; FSFSA Consultation Notes August 11 2009-1
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FSFSA Consultation Notes August 11 2009-1


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									Notes from FSFSA Consultation
August 11, 2009

David Core, Jeff Vowell, Wanda Watson, Wes Singletary & Luisa Johnson
By Phone: Rodney Durbin, Nat Wright, Tommy Price & Marty Harn
Starting Time: 10:00 am

   1. DOF Name Change
   2. SFR Promotion Procedures
   3. Changes to Position Description
   4. 1 Man Crews
   5. Communications

   Other Issues:
   *80 Work cycles vs. 160
   *Out of District Assignment Procedure

 Durbin announced that the Union Employees ratified the new agreement (2009-2012);
 102 voted yes, 5 voted no.

 1. DOF Name Change

 Vowell: There is a job class that already exists but with a different pay grade.
 Watson: The current job classification for Forest Ranger and Senior Forest Ranger is
 utilized to drive the budget (generate salary). It would be a difficult undertaking to
 revamp the system.
 Price: How is that going to affect our positions we currently have?
 Watson: It will not have any adverse impact.
 Durbin: Can the agency just change the title or it has to go thru the process?
 Price: We are trying to accomplish the title change to be better identify us as
 firefighters out in the field. Not necessary for pay grade changes just to be recognized
 better by the public and legislature.
 Core: A working title change will not accomplish being better recognized by the
 legislature, that would take a change in job class.
 Price: It is an agenda item from the members, more of a moral issue.
 Core: Do you realize there is another agency that has Ranger and Senior Forest Ranger
 Durbin: Yes we do
 Vowell: We’ll look a little deeper with DMS and what the Director’s office will do.

 2. SFR Promotion Procedures

 Price: We’ve been getting good feedback, except for a couple of instances, we would
 like to create a policy or procedure on this process to that our members will know what

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Notes from FSFSA Consultation
August 11, 2009
 to expect. For example, applicants were getting different approaches and one location
 was using the 2006 equipment rates.
 Vowell: we were using the 2006 because that is what was is the module, but after
 talking to the Director he agreed to update the module and change the rates and the
 answer key, we are in the process of doing it now and will put it out to the field when
 it’s finished.
 Price: There is also an issue with the interviews and the note taking on the interview
 Core: Procedures for this have been spelled out very well, and has been provided to the
 field units and the supervisors. If the procedures are not followed we make them re-do
 all the interviews. And this is a new procedure, so there is a learning curve - some are
 not going to get it right every time, but putting these procedures in policy is not what
 we normally do. An employee can request that procedure from the field unit, and we
 can ask the field units to distribute the procedure to everybody.
 Price: What kind of feedback are you getting from managers on the Matrix?
 Core: Managers have mixed feelings about it – they are not in agreement that they
 should be prohibited from sitting in on the interview process.
 Price: How about the weighing on years of service?
 Core: Nobody has said anything about this – we think it is a fair weight in the Matrix.
 Harn: Is it possible to furnish individuals a copy of the procedures?
 Price: We could also put it on our website once those procedures are done (a link).
 Vowell: I don’t think we’ll have a problem with that, but of course we could not
 include the test and certain other aspects of the procedure and we have to keep it
 current once we post it.

 3. Changes to Position Description

 Vowell: Does that response we drafted satisfied your question?
 Price: Not really, if you are going to add duties to a position it should come with a pay
 increase, and when adding duties to a position we need to be notified and it should be
 Core: Is there a reference in the contract that requires negotiation on that?
 Price: The reference in the contract is on the occupational profile being affected,
 changing the position description without the occupational profile being affected. The
 issue is if there is a vacant position and you add position descriptions to it, where is the
 justification to do that.
 Core: We don’t do that, we have generic position descriptions for the Forest Ranger and
 Senior Forest Ranger, and the helicopter pilots and fixed wings pilots – the exception to
 that is that if a Forest Ranger or a Senior Forest Ranger is on our asbestos team they
 receive a 5% SPI for that.
 Price: Example: A SFR doesn’t require CDL A but if that position becomes vacant the
 supervisor has the option to adds CDL A as requirement for that position description.
 Core: Yes, it would be based on the needs of the Division.
 Price: We have no way of challenging that, or try to negotiate it on our contract.
 Core: Why would you want to bargain going from a class B to class A CDL?

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Notes from FSFSA Consultation
August 11, 2009
 Price: If you have two Senior Forest Ranger one with 10 years and another one with 15
 years and the one with 15 years leaves, the one with 10 years that has the same pay but
 now has the additional requirement.
 Core: What you are saying is that we should pay more because they have a class A than
 the one that has a class B?
 Price: Correct, it is a harder job
 Durbin: Brought up that he heard that the equipment committee is recommending to the
 Director’s Office that the Forest Ranger and Senior Forest Rangers get a class A CDL
 due to the new type of John Deere 650 K or heavier or longer and they will not fit in
 our transports on the current configuration – may have to go to a low-boy.
 Core: yes, there are some field units that require all of them to have class A because
 they have so many class A type vehicles in their unit.
 Vowell: We are not necessarily in favor on going to lowboys, in some places they are a
 fit and some places they are not – we will have to wait and see what the future brings.
 Price: If we are going to start adding duties to the positions that should be something
 that should be negotiated.
 Vowell: We don’t fell like changing the CDL is additional duties – it just qualifies the
 individual to operate a different (not necessarily more difficult) piece of equipment.
 This is something I would think should be a positive for employees – they gain a
 valuable skill and are licensed in that regard.

 4. 1 Man Crews

 Price: We found Rangers out on fires by themselves, the fire manual indicates that there
 are supposed to be additional position there but doesn’t always happen. It is a safety
 Core: Have there been any incidents?
 Price: No, But we are trying to prevent incidents.
 Core: The fire manual states that they are not supposed to be out there by themselves.
 Harn: We might need to have two people on call, 40% to 50% fires a Ranger goes to
 they are by themselves.
 Price: Doesn’t believe that all the options on the list of answers for item 4 are qualified
 to work as a look out.
 Core: why is that?
 Price: What good does an OALE officer do, same with a cooperator if they are not
 trained by us, then they are not qualified as a look out. Fire departments remain on the
 road while we are deep in the woods fighting fire and they have no idea what we are
 doing, and we have no communication with them because they all are 800 MHz
 Harn: There are structural fire departments that go to fires with us but there is no
 communication with them, they are all on 800 MHz.
 Vowell: Reiterated that the procedure is to dispatch a second unit to fires after normal
 hours, if one of the listed individuals are not present, and if is not happening it is not a
 procedural issue is more of a management issue, and we can make sure it happens.
 Price: He believes it is a procedural problem.

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Notes from FSFSA Consultation
August 11, 2009
 Harn: If there could be communications, that will resolve the problem. If the Ranger
 feels unsafe when they get to the scene, they would sit on the transport and wait for
 another unit to show up.
 Vowell: Dispatch should have some knowledge of what is going on out there, if another
 qualified individual, if there is a cooperator, they will know who is out there. If the
 conditions called for by the fire manual are not met at the arrival of the first guy, then
 another unit needs to be dispatched. Once again if the procedure is not being followed
 then we need to deal with it in another venue.
 Price: Don’t think that initial attack firefighters should have to worry about who is
 qualified to serve as a look it when arriving to a fire. That should be established before
 the firefighter gets to the scene.
 Core: It all comes down to the expectations of what is required for after hour fires.
 We’ll clarify what the expectations on qualifications should be on the second person on
 the scene.
 Vowell: We will take a good look at it; we’ll get with Forest Protection and have
 another look at the fire manual and what the expectations for the second person that is
 there to assist on the initial attack.
 Harn: Communications is the biggest problem the 800MHz vs. 900MHz, not being able
 to communicate to the fire departments.
 Core: Field units that are allowing that without firefighting operations without common
 communications are not doing what we are telling them. We need to be informed about
 those specific situations.

 5. Communications

 Price: A lot of mixed reviews on the repeaters, a lot of dead areas, people don’t know
 what channel to be on. Myakka and Orlando had problems.
 Durbin: The system is good, it’s the equipment that’s the problem (consoles) in some
 Vowell: Got feedback from the field and the response is that there are some bugs to
 work out and there is a learning process, but in general it has been a positive change to
 the agency, technically and financially. We are working on getting the bugs out.

 Other Issues

 80 vs. 160 Hour Cycle

 Price: We know that because we are an emergency response agency we are on the 160
 hour cycle. We know that changing that to 80 hours would be an overtime issue. But
 we are still going to bring this issue up at every meeting.
 Durbin: Is OALE in a 160 hr cycle?
 Watson: They are on a 192 hr. cycle.
 Price: Is there any possibility of DOF looking at going to an 80 hour schedule, overtime
 should not be an issue, time management is time management weather is 160 hr or 80.

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Notes from FSFSA Consultation
August 11, 2009
 Vowell: It is an overtime issue and we don’t have an overtime budget. This is a bad
 time to approach the legislature and ask for an overtime budget, we have lost positions
 and we have to work with that 160 hour period to offset the time.
 Core: The folks on the 160 hour cycle are the ones that will have overtime more so than
 the ones on 80 hours. We have been told that no State agency gets an overtime budget
 Price: On the 2% vetoed by the Governor, the agency is still going to lose 2 %, (off
 salary $$) is that going to affect the money that will be available to pay overtime that
 we get every year.
 Core: Yes it does, it is a recurring change that will take effect every year.
 Price: The overtime for IMT members - is there budget for that, or that’s paid out of
 Core: Paid out of our salary budget, we would have some extra because we build rate.

 Out of District Assignments

 Price: We understand we are emergency responders, but instead of just sending people,
 couldn’t we send them on a voluntary basis?
 Vowell: We’ll send the closest people, and will make it work on the most cost effective
 way both for fire control and cost. Firefighting is what we do – it’s not voluntary on
 the part of our Rangers.

 Other Issues

 Durbin: On the CDL reimbursement, for positions that required CDL, if an FAS has a
 CDL but is not required by the job description, then the division will not pay for it?
 Vowell; If is not required by the job description the Division will not pay for it.
 Durbin: If you have a previous endorsement and it is not on your position description
 then the employee has to pay for it?
 Vowell: That is correct.
 Core: Now that the contract has been ratified, we are going to put the CDL
 reimbursement information in the DOF policy manual - what we are paying, when we
 pay for the CDL renewal. And we are paying for the difference between the class E and
 the cost of the CDL and the required endorsements.
 Price: would it be possible for Rodney to get a paragraph on the DOF newsletter?
 Core: We’ll discuss it up here with the Director and we will let you know.

 Wright: What is the policy or procedure for heat related working conditions? We think
 there should be a cut off when temperatures are high.
 Core and Singletary: There are not, aside from precautionary methods: taking brakes,
 drinking plenty of fluids etc.

 Wright: Spit cups in state buildings and state vehicles, what is there a policy?
 Core: There is no set policy but there are some buildings that are tobacco free and all of
 them are smoke free.
 Wright: There are spit cups left in vehicles and the people who are leaving those cups
 are not removing them, why sould I have to deal with that?

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Notes from FSFSA Consultation
August 11, 2009
 Core: The person who left the cup or bottle should be the one to dispose of it.
 Vowell: The best way to deal with that is to make the person who does it accountable
 for it – look at the vehicle log, see who left it and make them clean it up. This is not a
 “policy” type issue. It should be handled at the local level.

 Meeting adjourned at 11:45 am

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