The December General Membership meetings will be held on Wednesday, December 17th(2E)(EMS 1) and Thursday, December 18th(3E)(EMS 2) at Electricians Hall located at 600 W. Washington at 7pm. If you park in the lot, you must pay for parking or you will be towed.
The Union Office will be closing early on Wednesday, December 24th and will be closed on Thursday, December 25th and Friday, December 26th. We will reopen on Monday, December 29th at 8:00am.
Brothers and Sisters,
Governor’s Race Over……..What Now?
The bitter, hotly-contested race for Illinois Governor is now over and one obvious question still exists; what’s next? The answer is not an easy one.
Now that Bruce Rauner has been elected as the next Governor of Illinois, it remains to be seen if all the saber-rattling done during his campaign will take flight. It is no secret that Governor-elect Rauner is not a big fan of our current pension systems, both the statewide system as well as Chicago’s. Even though his private equity firm has spent the last several years as a key player in the Illinois public pension investment game and his associates have made considerable profits while playing that game, he has stated repeatedly that he wants to “Shake Up Springfield” and change the benefit structure of pensions received going forward. Just how much can actually be changed due to Constitutional restrictions will ultimately be decided by the Courts.
As it stands now, the Democratic super-majority that is held in both the Illinois House and Senate remains intact. This would make it difficult for the new Governor to make any sweeping changes to pensions quickly. Speaker of the House Madigan and Senate President Cullerton will certainly want to weigh in on any and all proposed changes to the current pension system. Whether or not there the Illinois Legislature will take any action on pension issues during the upcoming Veto session is unknown at this time.
Local 2 has now entered into the newly-formed Chicago Public Safety Pension Coalition which includes Local 2, FOP Lodge 7 and the Police Sergeants, Lieutenants and Captain’s Associations. This group was established to research and identify problems unique to Public Safety Pension Funds and to develop strategy to fight any future attacks on our retirement security.
Thomas E. Ryan, Jr.
If you are approaching Medicare age (65), make sure you and your spouse get any dental work or eyeglasses before the first day of the month in which you turn 65.
You become Medicare eligible the first day of the month of your 65th birthday. Once you become Medicare eligible you lose your dental and vision coverage, and the City will not pay those bills. If you have any questions, call Rich Ternes at the Union Office, 773-536-0450x310.
Employee Assistance Department
The Local 2 Employee Assistance Department (EAP) now has a confidential direct line: 773-358-3473
The uniformed members active and retired friends of Bill W are invited to the "What about us?" meeting every Monday evening at 7:30 p.m at the Union Office located at 440 W. 43rd St., enter through the front door.
Chicago Fire Fighters Local No. 2 History
Prior to the Civil War, the volunteer fire company was a private service in most American cities. The early "fire society" or "fire brigade" was an association of local citizens banded together for the purpose of protecting community lives and property. In 1831 the Illinois Legislature required any incorporated city or town to have a volunteer department. Chicago's first volunteer company was organized in 1835.
Firefighting soon became an established municipal service manned by a paid ful-time work crew. But this new organization also depended upon the generosity of local politicians for jobs, salaries, and working conditions. A civil service system did not exist. Firefighters were often dismissed when a new political boss gained control of the city. Firefighting jobs were treated as political gifts and men were not always hired for their skills, but for their political contributions at election time.
Like other labor groups, Firefighters contested with management over wages, hours and conditions. But because of their unique status and the community's dependence upon them, their opportunities to press for change were often severely constricted.
Firefighter History Link
Install and Maintain Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors warn you of fire in time to let you escape. Install them on each level of your home and outside of each sleeping area. Follow the manufacturer's directions, and test once a week. Replace batteries twice a year, or when the detector chirps to signal that the battery is dead. Don't ever take the battery out for other uses!
Plan and Practice Your escape
If fire breaks out in your home, you must get out fast. With your family, plan two ways out of every room. Fire escape routes must not include elevators, which might take you right to the fire! Choose a meeting place outside where everyone should gather. Once you are out, stay out! Have the whole family practice the escape plan at least twice a year.
Space Heaters Need space
Keep portable space heaters at least 3 feet (1 meter) from paper, curtains, furniture, clothing, bedding, or anything else that can burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to bed, and keep children and pets well away from them.