By Jennifer Gomori, MAFF Editor

Newly elected MAFF Executive Board Vice President Jeffrey Gaglio of Detroit EMS Officers Association brings over two decades of Union experience to his position.

“I started with the UAW back in the day. When I came to the Detroit Fire Department, I became a Steward under POAM for the Technicians group for 14 years,” Gaglio said.

MAFF Executive Board Vice President Jeffrey Gaglio

Gaglio, the Local Union President for Detroit EMS Officers Association for over two years, didn’t hesitate when MAFF Labor Relations Specialist Jim Steffes invited him to seek the Executive Board vacancy in 2021.

“If I’m going to be a part of something I want to be fully involved,” he said. “I have qualities I can bring to the table and help out other local bargaining units. A lot of the locals at MAFF deal with Paid-on-Call. I’m actually a full-time Public Safety Employee. The fact that I deal with my Employer on a daily basis, I think that helps.”

As a Steward, Gaglio was remotely involved in contract negotiations through fact finding and polling local workers about their concerns. More recently, he’s been sitting at the table during contract negotiations.

He worked his way up to leadership positions at the Detroit Fire Department, beginning as a Basic EMT and then working as a Paramedic for 13 years. “I was promoted to Lieutenant, which is Assistant EMS Supervisor, and then Captain, which is the EMS Supervisor,” he said.

Over the years, he’s come to realize the disparity between part-time and full-time Employees. “The way I see things one of the biggest hurdles for Paid-on-Call is being treated as equals in the department,” Gaglio said. “They’re entitled to everything their full-time counterparts are entitled to. We’re the EMS and we’re constantly battling being treated equal to Firefighters.”

Protecting frontline workers who suffer with the long-term effects of contracting COVID-19 also tops his concerns.

“I had COVID way in the beginning when there were no vaccines,” he said. “I know I feel different from how I felt before I had COVID. Now they’re just starting to look at long-term effects, like cardiac problems and mental issues.”

“As a Union, it’s important to take care of the people who have long-term effects,” Gaglio said. “You have a lot of (legislative) bills in place for Firefighters that get cancer. I’m looking at COVID in the same aspect. I had it and at the end of the day I want to make sure my family’s taken care of and I’m taking care of.”