Sunday, June 6, 2010

Caveat Lectores Report on the Florida Professional Firefighters Convention

The Lector attended and participated in the FPF Convention in Orlando this week. There was a changing of the guard. Bob Carver has retired after 30 years service to the FPF with Gary Rainey taking over the helm as President without a challenger. Walter Dix won the race for Vice-president. It will be very interesting to see what the new leadership does as it faces the many challenges of the upcoming years. The enemies of public safety and organized labor will be sure to take notice of the change and use it to their advantage, if possible.

I did not hear a final number of attendees, but it seems like more firefighters were present than ever before. Anyone who skipped the event missed out on a lot of internal politicking and education for the younger and as well as more experienced delegates.

This year, the delegates had many educational opportunities. The FPF allows people like me to conduct seminars to increase member knowledge on all kinds of topics.

There are three types of seminars:
• Increase basic competency at the union steward level;
• Increase opportunities for success at the leadership level; and
• Proprietary seminars selling products or services.

All are relevant to the problems we face and provide value to the members for the time spent.

I have participated extensively over the years with the first two types of seminars. The seminars on basic union steward competency are the most well attended because they provide information that can bring immediate rewards. The seminars that add to leadership skills are well attended but less so because the fledgling leaders frequently do not fully understand their long range significance. Such is the way of the world of labor unions. All public sector unions have the same issues.

The leadership seminars tend to focus on “politics.” Over the years, the Lector has divided “politics” into three separate but dovetailed facets as follows:
• Public Relations;
• Political Action;
• Lobbying.

This year there were individual seminars on each of these topics. I was able to attend or participate in all three, and they were very relevant to the challenges that face public employees.

The PowerPoint Lobbying School program and handbook for the Political Action Seminar from Lectores Labor Consulting is available without charge for FPF members. Just call or email Daniel Eger, and he will forward the entire package to you ASAP.

And Oh yes, have a Nice Day?

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
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about political and labor relations complications that affect ALL
Public Employees: Firefighters, Paramedics, Law Enforcement,
General Employees and Teachers.
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