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Fair RETIRE Act (Fair Return for Employees on Their Initial Retirement Earned), S-29
Allow permanently sick or disabled Firefighters to keep special retirement coverage
Official Time Reform Act of 2017, HR 1364
Any day where 80% of work day is spent on Union representational duties would not count toward retirement
PAGE Act (Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency)
Make all Government employees "at will" with no appeal rights, forfeit pensions for felony convictions, eliminate all Union official time. This Bill has not yet been re-introduced into the 115th Congress
Federal Firefighters Fairness Act (Presumption), H.R. 1884
Creates presumptive legislation for certain types of cancer and disease linked to firefighting duties.
Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act H.R. 4729
Change our retirement calculation to include our regularly scheduled overtime This Bill has yet to be re-introduced into the 115th Congress
Federal Firefighters Flexibility and Fairness Act, H.R. 1363
Will allow increased flexibility regarding trade time agreements
Federal Firefighter Presumption and Ryan White Notification Merge
Updated On: Aug 23, 2009

Two long-standing IAFF priorities have been wedded in a single bill, winning approval by a key Senate panel. Legislation granting federal fire fighters presumptive disability coverage for occupational illnesses was adopted by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs by voice vote, but only after the legislation was amended to include language restoring the Ryan White Notification provision that enables fire fighters to learn if they have been exposed to an infectious disease.

The Federal Fire Fighters Fairness Act, authored by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Susan Collins (R-ME), has long been the IAFF’s top legislative priority for its members employed by the federal government. The bill, S.599, would establish a rebuttable presumption that heart disease, lung disease, certain cancers and certain infectious diseases are occupational illnesses linked to fire fighting. The Committee originally planned to approve the bill last month, but postponed action at the request of Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who raised a variety of objections. One of Coburn’s concerns was that the bill should focus on preventing illnesses rather than compensating them. The IAFF met with Coburn’s staff to discuss this concern, which ultimately resulted in action on a second IAFF priority.

The Ryan White Act, a comprehensive law enacted in 1990 to address the spread of HIV-AIDS, originally contained a provision providing for notification to emergency responders who are exposed to an infectious disease while providing patient care. In an apparent oversight, this notification language was removed from the law a few years ago. Working with Senator Coburn’s staff, the IAFF crafted language to restore the provision.

While still objecting to the Federal Fire Fighters Fairness Act, Coburn offered the Ryan White language as an amendment to the bill, and the amendment was approved unanimously.

Carper and Collins both argued for passage of the bill, and they were aided by the strong endorsement of Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT). Joining Coburn in opposition was Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), who as governor had signed the Ohio presumptive disability law for municipal fire fighters. Voinovich voiced a number of objections, and urged the committee to consider making changes before the bill reaches the Senate floor.

“Thanks to our many friends in the United States Senate, we made progress on two significant issues,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “Our federal brothers and sisters deserve the same coverage for occupational illness that our members in 42 states enjoy. And this victory was made even better by the addition of the Ryan White notification provision, which has provided an important protection for our members for nearly two decades.”


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