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For Immediate Release: Arbitrability Hearing Ruling
Updated On: Jun 13, 2024

Local S-6 Membership,

As the climate of hiring for the fire service has shifted in recent years, so have recruitment and retention practices. With more full-time firefighter jobs created across the Metro, filling and maintaining our ranks at MSP Airport Fire has proven difficult. Simply put, new recruits and current members have more options; today’s firefighters know their worth and know their careers are portable to other departments. It’s only been recently that we’ve hit fully complimented shift staffing after years of struggling.

One idea floated by the MAC (to recruit and retain) was increasing vacation balances by giving credit for (approved) years worked at other full-time agencies. On the surface, this idea appeared simple and a win for all parties. However, the execution proved far more complicated as the details were hammered out and the months dragged on.

After numerous Labor-Management meetings, it was clear the MAC had a change of heart and refused to honor their word and finalize the deal. After much discussion with the labor body, it was decided to file a grievance against the MAC and move forward with arbitration if necessary. This was not a decision taken lightly, but the fallout of not honoring the original deal impacted 14 current members and set the stage for future bait-and-switch offers.

Our grievance elevated to an arbitrability hearing that took place in April with President Dan Olson and former Fire Chief Bob Koenig testifying on behalf of Local S-6 (under the guidance of Attorney Jim Michels). A ruling was delivered this past week and unfortunately, Local S-6 lost the hearing. The full ruling can be accessed in the Meeting Minutes tab under Member Resources. To say the Executive Board is disappointed is a gross understatement.

However, although the ruling was not in our favor, it’s critical to emphasize the importance of standing up for what’s right, holding the MAC accountable for not honoring their word and supporting our membership under difficult circumstances.

As always, the Executive Board is available for questions and discussion.

Respectfully,

President Dan Olson


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