Section 103-487; Withdrawn B309-02; Pertaining to the Operation of the Fire Department and Conditions of Employment of Fire Department Personnel

Ordinance No.           WITHDRAWN               Council Bill No.            B 309-02           


pertaining to the operation of the Columbia Fire Department and conditions of employment of the Columbia Fire Department personnel; and fixing the time when this ordinance shall become effective.


It is the purpose of this Ordinance to achieve and maintain harmonious relations between the City of Columbia, hereinafter referred to as the City or the Employer or Management, and the Columbia Professional Firefighters, Local 1055 of the International Association of Firefighters, hereinafter referred to as the Union or the Employee(s), to provide for an equitable and peaceful resolution of any differences which may arise.  
The Employer will not discriminate because of participation in or affiliation with any labor organization.

The Employer recognizes the Union, as defined April 18, 1978, by the Missouri State Board of Mediation or as may be modified by court action, as the recognized bargaining agent of full-time, permanent, bona fide City of Columbia fire fighters.

Past personnel and work practices, which are not management rights and which are not covered in this ordinance, the Personnel Code (Chapter 19 of the Code of Ordinances) or Fire Department Operational Bulletins, are to be changed only by ordinance or, with input from the Union, by properly adopted rule or regulation. Changes in past practices are not to be capricious. Except in cases of an emergency, changes in past practice by ordinance are to be submitted to Union at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to first reading of the Council bill.

The City possesses the sole right to operate the Fire Department and all management rights repose to the City as defined in Chapter 19 of the Code of Ordinances.

A.    Once a month, the Employer is to deduct the Union membership fees and dues from those employees who individually authorize in writing that such deductions be made. All authorizations delivered to the Employer prior to the first day of the month are to be effective during the succeeding month.
B.    Dues are to be deducted from the first paycheck of each month and are to be remitted for deposit directly to the Union's General Fund with an itemized statement being sent to the Union Treasurer within fifteen (15) days after the deductions have been made.
C.    The City is to deduct, as a service fee, 10 cents per participating employee per month from the total monthly remittance to the Union's General Fund.
D.    An employee may cancel or revoke the authorization for check off deductions by written notice to the Employer and the Union. The cancellation is to become effective one month subsequent to the request for such cancellation.
E.     The City is to annually supply each Fire Department employee represented by the Union two wallet-size shift calendars and with two letter-size shift calendars.

A.     Employees elected to Union office may be granted a reasonable amount of on-duty time as determined by management to investigate matters relating to the administration of this Ordinance, Chapter 19 of The Code of Ordinances and Department rules and regulations, or for resolving complaints and grievances, providing that such time does not detract from normally assigned duties and does not require replacement of such Union representative.
B.     The Union's negotiating team will not suffer loss of pay to attend meetings mutually set by the Employer and the Union.
C.     The Union president and two members of the Union's negotiating team may be allowed,
while on duty, to meet with counsel regarding meet and confer sessions with the City, provided such absence does not affect the effectiveness and efficiency of the Fire Department operation as determined by the Fire Chief or his/her authorized representative.
D.     There will be no discrimination by the Employer against any employee because of
membership in the Union.

A.     Departmental Operational Bulletins that affect working conditions and performance are subject to the grievance procedure set forth in Chapter 19 of the Code of Ordinances.
B.     Except in cases of emergency, changes or additions to Fire Department Operational Bulletins proposed by the Fire Chief are to be given to the Union at least thirty (30) calendar days before they are to become effective.  Unless the Union requests to meet with the Fire Chief to discuss the proposed changes or additions within the thirty (30) calendar day period, such changes or additions to the Operational Bulletins will become effective as proposed.   In such event, the changes will not become effective until the Union has been given the opportunity to meet with the Fire Chief to provide input on the proposal.
C.     At the request of the Union, the Fire Chief may meet with Union representatives to discuss changes or additions to the Fire Department Operational Bulletins submitted by the Chief or proposed by the Union.

The wage schedule of Fire Department employees is set forth in the City's pay plan ordinance, a copy of which is to be made available at each fire station.

In an emergency requiring the recall of off-duty personnel, the primary task is to establish an effective fire fighting mechanism (personnel and equipment) in the shortest amount of time. Such circumstances are relatively rare and, therefore, overtime equalization need not be considered. In emergencies, the Fire Chief or his/her designee may employ any available mechanism to locate and press into service off-duty personnel appropriate to the needs of the department.  All available means of communication may be used to accomplish this goal. Emergency recall is to follow guidelines as set forth in Fire Department Operational Bulletins.

The normal minimum staffing levels for Columbia Fire units are to be as follows: 3-Person Engine Companies, 3-Person Ladder Companies, 2-Person Squad company.  When staffing drops below normal minimum, off-duty employees are to be called in for constant staffing. Constant staffing is to be called when a fire company is anticipated to be two-person for more than 3 hours.  Constant staffing is to follow guidelines as set forth in Fire Department Operational Bulletins.

Injury leave is to cover injuries to employees who are performing tasks on the emergency scene or participating in fire fighter training.  Employees are reminded that Section 19-130 of the City Code, paragraphs N and O apply to injury and sick leave.  To help clarify the intent of Section 19-130, some examples are in order. These examples are not intended to be inclusive but are for illustrative purposes only.  

1.    INJURIES APPROPRIATE FOR INJURY LEAVE: Any injury which is related to and sustained while training for unique fire fighting tasks; any injury sustained while traveling in any fire department emergency vehicle or in an ambulance to or from an emergency scene, any injury sustained on an emergency scene and injuries resulting in association with any aspect of responding to an alarm.
    2.    INJURIES NOT APPROPRIATE FOR INJURY LEAVE: An injury resulting from entering or exiting a Fire Department vehicle during routine, non-emergency conditions; a fall at a fire station, a training facility, or administrative office; injuries resulting from vehicle accidents occurring while not traveling in an emergency mode; cuts, scrapes, bruises, etc., while performing routine office tasks, writing reports, etc.

A.    Seniority for employees hired the same day, attending basic recruit school on or after October 1, 1985, is to be determined by final class standing upon graduation from basic recruit school. Final class standing is to be determined by total point accumulation for all applicable tests. Affected employees are to be notified in writing at the start of basic recruit school as to which tests are applicable and their respective point value.
B.    The Fire Administration Office is responsible for maintaining and posting in each station, at least on an annual basis, a seniority list(s).
C.    Seniority with the fire department is given primary consideration for purpose of vacation scheduling.
D.    Seniority-in-rank is given consideration for the purpose of promotional eligibility and transfer procedures.

A.     The City is to furnish to each Fire Station a copy of the following:
I.     This ordinance.
2.     Chapter 19 of the Code of Ordinances.
    3.     Administrative rules promulgated by the City Manager.
    4.     Fire Department Operational Bulletins
5.     Changes and amendments to all of the above
B.     Employees, upon request, are to receive a copy of any personnel transactions or evaluations affecting them.
C.     Employees may cause to be placed in their personnel file a written explanation of the reasons for an action or inaction resulting in a warning or reprimand.
D.     Employees are responsible for complying with current departmental operational bulletins, City rules and regulations, etc.

A.     Employees employed in the same capacity may agree, with the approval of the Fire Chief or his/her designee, to trade time with one another during scheduled work hours. The hours such employees trade time are to be excluded by the City in calculation of hours for which the employees are entitled to compensation.
B.    Trade time requests are to be made on a Request for Exchange of Time form as soon in advance of the requested trade time as possible.  The employee is to be notified, as soon as possible, if the request is approved or denied by his/her Chief Officer or his/her designee.
C.     It is the responsibility of the employee requesting the trade time to insure that the substitute employee reports for duty at the proper time and location, unless the employee has secured the signature of the substitute on a Request for Exchange of Time form and the trade time has been approved by the duty Division Chief or his/her designee.
D.     An employee may trade time if it is determined the employee will be late for work. This trade time is subject to the approval of the Division Chief or his/her designee.

Meal allowance is to be paid in accordance with Chapter 19 for each day an Emergency Services employee is on duty.  Payment of this benefit is to be one-half on or about October 1, each year with an additional payment adjusted to reflect the actual days worked during the previous six months on or about April 1, each year.

While not compulsory, department heads may request that a promotional examination consisting of one or more formal procedures listed in section 19-161 of the City Code, be held to determine more formally the best-qualified present employees who may be contenders for a position.   However, for each vacancy, the department head may promote a permanent present city employee in the department who meets all considerations listed in Chapter 19 of the City Code.

The following list of guidelines may be in effect for promotional examinations:

A.     Normally promotional examination processes are to be administered through the Human Resource Department.
B.     Promotional examination components are to be established by the Fire Chief or his/her designee and/or the Director of Human Resources or his/her designee.
C.     Management is to advise employees in advance of a process of promotional procedures.  This information should include a list of texts or other study materials, and how the functional parts (written, practical, oral, etc.) will be weighted.  Every effort will be made to provide not less than a 30-day notice prior to date of exam.  
D.     Changes in study materials or other aspects of promotional procedures requiring "lead time" for preparation are to be announced in a timely manner so as to allow potential candidates a reasonable time to prepare.
E.    Eligibility
1.      For an employee to be eligible to take a promotional exam, the employee must meet in grade requirements at the close of the process registration.
    2.     In grade requirements are to conform to those published in City Job Descriptions.
F.     Promotional rosters are to be in rank order and generally remain in effect for 18 months unless the number of candidates on the roster drops to less than three, or unless a new roster is necessitated by Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action requirements. In either event, the Fire Chief or the Human Resources Director may request a new roster.
G.     The Fire Chief may make promotions from among the three highest ranked candidates on the promotional roster.

Outdoor training is not to occur under inappropriate or unreasonable conditions.  The Fire Chief, or his/her designee, will determine if conditions are appropriate for training.

Should a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction hold any provision of this Ordinance unlawful, all other provisions of this Ordinance are to remain in force.   If the Union or Management deems replacement provisions necessary, they are to be discussed at a mutually agreeable time.

This ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and shall remain in effect until amended or repealed by the City Council.