good benefits, for           to OMERS on Statutory pay. Fourteen (14) locals have been
example:                                                                  identified as having contributed to OMERS on statutory pay.
• Spousal Benefit increase from 60% to 66 2/3%                            Therefore, the OPFFA has retained legal representation on this
                                                                          issue. The OPFFA wants to see OMERS contributions remitted
•     Spousal/dependant maximum from 75% to 100%                          on statutory pay in lieu of holiday (not overtime).
•     Canada Pension Plan Offset reduction from .7% to .675%
•     Inflation protection from 70% to 100% of the Consumer               OMERS Autonomy
      Price Index
                                                                            OMERS Autonomy was one of the issues lobbied by OPFFA
•     Calculation of YMPE average from 3 to 5 years, (this                members during the 2003 OPFFA Legislative Seminar in
      lowers the CPP offset at 65)                                        November. Our position is unchanged and we trust that the
•     One time payment to retired members to bring up all                 Liberal Government will uphold their non-monetary election
      indexation to 100% of CPI.                                          promise to give OMERS autonomy.

                                                                                                                              INTREPID 19
 KAPUSKASING FIRE FIGHTERS WIN
  FIGHT AGAINST TERMINATIONS
Fred LeBlanc, President, OPFFA




    T
        he Kapuskasing Association of Professional Fire      Arbitrator Kaplan issued his award on December
        Fighters fought back and won the fight for their   17, 2003. Kaplan agreed with the Association’s
        livelihood and the full-time protection for the    position that the Town breached the Collective
    Town’s residents.                                      Agreement in five different articles and dismissed the
      On September 2, 2003 Kapuskasing Council             Town’s interpretation that the FPPA (Fire Protection
    passed three readings of a by-law calling for the      and Prevention Act) gave authority for the Town
    disbandment of the fire department and termination     to conduct itself in this manner. The arbitrator
    of all full-time fire fighters.                        concluded in his award by stating:
      The IAFF and the OPFFA responded to the                “I conclude that the collective agreement is in force,
    Town’s misguided action by launching grievances        that the grievance is allowed and the termination of
    on behalf of the terminated members and                the four full-time fire fighters must be rescinded.”
    applying for a Court Injunction.
    The IAFF approved a request
    to provide legal counsel under
    the Canadian Legal Assistance             “I conclude that the collective agreement
    Policy. Sean McManus from
    Nelligan/O’Brien/Payne was
                                               is in force, that the grievance is allowed
    contracted to represent the local.           and the termination of the four full-time
      On September 23, 2003
    OPFFA President Fred LeBlanc                        fire fighters must be rescinded.”
    made two presentations to Town
    Council before a packed
    Council chamber. Over 60 concerned citizens, and         Mitch Lauzon spokesperson for the local said
    some 40 professional fire fighters who traveled from   “this is a great Christmas gift for our members
    as far away as Timmins, Toronto and London             and their families. We cannot thank the OPFFA,
    were present in a strong show of support for the       IAFF and all the members for their incredible
    terminated members.                                    support. Now it is time to finish negotiating
      The Town agreed to defer the terminations and        our contract.”
    have them heard by expedited grievance arbitration.      The local is now proceeding to interest arbitration
    The parties agreed to Arbitrator William Kaplan on     to conclude this round of negotiations. Their
    December 6, 2003.                                      collective agreement expired on January 31, 2002.



20 INTREPID
The OPFFA Executive Board goes high tech and each are provided with personal lap top
computers to further enhance the service that is being provided to the membership of the
Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association. From left to right, Jim Byatt, #3 District VP,
     Greg Colton, #1 District VP, Fred LeBlanc, President, Barry Quinn, #2 District VP,
  Brian George, Executive Vice-President, Wayne DeMille, Executive Director, Randy
     Richards, #6 District VP, Jim Simmons, #4 District VP, Ed Dickson, #5 District VP.
    (Missing due to illness when picture was taken, Joe Adamkowski, #7 District VP.
                   There is no #7 District Report for the same reason).
           Ontario Professional Fire                                                             PM40065059
           Fighters Association
           292 Plains Road East
           Burlington, ON L7T 2C6




The Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association Executive Board visit City Hall on January 15th, 2004 to
  lobby the Mayor and City Council concerning issues that impact on their Association. From left to right,
   Fred LeBlanc, President, Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, Mayor Bob Chiarelli shaking
    hands with Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association President, Dave Stephenson, Ron Phillips,
                    Executive Member, Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association.

								
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