Wednesday, September 9, 2015

APFA Leadership


Well I really didn’t want to write this post but I think it should be said.  About a month ago I was approached by APFA (Fire Department Union) leadership.  I was given a book compiled by them.  The book was slanted against the actions of Chief Crowson.  APFA leadership wants the Chief gone, and that's no secret.  After being briefed I specifically pointed at the book and stated, “Are you sure you want to have this conversation?”  Leadership replied in the affirmative.  I replied, “This is not the Union’s job.”  They replied that they wanted to go ahead.

One of the subjects addressed in the book was manning.  Now it is known that Arlington has the least number of firefighters per 1,000 people of any department in the Metroplex at .80.  The book illustrated that over a 182 day period, the department was only manned with the requisite 84 firefighters 44.5% of the time.  Therefore, the only way to man the department properly is to get firefighters to come to work on overtime at 1.5 times their normal pay.  After doing some research I found that the Arlington Fire Department is number 2, in the Metroplex in overtime behind Ft. Worth.  Our overtime for 300 firefighters was $2.3 million last year.  The year before was $2.5 million.  In the book that was given to me, the overtime request was $3.0 million for the next five years totaling $15.0 million dollars.  This is not going to happen on my watch.  My solution to this problem, is to get the equation into equilibrium and hire more firefighters to staff the department properly.  Union leadership howled and stated that it would cost more money because you have to buy their bunker gear.  That will only take a few hours of overtime and it is a one- time purchase.  I can assure you it will be well south of $15.0 million. 

The Council has taken the accusations of APFA leadership seriously.  We have requested an audit of Fire Department expenditures, and I have requested that 18 new firefighters be hired to properly staff their shifts.  For taking their problems under consideration and hiring new firefighters, my name was dragged through the mud at the APFA Union hall, and I was told by their leadership that my campaign would not be supported by them in the future.  Leadership couldn’t tell me this in person, so they left a voice message on my phone.  I find this to be unfortunate and another poor decision by APFA leadership.  After all, if they hadn’t produced the book in the first place and been so greedy in their budget requests, none of this would have happened.  It is very important that leadership take responsibility for their actions, and stop blaming others.     

12 comments:

  1. Its a shame that a person in your position would slander/libel the very Association that supported your campaign on an open forum.
    Your comments regarding the Overtime vs over hiring have no merit and has been analyzed, audited and proven long before you came into office.
    The issue regarding the fire chief is not a Association president vs Fire Chief. There have been multiple surveys done both by the city and the association membership. Both revealed an overwhelming agreement that the Fire Chief had lost all support and credibility from the members.
    I hope anyone reading this understands there are 2 sides to every story.

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  2. This is typical politician blander: doesn't understand or care to fully investigate an issue before commenting and taking a position. Then, only uses partial truths to support said incomplete position. Every issue has two sides- in this case, a public municipality and a duly-recognized labor organization representing employees of said municipality. If the municipality, overseen by politicians, truly valued its employees as its most valuable assets, then an association would not be necessary or would be a service organization. Clearly, this is not the case in Arlington. And, Mr. Parker, a blog is not the place for you as a council member to address these issues regardless. You have an open forum of response; it's called a council meeting.

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  3. Dear Anonymous, I would refer you to the response in the above article. This blog serves as a layer of transparency where I can explain my positions. If you don't like it then simply don't log on. I support the firemen of this city because they are good people that do a terrific job of keeping our citizens safe. I will type my entire answer for your benefit.
    Let me ask just a few simple questions brought to me in APFA's book. 1. Is being staffed at 84 firefighters per shift only 44% of the time acceptable to you? 2. We are the Fire Department with the fewest number of firefighters per capita by a long shot in the Metroplex and no. 2 in overtime behind Ft. Worth. Do you consider that normal? 3. Some Firefighters get $32,000 in overtime, do you consider this normal? 4.APFA requested $15 million in their book for the next 5 yrs. for overtime, do you consider this reasonable? Lastly, have you ever in your life heard of a Union of any type object to more people being hired? We spent 2.5 and 2.3 million in overtime during the last two years respectively. Really for 300 badges! If you answered any of the above questions as "yes" then re-check the torque on your bolts. These are all facts brought to me by APFA leadership in their book. Read the book.

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  4. Go, Mr Parker GO! Out those guys!

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  5. Sorry Mr Parker for for the attacks. It's what they do. The chiefs have been putting up with these tactics every since Crow got hurt over the dymb Houston idea.

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  6. Well the book address the leadership issues also. You seem to have your sights set on the bottom dollar and not the workforce.. Check your math. That hasn't changed.

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  7. That is why the Council has demanded an audit of the leadership's actions and accounting. The reason I am addressing the dollars is that APFA requested $15 million in overtime over the next 5 yrs. in overtime. Also they brought a base pay number thAt does not represent first year W2's.

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  8. You sir are being very dishonest and deceptive.

    Richard G.

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  9. Is it cheaper to hire overtime versus hiring a permanent position? Also, what are the speculation about retirees medical benefits? Is the city considering mandating the retirees to be placed "Obamacare"?

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  10. Look, you guys have been operating with the least number of fire fighters per capita forever. You published the book and I told you not to go there. "This isn't your job." It blew up all over you because you didn't take the high road and you know it. You say that it is cheaper to pay people 1.5 times their wage rather than man the department properly. Bull! Bunker gear is a one time purchase at $3,000. Yes you have to pay benefits, but we pay your benefits.
    So don't hire anyone and pay the people we have 1.5 wages per hour. Is that how you would run your business. I would just like the department in equilibrium and save 1.5 million dollars.
    Concerning healthcare, I can't tell you what is going to happen next month when it comes to that subject and you can't either.

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  11. Sir, you did not answer the questions. As a citizen, I do not have access to the internal resources as you. How much does the city pay for the middle rank of a firefighter, including all benefits? I believe it will be cheaper than hiring a full time position for the same rank.
    I understand that you can not tell me what is going to happen and I am not stating that I do know what will happen with the benefits. I just want to what the city is considering. Consider it being informed.

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  12. Look it isn't my job to spoon feed you numbers, sorry it just isn't. But if you can't figure out that it is cost effective to man a department properly, but instead pay 2.5 million each year in overtime then it won't make any difference what numbers I give you. You think that it is cost effective to squander 2.5 million dollars of the tax payers money to you, rather than man the department where almost everyone is paid their normal salary. Here is how it works for the last time. If little Johnny is supposed to get paid a dollar and little Joey is supposed to get paid a dollar, then you can hire little Freddy. If little Johnny and little Joey both get paid 1.5 dollars then you can't hire little Freddy to help you fight the fire. So Johnny and Joey take the extra 50 cents and go buy ice cream. What I find humorous concerning this concept is that a normal union would want to hire little Freddy but not this one. They want the ice cream instead of little Freddy.

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