IAFF LOCAL 135 -- WICHITA, KANSAS
2021 Completed Surveys
2021 Survey Questions
If elected, will you be willing to meet with Local 135 leadership periodically to answer questions or address concerns?
If elected, will you request information from Local 135 from both City Administration and Local 135 to better understand and fire safety concerns?
MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) sets national standards for fire service to protect the public and make firefighters as safe as possible when they do their job. Services must be properly prioritized and maintained. Public Safety is a basic service and core function of any municipal government. The City of Wichita has grown, and the number of emergency response needs with it. Yet the Wichita Fire Department has remained relatively static. Wichita Fire Fighters will always do everything possible to respond to the needs of anyone during an emergency. That means as national standards continue to fall behind, injuries increase.
If elected, will you commit to working with us to improve our compliance with these national standards? Why or why not?
NFPA 1710 sets staffing standards which include at least four (4) firefighters on every engine company and ladder company and five (5) firefighters on ladder companies in high-density areas. These staffing standards are based on studies and determined by a consortium of participants including members of the fire service, municipalities business, and industry professionals. These staffing standards are minimum standards that ensure timely, safe, effective, and appropriate service levels for communities.
If elected, would you support the creation of a plan that utilizes staff to better meet the NFPA safety goals of five-person ladder companies where indicated, and preserve four-person staffing on fire engines and fire trucks in Wichita?
If data collected during your term tells us that Wichita needs additional firefighters to meet these goals, would you support the creation of a plan to address those shortages?
COVID-19 AND LEAVE
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in our community. Throughout this crisis, Wichita Fire Fighters have not wavered and continue to demonstrate their commitment to serving our city on the front line. When a Fire Fighter experiences possible COVID-19 symptoms themselves, they must rely on their own personal sick leave.
If elected, would you support a policy that provides leave for testing and/or mandated quarantine after a work-related Covid exposure? Why or why not?
ROLES IN BUDGET ALLOCATIONS
In a council-manager government, an elected city council serves as the city's primary legislative body and appoints a chief executive officer called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations, draft a budget, and implement and enforce the council's policy and legislative initiatives. The city manager, city council, and mayor work together to enact budgets, draft and enforce legislation, provide city services, and oversee city departments and appoint departmental heads. The city manager is not an elected position. Rather, the holder of this office serves at the pleasure of the council, which retains the legal right to dismiss and replace the city manager.
Do you believe it is appropriate for a City Council member to push for changes in a proposed budget from the City Manager’s office? Why or why not?
How do you see your role, if elected, in guiding budget spending?
If elected, will you prioritize public safety in this process?
Recently, the City of Wichita adopted a minimum wage standard for all entry-level employees of $15 dollars an hour. While we applaud the city’s commitment to new employees and their families, the entry-level wage for an incoming Fire Fighter has not increased.
Do you believe an entry level wage of $15.54 an hour is a fair wage for a new Fire Fighter? Why or why not?
We believe collective bargaining is a necessary and useful tool that helps keep our city competitive, increases firefighter and public safety, and helps to protect all public safety employees. We also believe arbitration provides for a fair mechanism to settle disputes and is a time-tested and transparent process.
If elected, will you support and respect the bargaining and arbitration rights of Wichita Fire Fighters and other City of Wichita employees, at the city and state level?