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Civilians complaining about Police/Emergency Services' Pay

Scott

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I do not disagree that pay is out of line, and getting worse. I have done the job (forestry, oilfield, training), albeit not affiliated with the IAFF, and have run with some of the muni boys - they could stand a haircut, IMO. I base this on knowledge of call volume, training requirements, shift rotations, etc.

Amalgamation of services: depends on the municipality. Saying it absolutely will not work is ludicrous. Saying it absolutely will is the same. It IS working just fine in some areas of the country that are not Toronto.

My full time, IAFF, buckethead buddies HATE when I refer to their new favourite film as a study on how to shut up and accept the pay you currently get, because it could be so, so, SO much worse.
 

Scott

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Hatchet Man said:
In my perfect little world FF's would make around the 50-60k base pay mark, and work normal shifts like everyone else.  They would also focus solely on rescue operations (auto extrications, plucking people out of ravines and rivers), and fire operations.  I would also institute some type of tiered bonus/allowance scheme, based on the risk/hazard level one faced at such calls.  Something small like car fire or dumpster fire, would obviously be on the low end, a huge multiple alarm blaze at chemical plant, would garner the top level.  FF's wouldn't be dispatched to medical calls  either, the cost savings would be used to staff more ambulances and/or single ACP response vehicles.

Careful. I was almost killed at a car fire. We did everything right.
 

The_Falcon

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Scott said:
Careful. I was almost killed at a car fire. We did everything right.

I was trying to use examples from an outsiders perspective, since its all hypothetical pondering anyways.  Since I think I am fairly rational and logical, the hazard/risk allowance scheme I would favour would be based on hard data (historical call data, injuries suffered at different calls, long term effects of attending different calls) and the experiences/input of those who have BTDT.

Scott said:
My full time, IAFF, buckethead buddies HATE when I refer to their new favourite film as a study on how to shut up and accept the pay you currently get, because it could be so, so, SO much worse.

Film?? What film?
 

The Bread Guy

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Tommy said:
.... I'm willing to bet taking one big red truck off the road would probably free up enough money to put two ambulances and PCP's in em, back onto the road... 

Of the two, which do you think (in an Urban center like Hamilton or Toronto) would end up with more calls for service in the end? my money is on the Amb.
Maybe, but taking enough red trucks off the road = closing stations = increases in house insurance rates in areas losing fire coverage.  That's why "big red" pulls a fair bit of political weight in many provincial capitals (where the rules are made), and why they would be able to twist arms at the municipal level.
 

Scott

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Burn. It's on iTunes. 20 bucks with some of that going to the Leary Firefighter Fund specifically for Detroit.

Seriously, it's an awesome film and hits home on some very valid issues. Likely to be spun to suit whatever purpose, I think it's a valid example of just how good some folks have it up here. I am sure someone employed FT in fire might disagree but whatever. Best scenes for me: whenever they show duct tape holding shit on the fire trucks or boots together...

milnews.ca said:
Maybe, but taking enough red trucks off the road = closing stations = increases in house insurance rates in areas losing fire coverage.  That's why "big red" pulls a fair bit of political weight in many provincial capitals (where the rules are made), and why they would be able to twist arms at the municipal level.

Ding, ding, ding. I have actually participated in exercises meant to prove rural water supply rates that resulted in lower premiums for residents. Of course we had one douchebag, before learning of the insurance savings, pissing and moaning about the expenditure on fuel ::)
 

Thompson_JM

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I would not want to see any large scale cutback of fire services... Lord knows I appreciate the concept of "Paid for what we may have to do"

More Amb's are needed, but it has to be a multi-faceted approach incorporating other elements of the health care system as well. My EMS buddies tell me the two biggest issues they face are probably Offload delay, and non-emergency frequent fliers. (Which are also intertwined... go figure... lol)

I can only speak from what I see and hear in the Hamilton area, and right now it's pretty much as adversarial as it gets.  Probably safe to say that we cant really compare American systems to Canadian ones, nor even interprovincial as the standards seem to vary from place to place. 

When I say it is a terrible idea, I am (to clarify) only speaking from the viewpoint of Ontario, and large urban centers within it (Hamilton, Halton, Peel, GTA, etc...) 

At least Hamilton has a new EMS chief. Hopefully one who is more concerned with providing good service and keeping morale out of the toilet, and less concerned with trying to look frugal on paper off the backs of everyone else.
 

HTFUAlberta

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You got it Tommy!

A lot of the taxpayer base would be surprised to know that any fire service cuts would translate into higher insurance premiums for their properties based on service reviews. You can cut services but your premiums will start to go up (even $100 per year per property would be a huge sum when combined). If that's what councils want that's their god given (or voter given) right. They just have to explain to the voters/taxpayers why they're getting less services and higher premiums.

Where I am a red seal trades person can get a higher wage easily compared to anybody in emergency services. That being said I could up to the patch and double my income doing less work than I do now. Money is not everything to a lot of people and sometimes the pay is knowing you helped out and made a difference. Heck I was a firefighter for FREE for four years.... Like 80% of the other firefighters in this country!

IMHO EMS has gotten sucked into the healthcare cluster #€%} and it won't change anytime soon. With the demographic time bomb here to stay it'll get worse. EMS doesn't go hot to a lot of calls anymore like they used to (I don't mind helping a 90 lb grandmother who's fallen And can't get up at all but I do mind doing it in an old folks home where they aren't allowed to because of corporate policy).

Uh-oh that's the grumpy EMS side of me coming out so I must digress.....

HTFU
 

Scott

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Towards_the_gap said:
I should go live in Mrs Wente's town because I make half of what she claims in the article.

Another reason that chatter about this, and the way service is delivered, has to be on a case by case basis.
 

mariomike

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In today's paper on the subject, for anyone interested.

"Wage increases of police, firefighters and paramedics are outstripping cost of living, rate of inflation and average of other public sector workers."

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/08/30/contain_runaway_compensation_of_ontarios_first_responders.html
 

The_Falcon

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I read through the arbitrator`s decision re: Toronto Fire`s last contract, and it`s outstanding the mental leaps of logic that employed.  To boil it down, TFS was awarded their increases based on what the police had obtained.  Why the police? Just because, that's why.  It's always been done like that..... :facepalm:  Other than getting to drive through red lights and such on the way emergencies, there is NO, similarities between either occupation..... So friggin retarded....
 

x_para76

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Is part of the problem the fact that a new hire with the FD or PD gets to their top pay in approximately 4 years? That equates to a pretty serious pay raise in a relatively short period of time. I know for my wife who is an RN it took her 10 years to reach top pay for her occupation. Would that in any way solve some of the problem with budgeting for police and fire?
 

mariomike

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Hatchet Man said:
I read through the arbitrator`s decision re: Toronto Fire`s last contract, and it`s outstanding the mental leaps of logic that employed.  To boil it down, TFS was awarded their increases based on what the police had obtained.  Why the police? Just because, that's why.  It's always been done like that..... :facepalm:  Other than getting to drive through red lights and such on the way emergencies, there is NO, similarities between either occupation..... So friggin retarded....

As I understand it, police and fire wages have had some form of parity since the 1950s. But, firefighters were required to work much longer hours than police back then.

Edit to add

"Police deserve higher pay than firefighters, report says

Sept. 3, 2013, Toronto – A consultant’s analysis of the roles of firefighters and police officers for the City of London, Ont., says first-class police officers have more complex decision-making responsibilities than first-class firefighters and should be paid two pay grades higher."
http://www.firefightingincanada.com/content/view/16568/213/

X_para76 said:
Is part of the problem the fact that a new hire with the FD or PD gets to their top pay in approximately 4 years?

Same at T-EMS. ( But, all three professions can apply for promotion to higher grades. )





 

The_Falcon

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X_para76 said:
Is part of the problem the fact that a new hire with the FD or PD gets to their top pay in approximately 4 years? That equates to a pretty serious pay raise in a relatively short period of time. I know for my wife who is an RN it took her 10 years to reach top pay for her occupation. Would that in any way solve some of the problem with budgeting for police and fire?
Possibly one factor, however the problem is (at least on the police side of the equation), how quickly officer can move up the ranks is codified in law (http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_100268_e.htm), give how much foot dragging has been going on regarding changing arbitration laws, I doubt they would ever get around to amending this. 
 

mariomike

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This should be interesting at the end of this month when the annual Sunshine List is released.

February 26, 2015

Toronto police to publicly report paid-duty earnings to Sunshine List
http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/1297918/toronto-police-to-publicly-report-paid-duty-earnings-to-sunshine-list/

"What Toronto police officers really earn, including the amount of money paid for off-duty work, will be publicly reported for the first time this year."

"Toronto’s police union consulted a lawyer on the issue, but appears to have lost the ability to keep paid-duty earnings secret."

 

Tibbson

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Sadly most will only look at the number and not the total hours it took to earn that amount.  I know plenty of civilian officers who earn huge amounts each year but they have to forgo vacation time and work plenty of overtime to make that amount. 
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Security costs big money, if people don't want to pay for it than they can expect a reduced level of security.  Fact is Police, EMS, Firefighters and even Military all cost a lot of money, especially if you want to attract the right people for the job and keep them there.  The people, through the government, are free to lower salaries if they wish through collective bargaining, legislation, etc... but they can expect a reduced level of service if they do so.

The old saying, "don't piss in the stream and get mad when all the fish die", applies perfectly to this situation.

Any country with a competent and professional police force pays them very well.  The less they are paid, the more ineffective they become.  A security void will open up and that void will be filled by private security firms who inevitably end up being more expensive in the long run than if the country simply paid for a better trained police force.  A case in point of this would be a country like South Africa, where rich people pay big money to private security firms to protect their property, yet the national police force is chronically underfunded. 

At the end of the day, if we cut funding to police forces, the only ones who will be able to have security will be those who can afford it and the average joe/jill will suffer as a result.  Sounds very Un-Canadian to me.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Schindler's Lift said:
Sadly most will only look at the number and not the total hours it took to earn that amount.  I know plenty of civilian officers who earn huge amounts each year but they have to forgo vacation time and work plenty of overtime to make that amount.

I have no doubt you are correct there SL, but the question then should not be "Why is so and so earning so much", for which the answer is easy, because he worked one and a half time the hours of the other police officers during the year, but rather (and its a question for management/politicians) "why do 20% of the police officers work 140% of regular hours every year? Hire some more officers so we can cut on overtime !!!"
 

mariomike

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Hire some more officers so we can cut on overtime !!!"

The Emergency Services unions in Toronto have campaigned for increased staffing levels since I joined. But, ultimately, the decision is up to City Hall, and sometimes the arbitrators.
 

Tibbson

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
I have no doubt you are correct there SL, but the question then should not be "Why is so and so earning so much", for which the answer is easy, because he worked one and a half time the hours of the other police officers during the year, but rather (and its a question for management/politicians) "why do 20% of the police officers work 140% of regular hours every year? Hire some more officers so we can cut on overtime !!!"

Your point is perfectly valid as well but that won't stop people from saying "Look how many are on the list (or how much they make) and they still want a raise or budget increase."  Many won't look beyond the numbers as to the root causes.
 
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