Charlotte Fire Fighters Granted Payroll Deduction
January 17, 2013 – In a time when payroll dues deduction has come under
attack in many municipalities, Charlotte, NC Local 660 fire fighters are getting
it for the first time. The Charlotte City Council voted 6-5 to allow union dues
to be automatically taken out of member paychecks and deposited directly
in the union bank account.
Local 660, with assistance from the IAFF and other labor organizations lobbied
Charlotte leaders for the deductions. The Charlotte City Council conceded and
decided to consider the issue. “With the knowledge that we gained at the IAFF
Affiliate Leadership Training Summit and other events, we were able to steadily
build our reputation in the community and convince the City to grant us dues
deduction,” says Local 660 President Tom Brewer.
“This is no small accomplishment,” says IAFF General President Harold
Schaitberger. “The IAFF has been proud to stand with its Charlotte members to
push successfully toward their dues deduction goal.”
“This has certainly been a collaborative undertaking that was well worth the
effort, a job well-done,” adds IAFF 12th District Vice President Larry Osborne.
Collective bargaining is not allowed in North Carolina. So when it was announced
that the Democratic National Convention was coming to Charlotte, many labor
groups, including within the IAFF, decided not to attend. The show of unity
among brother and sister members of labor demonstrated to the Charlotte City
Council that Charlotte Local 660 and other labor groups were a political force
that deserved recognition.
Brewer says one ALTS workshop -- on coalition building and organizing -- was
particularly helpful to the effort. “Just by implementing what we learned, we
were able to form coalitions and help elect four labor-friendly candidates to
political office with just $1,200 in our PAC fund last election cycle. And now,
we have payroll deduction, " he says.
Details on how soon deductions can be implemented and other logistics are still