February, 2015 - The Executive of Local 323 recently attended the Vincent J. Bollon Affiliate Leadership Training Summit (ALTS), the IAFF’s premier education conference that provides an unmatched opportunity to learn new skills and become more effective union leaders. It is also an excellent forum for networking with other affiliate leaders from across North America on pertinent union issues.
This year’s theme was “Building on Our Past-Preparing for Our Future” – a reminder that we have made strides in our profession, but there is still more to do.
As we are all aware, public sector employees remain under attack, and affiliates throughout this union are not immune. Our great union has a legacy of fighting — we have fought for better and safer working conditions, better pay and benefits — and we will continue to fight any efforts to undermine our members. Too many of our brothers and sisters have been adversely affected by the current political and social climate.
The progress and advances and improvements we’ve made to our profession and for our members’ lives and livelihoods are all being threatened.
The workshops offered at ALTS were designed to help local leaders address these ongoing challenges, including how to defend your benefits, improve negotiation skills and rebut staffing and deployment decisions that put public safety at risk. The workshops provided affiliate leaders with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to ensure a better, safer and more effective fire service.
Featured workshops included:
• Union Officers: Addressing Discipline and Duty of Fair Representation
• Introduction to Political Action, How to Effectively Talk “Union” – Part 1
• Canadian Lobbying 101: Understanding the Local Legislative Process
• Canadian Duty of Fair Representation: Introduction to Grievance Arbitration
• Canadian Introduction to Political Action, Preparing for Grievance Arbitration: Termination
• Contract Language, Effective Use of Social Media
• Quick Books Training for Affiliate Leaders
Two highlighted courses were Cancer Awareness and PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and we are pleased to provide the videos below for these two presentations.
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
Emergency responders are more susceptible to Post Taumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of the nature of the profession coupled with the personal demands and challenges we all face. IAFF members respond to any number of traumatic incidents on a daily, ongoing basis. If not treated properly, the anxiety can build over time and can lead to PTSD. But all too often the effects can easily be overlooked as “a part of the job.” Presenters will discuss causes and signs/symptoms of PTSD and best practices for addressing it within your local.
Suzy Gulliver, Director, Warriors Research Institute and Professor Texas A&M
Frank Leto, Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854
Joe Schulle, President, Philadelphia Local 22
Kenneth Stuart, President, Seattle Local 27
Patrick Morrison, IAFF Health and Safety (moderator)
In 2014, 56 percent of line-of-duty deaths among IAFF members were from occupational cancer. Developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to help prevent exposure to dangerous carcinogens is more important than ever. This workshop helps provide the tools necessary to affect personal commitment, organizational accountability and exposure tracking methods to minimize or eliminate the contraction of occupational related cancers.
Larry Petrick, IAFF Health and Safety
Dr. Virginia Weaver, Johns Hopkins University
Amy Howard, California Professional Firefighters
Jim Brinkley, IAFF Health and Safety (moderator)