As we begin a new year, we are also beginning a new chapter as a Union. Although I will be taking seat as the new Union President this is not my Union this is OUR Union. Moving forward I would like for us to move away from the negativity and get back to the tight knit family oriented group that we once were. In order to be a strong Union we need to be a united Union that stands together and looks out for one another. Each and every one of you has a voice in this Union, and all of us should take some ownership of it. The Executive Board is made up of 11 members. The President, two Vice President’s, and the Secretary Treasurer make up the four Principal Officers. Each shift has two Shift Stewards and there is one Day Shift Steward. Our total membership is around 250 people. We have several new Executive Board Members some were elected and some were appointed. Although they may not realize it, a lot of thought went into each one of those seats. We wanted a strong E Board that had the same overall goal of making our Union better which will in turn make our Department a better place to be. Each one of them have different strengths and views that will help make me and US better as a whole.
The most common questions I get is “Why should I be in the Union?'', and “What does the Union do for me?" I hope this will help explain many of the reasons to be a Union member. The Union is made up of the Executive Board and the Membership, within the Union are two other dependent organizations. The Indian River Firefighters Benevolent Association and The Vero Beach Firefighters Association. These two organizations were developed to represent the Firefighters and Paramedics of Indian River County. In the past, the optics have been the Union on one side, the Firefighters Association and the Benevolent Association on another all as separate entities, and legally we are. If you are a dues paying member of the Union you are a member of the Association and the Benevolent. You cannot be a member of the Association or the Benevolent if you are not a dues paying member of the Union, and this is one of the ways we are all connected. Our goal moving forward is to bring the three organizations together as a united front, working closely together to reach our goals collectively and as individual groups. The Union’s focus will continue to be politics at the City, County, and State level. A lot of hard work has been done politically over the last few years. We will continue that work, which in itself is a full time job. I think we all saw that work pay off during our last Contract negotiations. The new contract has been the most lucrative contract in our history. I believe it was a big step in the right direction for our future as a Union and a Department. We will continue to negotiate your hours, wages, working conditions, ensure you have a safe working environment while on shift, and will continue to protect the discipline process to make sure all members are represented fairly. We will be working directly with the FPF and the IAFF who are fighting for things like your retirement, which at the end of the day is why we are all here and one of your most important benefits. Increasing Health Insurance costs, Workmans Comp issues, Cancer Presumption, and the PTSD Bill are at the top of everyones priorities as well. Every benefit you currently receive has been fought for by the Union.
The Benevolent Association is here for US (the members) and our families to take care of our own when in need. Whether it be direct financial support or fundraising, this is what they do. They also donate too many local charities. The Benevolent has two very successful annual events. This years fishing tournament will be June 16th and 17th along with the golf tournament that is set for this October. The Firefighters Association runs the Firefighters Fair which has been held for the last 42 years. The Association gives Scholarships to our children, sponsorships for your child’s sports teams and events at school, as well as providing new TV’s, grills, Christmas Trees, pots and pans, etc that you see in the stations. They also donate too many local charities. All of these events help us gain support politically while we give back to our community. This is why each and every one of us should be out volunteering a little of our time at these events. All of us should be helping out our brothers and sisters that are running these events, a lot of time and hard work go into them. Everything that the Benevolent and Association are doing comes back full circle to all of us in one form or another. In April the Association and Benevolent will be hosting the Indian River Leadership and Fire Tactics Conference. The Union will be splitting the cost with the Association and the Benevolent, it will be free to all members. The Union will be assisting them in any way they need. This is a way for us to give back to you the members. The overall goal would be to do something annually for the membership that is supported by all three organizations.
We have three strong Boards in place as well as a great Administration. Our Administrations overall goal like ours is to make our Department a better place and I think we are all on the right track to do that. We are looking forward to continuing to work with them on our future goals as well as theirs throughout the next two years. We have a busy year ahead I have listed some of the events below that we will be attending. Regularly scheduled General Meeting’s will be held in the last week of every third month. This year’s first General Meetings will be held January 25th and 26th at the Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown at 7 p.m. If any of you ever have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact me directly or any E Board Member. We are all looking forward to starting a new year!
Joint Board Meeting January 9th 2023
E Board Meeting January 10th 2023
January 25th & 26th General Meetings
Labor Management Meeting February 2023
Firefighters Fair March 10th-19th 2023
FPF Legislative Conference March 20th-23rd 2023 Tallahassee
TCFFC April 2023 Vero Beach
General Meetings April 2023
COLA Negotiations June 2023
Candidate Screening COVB June 2023
Candidate Screening Sebastian June 2023
FPF 79th Annual Convention June 4th-9th 2023 Orlando
IRFFBA Fishing Tournament June 16th-17th 2023
General Meetings July 2023
Nominations for L 2201 E Board August 2023
IRFFBA Golf Tournament October 2023
General Meetings October 2023
Local 2201 Elections Nov 2023
City of Vero Elections Nov 2023
City of Sebastian Elections Nov 2023