By Jennifer Gomori, MAFF Editor

Bruce Township Paid-On-Call Fire Fighters didn’t decide to unionize because of low wages – but they did join Michigan Association of Fire Fighters (MAFF) to ensure equality in the workplace with their full-time counterparts.

maff logo 2007“We don’t really want more money. It’s more about standards,” said Bruce Township Paid-on-Call Fire Fighter William Thompson. “We kind of have an idea about what we’re interested in. Some uniformity in the administration is the main thing - adhering to standards and implementing them for all the Employees.”

The 13-member unit voted to join MAFF in August. Bruce Township Fire Department also employs 15 full-time Fire Fighters, who are represented by another Union.

“I think that was one of the main motivations is to resolve the inconsistencies in leadership,” Thompson said. “We’re a combination department. On one side there’s standards and the other there isn’t. There’s a lot of nonsense that goes on. I’m basically a volunteer - I don’t need to do all this extra training and get hassled.”

MAFF was recommended by one of the current On-Call members, who also works as a part-time Clay Township Fire Fighter. That department and Bruce Township Paid-on-Call are both represented by MAFF Labor Relations Specialist Jerald James.

“Jerald does a great job and MAFF is great,” Thompson said. “Jerald has been super helpful. I personally think he’s been fantastic. He’s been very responsive. Every time I had questions, he spent a lot of time talking on the phone with me so it’s appreciated.”

Thompson said he is looking forward to negotiations on their first MAFF-represented contract.