When the Fullerton City Council called a special meeting at the end of January, two items on the agenda had the potential to significantly impact members of Fullerton, CA Local 3421. But those efforts were quickly squashed when 200 IAFF local leaders at the Affiliate Leadership Training Summit in Anaheim showed up for the meeting.
One proposal called for merging the Fullerton and Brea fire departments under a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) agreement. Local 3421 was concerned about the potential merger as it would likely void its current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and potentially reduce benefits and protections bargained in good faith.
“We worked hard to negotiate an agreement that included adequate retiree medical care and other benefits critical to our members,” says Local 3421 President Jon Fugitt. “It was important that we protect the provisions of our agreement by opposing the merger.”
A second proposal would have implemented recommendations of an ambulance deployment study commissioned with the eventual goal of creating a local EMS system that included reducing four-person staffing on fire apparatus in order to staff ambulances.
“With the help of the IAFF and the support of our brothers and sisters, both proposals are off the table,” says 10th District Vice President Frank Lima. “On behalf of all of the members of the 10th District, I thank everyone for their assistance.”
Fugitt says, “We asked our brothers and sisters at ALTS to support our efforts, but we were blown away by the incredible turnout for this meeting.”
Both the Fullerton and Brea City Councils decided not to move forward with the merger and while Local 3421 must continue to discuss the development of an EMS system with the City Council, the Council agreed not to reduce staffing on trucks and engines in order to staff the ambulances.