Protecting You While You Protect Others
For most modern firefighters, joining an IAFF local is their first experience as part of a union. Many wonder what the union is and what it does for them.
The answer is pretty simple: The union is there to protect firefighters while firefighters protect public safety.
- A seat at the table: Every aspect of your salary, benefits and working conditions is governed by the contract negotiated by the local union. Without a union, firefighters are at the mercy of the whims of their employers. With a union, they have a voice.
- A champion for workplace safety: Firefighting is dangerous work, but it’s a lot more dangerous without the right gear. Every significant step forward for job safety – PPE standards, 2-in, 2-out, Cal-OSHA, NFPA 1710 – came not because employers loved firefighters, but because the local and state unions fought to get them.
- An advocate when times get tough: As public safety professionals, firefighters’ are under close scrutiny, and discipline can be unfair and arbitrary. The local union contract secures firefighters’ basic workplace rights. The Firefighters Bill of Rights guarantees you representation and protects your rights against unfair discipline.
- An outlet to get your voice heard: For workers who don’t have a union, filing a grievance is often a one-way ticket out the door. Through the union, firefighters can get their issues heard by management (P.S. it also gives them a way to make their union better, too.)
- A strong voice with the powers that be: Everything about a firefighter’s job is governed by decisions made by elected officials. Through political action at the state and local level, firefighters get to help choose their boss. And when it comes time to follow through, it’s the union that holds them accountable on your behalf.
If it matters to your job, your health, your safety, your rights and your retirement security, it matters to your union.
The union is all of us.