July 6, 2007
We have recently learned that the arbitration process will resume on August 2, 2007 and continue through August 3, 2007 at which point there will be yet another recess until August 15 & 16, 2007. This is merely clear evidence of our earlier observation of the difficulty in coordinating the schedules of ALL of the principle participants and we are confident that there is no reason other than that for the delays. The venue for the continued proceedings has not yet been determined and we will report on that or any other changes as additional information becomes available.
As you know, having failed to reach agreement in negotiations this year for FY’08 (which begins today, July 1, 2007) we proceeded to arbitration at the direction of our membership. The arbitration process began on Sunday, June 24th and continued through seven consecutive days and coming to a recess late in the afternoon of Saturday, June 30th. We use the term recess rather than conclusion because over the course of those seven days, only the Union side of the case was presented to the panel of arbitration and the City has yet to begin to present its case.
It is believed that we will resume sometime in late July or early August and while both sides are expecting that an additional four days will be necessary, it might well require more time than that though four additional days are what is being planned and scheduled. It is instructive to understand that scheduling such proceedings involving more than a half-dozen lawyers, expert witnesses, and the various others involved is no easy task particularly with summer now at hand. It is for reasons of necessity, not choice, that there will be a delay but whatever the terms of the resulting award might be, it will be retroactive to July 1, 2007. Also, the current terms and conditions of our M.O.U. will continue until a decision is made by the panel of arbitration at which point any new terms or conditions will be implemented.
Finally, in the interest of full-disclosure, we must report that two of the seven days of arbitration just passed were utilized in a continued effort to reach a settlement agreement with the City to no avail. That “last-ditch” effort was initiated at the behest of the independent arbitrator who, absent an agreement, will ultimately pass judgment and it would NOT have been in our best interest to refuse and/or not make a good-faith effort. Had we reached any tentative settlement agreement, that would have been presented to the membership in the same manner as the results of the initial negotiations for approval or rejection with the arbitration process on “hold” and to continue if necessary in any event.
Aside from our view that the presentation of the Union side of the case went very well and we remain confident in our position, there is nothing more to report at this time but we welcome any questions, concerns or observations there might be, Feel free to contact any member of the Negotiations Committee and we will be happy to respond as best we can.
The City and the Unions have gone through the "strike" process, narrowing the original list of eleven arbitrators received from the American Arbitration Association and the gentleman selected to serve as the independent is Mr. M. David Vaughan, Esq.. Mr. Vaughan will Chair the three member panel and will determine which side prevails at the conclusion of testimony and cross by both sides. We are to understand that Mr. Vaughan is a genuinely fair and unbiased arbitrator and if you wish to learn more about Mr. Vaughan and his background, click HERE to view his personal biography.
The scheduling of the several days for presentations is the next step and is very much dependent upon Mr. Vaughan's availability though we are hopeful of an early to mid-May proceeding with a final decision made at his discretion.
Results of M.O.U. Vote count on 3/8 & 3/9
To REJECT City final offer and proceed to arbitration:
964 - 103, 734 - 385
To ACCEPT City final offer
964 - 0, 734 - 13
IAFF Local 964 – FY’08 Negotiations Committee
Stephan G. Fugate Headquarters/FPB DAY 410.908.0199
Michael G. Waldner Sixth Battalion “C” 410.908.2179
Michael B. Campbell, Chairman Second Battalion (F) “B” 443.629.0216
Robert J. Jordan Union Hall DAY 410.908.2434
Thomas G. Nosek Truck Co. 3 “C” 410.499.5441
Stephen G. Kowalewski Engine Co. 44 “D” 410.802.8512
Alexander J. Perricone EMS-2 “C” 443.324.3141
Click HERE for the Union`s Arbitration proposal
Click HERE for the City`s Arbitration proposal for 964
Click HERE for the City`s Arbitration proposal for 734
February 18, 2007 - First, I do apologize for the lack of timely updates since January 25th but there has been/is precious little of any substance to report but we are hoping for a dramatic change wherein issues of major concern will be addressed at our next scheduled meetings with the City. In brief, we last met with the City on Friday, February 9, 2007 but that meeting ended abruptly with the news trickling out from Calverton Road. Beginning at around 1045, the two Uniformed members of the City's side left the table one after the other and while it was apparent that something was happening that demanded their immediate attention, it was not until shortly thereafter that the Union representatives began to receive the same information. Needless to say, it was decided that negotiations would not continue and various members of both Locals went to University and Bay View Hospitals to be with our members. The rest, as they say, is history and while not a subject matter of negotiations will surely be dealt with in great detail elsewhere.
The next meeting with the City was scheduled for Wednesday, February 14th which is the day that we were hit with a significant ice storm resulting in the closure of City Schools which is the standard that we'd agreed to for cancellation of scheduled meetings. The Union Locals' teams met that day anyway at 734 with our legal counsel, Joel Smith, and discussed in great detail our proposals now on the table and how we plan to proceed. With time now being of the essence (February 18th as I write) we have scheduled "marathon" meetings for Friday, Saturday and Sunday of next week as well as Wednesday the 28th. and Thursday March 1st.. It is currently our intent to have an agreement or declare impasse and move toward arbitration by the close of our session on March 1st. absent VERY dramatic and VERY productive discussions at that point.
There is, aside from the tentative scheduling, nothing of substance to report and we do not anticipate any "news" or movement prior to our reconvening the process on Friday, February 23rd.. As I have said many, many times before, "negotiations" is not an event, but a process; it's a process that extends beyond the formal, across the table bargaining and continues from year to year. It is not our desire or intent to re-write the entire MOU and we believe we've made legitimate non-economic proposals as well as long-overdue wage and benefit demands that our members have already earned but are not yet being paid. Whether we are able to reach a mutual agreement or defer to the decision of an arbitrator remains to be seen but you can rest assured that we are single-focused on YOUR interests. As always, feel free to contact any member of the committee and we will do our level best to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
January 25, 2007 - In keeping with our agreed to schedule, preliminary proposals were submitted to the City through our legal counsel yesterday for consideration prior to our next scheduled meeting with them on Friday, February 2, 2007. We anticipate a response to some or all of our offerings prior to that meeting and the Locals' teams are currently scheduled to meet (Union teams only) next Wednesday to discuss any City response/counter received. We have also received additional suggestions and proposals that have not yet been vetted by the Locals which might possibly be submitted at a later date or used as counter proposals and/or items of consideration in discussing what has already been submitted as formal proposals. Additional information to be posted when available.
January 22, 2007 - As reported below, the Locals met with the City for the first time last Monday (January 15th.) and though it was mostly a "meet and greet" session of relatively short duration, it was instructive in several ways. First, our understanding that Mr. Peter Chatilovicz of the Washington Office for the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw would, once again, be the principle negotiator for the City was confirmed. You may recall that we have dealt with Mr. Chatilovicz previously with mixed results but, given our first interaction this time around, we are cautiously optimistic that the process will at the very least be cordial and NOT contentious as it has been previously. Second, the recent election results have made way for the former Labor Commissioner, Sean Malone, to move along with Governor O'Malley and the longtime Deputy Labor Commissioner, Deborah Moore-Carter has been named his replacement. Though the confirmation process is pending, Mrs. Moore-Carter will indeed be acting as the Labor Commissioner through negotiations and will presumably play a significant roll in the process. Finally, in terms of Fire Department presence at the bargaining table, Deputy Chiefs Saunders and Ward (alphabetically named) will be joined by our Chief Fiscal Officer, Jim Fischer and we are certain that they will be in regular and direct contact with Chief Goodwin as necessity dictates.
Session one, as stated above, was rather informal and aside from the general pleasantries functional details of the negotiations process were agreed to including a tentative time-frame for the submission of initial proposals, a schedule for continuation of face-to-face meetings, and ground rules which, in a word, there are none. We surely understand and agree that there are general rules of process that we all intend to observe and there's seldom any good for either side in negotiating in the press and our collective experience will see us through without a shopping list of "do's and don'ts" which are too easy to ignore anyway. By the way, there have been years when it took several days of across-the-table negotiations to agree on the ground rules, so this is certainly a positive start.
The Locals agreed to have its' initial proposals to the City by 1500 hours, Wednesday January 24th. and both Locals' teams met again on Saturday (1/20) with legal counsel to fine-tune those initial proposals which will be forwarded to the City as agreed. Those initial proposals are not all-inclusive and though there are some very specific requests, our core economic package is only general in nature at this point and will become more specific as the process develops. There are MANY moving parts to what may be our ultimate economic package and we believe it will evolve through direct negotiations and cannot be "etched in stone" so early on. With all of that said, a final mutual agreement is dependent upon TOTAL agreement and though substantive non-economic issues might be acceptable to both sides, our final MOU for FY'08 will, of necessity, be a complete package that includes economic considerations.
Our next meeting with the City will be on Friday, February 2, 2007 at 734's Union Hall and unless there are matters that need to be addressed before then, we will report again thereafter. As always, we continue to encourage suggestions and ideas from our members and advise you to refer to the list of team members above to whom you should direct your communication. Even though our initial proposals have been formalized, there is always opportunity to inject new information particularly when the written proposals are subject to open discussion and debate. It may well be that a proposal we've already made can be improved and/or supported by additional information so please do not think it's ever too late to add your opinion or observations.
January 13, 2007 - The opening session of negotiations by and between the Fire Locals and the City of Baltimore is scheduled for 1000 hrs. Monday, January 15, 2007 at Local 734's Union Hall. It is expected that there will be preliminary discussions regarding ground-rules, scheduling and perhaps identification of those areas of the current Memorandum of Understanding that will be subject to collective bargaining. As in the past, it is anticipated that the negotiations process will be completed by Wednesday, February 28, 2007 though there has been some debate as to whether or not the "drop-dead" date is actually the first day of March. In any event, we expect to have regular updates posted herein and though it is not our intent to violate any confidentiality agreement that might come to pass, we will do our best to report regularly and thoroughly with our only intent being an effort to keep our members informed.
As always, please feel free to contact ANY of the members of our team to offer suggestions or observations that might be helpful to the process. We do NOT claim to have superior knowledge and though we always do our best, there might well be some things we would otherwise overlook or not consider, so PLEASE don't hesitate to give us your thoughts and ideas.
FY'05, 06 & 07 Negotiations
TOTAL ANNUAL SALARY SCALES FY`06
TOTAL ANNUAL SALARY SCALES FY`07
Effective January 1, 2005
Fire Officers’ Salary Scale
June 12, 2004
Following several weeks of unsuccessful efforts to reach a compromise worthy of our members' consideration, we once again find ourselves precisely where we were at 1500 hrs. on February 29, 2004, which is at impasse. The initial attempt at moving forward with arbitration ended in a day-long "debate" of the merits of each side's position, with something of a consensus to make every effort at a negotiated compromise. All effort in that regard, though sincere and thoughtful, has failed and we are once again on the virtual eve of a resumption of arbitration as we continue to prepare for the process.
Please be advised that the formal arbitration process will resume on Friday, June 18, 2004 with continuation dates of June 21st., 22nd., and 23rd. scheduled though it is entirely possible that all four days may not be necessary. Regardless of the efforts at a compromise agreement that may have included consideration of health care costs and/or some work schedule concession, we remain at a "single-issue" impasse on a wage-only re-opener. That simply means that the only issue to be determined by the Panel of Arbitrators is an award of either the City's offer or the Union's petition regarding wages for FY'05 which begins on July 1, 2004.
To re-cap, the City is offering NO wage increase for FY'05 (0%) and the Unions are requesting a rather modest two-percent (2.0%) of base effective July 1, 2004 and an additional two-percent (2.0%) of base effective January 1, 2005 with an impact of three-percent (3.0%) over the course of the fiscal year.
We will, as best we , keep you advised.
April 3, 2004
Arbitrator has been selected dates have been determined; the single-issue (wage only) arbitration session will take place on Tuesday, May 4, 2004 and Thursday, May 6, 2004. The Arbitrator's decision could come as quickly as twenty minutes (happened before) or several weeks depending upon his process and time-table.
March 10, 2004
Pardon the delay, but it would appear that EVERYONE in the process had predetermined the conclusion of the Locals' membership votes on Saturday, so this notice is merely confirmatory and not really "news".
Indeed, the Washington-based law firm running the show for the City had sent a letter requesting a panel of arbitrators to the American Arbitration Association on March 4, 2004, two days prior to the scheduled vote. Okay, so the "decision" was a no-brainer, but we still find it curious that while the locals were following due diligence, the City thought it proper to seemingly ignore formal Union notification of membership approval to proceed to arbitration. Once again, ladies and gentlemen, the City is telling you, IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, your opinion doesn't count.
So we all know by now that we are headed for arbitration and we all also know what the Administration has chosen as a course of action regarding the City School System debacle. While it was stated during negotiations that the "deal" on the table at that time would NOT impact upon our negotiations/arbitration process, "the deal" on the table at the time was for eight-million dollars from the City's reserves. The stakes have now risen to the tune of forty-two million, and the prospect that this "crisis" will NOT be used against us in arbitration is folly.
This Administration, which has displayed nothing more than disdain for our Department, has now effectively enveloped the fate of our negotiations on YOUR behalf in an issue with which we have NO affect or responsibility and in so doing, has knowingly prescribed the "poison-pill". Once again, all you need to do is swallow.
February 29, 2004
February 29, 2004
To: All active members of Local 964
From: IAFF Local 964 FY‘04-’05 Negotiation Committee
Re: Information/approval meeting
Brothers & Sisters,
At approximately 1545 hrs. today (Sunday, February 29, 2004) negotiations between the Locals and the City reached impasse and this letter is intended, in part, to advise our members of the Negotiating Committee’s intent to proceed to Arbitration.
You will recall that the objective of this year’s process was a “Wage only” re-opener, to close the only outstanding issue remaining from the two-year agreement reached last year. At the close of the final session today, the city’s offer “on the table” was 0% (no, that’s NOT a typo) and the Union’s request was a 4% across the board increase payable as 2% on July 1, 2004 and the remaining 2% on January 1, 2005. Tomorrow morning at 100 hrs., “Final Offers” will be exchanged and though our position will not change, it is possible that the City’s may.
Informational meetings wherein we shall request formal approval of our membership to proceed to arbitration will be conducted as follows;
Saturday - March 6, 2004
0730 hours & 1730 hours
Fire Officers Union Hall
1030 South Linwood Avenue
Please make every effort to attend one or both of these important meetings; the subject matter is limited to that outlined above and we will be prepared to answer any questions our members might have.
Steve Fugate Mike Waldner Ben Alder
Bob Jordan Mike Campbell
Bob Williams George Jones
PLEASE ALSO BE ADVISED OF A SCHEDULE CHANGE FOR OUR SECOND MEETING IN MARCH; THE REGULAR UNION MEETING SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 15TH. WILL BE HELD ON MARCH 22ND. INSTEAD.
February 27, 2004 - Met for another five+/- hours today with the "cloud" of the Sun article, laying-out the initial wage request of the Locals, and negotiations nearly broke-down for lack of what seemed to be common ground. "Final offers", however were made at the last minute and we now await the City's response.
We suppose, however, the less said the better at this point and will adhere to that posture.
PLEASE keep in mind that no matter what happens we WILL be voting on some form of an agreement or recommendation to proceed to arbitration on March 6th. at our respective Union Halls.
February 24, 2004 - Met for more than two hours today with the City and discussed entirely economic issues that run the gamut from across-the-board salary increases, to reclassification of numerous positions, to tradition percentage increases but we are still at completely opposite ends of the scale. While both Locals clearly recognize that the FY'05 component of ANY agreement is to include NOTHING but wages & salaries, there has been some discussion of expanding the talks to include several other issues in the form of agreements that would cover the "out years" of FY'06 and possibly FY'07. There are clear and distinct advantages to entertaining such discussions, even if we do not agree on anything beyond FY'05 as both sides get a sense of what the future might hold, if only in concept.
Our next scheduled meeting with the City is at 1300 hrs. on Friday, February 27th., we have already scheduled another session for Sunday, February 29th., and the Joint Locals will be meeting (without the City) on Saturday to prepare "final offers" in the tradition form to exchange at the close of Sunday's session.
Both Locals have agreed to conduct membership "ratification" meetings on Saturday, March 6th. and details will be forthcoming with regard to times and locations. Local 964's members can go to "Events" page for additional information.
February 23, 2004 - The scheduled meeting with the City side did NOT take place today. Instead, the two Local Presidents, along with their Counsel Joel Smith, met with the Labor Commissioner and the aforementioned Mr. Chatilovicz to discuss how it is we will proceed toward the March 1st. deadline. After that "side-bar" meeting, the joint teams met for more than three hours to debate and discuss what is and what is NOT negotiable unanimously concluding that for FY'05 (the second year of the already agreed to two-year M.O.U.) the ONLY issue on the table is wages/salaries.
Next scheduled meeting with the City is TODAY at 1400 hrs. and though there is a 734 Union meeting scheduled for this evening, we have previously stated our mutual agreement not to negotiate outside of the official process, so any information revealed prior to a tentative agreement must be scant at best.
February 18, 2004 - The third meeting with the City today was, for lack of a better way to put it, a "response" from the Unions to the city's presentation at our last meeting. The issue (economics) is crystal clear, there appears to be a "will" on the City side of the table to accommodate, but the claimed fiscal plight would seem to preclude any agreement at this point.
We were advised today that the City has, once again, retained the services of Mr. Peter Chatilovicz (a TRULY great guy from the D.C. office of Seyfarth Shaw) as there seems to be little or NO confidence in the Department's Official Denigration of the uniform, "Perry Mason". It's always, by the way, very troubling when we seem to agree with the City position on ANYTHING.
Next meeting scheduled for Monday, February 23rd..
February 13, 2004 - The second meeting with the City today was the Annual "Doom & Gloom" presentation by Messrs. Ed & Matt Gallagher, and we don't say that to dismiss what they had to say but merely to put their message in a nutshell without going into great detail. Once again, any Sun Paper article reporting on witness of such a presentation would likely have the headline "Will the last person out of Baltimore, please turn the lights off"....
Beyond that, there's little more to report to our members aside from the fact that our next negotiations session with the City is scheduled for next Wednesday (2/18) and we will report herein what might happen then within the limits of our agreed-to Ground Rule of not negotiating in "The Press". Clearly, this website is NOT "The Press", but is public enough to qualify as a source of information for anyone with internet access, so we'll be appropriately prudent.
One rather amusing observation; there were, but for our own Joel Smith, our Deputy Chief of Administration, and City Officials outside of the Fire Department, FIFTEEN others in the room today; THIRTEEN of whom have earned and deserve the right to wear the uniform of the BCFD, and TWO who simply have not. Yet there were only TWO in a BCFD uniform, and THIRTEEN not... want to guess which way that split went??? Along that same line, by the way, these two have provided some much needed comic relief at Board of Estimates meetings for their professional colleagues by appearing THERE in uniform as well. How pathetically sad.
February 3, 2004 - First meeting with the City today was not much more than a "meet and greet". The "Ground Rules" discussion was little more than an agreement (a MUTUAL agreement) NOT to negotiate "in the media" and we can only assume that means in THIS format as well. So, we will be VERY circumspect in terms of the content of our postings, but we will keep our members advised of the process as best we can.
Next meeting is scheduled for February 13, 2004 and we will report further at that point.
January 29, 2004 - Relatively certain of our members' knowledge of the Negotiations process, in that the prescribed deadline for resolution or arbitration is the last day of February, and only two days away from the first of that month, we now have some substantive information to pass along. We have been advised by the Office of The Labor Commissioner that our first meeting with the City will be held on Tuesday, February 3, 2004 at 1300 hrs.. It is highly unlikely that we'll be even close to an agreement following that meeting, but it is typical and often necessary to utilize ALL of the time up to and including the very last hour of the very last day. We would also add that there is usually a mutual agreement to withhold information discussed unless and until a complete agreement is made so as to avoid confusion and misinformation on both sides of the table. We trust that you'll allow your negotiating committee to fulfill it's obligation to the membership while honoring the ground rules of the process.
The Negotiating Committee, by the way, is a continuance of the FY'04-'05 Committee which includes the following members:
Stephan G. Fugate, Michael G. Waldner (Chairman), Benjamin H. Alder, Robert J. Jordan, Michael B. Campbell,
Robert E. Williams, and George E. Jones.
January 17, 2004 - As you are likely aware, the FY'05 negotiations that will being shortly are merely a continuance of the FY'04 negotiations as we did reach a two-year agreement with the City, except for a wage-only re-opener to cover the coming fiscal year. The Negotiations Committee consists of the same members from last year, proper notice has been provided to the City of our intent to resume discussions, and we are working on fiscal proposals while awaiting word of our first meeting. We will be negotiating jointly with 734, and we will be reporting as necessary in the weeks to come not only herein, but in our newsletter and/or special mailings when needed.
So as not to "clutter-up the NEWS page, we have created this separate page to browse all of the information posted with regard to our negotiations for the coming fiscal year. If you have any questions, or would like hard copies of any documents posted, please either print from this page* or SINGLE click HERE .
Thank You !
April 11, 2003 - Arrangements are now being made for submission of the final version of our ratified M.O.U. for Fiscal Years '04 & '05 to uncontested Arbitration, then it will be submitted to the Board of Estimates for adoption and will be sent to the printer for publication. Until printing is complete and distribution of the new document can be made, this portion of the site will remain as is. Once distribution of the printed M.O.U. is made, however, this portion of our site will be discontinued. Any member wishing to have the final version of our M.O.U. e-mailed directly to you, please use the blue "HERE" icon above and make such a request.
March 3, 2003 - As promised, please find below a general outline of the Tentative Agreement for FY '04 & '05 for your consideration. Please keep in mind that this is JUST an outline, and many of the issues require very detailed explanation which we're certain will generate a fair amount of discussion. Please feel free to contact me directly should you have any specific questions or concerns but, most importantly, please attend one of our meetings on Thursday to vote.
Highlights of Tentative Agreement
Retention of Battalion Chiefs in Local for (at least) the duration of the M.O.U.
Section 5 (a). (New language) The parties shall agree upon an arbitrator within 7 days after receipt of a panel of Arbitrators, either by mutually agreeing to an arbitrator or by alternately striking names from the panel until one arbitrator remains. The first strike made in selecting an arbitrator shall be alternated between the Union and the Employer from case to case.
(In essence, this will expedite the process. This was offered by the City, by the way.)
Swapping of tours to be limited to sixteen open-ended swaps, meaning that when a swap is re-paid, it is no longer “open”. Does NOT impact upon VACATION swapping, and requires very specific explanation which will take place at Thursday’s meetings.
Members covered by CareFirst PPN Plan to pay 15% of total monthly premium with the Employer paying 85% of total monthly premium. Yes, a significant increase, but NO change in Traditional (for the few who remain covered) and NO COST for any of the HMO’s currently offered.
“Most favored Nation” status wherein Fire Locals will receive any “better deal” granted to any other City Union for both Health Care and Prescription coverage.
Additional costs listed in Addendum A.
Section F. (New language) The employee shall be notified when disciplinary action (charges) are to be undertaken, so said employee may obtain, consult and have present, proper Union representation during discharge of discipline, except when being charged under M.O.P. 336 Drug and Alcohol Policy.
NO wage increase in first year of tentative two-year agreement with wage only re-opener in year two. Retention of Parity with FOP Unit II in BOTH years with “no attack” agreement in either year.
The Unions cannot overstate the significance of retention, for the duration of the Agreement) of the Savings Clause which, essentially protects rights and benefits NOT specifically enumerated within the text of the M.O.U..
Retention of current policy for the duration of the Agreement.
Inclusion of Lieutenant-grade in Department-wide seniority provision currently limited to Captains only.
Retain current language for duration of Agreement. (Anyone need an explanation???)
Expanded coverage in definition of “immediate family”; increase in leave time beyond Bereavement Leave, utilizing member’s own leave time (two additional days for death in immediate family); clarification of M.O.P. with revision effective July 1, 2003.
Retention of current six-numbered vacation schedule, also reflected in Addendum C, for duration of Agreement.
Retention of 90 day terminal leave for duration of Agreement