Friday, June 25, 2010

Letter writing campaign for Birmingham Firefighters opposing the proposed pay cut

Some important key points to take into consideration when writing your letters is below. Some of it is technical but I want you to be educated and informed before writing your letters. This is information gathered by the Local Union representative for the City of Birmingham Firefighters. I ask that you pray about these letters and please be respectful in your letters. We simply want to point out to these individuals that you are not dealing with a typical employee who works a 9 to 5 job and that is all the city’s leadership has ever dealt with. We need to educate them and direct them in the way that they should go, not berate them. I want to quote something from a book I am reading about the foundation of America. “Corrupt personal and business practices which once would have erupted into major scandals, today seem scarcely scandalous. But where once we would have been up in arms, speaking out, writing letters, and voting, now we just shake our heads and counted it as another sign of the times.” We have a voice! Please use yours, whether it be for this issue or another wrongful deed.

I have read where people are telling firefighters to quit complaining since they chose the profession. All I have to say to that is, aren’t we glad we have men willing to put their lives on the line for us everyday.

“In the meeting Mayor Bell said that Judge Smith had instructed the City to do certain things as it pertains to JCPB, one of which was to fix our (fire fighters) pay. Anyhow, the Mayor said he must "fix" our salary, but did not have to go to court until September, and would not adjust our salary until then. The formula so to speak for what they are using is the Birmingham Public Safety "Fire Fighter" schedule that is on the JCPB web site. They are taking the hourly rate and multiplying it by 2600 hours (108 shifts) to get your salary. All they have done in reality is to take the grade 17 annual salaries divided by 2600 hours, and made that our hourly rate. A police officer would have a higher hourly rate because of working 2080 hours a year. This would put us in line with police officers annually. It is apparent that the Council will act tomorrow and it may have 3 furlough days in it. That is 3 - 8 hour days, not 3 - 24 hour shifts. Just some quick figuring while at the Budget session is that a FF will stand to lose approximately 11% from what they are currently making. But that is before these other pay cuts instituted by the Mayor come into effect (which could mean up to a 28% pay cut.)”

“This fight over our pay has been a very tricky one. No other fire department I have been able to find pays their fire fighters by the hour. We are asking to be paid for every hour we work, using the portion of FLSA that is on our side to secure our pension monies that have been wrongfully withheld, and fighting to keep from getting such a large pay cut across the board.”

Here are the addresses you need for your letter writing and I would ask that you write each one of the following individuals. You can always make one letter and simply change the addresses and names before sending.

Mayor William Bell
City Hall
710 North 20th Street
Birmingham, AL 35203
fax 254-2926

C. Lynwood Smith, Jr.
United State District Court
Northern District of Alabama
Hugo Black United States Courthouse
1729 5th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
b'ham 716-2962

Alabama GovernorBob Riley (R)
State Capitol
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130

Alabama SenatorsJeff Sessions (R)
335 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Richard Shelby (R)
110 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Alabama Representatives
Spencer Bachus (R)
1900 International Park Dr.
Suite 107
Birmingham, AL 35243

Artur Davis (D)
2 20th Street North
Suite #1130
Birmingham, AL 35203

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A child

I love children! I love to watch them learn. I love to watch them play. And for a while I have been struggling with wanting more children but, as of right now, the Lord has not revealed that as His plan for our family. As I was talking with a friend the other day, God revealed something to me. I was simply looking at it all wrong. I, naturally, thought having more children would mean bearing more or adopting more but what the Lord showed me is that I can be a part of a child’s life even when those things are not part of His will right now. I could sponsor a child and our family could become a part of that child’s life. We could make an impact spiritually and financially even though we might never meet this child or get to hold this child. So, I challenge those of you who may not be able to have a child or who might be struggling through the adoption system or for those of us who are patiently waiting for the Lord to change a heart to pray and ask God if this might be His leading for you as well. If that is His leading I would be glad to recommend a ministry that will help you become a part of a child’s life too.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My husband

What a Man, What a Mighty Good Man – that is his ring tone because it is the best description of him (for you who don’t know it is a song from the ‘80’s that a Christian woman should probably not have on her phone but I have always loved that statement in the song and that is the only statement you hear from the song.) He is such a good man and I am so very blessed that God put us together. I have watched him grow into a strong Christian man and have seen how that transformation totally changed our family in the best way imaginable. People who “knew us when” would never have imagined we would be living the kind of life we are living now. We both could have taken very different paths but I am so glad God is gracious. I was smitten the first time I saw him and so very thankful to God that He put a covering of protection over us and our relationship for so many years of terrible outside influences. I had a pretty good idea that he would be a good father while we were dating by just watching him with his nieces and nephews but I could never have imagined just “how good” a father he would become. He knew that in his strength he could not be the kind of father that he knew his little girl needed (if you have never heard his testimony you should really ask him) but he knew with God’s strength he would be able to. So this Father’s Day I just wanted to salute a really great dad and husband for that matter!