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on Nov 9, 2011
What a fantastic victory for Menlo Park Fire and the community. With Peter Carpenter stepping down and no more B.S.(Bart Spencer)the Kangaroo court will hopefully be over! Looking forward to dealing with some board members who like to communicate and work within the law.
you folks are the ones that refuse to negotiate. Congratulations on buying yourself a couple votes on the fire board.
Kiraly didn't take union money. Only Silano did. Let's make that very clear....Kiraly took NO UNION MONEY. Wanna amend your statement?
I am confident that when the union presents Virginia and Rob with the bill for the union's $50,000 expenditures that Virginia and Rob will simply tell them that they bought good government and not their votes as elected officials.
Fireman Ben - The only illegal activity is the union's refusal to bargain.
Here is what a PERB expert says:
"Interesting. This is a very risky tactic for the union. In their mind,
they probably assume that if they return to the table that
the district is just going to push things to impasse and impose again -
so they figure they might as well take the risk of refusing to return.
I'm not sure what happened with the prior impasse/imposition, but I
think if the union refuses to return then the district has a strong
argument that the union has waived its rights."
no I don't want to amend my statement. The union expended $50,000 getting those two elected. They are going to expect something for their money.
I hope you are right. I will wait and see.
People seem to forget that when Spencer, Carpenter, Ianson first ran
they all had the union endorsement or are we suppose to forget that that, since it was many moons ago ! Just because the union endorsed someone doesn't always mean they own them, it means that at least those candidates will listen and hopefully make balanced decisions that is good for the district AND labor which is not the case now.
When you ask folks to put their life on the line, there is no reason that they can't be represented in any industry, not just public safety.
Union support isn't free.
Peter Carpenter didn't think the firefighter's endorsements had strings. He found out later it did, much to his regret. He has said as much in these forums.
Just think about it. Why would the union put out $50,000 to support and help elect candidates? Becasue they hope that support will be returned by favors. Favors such as passing an 11% pay increase during the worst recession since the great depression.
Neither of these two electees may cave to the pressure. Time will tell, but I can guarantee there will be pressure from the union to "return the favor."
FedUp - All of the people you mentioned had the union's endorsement the first time we ran for office. We then learned that such an endorsement came with expectations which none of us were willing to meet. The second time around we all gladly ran without the union's endirsenent. I hoped to help other candidates learn from my experience.
So what exactly is your point now that you know the often repeated facts?
I know that with out a doubt you are a very intelligent man. You have a very impressive resume of things you have accomplished in your life time. But unfortunately your experience hasn't translated into understanding how to operate in the public sector with a fire union. The best analogy I can think of is: Everyone around you is playing baseball and has been for 100 years and you show up with a soccer ball and try to teach everyone what a corner kick is and that the guy at home plate is offsides.
My point in all of this nonsense is you have probably had the best intentions for the past nine years, but still have no clue what the rules of the game. Unfortunately for Bart he learned your rules of the game and got disqualified.
To everyone else,
I am very proud to serve the community we all live in. I am also very greatful to have this fantastic career surrounded by the best and bravest men and women I know. Thank you all for supporting the candidates that the firefighters association supported. Those who didn't we will still try to win your hearts with our day in and day out service to the community both on and off duty.
you get paid quite well to do what you do so [portion deleted.] I spent 10 years behind a badge and I don't buy it. Sorry to say you and the rest of the fire fighters just don't get it. Those of us in the private sector are suffering. In fact, those of you in the public sector seem to think you are entitled to MORE pay than those of us in the private sector. Sorry, you're not. The fact is when 100 qualified people show up for every job opening it is quite clear YOU ARE OVER PAID.
My hope is that these two people you have helped elect will have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to your union and tell them to go to hell.
Fireman Ben - the problem is that the union has successfully been playing the 'drain the public coffers' game for years and I and others came along and blew the whistle and said it is time to change the union's game to 'serve the public'.
And, as I have said repeatedly, I have the greatest respect for our individual firefighters and they work that they do but I have no such respect for the union.
I am confident that I am leaving the District in much better overall condition than it was when I joined the Board in 2001. I made some mistakes, like supporting 3% at 50, but I also made a lot of positive changes regarding transparency, accountability, community emergency preparedness and fiscal soundness. And the last time I ran in 2005, without the union's endorsement, I received more votes than any candidate for the Board has ever received before or since (and 3 times as many votes as this year's top candidate).
I retire in peace and with my head held high.
Remember, the fire personnel WANT the job. Please seek another job if you believe you are not paid enough. The hero's are the military who placed themselves in harms way and don't whine about being under payed. Less whiners and more personnel who care for the community and citizens. No shortage of talented applicants for the fire fighter positions.
The union spent a lot of money to help 2 candidates get elected. At times its just choosing the lesser of two evils. What is important to note is that on that on the back side of a Silano flyer was a "request" for support of Measure F. If that did not pass the fire district impacts would have been felt by the community. The distict said they hired a PR firm to help with the Measure. I must have missed all the articles and flyers they put out.A PR firm for a fire department is a waste of tax payer money.It is used to attack the union.
To Bart and Peter.. your gone but not forgotten and we will without a doubt suffer from the wounds you have caused us and our families for a long time. You are the enemy and the firefighters just won this battle. Turn in your badge and go away for a long, long time.
One thing is clear to me from the comments of those posters here who are firemen (to quote just one of them "......the firefighters just won this battle"), and that is that at least in their minds, indeed the union expects these new board members to repay the endorsement, big time. If the two candidates read this forum, please, do the public's work solely for the best interest of the public, regardless of what any special interest group would rather be done.
thanks for proving to everyone here that the fire fighters are only interested in the fire fighters. You couldn't have done a better job.
Any time public employees call their elected superiors the enemy you know that those employees have lost all sight of what it means to be a public servant. As FedUp makes clear they want to play their game with their rules and as Mike makes clear anyone who blows the whistle on their games is an enemy. The public deserves much better. In the private sector these individuals would be gone.
Fortunately most of their colleagues are true professionals doing a superb job, but not FedUp, not Mike and not the union leaders.
What got Measure F passed was a well written Argument in Support and the absence of any opposition - the union's contribution was minimal.
I think Peter's right on one account, Rob Silano. Did you guys see the photos of Rob's little victory celebration on Menlo Park Patch? The group apparently watched the voting updates with the San Mateo Labor Council and IBEW#617, along with Kelly Ferguson - #1 union lover in the county, San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley - another huge union supporter. I think I criticized Peter for "jumping the gun" on Rob, but I stand corrected!
Funny how Virginia Kiraly was not mentioned, nor did she attend this event. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt, until we see something union affiliated with her.
Come on Peter. "Superior"? maybe official. I always wonder if you believe the stuff you write. If the people who support you actually knew the truth I am pretty sure that they would be done with you too.
95% of the problems between the Fire fighters and the District Board have ZERO to do with our pay. If fact most of them are cost neutral to the fire department. In this same time period that we have had no contract the Fire Districts revenue has increased by 22%(fact). We do not have the same problems other cities are facing. Our fire district is in the best financial condition it has ever been in (opinion).
Since today is the 236th Marine Corps Birth Day and I happen to be a Combat Veteran, I will share with you one last thought something I learned in the Marines: "Leaders are judged on how they treat their subordinates."
Ask around 100% of the firefighters here are pissed off at how they are being treated, not how they are being paid.
Like Mike said:
"To Bart and Peter.. your gone but not forgotten and we will without a doubt suffer from the wounds you have caused us and our families for a long time. You are the enemy and the firefighters just won this battle. Turn in your badge and go away for a long, long time."
to wap, whorupeople, and menlovoter,
please remember that there is always 2 sides to every story and just because Peter is the self appointed moderator and s#@t disturber doesn't mean that you are getting the full story. If you are really interested in what is going on with the firefighters please contact our Association President or VP.
Are some of the people posting here living on a desert island, with no access to world news?
Greece just basically went bankrupt due to out-of-control spending on public employees.
Now Italy is on the brink for the same reason of unsustainable debt.
And IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THIS unions are criticizing our elected representatives like Peter Carpenter for trying to hold the line on public spending, with a straight face, and saying let's give candidates like Silano and Chang who took their endorsement and money the benefit of the doubt?
Wow. People really are dumb around here.
Dave - as a combat veteran who also served with the Marines' Fifth Force Recon I assure you that I know at a very personal level what true leadership means - and it does not include the kind of fragging that you and Mike endorse. The Marines I served with performed far more hazardous jobs for a fraction of your pay and without a moment's thought about how they were being 'treated'. They understood simple concepts like chain of command and civilian leadership.They were professionals and acted as professionals.
Dave, Ben, FedUp and Mike are public servants who have lost their way and who should simply resign and move somewhere else where their lack of professionalism is acceptable.
I FULLY support the firefighters. After hearing the other side, the main problems at the MPFD are NOT pay related, but rather spiteful devious tactics to punish these hardworking men. All the public hears about is money (thanks to Peter Carpenter); If you were being punished (I consider it harrassment) just for being a firefighter at MPFD- you would not be happy either. Take the time to learn the truth about what is really going on there, and you may change your mind too.
"spiteful devious tactics to punish these hardworking men"
Which of these decisions (which include cash payments of over$1 million) by the District's elected officials do you think are spiteful or deceitful or punishment?
1. The District reaffirms its Labor Relations Policy and Plan (attached as Exhibit A),
as well its Compensation Policy (attached as Exhibit B). This resolution is intended to
implement these District policies.
2. The District reaffirms its commitment to observe the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act
("MMBA"), and to meet and confer with labor regarding all matters within the scope of
representation. Notwithstanding the Union's refusal to negotiateto datethe District invites
the Union to meet and confer concerning any impacts stemming from this Resolution.
Furthermore, all items in this resolution that are mandatory subjects of bargaining shall be
subject to future negotiation when the Union chooses to return to the bargaining table to
negotiate a successor memorandum of understanding.
3. The District hereby adopts the following classifications for non-management
Senior Inspector 3
All other job classifications covering fire suppression personnel are hereby deleted. Incumbents
in any classification which is deleted shall be re-classified in one of the foregoing classifications
according to their credentials. For example, Firefighters who hold paramedic certification shall
be classified as "Firefighter-Paramedic," Firefighters who possess a valid EMT certificate shall
be classified as "Firefighter-EMT," and so on. This rank structure facilitates the District's
elimination of separate pay premiums, consistent with its Labor Relations Policy and Plan.
4. The hourly rate schedules applicable to non-management classifications, and
monthly salaries for Battalion Chiefs and Division Chiefs, are set forth in Exhibit C to this
resolution. Any increases or decrease in the hourly rate and salary schedules shall be subject to
approval by the Board of Directors.
5. The Fire Chief shall "y" rate any incumbent who would otherwise suffer a base
wage reduction by virtue of this resolution.
6. The Fire Chief shall have the authority to establish regular pay periods, and to
declare any appropriate work period under Section 7K of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Unless
the Fire Chief institutes a different schedule, pay days shall be bi-monthlyon the 15th day and
the last day of each month.
7. Supplemental Earnings: All "Supplemental Earnings" (formerly referred to as
"Acting Pays") are set forth in Exhibit D attached hereto.
8. The eligibility of new hire firefighters (Firefighter-Academy, Firefighter-Trainee
and Firefighter-Probationary) for wages and benefits is set forth in Exhibit E attached hereto.
Health and Welfare Benefits
9. The Fire Chief shall maintain a simple health and benefit program that is
transparent and easily understood by the public. A summary of the benefits program is attached
hereto as Exhibit F.
10. Consolidation of Leave: In order to promote transparency and administrative
efficiency, the District shall phase out the multiple leave balances and implement a single Annual
Leave program for those ranks specified in paragraph 3. As part of the District's effort to
minimize long term fiscal liabilities, the annual leave cap for all 56 hour employees shall be 480
hours; for all 40 hour Senior Inspector employees, the cap shall be 320 hours. All annual leave
hours currently held by any employee in excess of the applicable cap will be cashed out. Details
regarding the program are included in Exhibit G attached hereto. All remaining Extended Sick
Leave (ESL) hours will be converted to 25% of their current balance and added to the
employee's annual leave bank (subject to the cap of 480), with any excess hours deposited to the
employee's PEHP account. 4
11. Retiree Medical Program: For current retirees already receiving a retiree medical
benefit, the benefit shall remain unchanged. For employees hired on or after January 1, 2012,
the District shall no longer make a separate contribution to retiree health. For current safety
employees, the Fire Chief shall implement a buy-out plan as set forth in Exhibit H attached
hereto. Current safety employees shall be required to select one of the options included in the
buy-out plan, and if they fail to make an election, amounts will be paid in cash.
12. Educational Reimbursement Program: The Fire Chief has sole discretion to
approve or deny reimbursement requests and to determine whether a particular training or class
is or is not beneficial to the District. The Fire Chief shall approve only such requests as the
Chief deems beneficial to the District.
13. New Hires: The Fire Chief shall consider options for developing a "second tier"
retirement program for employees hired on or after January 1, 2012; the options to be
considered shall include both lower level defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans
(such as a 401k). The Fire Chief shall report his findings and recommendation to the Board.
14. Current Employees: Current employees shall pay 75% of any future increases to
the CalPERS employer contribution rate (over the current 25.821%), subject to any applicable
CalPERS rules or restrictions.
Miscellaneous Operational Issues
15. Holiday Work Schedule: There is no modified holiday work schedule for 56 hour
employees. Employees shall adhere to daily and weekly work schedules as determined by the
16. Senior Inspectors:
In order to improve the efficiency and increase the number of productive hours, the
work day for Senior Inspectors shall begin at 7:00 a.m. Each employee shall take a mandatory
staggered minimum lunch, which is unpaid, of thirty minutes. Paid exercise time for Senior
Inspectors is eliminated. Senior Inspectors are exempt from the Wellness Program.
17. In accordance with District needs and the corresponding organization of Station
responsibilities, the position of "adjutant" is hereby eliminated. The incumbent shall be
permitted to remain in this position until January 2, 2012.
18. The Fire Chief shall enforce a requirement that all emergency responders must be
able to return to the District within two hours. Current employees presently residing outside of
this requirement may be grandfathered in unless and until they change residences. All safety
employees hired on or after January 1, 2012, shall be subject to this requirement regardless of
current residence. 5
19. The Fire Chief is authorized to implement any practice that, in the Fire Chief's
discretion, enhances the delivery of services, creates efficiencies, improves accountability, or
enhances the health and safety of District personnel. These practices encompass, but are not
limited to: station bid cycles and rotations; assignments; selection of annual leave; trades;
prescheduled "back-fills;" and daily and weekly work schedules. The Fire Chief may implement
any provision encompassed within the District's September 21, 2011, proposal to "maximize
efficiencies in the work schedule." (This proposal is attached hereto as Exhibit I.)
20. The District confirms that it is not bound indefinitely by any provision in the
MOU that expired on June 30, 2008. With respect to future new proposals within the scope of
representation that are not encompassed by this resolution, the Union shall be given the
opportunity to meet and confer as required by State law. With respect to proposals for changes
to matters within the scope of representation encompassed by this resolution, the Union shall be
given the opportunity to meet and confer over impacts as required by State law. Except for
disciplinary appeals, the grievance procedure in the expired MOU is suspended unless and until
the parties reach formal agreement on a successor MOU that contains a grievance procedure.
Employees may continue to avail themselves of the grievance procedure set forth in Policy No.
305, unless and until that policy is amended. (A copy of the current policy is attached hereto as
21. The Fire Chief shall revise the District's personnel and operational policy
manuals. These policies shall be subject to meet and confer, when required by law, but shall
not be subject to the District's impasse resolution procedure.
22. The Fire Chief is hereby empowered to take any actions necessary in the Fire
Chief's discretion to implement the terms of this resolution.
23. If any provision in this resolution is found to be invalid or otherwise
unenforceable, all remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect. This resolution is
subject to amendment by the Board of Directors pursuant to District policy and State law.
I HEREBY CERTIFY that the above and foregoing resolution was passed and
adopted by the Board of Directors of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District at its special
meeting held on the 28th of October, 2011,
The election of two union endorsed Directors has truly unleashed the dogs of war. This is a real insight into the union's true nature and their expectation of now getting their payback.
The cash payment itself is spiteful and devious- it is not what you make it out to be.
Paying people over a $1 million is "itself is spiteful and devious"?
It is so nice that the union and its supporters are crawling out of the woodwork to claim the spoils of their election victory - nothing subtle here.
I don't have only one side of the story. I did exactly as you suggest. I spoke with the president of the union. Took him to lunch in fact. So, I've heard both sides. The fact is you guys refuse to negotiate. You refuse to come off your demand for an 11% pay increase during an economic down turn that has seen 12% unemployment and those of us still with jobs taking major pay cuts. Where was your pay cut? Didn't happen did it?
One other thing just because revenues are up for the district doesn't mean we should just automatically hand it over to you. That money belongs to the tax payers not you. You seem to believe otherwise.
Like little children, everything was fine when the FF union was getting what they wanted. When some parameters were tightened to plan for tough times, the union fire fighters started to complain and whine.
While they believe they "won" this battle, it did cost them $50,000 and has continued to tarnish their reputation in the community.
I am grateful that we had people like Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Spencer who were willing to make tough decisions. These fire fighters forget how good they have it. What they also seem to have selected memory on is they may be employed by the fire district, but they are suppose to serve the community. Good attitude guys; you have lost much credibility in my opinion. If your job is that bad, don't let the door hit you on the way out. There are plenty of other people who can fill your job!
Item # 10 may not be viewed as "spiteful or deceitful or punishment" I call it theft.
10. "All remaining Extended Sick Leave (ESL) hours will be converted to 25% of their current balance"
A firefighter, who has worked 20 years and still has 10 more years until possible retirement. He has earned his sick leave and has a balance that is let's say 1000 hours. He has banked those hours in case of the unfortunate event of an injury or sickness and would have to draw on those earned hours in order to stay on the payroll books.
Now 750 SL hours that he has earned are erased, deleted, vanished. Call it what you want. I call it steeling.
At the very least let them finish their career before you take those hours away. They just might need them.
I would urge readers not to judge all the MPFPD firefighters by the comments being made by Ben, Mike, FedUp and Dave. As I have said repeatedly the vast majority of MPFPD firefighters are dedicated professionals doing a superb job; Ben, Mike, FedUp, Dave and the union leaders have simply lost their way and they need to move on to someplace which will simply give them everything that they want so that they can continue play the sam e game without interference.
Read the resolution - "with any excess hours deposited to the employee's PEHP account."
Where do you think the $1 million cash payout is going - into the pockets of those firefighters.
[Post removed due to personal attack. Please discuss the topic, not personalities.]
Fireman???? states:'3 years ago Peter stated he would retaliate on the firefighters for not supporting him during electing time'
That is an absolute lie. I challenge you to provide any evidence to support this claim.
And if you think CalPERS can make it's pension obligations without resorting to taxing the
citizens of the cities, towns and districts who gave out those unsustainable pensions then you would believe anything.
[Post removed. Please stick to the topic.]
Mike - Your current lack of professionalism unfortunately will taint your entire 30 year career.
Remember Mike when you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is quit digging.
And I do not feel at all poor - I have a life filled with honorable, and sometimes extremely dangerous, service and I don't consider anybody as my enemy.
responding to previous comments is "not sticking to the topic". how long did it take carpenter to ask you to remove my post??
" how long did it take carpenter to ask you to remove my post??"
I did not ask - I actually wanted to keep it because of your implied threat to another poster "I know who you are and where you live..." is another example of a lack of professionalism and would be , in any responsible private sector organization, basis for disciplinary action.
Readers should peruse this entire thread carefully and recognize that the union, believing that IT won this election, is now boldly lashing out at anyone who stands in its way. Hopefully the five members of the Fire Board will continue, as they have in the past, to serve the public's interest rather than the interest of the union. And hopefully the union will then realize that they did not win the election but the citizens won the election. And the perhaps the union will, after almost 3 years, return to the bargaining table.
said... 'I know who you are and when you call 911 ill be there to save your sorry ass'. never said I know where you live. Because it does not matter who you are, what sex you are what race you are, where you live, rich or poor, guys like me will be there to help because we stepped up to a higher calling. we have nothing to sell, no product to push, no stock options to worry about, no sales goals to meet. wrong again carpenter .Ask for a re-post
Mike said: "know who you are and when you call 911 ill be there to save your sorry ass"
You're right and you'll be over compensated to do it.
Please stop all this nonsense.... it's time to move forward.
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