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Alameda Firefighters Do Not Want Overtime

For Immediate Release
24 JAN 2009

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Alameda Firefighters and the Neighborhood Firehouse Alliance have been working diligently to provide accurate information regarding the City’s intended action of implementing “Brownouts” on 26 JAN 2009 to the Citizens and Business owners in the City of Alameda. Recent blog articles sparked by media coverage and a phone message delivered to Alamedans have asserted that the firefighters are using “scare tactics” to urge citizens to contact elected and appointed officials in order to preserve overtime and hold on to “fat” contracts.

The firefighters know the impacts of the proposed Ambulance and Fire Truck closures and are simply trying to educate the community on just where that risk is going to end up. It is very simple; it will end up ON THOSE EXPERIENCING AN EMERGENCY AND THOSE WHO ARE RESPONDING TO HELP THEM.

We have indeed offered solutions, which include no raises, controlling costs, and re‐organization of departmental functions that would further limit future City liability WITHOUT IMPACTING THE DAILY DELIVERY OF EMERGENCY SERVICE.

I will say it again and again. The daily use of overtime as a regular staffing measure is fiscally irresponsible. Frozen and unfunded positions have had the most significant contributing impact on the escalation of the overtime expenses. The firefighters DO NOT WANT THE OVERTIME! The average firefighter in the City of Alameda has worked 480 hours of overtime a year, or 2 additional months for the past several years, that is time taken away from our firefighter’s spouses and children. For nearly four years now we have been trying to get the Fire Chief, the City Manager, the City Councilmembers, and now the community, to understand this. We DO NOT WANT ALL OF THAT OVERTIME.

All Public Safety contracts expired in January of 2008 yet all remain in full force, for the citizens of Alameda, until a successor agreement is ratified. They are all available to view on the City of Alameda’s website. The firefighters, when compared to like firefighters in other local and comparable jurisdictions, would rank about 15th out of 27.

The phone calls and printed materials you have received on the subject have been paid for by the 93 members of the Alameda Firefighters Association and the Neighborhood Firehouse Alliance. We are doing it to protect all of us from increased response times and the dangers that come with them. We are doing it to keep all of us safe and to serve you! We are not doing it because of contract negotiations or any other political reason.

For more information, please attend one of our Town Hall meetings or visit www.savealamedafirehouses.com.

Domenick Weaver, President
Alameda Firefighters IAFF Local 689 AFL-CIO

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