This year during the Vincent J. Bollon Affiliate Leadership Training Summit/ Ernest A. “Buddy” Mass Human Relations Conference, ballots will be cast to select 16 new leaders to serve on the IAFF Elected Human Relations Committee.
Canadian affiliate leaders will vote separately for two Human Relations Committee members, bringing the total to 18.
In the past two decades, the IAFF has stepped up efforts to improve human relations programs, promote diversity and inclusion among its membership and throughout the fire service.
“We need to make sure we continue to build a more open, inclusive and diverse profession and union that are more of a reflection of the communities we serve,” says General President Harold Schaitberger.
Elected Human Relations Committee members, selected every four years, are tasked with developing and recommending policies to foster positive human relations and to provide technical assistance to affiliates on minority issues ranging from workplace discrimination to pregnancy policies.
The Elected Human Relations Committee is composed of 18 elected members with two members representing each of these categories: African American/Black, Canadian, Caucasian/White, Disabled /Handicapped, Female, Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ, Other than Already Represented and Veteran.
Nominations for new Elected Human Relations Committee members takes place Monday, January 20. Voting is on Tuesday, January 21, with each local in attendance at the conference permitted one voting delegate to be designated by the local president. Votes will be tallied Wednesday, January 22 and newly elected members will be announced that evening.
The Elected Human Relations Committee was established in 1988 following a resolution passed during the 39th IAFF Convention calling for a standing committee of IAFF members charged with improving relationships and establishing greater unity among fire fighters.
The Elected Human Relations Committee, which meets formally twice a year, makes policy recommendations regarding civil rights, minority issues, accommodation and other matters, and provides counsel to affiliates facing specific human relations issues.
On Sunday, January 19, a pre-conference panel discussion, “Human Relations Case Studies and Best Practices,” will feature three affiliates presidents representing Cleveland, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Austin, Texas.
Further details on the IAFF Elected Human Relations Committee is here.