ALTS 2013

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Thank you to the UFFW Executive and Membership for giving me the opportunity to attend the 2013 ALTS that was held from January 21st to 25th 2013. ALTS is the Affiliate Leadership Training Summit put on by the IAFF and attended by locals from across Canada and the United States. Topics covered range from bargaining strategies to social media in the workplace.

The days were long but I believe the information seminars will be of benefit in my tenure as a representative of the membership.

The first day was particularly interesting as I attended a full day seminar by the AAA. No it was not a presentation on proper vehicle boosting techniques, (mind you we were in Phoenix) but rather an in depth discussion by the American Arbitration Association. All aspects of arbitration were discussed from evidence gathering to witness preparation.

The majority of the sessions I attended throughout the week focused on grievances and preparing for them. While these classes in no way make me an expert, I believe they provide a good foundation on the subject and the knowledge gained will certainly be of benefit in the future.

The opportunity to network with other locals and listen to their issues brings home how fortunate our situation is. Keep in mind, where we are today was not given to us but in fact earned by the hard work of this local and yes, the politics we enter into is a huge factor of our success (nod in agreement).

In Kitchner the City Council removed five hundred thousand dollars from the fire budget and the issue of privatization was raised. Earlier proposed cuts to Toronto L3888’s budget would have removed five trucks from service. Moments after signing a four-year contract Corner Brook Newfoundland L1222 received layoff notices for four members. These are a few Canadian examples and think of all the issues in the USA you have heard about where locals are being decimated because of municipal mismanagement.

We did take in a movie one night. If you ever get the opportunity to attend a movie called BURN, take it. It’s an independent project (limited showing) and one of the most interesting fire fighting movies I have seen. Some of the movie proceeds are going to help purchase equipment for the Detroit Fire Department, which should tell a little about the state of that city’s fire department. A group of filmmakers immersed themselves in a Detroit firehouse for a year to tell their story, and what a story it is. Those gladiators at 1 station think they’re busy? Try following the boys in Detroit for a tour. A city that goes from a population high of 1.7 million to 800,000 leaves behind whole lot of vacant buildings. Suffice to say there are many stories within the story, this movie is a must see.

On the compensation side we continue to work with many of our members to try to find resolve on a host of issues. Not all are won and we have to accept that, but we exhaust every avenue if we believe a member has been treated unfairly. We are currently active on several appeals and awaiting decisions on many others. Often these appeals take some time to get through and even longer to get a decision from WCB. It is important for us to remember to make timely reports in dealing with WCB. Problems in resolving issues only become compounded with a delay in reporting, so whether you think it will be a time lost situation or not, report it. If it’s not, no harm, if it is you are ahead of the curve, and please go and seek medical attention for the injury. That will be one of the main thrusts of the WCB argument “the individual did not seek medical attention for the injury”. Take the time and get it checked out. If your body doesn’t feel right, it is in your best interest and your responsibility to get it checked out.

Very shortly you will be reading information and hearing about the next initiative started by President Forrest as we embark on the task of having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder covered under the presumptive banner. Fire fighters and emergency workers in general are exposed to situations and events that can have a huge impact on one’s mental state. Other jurisdictions in Canada already have this benefit and we feel it is well worth having pursuing for our members. More information to follow!

Click here to access a Personal Exposure / Injury/Illness Information Log.

This form is to be completed and kept with your personal record to be used as a reference if a claim is made at any time in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns about this log please contact any member of the Compensation Committee:

IF YOU HAVE COMPENSATION CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS or if you are injured on the job contact a member of the Compensation Committee Immediately, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

TJ Belluk (Chair) 799-7227 Contact TJ Belluk

Rob Labossiere (WCB Board Rep) 471-3473 Contact Rob Labossiere

Neil Shaw 479-5244 Contact Neil Shaw