By Jennifer Gomori, MAFF Editor

Cambridge Township Paid-on-Call (POC) Firefighters were not looking to make major changes within their department when they decided to unionize – they just wanted some parity with other Township Employees.

The 32-member unit voted overwhelming in favor of joining Michigan Association of Fire Fighters (MAFF) to represent them in March 2022.

maff logo 2007“We talked a lot with other area departments and they seemed to be happy with MAFF,” said Chad Conrad, Cambridge Township POC Firefighters Local Union Vice President. “Over the past decade or so, there’s not been representation for the fire department and raises have been given loosely to other departments in the Township. We joined for representation, for pay raises comparable to others in the Township.”

“They’ve given 10 percent to 50 percent (increases) to the Township Board and other administrative positions,” Conrad said. “We do have (Township) Police and raises have been given to them. There’s no rhyme or reason for (the raises). Each board has given raises differently and the fire department has just been left behind with the raises.”

Conrad said the Paid-on-Call Firefighters have no other major issues with how the department is being run, citing no safety or personnel concerns. In fact, Cambridge Township POC Firefighters take pride in their long history overseeing fire services at Michigan International Speedway, located in Brooklyn, Mich.

“One thing that’s unique to us is we cover the NASCAR track and we staff the events up there as well,” Conrad said. “Michigan International Speedway is in our response area, so we’ve done coverage there 30 or 40 years. It’s in the northwest corner of Lenawee County. We do everything on the property for the NASCAR races and we handle everything on the track. We handle all the fire and EMS specialty rescue.”

Cambridge Township POC Firefighters feel well-informed with the excellent communication they’ve experienced with MAFF Labor Relations Specialist Gary McSweeney and MAFF Assistant Executive Director Jerald James.

“We’re pleased with finally getting something organized and the representation we’ve had so far,” Conrad said in April. “We’ve had a couple meetings and currently they’re drawing up a contract (proposal) for us. We’ll be going through it and going into negotiations with the Township soon.”