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Recognition - Welcome to the Montgomery County Maryland

By Calvin King,2014-04-12 23:38
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Recognition - Welcome to the Montgomery County Marylandto,To,the,The

    Table of Contents

    Volunteer Fire Rescue Agreement

     Page

    Article 1. Recognition………………………………………………………… 1 Article 2. Non-Discrimination……………………………………………... 1 Article 3. Management Rights….................................................. 1

    Article 4. Volunteer Participation…………………….………………….. 2 Article 5. Organizational Security……………………….………………. 3 Article 6. Recordkeeping…………………………………………………... 3 Article 7. Disciplinary Procedures for LFRD Volunteers…….…….. 3 Article 8. Contract Grievance Procedure……………………….……... 8 Article 9. Volunteer Records………………………………………………. 9 Article 10. Expenses…………………………………………………………… 12 Article 11. Uniforms and Equipment……………………………………... 13 Article 12. Nominal Fee……………………………………………….……... 13 Article 13. Savings Clause…………………………………………….……... 14 Article 14. Duration of Agreement…………………………….………….. 15 Article 15 Drug and Alcohol Testing………………………….………….. 15 Article 16 Training……………………………………………………….…….. 15 Article 17 Fire Rescue Occupational Medical Section (FROMS)….. 16 Article 18 Reopener……………………………………………………….…… 16 Article 19 Standby Duty Requirements………………………………….. 16 Article 20 Notice and Opportunity……………………………….……….. 19 Article 21 Communications………………………………………………….. Article 22 Volunteer Basic Orientation Course………………………….

    Article 1

    RECOGNITION

    Section One: The Montgomery County Government (County) recognizes the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (MCVFRA or Association) as the duly authorized representative of the Local Fire and Rescue Departments (LFRD) in the direct negotiation process set forth in Chapter 21-6 of the Montgomery County Code.

    Section Two: For the purposes of this Agreement, a volunteer means any person who is a member of a LFRD and has completed a probationary period of at least one calendar year.

    Article 2

    NON-DISCRIMINATION

    Section One: Neither the County nor the Association shall discriminate against any individual because of his or her volunteer status in any LFRD. Further, all terms and conditions contained in this agreement shall be applied to all volunteers without discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, marital status, religion, political affiliation, country of origin, sexual orientation, disability or genetic information.

    Section Two: Active volunteers as defined in section 21-21(a) of the Montgomery County Code shall be eligible to apply for “employees only” County position vacancies.

    Section Three. The County supports the delivery of fire, rescue and emergency services through the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, including the local fire and rescue departments, operating under County policies and regulations implemented by the Fire Chief. This partnership ensures that service is delivered within a County-wide context and preserves community-based perspectives of the local fire and rescue departments. County officials, employees, volunteers, and local fire and rescue departments should actively encourage a combined service delivery system provided by local and County resources and promote equal opportunities and fair treatment for all personnel. The County recognizes and respects the contributions of volunteers over many decades that have protected life and property in the County and provided vital and generous private support for an essential public activity. The County acknowledges the years of volunteer effort, risk, and sacrifice; the time and money devoted to purchasing equipment, apparatus, and facilities; and the value to our community of opportunities for public service and fellowship. The County vigorously supports the continuation and expansion of volunteer participation to provide fire, rescue, and emergency medical services in the most cost effective way and to encourage citizen participation in community services. The County and MCVFRA recognize the importance of and promote an atmosphere of integrity and mutual respect among all personnel.

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    Article 3

    MANAGEMENT RIGHTS

    Section A. Issues subject to negotiating under this Agreement, as specified in Chapter 21-6(f) of the Montgomery County Code are:

    (1) methods and mechanisms for volunteer firefighters and rescuers participation in

    MCFRS policy decisions;

    (2) representation of volunteer firefighters and rescuers on MCFRS committees and

    task forces;

    (3) volunteer firefighter and rescuer recruitment, selection, and recognition;

    (4) procedures used to evaluate and discipline volunteer firefighters and rescuers;

    (5) protection of volunteer firefighters and rescuers from harassment and

    discrimination;

    (6) LOSAP and other benefits for volunteers, and the administration of any

    volunteer benefit;

    (7) the equitable allocation of appropriated funds and equipment among paid and

    volunteer personnel; and

    (8) any other issue that pertains only to volunteer firefighters and rescuers.

Section B. Issues not subject to negotiating under this section are:

    (1) budgets and expenditures;

    (2) MCFRS emergency and routine operations; and

    (3) any other issue not specified as subject to negotiating.

     The issues specified in section B are reserved as management rights.

    Article 4

    VOLUNTEER PARTICIPATION

     The County recognizes that the contributions of all volunteers are a valuable asset. The County must not prohibit or discourage any employee from providing volunteer services for a local fire and rescue department, except where prohibited or restricted by the provisions of section 21-17 of the Montgomery County Code, or by regulations adopted under section 21-17(b) of the Montgomery County Code.

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    Article 5

    ORGANIZATIONAL SECURITY

Section One. The County agrees to provide 50 copies of the contract in booklet form to be

    provided to the Association within ninety days of the effective date of this Agreement for each

    LFRD and the MCVFRA Office. An electronic copy shall also be maintained on the MCFRS and OHR website. The cover page of the Agreement shall be designed by mutual agreement between the parties.

Section Two. The County and the MCVFRA will determine the size and location of an “orange

    style” MCVFRA decal which will be displayed on each side of County owned apparatus used in

    providing fire, rescue and emergency medical services that are staffed by bargaining unit members. The decals will be provided by the Association.

    Article 6

    RECORDKEEPING

     For the purpose of maintaining timely and accurate records for volunteers, each LFRD must complete and submit a Personnel Action Form (PAFV), approved by the County and the Association, at the time an individual becomes an active volunteer and when an active volunteer leaves the LFRD, whether voluntary or involuntary. This PAFV shall be submitted by the LFRDs to the County in paper form until such time as the County establishes a system for electronic submission.

    Article 7

    DISCIPLINARY ACTION PROCEDURES FOR LFRD VOLUNTEERS

    Section One. Intent. This Article sets forth procedures used to discipline volunteers. Nothing in this Article shall in any way affect the authority of the Fire Chief under Chapter 21 of the Montgomery County Code.

Section Two. Purpose. Per Section 21-3(g) of the Montgomery County Code, the Fire Chief

    may take disciplinary action against any LFRD volunteer in the Service for violating any County law, regulation, policy, or procedure, or any lawful order of the Chief or the Chief’s designee.

    Disciplinary action under this subsection may include restriction or prohibition of a volunteer from participation in fire and rescue activities. The Chief must not take any action involving a volunteer of a local department, except when the Chief finds that immediate action is required to protect the safety of the public or any employee or volunteer, unless the Chief finds that the local department has not satisfactorily resolved the problem in a timely and effective manner.

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    Any finding by the Chief under the preceding sentence is not subject to appeal. Each volunteer

    must give the Chief any information, not otherwise legally privileged, that the Chief reasonably

    needs to administer Chapter 21.

    Section Three. Procedure for Notifying the Fire Chief of Alleged Misconduct.

     a. To enable the Fire Chief to review an LFRD’s resolution of a disciplinary matter

    under Section 21-3(g) of the County Code, and to assist the Fire Chief in

    determining if the matter has been satisfactorily resolved, the procedure in

    Section 3(a)(1) through Section 3(a)(3) must be followed.

    1. Each LFRD President or designee shall immediately notify the Fire Chief

    or designee of any alleged serious violation. A serious violation involves

    a threat to the public or personnel safety, or undermines the public trust

    and confidence in the fire and rescue service. A serious violation includes

    an egregious: negligent act or omission; theft of property; felony;

    assault; battery; or other violation of law, County policy, MCFRS policy or

    any lawful order of the Fire Chief. Notwithstanding Section 3(a) (2) below,

    the Fire Chief may proceed with disciplinary action directly against the

    individual(s) in question consistent with section 21-3(g) of the County

    Code.

    2. Each LFRD President or designee must take action on, and compile a

    written record of each disciplinary action taken against a volunteer.

    LFRDs must satisfactorily resolve any allegation of a serious violation by

    one of its volunteers within 60 days of receiving notification of its

    occurrence, unless the Fire Chief extends the time period for just cause.

    When an LFRD has taken a disciplinary action involving a serious

    violation as defined in Section 3(a)(1) above, the LFRD President must

    notify the Fire Chief or designee in writing within 48 hours of taking such

    action. The LFRD President or designee must forward a copy of such

    disciplinary action of a serious violation to the Fire Chief within seven (7)

    County business days of the issuance of such an action. In cases where

    the Fire Chief has taken disciplinary action, the LFRD need not compile a

    written record of the disciplinary action. The Fire Chief must forward a

    copy of such disciplinary action to the LFRD President or designee within

    seven (7) County business days of the issuance of such an action.

    3. Each LFRD must provide the Fire Chief or designee with any information

    that is reasonably required to evaluate the propriety or timeliness of an

    LFRD’s disciplinary action.

    Section Four. Fire Chief’s Discipline.

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    a. The Fire Chief must apply discipline progressively. Progressive discipline does not require the Fire Chief to apply discipline in a particular order or to always begin with the least severe penalty. In some cases involving a serious violation as defined in Section 3 (a) (1), the Fire Chief may bypass progressive discipline and impose another more severe disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

    b. Discipline must not be applied in an arbitrary or capricious manner.

    c. The parties understand that there is a requirement of confidentiality involved in the disciplinary process. Neither party shall disseminate information pertaining to disciplinary actions except on a need to know basis.

    d. Once the Fire Chief has determined there is cause to discipline a volunteer, the Fire Chief agrees to give due consideration to the relevance of any mitigating and/or aggravating factors, in deciding the nature and level of disciplinary action appropriate, including, but not limited to:

    1. the nature and seriousness of the offense, and its relation to the

    volunteer’s duties, position, and responsibilities, including whether

    the offense was intentional or technical and inadvertent, or was

    committed maliciously or for gain, or was frequently repeated;

2. the volunteer’s job level and type of employment, including his or her

    supervisory or fiduciary role, the frequency and level of his or her

    contact with the public, and the prominence of his or her position;

3. the volunteer’s past MCFRS disciplinary record;

4. the volunteer’s past work record, including his or her length of service

    to the Department and LFRDs, his or her performance, his or her

    demonstrated ability to get along with fellow MCFRS members, and

    his or her dependability;

    5. the effect of the offense upon the volunteer’s ability to perform at a

    satisfactory level;

    6. the consistency of the penalty with those imposed upon other MCFRS

    members with similar personnel history for the same or similar

    offense(s);

    7. the notoriety of the offense or its impact upon the reputation of

    MCFRS;

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    8. the clarity with which the volunteer was actually on notice of any

    rules, regulations, directives, policies, orders, instructions or the like

    that were violated in committing the offense, or had been warned

    about the conduct in question;

9. the potential for rehabilitation;

    10. mitigating circumstances surrounding the offense, such as unusual

    job tensions, personality conflicts, mental impairment, harassment,

    bad faith, or malice or provocation on the part of others involved in

    the matter; and,

    11. the potential adequacy and effectiveness of alternative sanctions to

    deter such conduct in the future by the volunteer or others.

    Section Five. Disciplinary Process.

    a. Statement of Charges.

    1. Before taking a disciplinary action, the Fire Chief shall provide the

    individual a written Statement of Charges that discloses:

    A. the proposed disciplinary action;

    B. the specific reasons for the proposed disciplinary action, including

    the dates, times, and places of events and names of others

    involved, if known, as appropriate;

    C. that the individual may respond orally, in writing, or both;

    D. to whom to direct any response;

    E. the deadline for submitting a response (at least 15 County

    business days); and

    F. that the individual may be represented by another when

    responding to the Statement of Charges.

    A copy of the statement of charges shall be forwarded to the LFRD

    President or designee. The Fire Chief will employ reasonable means to

    ensure the individual receives the statement of charges.

    2. The Fire Chief must allow the individual at least 15 County business days

    after receiving the Statement of Charges to respond. The volunteer has

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    the right to request an extension of time on behalf of the volunteer to

    respond to the Statement of Charges. Such requests shall not be

    unreasonably denied.

    3. If the individual responds to the Statement of Charges, the Fire Chief

    must consider the response, and decide whether to:

    A. proceed with the proposed disciplinary action;

    B. not take any disciplinary action;

    C. take a different disciplinary action; or

    D. remand to the LFRD.

    4. If additional information is obtained and developed during this process

    before a Notice of Disciplinary Action is issued, the Fire Chief may issue a

    new Statement of Charges if the Fire Chief determines that a more

    severe disciplinary action other than that stated in the original

    Statement of Charges is appropriate.

    5. In the event the Fire Chief proposes a disciplinary action and after a

    statement of charges is issued per the procedures listed above, but

    before the notice of disciplinary action is issued, the parties may

    voluntarily agree to a Pre-Disciplinary Settlement Conference. The Fire

    Chief or his/her designee and his/her representative and the individual

    and his/her representative shall attend such conference. The parties

    shall discuss the individual’s response to the statement of charges and

    the possibility of resolution. Settlement discussions are confidential. If

    the parties agree to a settlement and discipline is included in that

    settlement, the Notice of Disciplinary Action shall be issued and no

    appeal may be filed.

    b. Notice of Disciplinary Action. If the Fire Chief determines to proceed with

    discipline, and after following section 5 (a) (1) (4), the Chief must issue a Notice

    of Disciplinary Action. A Notice of Disciplinary Action must include:

1. the type of disciplinary action that will be taken;

    2. the date on which the disciplinary action will take effect;

    3. the specific reasons for the disciplinary action, including dates, times,

    places, and names of others involved, if known, as appropriate;

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    4. whether the individual responded to the Statement of Charges, and

    whether the response, if any, influenced the decision on the disciplinary

    action;

    5. notice of the right to appeal the disciplinary action to the Merit System

    Protection Board; and

    6. the deadline for filing an MSPB appeal.

    A copy of the notice of disciplinary action shall be forwarded to the LFRD

    President or designee.

Section Six. Immediate Removal of LFRD Volunteer. Per Section 21-3(g) of the

    Montgomery County Code, the Fire Chief may immediately relieve a volunteer from duty and prohibit their presence at any MCFRS premises or activity. The Chief must not take any action

    involving a volunteer of a local department, except when the Chief finds that immediate action is required to protect the safety of the public or any employee or volunteer, unless the Chief finds that the local department has not satisfactorily resolved the problem in a timely and effective manner. Where the Fire Chief exercises such authority, the Fire Chief or his/her designee shall notify the LFRD President or designee in writing within 24 hours of taking such action and include a reason for the Chief’s action.

Section Seven. Resignation after Disciplinary Action is Initiated. If an individual resigns

    after disciplinary action has been initiated, the Fire Chief may keep a record of the individual’s separation and its circumstances and indicate on the individual’s separation papers that:

    a. disciplinary action is pending, including the Fire Chief’s determination of the

    appropriate disciplinary action, if any;

    b. the individual will be issued a notice of disciplinary action upon reinstatement to

    any position within MCFRS without right of appeal.

Section Eight. Appeals of certain disciplinary actions. Per Chapter 21-7 of the Montgomery

    County Code, a volunteer firefighter or rescuer aggrieved by an adverse final action of the Fire Chief involving the removal, demotion, or suspension of, or other disciplinary action applied specifically to, that individual may appeal the action within 30 days after the action unless another law or regulation requires that an appeal be filed sooner, to the Merit System

    Protection Board. An appeal must not stay the disputed action. Any aggrieved party may appeal the decision of the Board to any court with jurisdiction under the rules governing appeals from administrative agencies, and may appeal any adverse decision of that court to the Court of Special Appeals. Further, all provisions of Chapter 21-7 are hereby retained in full force and effect.

Section Nine. Disciplinary Examinations

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    A. The member shall be given the opportunity to be represented at any

    examination conducted by a representative of the County in connection with an

    investigation or complaint if:

    1. The member reasonably believes that the examination may result in

    disciplinary action against the member; and

    2. The member requests representation.

    B. If a member requests to be represented at such an examination, the County will

    delay the examination for a reasonable period of time, to permit the member

    the opportunity to arrange representation.

    C. Prior to an examination, the County agrees to inform the volunteer’s

    representative of the subject of the examination. The representative must

    also be allowed to speak privately with the volunteer before the examination.

    The volunteer’s representative must be allowed to speak during the

    interview. However, the volunteer’s representative does not have the right

    to bargain over the purpose of the interview. The volunteer’s representative

    can, however, request that the County representative clarify a question so

    that the volunteer can understand what is being asked. When the

    questioning ends, the volunteer’s representative can provide additional

    information to the County representative. Before providing such

    information, the volunteer’s representative and the volunteer may briefly

    meet privately for purposes of discussion.

    D. The County is free to terminate any examination of a member in connection

    with an investigation at any time for any reason.

    E. The Association shall have no right to represent a member who is examined as a

    witness or third party in any investigation. However, if the member learns

    during the course of the witness/third-party investigation that he or she may be

    subject to discipline, he or she may request Association representation pursuant

    to Section 9.A. above.

    Section Ten. Time, Place and Manner of Interviews/Examinations Conducted by the Internal Affairs Section of a Member. Any interview or examination conducted by the Internal Affairs Section pursuant to Section 9 of this Article may take place at the Internal Affairs Section office, the MCVFRA Office, or at any other place to which the parties mutually agree. The

    investigator must not go to any fire station or volunteer worksite in an attempt to locate the volunteer to interview without prior agreement by the volunteer.

Section Eleven. MCFRS/ Internal Affairs Division Investigations

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