During the second day of business at the IAFF 54th Convention, delegates passed resolutions to resource the IAFF to provide affiliates with the tools and services needed to win political fights, preserve members’ health and safety and assist members and their families when disaster or tragedy strikes. In addition, delegates approved a total of $0.98 in per capita increases, including a $0.33 increase for inflation, bringing the total to $14.57 per member per month.
Before debate on these resolutions began, General Secretary-Treasurer Edward Kelly gave a motivational set of remarks, noting that the task at hand was to make sure IAFF leaders and members have the resources they need to succeed. “It’s about leaving it better than we found it,” Kelly said. “Our task this week is to pass resolutions to prepare us to win the wars we will have to fight to serve and protect our members.”
A measure that received a lot of thoughtful discussion was Resolution 50 to raise the per capita for FIREPAC Education. FIREPAC Education invests in the political programs and efforts of the IAFF. These funds support national, state, provincial, local and ballot initiatives, including supporting fire fighter candidates (currently 300 of them). FIREPAC Education also helps fend off attacks from well-funded anti-union corporate interest groups, such as the American Legislature Exchange Council (ALEC). Many delegates speaking stressed the importance of political action and felt the suggested $0.25 effective September 1, 2018, and the additional $0.25 effective September 1, 2019, would not be enough. Ultimately, delegates voted to amend the resolution to provide the entire $0.50 per capita beginning September 1, 2018, instead of spreading the increase over two years.
Delegates also passed a series of resolutions to assist with the health and safety of IAFF members, including Resolution 45 which seeks to help alleviate the financial burden of seeking treatment at the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery. A related measure, revised Resolution 49, called for a feasibility study to determine the need and cost of a second IAFF Center of Excellence in California. Delegates rose in support of the measure, noting that a center in California would reduce treatment costs for members on the West Coast.
Resolutions also passed to fund cancer research and the IAFF Foundation and IAFF Disaster Relief Fund, and pursue partnerships to fund a study and data collection of the negative health and safety impact that exposure from cell and radio antenna radiation has on fire fighters.
Stay up to date on the disposition of resolutions here.