The ADFA Board held its annual meeting on August 24, 2008 in Boise, ID and all members present agreed to implement the course of action as outlined below:
One of ADFA's original goals was to insure ADs received equal pay for equal work as compared to Agency employees and contractors. Although good work has been done in the past and overall rates of pay have increased, the inequity still exists given there is no overtime pay and there is no hazard pay those who qualify for it.
Another goal was for ADs to be able to pay into social security, thereby receiving credit for the appropriate amount of "quarters" during the work periods each year.
It is clear to the board that these are legal issues and require addressing by Congress to either modify the AD enabling legislation or to replace it and to allow social security credit or not. ADFA does not have the financial resources to hire the proper legal counsel and/or lobbyists to further our cause in these endeavors.
The Board further recognizes that for whatever reason the Forest Service leadership is unwilling and or unable to address these issues either by management or through their legislative affairs staff. It is not in their best interest to pay fairly when they can continue the current "cost-cutting" strategy of paying AD's poorly! Present AD employees are not willing to not step up to the plate and make it difficult for the Forest Service by not staffing unable to fill positions.
There is an increasing number of crews, single resources, equipment, and other personnel hired each year under contract, through states or municipal fire agencies at higher rates of pay, or through the DOI as a rehired annuitant when PL-4 is reached. It is also quite evident that the Forest Service lacks the initiative or desire to implement Emergency Annuitant Rehire authority. They have elected to continue to pay substandard AD rates.
Finally, we have new members signing up but not paying dues, we have old members who pay dues but would rather not participate in ADFA management or issues, and we have members who are getting older and are not taking AD assignments. A majority of complaints received by board members are coming from those at the AD-K and above level rather than from the "ground pounder level."
For all the reasons mentioned above in the background information, the Board has decided:
- No membership or renewal dues will be accepted after October 1, 2008
- The website will be shut down effective April 1, 2009
- All financial activities will be wrapped up on or before September 30, 2009
- After discussion with our legal counsel, the AD Firefighter Organization will sunset on September 30, 2009.
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