Livonia Professional Firefighters
IAFF Local 1164 - Serving The City Of Livonia Since 1941
  • November 18, 2017
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    Click here for a recent article about suicide in the fire service. 


    • Service all heating systems and all gas-, oil- or coal-burning appliances by a technician annually.

    • Install a battery-operated and electric-powered carbon monoxide detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.

    • Contact a doctor if you believe you have carbon monoxide poisoning.

    • Do not use gas-powered devices such as a generator, grill or stove inside your home, basement or near a near a window or door. Generators should be operated more than 15 feet from the home.

    • Do not run any gas-powered motor inside a closed structure, such as a garage.

    • Do not heat a home with a gas oven.

    IAFF Local Newswire
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  • IMPORTANT Legislative Update - Read and ACT NOW!
    Updated On: Nov 15, 2017

    Continue to contact your legislators and oppose any mandated changes to your pensions and health care.

    November 15, 2017

    Framework Set On Municipal Retiree Health Care Plan
    A summary and fact sheet on a potentially upcoming proposal changing the municipal retirement health care system was circulated among House Republicans last week and many following the issue expect if it is taken up this term, it will be before the end of the year.

    The plan, outlined in a rough framework obtained by Gongwer News Service, is not final, but is pretty close, said Rep. Jim Lower (R-Cedar Lake), one of the lead members working on the issue, said Tuesday. Mr. Lower said the summary and fact sheet were circulated to members so they could start to provide input as the legislation is crafted.
    "My personal preference is that we would act on this sooner rather than later," he said. "We are ready as far as I am concerned. There has been a lot of discussion and there has been a lot of debate."
    The plan as outlined would set up a five-phase plan and put in place certain requirements for retiree health care and its funding. If a local government was not meeting those requirements and did not come up with its own corrective plan, a board mostly controlled by state officials would implement a corrective action plan.

    Under the proposal, defined benefit plans for new employees would be prohibited after July 1, 2018, and certain criteria would be put in place to determine if a health care system is underfunded.
    This early proposal appears to be setting up another showdown between the Legislature and police officers and fire fighters, much like last year when outcry from public safety workers led to legislation on the issue quickly being killed.

    Dave Hiller, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, and Mark Docherty, with the Michigan Professional Firefighters Union, told Gongwer the Legislature should pass a proposal based on the Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force report released earlier this year.
    Mr. Lower, though, said he is not worried about police and fire outcry leading to the proposal's defeat. He said he has also been working with those groups and "it is pretty evident they have strong opinions."
    The task force's report also agreed on a five-phase system, though it officially made no recommendations. The task force agreed on more transparency and reporting and some minimum funding requirements.

    Mr. Docherty said the current proposal goes "well beyond" the task force. He said there is a strong police and fire coalition that will oppose the state going "too far."
    "Our members are going to react in a way that they have in the past when they see something they don't like and goes too far," Mr. Docherty said. "We want our benefits funded, of course, but there is a reasonable way to do it."
    He said he is not happy with everything in the task force report, but it was the product of many months of work with many stakeholders, not just unions, and it should be implemented.
    Mr. Hiller said the task force plan should at least be implemented to first to see if it works before another proposal is pursued.

    A myth vs. reality sheet distributed among House Republicans said the proposal was built around the task force consensus. But it said the task force did not agree on what to do in the final stage for local governments that cannot come up with a local solution.
    "These reforms address that issue and put forward a solution that will fully solve the problem," the handout says.
    The sheet also says the state plays no meaningful role until the last stage, and even then local government officials are involved. It says only local governments in the worst possible funding positions will reach the final stage.

    Several other groups working the issue - the Michigan Association of Counties, the Michigan Townships Association and the Michigan Municipal League - said they are working with the Legislature but did not offer specifics yet.
    While Mr. Lower said the Legislature is still talking with stakeholders, he would not characterize the conversations as "negotiations."
    "As far as putting together a plan, all parties agree something needs to get done," he said. "We are all on the same page."

    The proposal did appear close enough to being finalized that there was some expectation legislation would be introduced and acted on last week, several of those watching the issue said, though that did not occur. Stakeholders are now expecting that if it is taken up, it will be before the end of the year.
    Amber McCann, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive), said there has been some discussion that the House and Senate would each introduce the same proposal and move it at the same time. Ms. McCann said Senate Republicans discussed the issue last week and it would have been premature to introduce a bill.
    House Speaker Tom Leonard Spokesperson Gideon D'Assandro said the process details will be finalized after the proposal is finalized.

    HOUSE REPUBLICAN OUTLINE: The outline distributed among House Republicans last week would implement five phases with the first phase consisting of requirements for all municipalities.
    Those would include reporting, prefunding retiree health care normal cost obligations and no defined benefit plans for new hiresafter July 1, 2018. The treasurer would also be required to set standards for actuarial assumptions and valuation methods for pension and retiree health care systems.
    The proposal would also put in place a system to determine the underfunded status of local governments. As currently outlined, pensions would be considered underfunded if funded at less than 60 percent with 10 percent of General Fund revenue on the actuarial required contribution. Other post-employment benefits would be considered underfunded at a ratio less than of 30 percent and more than 10 percent of General Fund on the actuarial contribution.

    Under the proposal as written, the Department of Treasury could issue a waiver of underfunded status for municipalities trending in the right direction or already working on a corrective plan. For those that are underfunded, a three-member board would also be created with technical experts appointed by the governor, speaker and Senate majority leader to advise local governments as they come up with corrective plans.

    The final phase, for local units of government that do not put in place a corrective plan or fail to follow it, would add two more members to the board - one picked by the local government management and the other by the local union or retirees - would develop and approve a plan.
    The myth vs. reality sheet distributed among House Republicans said opponents would attempt to say the proposal takes away the ability for locals to bargain with unions, would allow local governments to strip retirees of pensions and retirement health care, is a one-size fits all solution and is stacked against locals.

    Continue to contact your legislators and oppose any mandated changes to your pensions and health care.

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