• 2016 Candidate For "Statewide Offices" Questionnaire

    Dear Candidate for State Representative;

    The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union plans to endorse and support candidates who support issues that promote a safer Michigan. In addition, candidates for office need to support, protect, and advocate the advancement of firefighters and paramedics in the performance of their duties. Therefore, it is important that the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union has a clear understanding of your position on these issues.

    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at 734.675.0206 or email: markdocherty@comcast.net

    Mark Docherty, President
    Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union

    Questionnaires must be completed by May 31st to be considered for endorsement.

    Please return completed questionnaire online at www.mpffu.org or by mail to:

    Mark Docherty, President

    Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union

    208 N. Capitol Ave, 3rd Floor

    Lansing, MI 48933

    Please Note * Required Field

    * Date:
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    * Office Being Sought/District:
    * Campaign Committee Name:
    * Campaign Address:
    * City/State/Zip:
    * Campaign Manager:
    * Phone (Home):
    * Phone (Campaign):
    Fax (Campaign):
    * Email (Campaign):
    * Incumbent: Yes: No:
    * Political Party:
    * Candidate ID: (supplied by MPFFU)

    1. Heart/Lung, Cancer and Infectious Disease Presumption

    As fire fighters, we are aware that ours is an unusual profession with unusual risks. We acknowledge the risks and work to make our occupation as safe as possible. However, when one of our members is struck down by an occupational disease, we want to make sure that they and their families will be provided for.

    One of the ways we accomplish this is through the workers compensation system. Fire fighters are exposed to carcinogens at every fire they fight which has been reflected in research studies that have shown that fire fighters are at a higher risk than the general population for developing heart and lung ailments, certain types of cancer, and contracting infectious diseases. However, due to the nature of such ailments, it is often difficult to prove that they were occupationally related. This is why the MPFFU supports the maintenance and expansion of disease “presumptions” within the workers compensation act.

    A presumption places the burden of proof on the employer or insurance carrier to establish that a disease was contracted outside the workplace. Fire fighters already enjoy a presumption for heart and lung diseases for over 40 years. In January 2015, Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 516 which created the First Presumed Coverage Fund.  This fund would ensure fire fighters with cancer have the coverage they need.  However, the Legislature never appropriated money to the fund leaving our fire fighters uncovered.

    Will you support appropriating general fund dollars to the First Responders Presumed Coverage Fund?

    Yes: No:

    2. Fire Service- Based EMS & Fire Fighting

    Fire service-based emergency medical services (EMS) systems are strategically positioned to deliver the best time critical response and effective patient care.  Fire service-based EMS provides this pivotal emergency service while emphasizing responder safety and cost effective operations.  Due to the training, expertise and equipment of fire service-based EMS responders, they are capable of simultaneously securing a scene, mitigating the hazard, triaging, extricating, treating, decontaminating (if necessary), and transporting the patients who have been injured to an appropriate medical facility.  Timeliness is a critical component of EMS and statistics have proven that a fire service-based EMS is the most effective model.

    Do you support the fire service-based EMS?
    Yes: No:


    3. Consolidations of fire departments vs. Cross Training Police Officers as Firefighters (PSO)

    Due to the states’ economic challenges, there have been a lot of communities that have had discussions about the need for consolidation of local government services.However, police unions have been pushing for the consolidation of police and fire departments into one unit to maintain their jobs. We believe that consolidation of fire departments, if done appropriately, can create efficiencies and strengthen the number of fire fighters in a community.However, the cross training of police officers as firefighters has not only provided NO cost savings to communities, it also degrades the level of fire service in the process.

    Do you support legislation in Lansing or in your community, which would PROHIBIT the cross training of police officers as fire fighters?
    Yes: No:


    4. Public Act 312 - PA 116 of 2011

    Due to the fact that firefighters perform a vital service to the public, it is unlawful for any firefighters to participate in a labor stoppage or strike as a tool in collective bargaining.   As a way to resolve a labor dispute fairly without striking, Michigan adopted Public Act 312 in 1969. PA 312 provides for binding arbitration to settle disputes between labor and management.  Both sides present their case and an impartial arbitrator settles the dispute.  This system has worked well for more than forty years.

    In 2011, the Michigan legislature tried to repeal PA 312 but failed.  Through months of education and negotiations, the legislature passed an update to the process of PA 312 which was signed by the Governor and given PA 116 of 2011.  The MPFFU wants to maintain this progressive and fair solution as part of the process in resolving labor contracts for firefighters in Michigan.

    Do you support the continuation of PA 312 in its current form?
    Yes: No:


    5. Pension tax exemption

    Do you support Defined Benefit pensions for fire fighters? Do you support that pensions should continue to be bargained locally?

    Yes: No:


    6. Emergency Manager – PA 4 of 2011

    To deal with the number of communities facing a financial crisis, the Governor proposed and the legislature passed legislation giving an appointed official not elected by the voters of a community the right to impose what level of emergency services the municipality should have.  We believe that tools should be in place to deal with the financial distress of cities but that contracts should not be broken rather the Emergency Manager should need to renegotiate with the employees.

    Would you support modifying the current law to allow for the collective bargaining to be protected when an Emergency Manager is brought into a city?

    Yes: No:


    7. Right to Work

    Do you support protecting the exemption for fire fighters in the current Right to Work law?

    Yes: No:


    8. Collective Bargaining

    Many bills that have been introduced or passed over the last year and a half have eroded the rights of public employees to bargain certain issues.  

    Do you support the right for public workers to negotiate for wages, hours and working conditions as currently allowed through the Public Employee Relations Act?

     Yes: No:

    9. MIOSHA

    The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration strives to work collaboratively with employers and employees to better prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities and to protect earned wages and fringe benefits.

    MIOSHA health and safety activities include: setting and enforcing occupational safety and health standards; providing extensive safety and health training and education; and working with partners to develop innovative programs to prevent workplace hazards.

    MIOSHA Wage & Hour activities focus on administration of three laws which protect the wages and fringe benefits of Michigan's workers.

    There has been some talk about abolishing MIOSHA and just relying on Federal OSHA laws to provide for worksite protections.  This would eliminate many protections that benefit Michigan workers, making worksites more dangerous.

    Do you support the continuation of MIOSHA and its programs?

     Yes: No:

    Additional Comments:
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    The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union will not endorse any candidate who fails to return the questionnaire by the stated return date.

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