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December 17, 2017
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Urgent Update For All Members
Posted On: Oct 09, 2017

Dear L-21 Members: 

As you may know, the IAFF considers an annual stress test to be a valuable benefit to members for purposes of protecting their health and wellness on and off the job.  For several months, Local 21 has been discussing with the Fire Administration the circumstances under which such a program could be implemented for the benefit of our members.  While we have had many good conversations, the chief concerns to Local 21 are: 1) whether the program should be voluntary or mandatory; 2) if mandatory, what protections (ie, job status, training and assistance to regain fitness, etc.) are to be provided to members who are either determined to be unable to safely take the test or who, after taking the test, have a VO2 exchange rate that indicates they may not be physically able to safely perform the essential functions of the job; and 3) once implemented, whether the City is committed to providing the funding to make this program on-going rather than a one-time event.  To date these concerns have not been resolved to the satisfaction of Local 21.  After the last labor-management meeting on this topic, Local 21 officers have heard that, notwithstanding the fact that we have told the Fire Administration that we cannot move forward until these issues are resolved, the Department intends to proceed with mandatory testing.  However, when our attorney inquired with the City’s Director of Labor Relations, he was told Labor Relations was not aware of any plans to implement mandatory testing.  We are writing to inform you of the status of events to avoid inaccurate rumors and also to ask that, if you receive an order from a supervisor to report for administration of a stress or other physical test to determine your health or fitness, you contact a Local 21 officer immediately and before you submit to any such test. 

Sincerely,

Mike Smith
Denny Hall
Jeramiah Melquist


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