This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) memorializes the wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment of employees in the Fire Unit (Unit) (employees occupying positions in the classifications of fire captain, fire engineer, fire fighter, fire inspector and environmental specialist I and II) which have been negotiated and agreed upon between duly authorized representatives of the City Manager of the City of Oxnard (City) and Local 1684, International Association of Firefighters, AFL-CIO (Union) and which will be recommended to the City Council for adoption for the term of September 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021.
The matters presented herein, determined through extensive negotiations between the representatives of the Union and City Manager, are considered equitable by such representatives and are recommended for ratification by the City Council.
The following items, together with those wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment which are not changed by this MOU, shall constitute the wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment of Unit employees until such matters are changed or otherwise modified which, in no event, shall occur prior to the expiration of this MOU, except as otherwise provided herein. Following the expiration of this MOU, City shall not change or modify the wages, hours or other terms and conditions of employment of Unit employees without first meeting and conferring in good faith with Union to the extent required by law.
The representatives of the City Manager and Union hereby agree:
Wages, Hours and Terms and Conditions of Employment
Adjustment in Wages
There shall be no across-the-board increases in base wages during the term of this MOU.a, Salary Step Plan
Eligible permanent employees will be moved to the next step in the salary step plan attached hereto as Exhibit A as set forth below.The same provisions shall apply to hourly-paid and part-time persons.
Original Appointment:The first salary step shall be the minimum salary rate in the salary step plan and shall be the normal hiring rate for new employees. In the case where a person possesses unusual qualifications, the City Manager may authorize initial appointment above the first salary step after receiving the recommendation of the department head.
iii. Progression through Salary Step Plan: An employee shall be considered for increase to the second step upon the employee’s satisfactory completion of 1,040 hours (for administrative staff) and 1,456 hours (for shift personnel) in paid status (not including overtime) at the first salary step. An employee shall be considered for all subsequent step increases upon the employee’s satisfactory completion of 2,080 hours (for administrative staff) and 2,912 hours (for shift personnel) in paid status (not including overtime) since his or her prior step increase.
Salary step increases shall be effective the first day of the pay period after they are granted.If a step increase is granted on the first day of a pay period, salary step increases shall be as of that date. If a department head recommends to withhold salary step increases because an employee has not achieved the level of performance required for the position, the recommendation of notice must be received by the City Manager at least four (4) weeks in advance of the employee’s eligibility date. The affected employee shall be furnished a copy of the department head’s recommendation.
Changes in an employee’s salary because of promotion, demotion, postponement of salary step increase or special merit increase will set a new salary anniversary date for that employee, which date shall be as stated in the preceding paragraph. Salary range adjustments for the classification will not set a new salary anniversary date for employees serving in that classification.
Administrative Work Schedules Differential
All Unit employees temporarily or permanently assigned to an administrative work schedule (i.e., a schedule of approximately 80 hours of work per biweekly pay period) for at least one full pay period shall receive a schedule differential increase equal to ten percent (10%) of base wages for the time worked on an administrative work schedule. This provision does not apply to Unit employees assigned to temporary modified duty.
When Unit employees in an administrative assignment work overtime in a suppression/shift assignment, such employees shall be paid based upon an hourly rate of pay calculated by dividing the employee’s biweekly compensation including this differential by 112 hours (instead of 80 hours). All overtime work performed by Unit employees in a non-suppression capacity shall continue to be paid based upon an hourly rate of pay calculated by dividing such employee’s biweekly compensation including this differential by 80 hours.
Whenever a Unit employee is promoted at a time he or she is regularly assigned to an administrative work schedule and is receiving the administrative schedule differential, he or she shall be placed at the pay step attributable to the promoted classification that affords at least a 5% increase over the sum of the base salary plus the administrative schedule differential he or she was earning immediately preceding the promotion.
Employees hired on or before December 31, 2012 or who are defined as “classic” PERS members hired on orafter January 1, 2013:
For “safety” employees, the City’s contract with CalPERS provides for the three percent (3%) at age fifty (50) retirement formula.
For “miscellaneous” employees, the City’s contract with CalPERS provides for the two percent (2%) at age fifty-five (55) retirement formula.
Classic employees shall continue to pay five percent (5.0%) of pensionable compensation towards the required employee retirement contribution to PERS. This shall be paid by employees by payroll deduction. This payment shall be made on a pre-tax basis pursuant to Section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The remaining required employee retirement contribution shall be paid by the City. The City shall report to PERS as compensation earnable pursuant to California Government Code section 20636(c)(4) its payment of a portion of employee retirement contributions to PERS, which is four percent (4.0%) of pensionable compensation for safety employees and two percent (2.0%) of pensionable compensation for miscellaneous employees.
Employees hired on or after January 1, 2013 who are “new members” as that term is defined in the Public Employee Pension Reform Act (“PEPRA”), Government Code § 7522 et seq.:
For safety employees, the City’s contract with CalPERS provides for the two point seven percent (2.7%) at age fifty-seven (57) retirement formula.
For miscellaneous employees, the City’s contract with CalPERS provides for the two percent (2%) at age sixty-two (62) retirement formula for miscellaneous employees.
Employees shall pay the full “member contribution” to PERS at the rate established by PERS, which is 50% of the normal cost as provided in Government Code Section 7522.30(c), and which in FY2016-17 is 12.25% of pensionable compensation for safety employees and 6.00% of pensionable compensation for miscellaneous employees and which may change from year to year. This shall be paid by employees by payroll deduction. No portion of the member contribution shall be paid by the City.This payment by employees shall be made on a pre-tax basis pursuant to Section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Effective June 30, 2007, the City shall commence contributing on behalf of each Unit employee an amount equal to 1.6923% of his or her base salary to a Post Employment Health Plan (PEHP), as authorized by Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(9), which PEHP shall be administered by a private agency authorized by the City. These contributions shall not be considered as taxable income or pensionable income and the City shall not report such contributions on the Unit employee’s W-2 form.
The PEHP shall permit participants to allocate all or a portion of payouts upon separation of unused sick leave and/or annual leave benefits in accordance with terms and conditions to be agreed upon by the City and Union at a later date.
Upon separation, all Unit employees shall contribute the value of the same percentage of annual leave and/or sick leave to the PEHP. The applicable percentage shall be determined annually by City and Union.
Effective the first pay period following Council ratification, the City will establish a Deferred Compensation 401 (a) plan and will contribute 0.9% of base salary to the plan. The contribution will take effect the first full pay period following the election made by the employee. There will be no retroactivity for those employees who fail to make a timely enrollment.
Life Insurance Premiums
City shall continue to pay 100% of the premiums for Unit employee-only coverage under the existing level of benefits for life insurance.
Health Insurance Premiums
The City shall contribute the amount required under Government Code section 22892 toward the payment of premiums under City’s health insurance plan on behalf of each Unit employee and, to the extent required by law, each eligible retiree. Nothing in this paragraph 5 shall have any bearing on the issue of whether the selection of available health insurance carrier(s) by City is a required subject of the “meet and confer in good faith” process.
Effective on the date City Council approves this MOU, the City shall contribute $703.00 per month for each Unit employee (regardless of tier, i.e. Employee Only, Employee Plus One or Family) towards the City’s health insurance reimbursement plan (Cafeteria Plan). Therefore, effective on the date City Council approves this MOU, the City’s total monthly contribution is as follows:
Employee Only – $703.00
Employee plus One – $703.00
Family – $703.00
Should the City’s contribution exceed the plan premium selected by the employee, then that excess will be paid to the employee in cash.
Effective on the date City Council approves this MOU, employees who waive medical benefits will receive $603 per month in cash.
Effective the first full pay period of July 2019, the City will make an additional $400 monthly contribution for each Unit employee (regardless of tier, i.e. Employee Only, Employee Plus One or Family) towards the Cafeteria Plan.Therefore, effective the first full pay period of July 2019, the City’s total monthly contribution is as follows:
Employee Only – $1103.00
Employee plus One – $1103.00
Family – $1103.00
Should the City’s contribution exceed the plan premium selected by the employee, then that excess will be paid to the employee in cash.
Effective the first full pay period of July 2019, employees who waive medical benefits will receive $903 per month in cash.
Effective the first full pay period of July 2020, the City will make an additional $440 monthly contribution for each Unit employee (regardless of tier, i.e. Employee Only, Employee Plus One or Family) towards the Cafeteria Plan.Therefore, effective the first full pay period of July 2020, the City’s total monthly contribution is as follows:
Employee Only – $1543.00
Employee plus One – $1543.00
Family – $1543.00
Should the City’s contribution exceed the plan premium selected by the employee, then that excess will be paid to the employee in cash.
Effective the first full pay period of July 2020, employees who waive medical benefits will receive $1243 per month in cash.
On the date the MOU expires, the status quo for the monthly amount forUnit employees who waive medical benefits will remain at $1243 if the bargaining unit has a 61% participation level in the medical program on January 1, 2021. If the bargaining unit’s participation level is less than 61% on that date, then the status quo as of the expiration of the MOU shall be that the cash back for Unit employees who waive medical benefits is $900 per month.
City shall contribute $30.83 biweekly per Unit employee towards City’s dental insurance reimbursement plan (Cafeteria Plan).
City and Union acknowledge that the Cafeteria Plan is primarily designed to provide health and dental insurance benefits to Unit employees. Nevertheless, if a Unit employee provides acceptable verification of alternative health insurance or dental insurance coverage to City, the Unit employee may receive a cash payment to the extent that when added to the employee’s other insurance selections the cash payment does not exceed the available Cafeteria Plan dollars provided by City.
Cash received pursuant to the Cafeteria Plan shall be included in an employee’s regular rate of pay for purposes of calculating overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 USC § 201, et seq.).However, cash received pursuant to the Cafeteria Plan shall not be included in an employee’s regular rate of pay for purposes of calculating overtime under this MOU (“Contract Overtime”).
Unit employees hired by City on or after November 24, 1994, shall continue to be required, prior to the completion of their probationary period, to secure from the Department of Motor Vehicles a Firefighter endorsement to their class C license which allow the employee to operate a fire engine and ladder truck.
(1) Unit employees employed by City prior to November 24, 1994, who are not required to possess either such driver’s license described above as a condition of performing the duties of their classifications may volunteer to obtain either such driver’s license. In the event that the Fire Chief or his/her designee (“Fire Chief”) determines that there are not sufficient volunteers available to satisfy the needs of the Fire Department, the Fire Chief may require all Unit employees who do not possess either such driver’s license to make every effort to secure one.
(2) Those Unit employees who attempt in good faith to acquire either such driver’s license but are unsuccessful shall not suffer any adverse consequences as a result of their inability to obtain either such driver’s license, other than being precluded from performing duties which require possession of either such driver’s license. Unit employees who presently or hereafter possess either such driver’s license shall make every effort to maintain either such driver’s license.
City shall continue to pay all attendant costs incurred by Unit employees in applying for, procuring and maintaining either such driver’s license described above, including any required medical examination or application fees.
Upon submission of medical documentation that a Unit employee is unable to temporarily perform firefighting duties due to an injury or illness, the Fire Department will continue to provide, at the Unit employee’s request, alternative duty. Alternative duty shall be limited to that which is medically appropriate and which contributes in a meaningful and identifiable way to the function and mission of the Fire Department. Alternative duty assignments are to be of a temporary nature not exceeding 180 consecutive calendar days. Any extension of alternative duty may be granted after a review of the Unit employee’s medical condition by the treating medical provider and the Fire Chief.
Once a Unit employee has been medically certified by a medical provider as fit for full duty, that employee will be returned to the employee’s former position and team to which the employee was assigned prior to the temporary disability, unless in the interim the Unit employee has been promoted.
The City shall provide longevity payments in the following percentages of base wages to employees that have completed the following number of years of service with the City:
Years of Service Completed Percentage Bonus
5 but less than 10 1%
10 but less than 15 2%
15 or more 3%
These bonus payments are not cumulative so that, for example, an employee who has completed 12 years of service shall be entitled to 2%, not 3%.
Each Unit employee assigned to fire suppression duties shall be entitled to premium overtime compensation at the rate of one and one half (1.5) times the employee’s regular rate of pay, as that term is defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), for all time worked or deemed to have been worked in excess of 182 hours in a 24 day work period.
All other Unit employees shall be entitled to premium overtime compensation at the rate of one and one half (1.5) times the employee’s regular rate of pay, as that term is defined in the FLSA, for all time worked or deemed to have been worked in excess of 80 hours in a 14 day work period. The compensation shall be provided in the form of a cash payment unless the employee requests that it be provided in compensatory time off, which shall be subject to a maximum accumulation of forty (40) hours.
For the purpose of determining overtime, the words “deemed to have been worked” shall include all paid leave time, such as annual leave, holiday leave, sick leave, release leave for Union business, jury leave, bereavement leave, and military leave; except compensatory time off.
A Unit employee shall not be entitled to any premium overtime compensation during any work period in which that employee has not actually worked, even though the employee has been deemed to have worked, because of paid leaves of absence, in excess of either 182 hours in a 24-day work period or 80 hours in a 14-day period, whichever is applicable to that employee, unless the employee has used 182 or more hours of injury leave pursuant to California Labor Code section 4850 in a 24-day work period or 80 hours in a 14-day work period, whichever is applicable to that employee.
Employees in the classification of Fire Inspector who are placed in a stand-by status on a recognized holiday shall receive eight (8) hours of premium overtime compensation for each full holiday and four (4) hours of premium overtime compensation for each half-holiday irrespective of whether or not they have been called back to service.
Overtime Assignment Policy and Procedures
1004.2.1 ANNUAL LEAVE
Annual Leave selections take place in October for the upcoming year. After annual leave picks have been completed for the following year, employees may request additional annual leave through Workforce for the following year. Up to six employees may take annual leave per day. A maximum of three captains and three engineers can take annual leave on any given day. This will be referred to as the 3 per rank rule, although 6 firefighters can theoretically be off if the leave is available.
There will be a reduction in the available annual leave positions for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve/Christmas day periods. From the Thursday before Thanksgiving until the Thursday after, as well as December 17-31, annual leave will be limited to 4 members based on seniority. The same 3 per rank rule applies during these periods.
Once hiring/mandates for the holiday periods listed above as well as New Years Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day and Halloween have been accomplished, no additional annual leave will be allowed, even if there is a late cancellation of annual leave.
When annual leave is cancelled by an employee and six people were off that day, the day will be suppressed and put out to bid by the Staffing Captain via e-mail. Employees who want to request that day shall go to the Workforce calendar and use the “Bidding for annual leave” code. When requesting annual leave through Workforce, it will warn you that it needs to be approved. At the close of the bid period (usually two weeks) the Staffing Captain will award the annual leave to the employee with the most seniority in the department requesting the time off. Days which do not have six employees off will become available through Workforce without notification. Workforce will automatically approve the request that day.
Employees who determine they don’t want to use assigned annual leave shall cancel it as soon as possible. Workforce will hire for your vacancy 28 days before it takes place. A cancellation after that time will affect the person who accepted the vacancy.
Request for annual leave once a shift has begun will only be granted if Workforce can fill the spot without incurring a mandate. Employee will not be permitted to leave until relief has arrived at the station and is ready to work.
Coverage will be rank for rank. Station 7 vacancies will be filled with Haz Mat qualified personnel only. Filling a vacancy with acting personnel is allowed for periods of 12 hours or less if necessary.
When a person transfers to another shift, they carry their assigned annual leave to the new shift regardless if it creates an additional person on annual leave. If an employee cancels annual leave in this situation the annual leave shall not go out to bid unless there are less than the approved number of personnel on annual leave.
1004.2.3 BRUSH FIRE RESPONSE
24-hour overtimes received while on a brush fire or other emergency will rotate the employee on pick list.
1004.2.4 FAMILY SICK LEAVE
Shift employees are eligible to use up to one-half of their annual accrual (i.e., six months of accrual) of annual leave benefits as family sick leave per year. Members should refer to the current MOU for accrual rates. An employee is eligible to work overtime the day after using family sick leave. Workforce tracks the family sick leave used annually and will not allow excessive use. Employees may notify Workforce of family sick leave between 1600 hours the day before and 0600 hours the morning of the shift. Notification of family sick leave outside of these hours shall be done through the Duty Chief.
1004.2.5 FATIGUE (CONSECUTIVE HOURS WORKED)
An employee shall not work more than 120 hours in any 132-hour period. Workforce will analyze rosters prior to offering an overtime to ensure that the employee will not exceed this standard. Every effort will be made to not mandate employees if doing so will cause the employee to work more than 120 hours in a 132-hour period.
1004.2.6 HIRING ORDER
When Workforce hires for multiple openings on a single day it starts with openings at Station 7 and works down to Station 1 before concluding at Station 8.
1004.2.7 NEW EMPLOYEES
Employees will be automatically added to the overtime list and eligible to work overtime after completion of their first four shifts the employee must notify the Department if they want to be excluded from the list. They will be placed at the bottom of the overtime list and the top of the mandate list based on the graduating ranking from academy.
1004.2.8 INJURY LEAVE AND EXTENDED SICK LEAVE
If an employee is on injury or extended sick leave, they are not eligible for overtime. During this period of disability, a “Do Not Call” status shall be entered in Workforce by the employee. The employee shall be responsible for keeping the Department and Staffing Captains informed of their status.
Employees shall remove sign up codes entered during the anticipated injury or sick leave period so that overtime can be assigned properly. Employees anticipating a longer period of disability than the doctor release states should add a “Do Not Call” status placed on their calendar to cover the expected length of disability. This will prevent Workforce from calling the employee until they are cleared to come back to work.
If an opening is not filled by volunteers, the department, in order to maintain proper staffing levels, shall mandate an employee to work. A separate mandate list is maintained in Workforce. If an employee is mandated to work, they shall move to the back of the mandate list. An employee who is promoted will be placed on the top of mandate list. New employees are placed at the top of the mandate list. In order to mandate an employee, it must be accomplished via phone or in person, not voicemail or email or text
Vacancies that continue to exist after one hiring process will be filled by a mandate as soon as the hiring process is complete. There is no minimum time worked for a mandate. At 0800, if no one has been assigned to a position on the Workforce roster, the person in that position from the previous shift is considered mandated. However, personnel can be held over in that position past 0800 due to late relief or emergency response without it being considered a mandate.
Mandates are credited at the time of the mandate. Trading mandates is allowed. Once mandated, the employee ‘owns’ the mandate. If a mandated employee finds an employee willing to work the mandate, the employee can give up the mandate while still receiving credit for the mandate. If the mandate is a department error, the employee has the option to keep the mandate or be removed from the mandate. and return back to their previous position on the mandate list.
At times when there are multiple mandates in the same 24-hour period, the person at the top of the mandate list gets to choose their mandate and so on down the mandate list. Everyone is eligible for a mandate if not already assigned to a department function.
Mandates for the next day can occur as soon as the hiring process has been completed. Station 4 Captains will mandate the employee highest on the mandate list they can speak to in person. If the hiring process has not been completed by 2130, an employee will be placed on a standby mandate. In the morning, once the hiring process is complete or 0715, whichever comes first, the employee will be mandated.
Employees will not be mandated more than once in a two-week period. All employees are eligible for a mandate if not already assigned to a department function. There can only be one mandate for a position in a 24 hour period. An employee will not be mandated while on annual leave. For mandate purposes, annual leave will be the period of time from the last regular day worked until the first regular day back on duty and shift trades do not exempt an employee from a mandate, except for the specific day they had a trade scheduled.
If these mandate rules must be broken because there are not any employees eligible to mandate, the rules will be broken in this order; the two-week rule, employees not on the overtime list, fatigue rule, annual leave. Before breaking the “Annual Leave Rule” all other rules must be broken, to the extent of breaking multiple rules before breaking the “Annual Leave Rule”. Example: Employee A has AL scheduled, Employee B has been mandated in the last 2 weeks, has worked 120 hours, and is not on OT list; Employee B would be mandated before Employee A.
When an employee uses a sign-up code and Workforce assigns overtime to them, Workforce notifies them and requests they acknowledge the message. It is not asking you to work. You have already stated your desire to work by putting a sign-up code in Workforce.
If there is an opening for the next shift and you do not have a sign-up code, Workforce will call and advise you of an opportunity to work. Workforce is asking you if you want to work. You may turn it down without being rotated on the list. At 0600 hours regardless of sign up codes, you will be given the opportunity to work, Workforce does not assign overtimes during this hiring process. If you missed the phone call, you may log into Workforce or call station 4 to see if the opportunity is still available. In the unfortunate event that the employee is willing to work but missed the opportunity to accept the overtime due to emergency response and the vacancy is filled, the overtime will remain with the employee who first accepts the overtime.
1004.2.12 OVERTIME CANCELLATION
In the event of an overtime cancellation that is not initiated by the employee scheduled to work the overtime, a canceled overtime credit will be recorded. Examples of department canceled overtime include canceled AL (after it’s been hired for), changes to staffing assignments in which an employee is reassigned into a position that was previously filled by an overtime, staffing errors, and injury leave. It is the responsibility of all employees to manage their Workforce calendar and extension of injury leave beyond the initial injury will not generate a canceled overtime credit. In the event an employee is reassigned to a different shift and is unable to work a previously scheduled overtime, the canceled overtime credit will not apply. Due to the complexity, an employee will only receive 1 canceled overtime per event, even if multiple overtimes are canceled.
Once a canceled overtime credit is recorded, the employee will be placed on the picklist in a position representative of their original picklist position (before the canceled overtime was originally received). Once they are awarded a new overtime, they must contact Station 4 within 24 hours in order to implement the canceled overtime credit. The Staffing Captain will then edit the picklist to reflect the canceled overtime credit and the employee will be placed on the picklist in the position that is equivalent to where they were before the overtime was canceled.
1004.2.13 PARTIAL OVERTIMES
Overtime assignments less than 24 hours are considered a partial overtime and the employee will not be rotated on the list. Workforce hires for partial overtimes @ 1935 the previous shift. Employees should use the “Sign up Partial” work code prior to 1935 hours the night before. When two or more partial shifts occur on the same day at the same rank, even if they are consecutive, they will be treated as separate overtime openings.
Employees may work multiple partial shifts in one day if multiple partial shifts exist and an overlap between the partial shifts does not exist. If the total hours of the combined partial shifts equal 24 hours, the employee will rotate on the overtime list
After an employee is notified of their upcoming promotion, they are eligible to work overtime in their current rank until the day of their promotion. Workforce will offer the employee overtime at their new rank starting on the promotion date.
This will happen during the 28-day cycle before the employee has been promoted to their new rank. Any overtimes already assigned at the old rank which occur after the promotion date will be canceled without compensation. Employee will be placed at the top of the mandate list and the bottom of the OT list in new rank. This will occur on the first day of the pay period in the newly promoted position. Newly promoted members will be placed at the bottom of the overtime list based on their promotional ranking. A recently promoted employee has up to six months to pay back shift trades with other employees in their previous rank. Staff personnel may work overtime in fire suppression at the rank previously held prior to the staff assignment.
1004.2.15 SHIFT TRADES
Shift trades of regularly scheduled work periods between two employees of the same rank are allowed. The employee who will be reporting to work that day is responsible for entering the trade in Workforce. This shall be done before 0715 hours the morning of the trade. Because accurate rosters are important to the safe operation of the fire department, trades not reported before 0715 hours must be reported to the Duty Chief.
An employee who has taken the day off with a trade is not eligible to work overtime on that day. An employee working a shift trade cannot move to an open overtime spot. Once the overtime is filled the overtime employee can mutually agree to switch with the person working the shift trade. An employee who is off on a shift trade is not eligible to be mandated for that day. There is no mandate protection for days either side of the trade.
If the employee who agreed to work the shift trade does not report for work, the member they are replacing will be charged annual leave for the time assigned on the roster. If the employee does not have annual leave available, leave without pay will be assigned for those hours. The employee who agreed to the trade and failed to report to work shall prepare and submit a memo to the Duty Chief explaining the reason that he/she did not report to work on the assigned day. Payback records are the sole responsibility of the members involved in the exchange. The department does not track or retain records of shift trades.
1004.2.16 SICK LEAVE
Annual leave includes sick leave but is tracked as a separate status in payroll and Workforce. Employees can notify the department that they are ill by using Workforce for calling the Staffing Captain between the hours of 1600 hours the day before and 0600 hours the day of the shift. Sick leave notification outside of these hours shall be done through the Duty Chief. An employee is not eligible to work overtime for the next 24 hours after the sick leave shift, even if scheduled prior to sick leave.
Section 14.3.2 of the City of Oxnard Personnel Rules and Regulations outlines the eligible use of sick leave. For Fire Department personnel, any employee on 56-hour work week who are absent on sick leave two (2) or more regularly scheduled consecutive shifts may be required to submit a physician’s certificate or written memo to their Battalion Chief explaining the cause of such absence.
1004.2.17 SWITCHING OVERTIMES/MANDATES
Trading overtime shifts occurring on different days will be allowed. Both employees must have assigned overtimes to switch. An employee shall not switch an assigned overtime for a future unassigned overtime. Employees may trade overtime assignments that occur on the same day. The Staffing Captain shall be notified of the changes before 0715 hours the morning of the shift.
1004.2.18 UNABLE TO COMPLETE ASSIGNED OVERTIME
If an employee is unable to work the total amount of overtime hours assigned, the employee shall notify the Staffing Captain of the vacancy and the Staffing Captain shall enter the vacancy into the Workforce system. The employee shall only be paid for actual time worked regardless of the original assignment. If the employee was assigned a 24-hour shift, the employee’s name shall be rotated to the back of the list, regardless of hours actually worked.
An employee may designate another employee to cover in the partial absence for the employee working an assigned overtime. If the original employee is unable to find coverage for that absence that employee will forfeit the overtime and be penalized for a cancelled overtime.
1004.3 TELESTAFF STAFFING TIMELINE
Shift change takes place at 0800 hrs. 24-hour vacancies hired before 0800 will result in movement on the overtime list regardless if the employee reports to work by 0800. Employees called after 0800 for that shift will not rotate on the overtime list unless the employee was already at work and receives 24 hours of pay.
Workforce hires for 24-hour openings for the next day. Employees with shift signup codes are grouped at the top of the hiring list and assigned the overtime. Workforce then uses the pick list to offers the overtime if to employees that do not have a signup code.
Workforce fills openings that occur within the next 2-28 days (up to four weeks from this evening) using sign up codes entered by employees on their calendars. By entering these codes the employee is notifying the Department that they are willing to work. Employees should remove sign up codes from days they become unable to work before Workforce hires. If an employee is unable to work an overtime they have been assigned they must notify the Staffing Captain to have their name removed. A penalty is assessed which places the employee on the overtime list (pick list) as if they had worked the overtime.
Workforce starts the notification process by calling everyone who was assigned overtime at 1830 and 1900 hours. During each calling cycle Workforce will attempt to contact you three times. If you are on duty it will call you at work and if it is unable to reach you it will call your first contact phone number and then at work a few minutes later. If you are off duty it will call your first contact number, your second contact number and then return to your first contact number. Workforce is calling to notify you of your overtime and to have you acknowledge your overtime assignment. Workforce will also call people who have not acknowledged previous overtime assignments. If Workforce has not made contact with you by phone of your assignment the next time you log in by computer Workforce will have you acknowledge your overtime assignment.
Workforce hires 24-hour openings for the next day that have appeared since 1830 hours or are still unfilled. It uses the pick list and assigns the overtime if the employee has a signup code or calls them and offers the overtime if they do not have a signup code. If there is still an opening for the next day after the 1930 hours hiring process the Staffing Captain will use the Mandate List to mandate the employee. Employees who are on standby mandate cannot leave work without the approval of the Staffing Captain. The Staffing Captain will notify the employee the next morning of the standby mandate status after he has determined whether the opening was filled without the use of a mandate.
Workforce hires next day partial shift overtimes. Employees with partial shift signup codes are grouped at the top of the hiring list and assigned the overtime. If there are no partial shift signup codes, employees will be called and offered the overtime in order of the picklist.
Workforce calls people who were assigned overtime at 1930 hours and any outstanding overtime assignments that have not been acknowledged.
Phone notifications from Workforce stop until the next morning at 0600 hours.
All requests to Workforce for sick leave, family sick leave, annual leave and shift trade should be in before this time for the next shift. All overtime personnel for the next shift should have acknowledged their assignment in Workforce. If they have not acknowledged the assignment their name will be removed and an overtime penalty assigned for unacknowledged 24-hour shifts. Workforce will begin the automated process of hiring for the shift that starts at 0800. Workforce will call everyone eligible to work and offer the assignment to them. This request can be accepted or turned down without penalty. Workforce will call employees who have signed up first then everyone else. The shift starts within 2 hours so this process takes place quickly with little time between phone calls. Also, because this is an automated offer without human involvement, employees not available by phone may miss this last-minute opportunity to work. If you missed the phone call you can call station 4 or log into Workforce to see if the opportunity is still available.
If an opening still exists for today, the Staffing Captain will mandate an employee to fill the spot.
The roster should be complete. All stations may now print a roster for the next shift. Any changes to the daily roster after this time requires Duty Chief notification.
Employees who are acting in a higher classification shall receive the following additional compensation per hour during such acting assignment. Acting assignments shall not be scheduled for more than half of a 24 hour shift.
Employee’s Regular Employee’s Acting
Assignment Acting Pay Per hour
Firefighter Fire Engineer $0.42
Firefighter Fire Inspector $0.42
Firefighter Squad Driver $0.42
Fire Engineer Fire Captain $0.58
Firefighter Fire Captain $0.92
Fire Captain Battalion Chief $1.25
City shall provide bilingual premium pay of $125 per pay period for Spanish and $62.50 for other approved languages for designated qualified Unit employees as currently defined below, subject to annual review.
To establish guidelines and procedures for implementing the Bilingual Pay provisions of the Personnel Rules and Regulations and Memorandums of Understanding.
Section IV, Article 14 of the Personnel Rules and Regulations and applicable articles of Memorandums of Understanding are the authority for Bilingual Pay.
The following criteria shall be used in evaluating a Bilingual Pay request:
The employee’s assigned duties must involve regular and frequent use of bilingual skills in oral communication. Regular and frequent means using the skill on the average of at least once per workday. All employees who have bilingual skills are not automatically entitled to bilingual pay.
The total number of positions for which bilingual pay will be approved is generally limited to two positions per program.
An exception may be considered for programs where bilingual services must be provided beyond the normal eight-hour workday or five-day workweek.
The program leader shall complete a Bilingual Pay form for each employee identified to receive bilingual pay.
The Human Resources Department or their designee shall conduct a bilingual skills examination to determine that the employee is fluent in English and Spanish.
Where several employees equally qualify for nomination, the bilingual pay benefit may be rotated on a semiannual basis.
Each Unit employee who has been placed in a stand-by status shall be entitled to stand-by pay in the amount of $2.00 per hour for all time spent in that status.
City shall pay up to fifty percent of the costs of tuition, registration fees, laboratory fees, and books to a maximum of two hundred dollars per Unit employee per City fiscal year for work-related courses presented by accredited academic institutions
Courses that qualify for this reimbursement are those that directly relate to the Unit employee’s duties with the City or that directly relate to and are part of a planned course of study being actively pursued for promotion within City service, that are presented by an accredited high school, college, university or other accredited institution, and that are satisfactorily completed with a grade of “C” or higher.
There shall be no obligation for City to reschedule the work hours of any Unit employee to facilitate attendance at any course of study.
Each Unit employee who has earned an Associate Degree (A.A or A.S.) shall be entitled to educational incentive pay equal to two and one-half percent (2½%) of base wages and each employee who has earned a Baccalaureate Degree (B.A. or B.S.) shall be entitled to educational incentive pay equal to an additional two and one-half percent (2½%) for a total of five percent (5%) of base wages.
Emergency Response Time
Unit employees shall continue to reside at a location that would enable Unit employees to respond in an emergency to their work location within ninety (90) minutes or less based upon customary safe driving time and conditions.
City shall provide annual leave benefits to Unit employees as follows:
Employees accrued annual leave for each biweekly period of service or major fraction thereof based upon years of service as set forth in the following tables:
FIRE UNIT (SHIFT/SUPPRESSION) ANNUAL LEAVE RATES
of Dec. 31st
FIRE UNIT (NON-SHIFT/ ADMINISTRATIVE) ANNUAL LEAVE
Except as provided below, if a Unit employee accrues the maximum level of annual leave, such employee shall no longer be entitled to accrue additional annual leave until such time as his/her accrued annual leave is below the applicable maximum, unless an employee is temporarily disabled and receiving benefits under Labor Code section 4850 in which case the employee shall continue to accrue hours past the established maximums while in that In the situation described above, the employee who is receiving benefits under Labor Code section 4850 shall have all hours earned that are above the maximum maintained in such employees’ annual leave bank for up to one (1) year, following his/her return to work after which the above accrual limits will be reinstituted.
A Unit employee may redeem accrued annual leave for cash or roll accrued annual leave into a deferred compensation plan during each calendar year by submitting a written request to the General Accounting Division (Finance/Payroll) during the month of July or December according to the following table:
MAXIMUM ANNUAL LEAVE
Greater than 5
Greater than 10
Greater than 15
Any rollover of accrued annual leave into an employee’s deferred compensation plan shall be subject to the lower of the redemption limits set forth above or any applicable IRS limits. Compliance with applicable IRS limits is the responsibility of individual employees. However, upon request, the City shall provide requested information to assist the employee. Should employees choose to roll accrued annual leave into a deferred compensation plan under this subsection, they must submit their redemption forms to the City’s payroll department no later than July 1st or December 1st.
If a Unit employee separates from service, the employee shall be paid for accrued annual leave to which the Unit employee is otherwise entitled at his/her then current hourly rate of pay including any longevity pay, educational and incentive pay and bilingual pay being earned as of the effective date of separation from City service.
Sick leave benefits accrued by Unit employees as of November 5, 2005, shall be addressed as follows:
Such current sick leave accruals may be used to receive a leave of absence with pay for illnesses or injuries of the employee under the same circumstance and with the same limitations as existed prior to November 5, 2005.
Such current sick leave accruals and/or current annual leave accruals may be used as donations to a sick leave bank established by City for another City employee.
City will redeem fifty percent (50%) of such current unused or unredeemed sick leave accruals, not to exceed 1344 hours, upon any separation from service to those employees with a minimum of five years of regular full-time service, at time of separation, at his/her then current hourly rate of pay including any longevity pay, educational and incentive pay and bilingual pay being earned as of the effective date of separation from City service.
All vacation leave and holiday leave benefits accrued by Unit employees as of November 5, 2005, were transferred into their annual leave accrual banks.
To enable all Unit employees to receive the number of annual leave hours to which they are entitled, up to four employees from the same shift may be on scheduled annual leave simultaneously during the year provided, however, that no more than three employees in the classifications of Fire Engineer and Fire Captain may be on scheduled annual leave at any one time.
Regular scheduled annual leave will not be altered unless unusual conditions exist and/or an emergency occurs and all Unit employees are required to be available for work.
The vacation leave and holiday leave selection procedure shall reflect that:
Each Unit employee shall have the right to select vacation leave benefits equal to his or her annual accrual rate before any other employee may select vacation leave benefits in excess of his or her annual accrual rate.
Each selection shall be confined to one block of consecutive shifts.
All non-fire suppression employees shall receive the following paid holidays:
New Year’s Day Presidents’ Day
Cesar Chavez Day
Good Friday (1/2 Day) Memorial Day
Independence Day Labor Day
Admissions Day Veterans’ Day
Thanksgiving Day Christmas Eve (1/2 Day)
New Year’s Eve (1/2 Day)
Shift employees are entitled to up to 48 hours (2 shifts), and non-shift employees are entitled to take up to three days of leave of absence with pay, as necessary, on the death of any member of his/her immediate family. Immediate family shall include the following individuals related to the employee or the employee’s spouse by reason of bloodline, adoption or foster care: parents, grandparents, spouse, brother(s), sister(s), child(ren), son(s)-in-law, daughter(s)-in-law, grandchild(ren), great grandchild(ren), step child(ren), step grandchild(ren), and any blood relative(s) living in the immediate household.
Immediately upon return from bereavement leave, the employee shall furnish to the City some evidence of the death, e.g., a newspaper clipping, obituary notice, funeral card, or other record of death. If such evidence is not provided, the bereavement leave shall be considered leave without pay.
Unit employees shall be entitled to the military leave benefits as provided in the California Military and Veterans Code.
Unit employees will be paid 100% of their assigned daily wage for the first 30 days of military leave. For the next eleven months the City will supplement the Unit employee’s military salary to maintain the Unit employee at the same assigned daily rate of pay on the date of deployment. After 12 months Unit employees are able to use accrued leaves to maintain them in paid status. Once these leaves are exhausted the Unit employee will have job protection as defined in the California Military and Veterans Code.
Hours of Work and Work Schedule
Unit employees assigned to fire suppression duties shall continue to be scheduled to work in 24-hour shift increments, with each shift commencing at 8:00 a.m., on a three platoon “4 to a 4, 4 to a 6” cycle that causes them to be scheduled to work an average of 56 hours per week or eight 24-hour shifts in a 24-calendar day work period, less applicable time off for annual leave, holidays, sick leave and other appropriate leaves of absence.
The position of Administrative Captain shall continue to work a seven-day work schedule consisting of ten-hour work days on Monday through Thursday with Friday, Saturday and Sunday being days off. Each workday shall be scheduled to commence at the same time as every other workday.
Fire Inspectors, the Administrative Captain and Fire Prevention Captains shall be assigned to a ten-hour daily work shift on a schedule that requires them to work four days in a seven-day calendar week. An alternative schedule may be worked if it is mutually agreed upon by the employee and the Fire Chief.
If a Unit employee is called for jury duty, he/she shall be granted a leave of absence with pay provided that:
The Fire Chief has been notified by the Unit employee of the jury duty summons.
The Fire Chief could not obtain an excuse for the Unit employee from serving on the jury, in those instances where the employee could not be conveniently spared from his/her City duties at the time.
The Unit employee refunds to the City fees received for jury duty service except travel and actual expense reimbursement.
The Unit employee who is assigned to shift work shall return to his/her shift at the completion of the jury duty assignment each day.
Consecutive Hours Worked
Except in an emergency situation, a Unit employee shall not be assigned to work overtime or in a specialassignment when either would cause the Unit employee to work more than 120 consecutive hours, recognizing that an employee will be assumed to work all future regularly scheduled hours.
The procedure regarding station assignments or transfers, including selection of the Squad Driver at a station other than the one at which the Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Team is located and assignments to non-fire suppression positions other than Fire Inspector, shall be as follows:
Regular Seniority-Bided Assignments: In the event of a station opening due to the promotion, transfer, demotion, retirement or demise of an employee, which is to be filled by a lateral transfer, such lateral transfer shall be made in accordance with the following provisions:
All positions to be filled by lateral transfer shall be announced by email which shall be posted in convenient locations accessible to all employees for a period of at least 15 calendar days.
Except as written below, each such position shall be considered open for written bid to the Fire Chief or his designee, by all employees meeting classification requirements.
Except as written below, in the event more than one employee submits a written bid to the Fire Chief or his designee, the position shall be filled by the bidding employee with the highest seniority in rank.
A new employee or newly promoted employee may displace any employee in his or her classificationduring the probationary period, provided that no employee may be displaced more than once or for longer than six months during any two-year calendar period. The displaced employee must be on the same shift as the vacancy existing at the conclusion of the bidding process.
Any employee displaced as a result of this process will be returned to his or her original assignment upon completion of the displacement period.
Employees currently on probation either in a promoted or newly hired status shall be eligible to bid for station assignments pursuant to this provision.
Employees, who begin a probationary period after the effective date of this MOU, either in a newly hired or probationary status, will be eligible to participate in this bidding system but will not be entitled to be transferred pursuant to the bid until after the completion of their probationary period.
Fire Chief’s Discretion: As pertains to Hazmat Team, Deputy Fire Marshal (Prevention Captain), Administrative Captain, and Staffing Captain, the following provisions shall be applicable:
Assignment of employees to the Hazmat team, Deputy Fire Marshal, Administrative Captain or Staffing Captain must be made from among employees who have submitted a bid. The Fire Chief may select any of the employees who submitted a bid, as long as three or more qualified bids are received.
When the number of employees who have submitted a bid for the assignment is less than three, the Chief may elect to assign an employee who has not submitted a bid to fill the vacancy, provided that such selection must be made from among employees in the same classification and on the same shift as the vacant position.
Except as provided below, employees who are assigned to the Hazmat Team, Deputy Fire Marshal, Administrative Captain or Staffing Captain shall be allowed to bid for any other vacant position in their classification at any other Station. A vacant position may result from the promotion, transfer, demotion, retirement, or demise of another employee, or because another qualified employee has been designated to replace the employee desiring to transfer out of the Hazmat Team, Deputy Fire Marshal, Administrative Captain or Staffing Captain, thereby creating an opening at another Station. An employee desiring to transfer out of the Hazmat Team, Deputy Fire Marshal, Administrative Captain or Staffing Captain must be allowed to do so within one year after submission of their bid.
Hazardous Materials Team Incentive Pay
To support and encourage maintenance of a trained and dedicated Hazmat Team for the City, incentive pay in an amount equal to 5% of the employee’s base wages will be added to the base wages of all Fire Chief designated Hazmat certified Fire Department personnel assigned to the Hazmat Team and incentive pay in an amount equal to 2.5% of the employee’s base wages will be added to the base wages of all suppression personnel who are certified and choose to participate in the Hazmat Team pool, provided that those individuals must perform all reasonable acts necessary to maintain that certification.
The Staffing Captain will earn an incentive pay in an amount equal to 5% of the employee’s base wages. This incentive pay will be added to the base wages of this position. The Fire Chief will have the right to select the employee pursuant to the provisions of Section 23 c. The the incentive pay provided to the Staffing Captain pursuant to this section is Fire Staff Premium, intended by the parties to be pensionable compensation pursuant to Title 2, Section 571 of the California Code of Regulations.
Any employee with a grievance may first take it up with his or her Battalion Chief or department director. The grievance shall be submitted and processed on an appropriate form supplied by the City, the contents of which shall be mutually agreed upon by the City and the Union. The grievance shall be presented within 21 calendar days after the facts underlying the grievance occurred, or within 21 calendar days after the grievant, through the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have learned of the existence of the facts underlying the grievance, whichever occurs later.
If the grievance is not resolved at this level within 21 calendar days after the time it was presented, the grievance may be brought before the Human Resources Director or his/her designated representative. The grievance shall be presented to the Human Resources Director or his/her designated representative in writing by completing the appropriate form within 14 calendar days after the response by the person to whom the grievance was initially presented, if no such response is received within 21 calendar days after the grievance was first presented, within 14 calendar days following the expiration of that 21 calendar day period.
The Human Resources Director or his/her designated representative shall meet with the grievant and the grievant’s representative, if any, within 14 calendar days following receipt of the written grievance. Within 21 calendar days following that meeting, the Human Resources Director or his/her designated representative shall forward to the grievant a written response.
Department directors are specifically instructed to listen to employee grievances. If such grievances cannot be resolved at the department level, the department director is instructed to assist the employee in presenting the grievance to the Human Resources Director.
With respect to any grievance which alleges a violation of the express terms of the effective Memorandum of Understanding, if the response of the Human Resources Director or his/her designated representative does not result in a resolution of the grievance, the grievant may appeal the grievance to advisory arbitration by presenting to the Human Resources Director or his/her designated representative within 14 calendar days following the receipt of his/her response, a written request by completing the appropriate form to present the matter to advisory arbitration. If the Human Resources Director or his/her designated representative and the grievant cannot agree upon the arbitrator within a reasonable time, either party may request the State Mediation and Conciliation Service to submit a list of seven arbitrators who have had experience in the municipal sector. The parties shall select the arbitrator by alternately striking names from the list until one name remains, which person shall become the arbitrator. The party who strikes the first name shall be determined by the flip of coin or other similar device. The arbitrator so selected shall hold a hearing as expeditiously as possible at a time and place convenient to the parties, and shall be bound by the following:
The arbitrator shall be bound by the language of the MOU and City and departmental rules and regulations consistent therewith in considering any issue properly before him.
The arbitrator shall expressly confine himself/herself to the precise issues submitted to him/her and shall have no authority to consider any other issue not so submitted to him/her.
The arbitrator shall be bound by applicable Federal, State and City law.
The arbitrator may not recommend changes in established wages or benefits, nor recommend the payment of back wages or benefits to a date prior to twenty-one (21) days before the grievance was timely filed.
The arbitrator shall submit findings and advisory recommendations to the grievant, the Human Resources Director and to the City Manager.
The City Manager shall, within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the receipt of the written findings and recommendations, make the final determination of the grievance and submit it in writing to the grievant and his/her designated representative.
The cost of the arbitrator and other mutually incurred costs shall be borne equally by the parties.
The City Manager is also available to confer with any City employee concerning any personal problems, and such conferences are kept strictly confidential. However, employees understand that there can be not secrecy in discussions with the Manager that pertain directly to the employee’s job.
A grievance, as distinguished from a personal problem, is a complaint, a view, or an opinion pertaining to employment conditions, to relationships between an employee and his supervisor, or to relationships between an employee and other employees.
Any employee or groups of employees who present a grievance may do so with freedom from coercion, reprisal, or discrimination.
The time periods set forth in this procedure may be waived by mutual written consent of both the grievant and the City.
During the term of this Agreement, the parties agree to meet and confer over modifications to the grievance procedure applicable to Unit members.
Membership Dues Increase
The City and Union agree to honor any membership dues adjustment as certified by an authorized Union official, provided that Union gives written notice of the adjustment to the affected employee(s) ten workingdays in advance of the beginning of the pay period in which the increase takes effect. The notice shall be accompanied by a statement that the City will honor the requested increase for any employee who does not cancel his/her payroll deduction authorization, and that such failure to cancel will be considered an amendment to the deduction authorization on file. Union must furnish written notification to the City that the required notice has been sent.
Union agrees that the City assumes no liability on account of any actions taken or not taken pursuant to this section, and that the Union indemnifies and holds the City harmless against all claims and liability therewith.
Current and future vacancies in the Fire Inspector classification shall be filled by in-house, “closed” promotional examination limited to sworn firefighting personnel employed by the City. In the event there are only two or fewer persons on a resulting eligibility list for a vacant position, the Fire Department may elect to conduct a new “open” examination not confined to sworn firefighting personnel of the City, provided that only sworn firefighting personnel shall be eligible to participate.
Wherever identical grades exist following a promotional examination procedure, names shall be arranged on the resulting promotional eligible list in the order of seniority within the Oxnard Fire Department.
Labor Management Committee
There shall be a Labor-Management Committee (Committee) consisting of representatives of the Union and representatives of the City Manager and Fire Chief.
The purpose of the Committee is to facilitate positive ongoing labor-management relationships by providing an informal forum for the free exchange of views, and discussions of mutual concerns and problems, as distinguished from meeting and conferring.
Representatives of the Union on the Committee who are Unit employees shall not lose pay or benefits for meetings mutually scheduled during their duty time.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Fire Department employees are frequently required to make decisions involving public health and safety and are required to function in hazardous environments. Additionally, Fire Department employees are entrusted with varying levels of responsibility for the welfare of others, security of information and care of property. Because of these responsibilities, the community has high expectations for the conduct of Fire Department employees. Few persons are given such extensive public trust.
The use of alcohol or drugs (including some prescription or over-the-counter medications by Fire Department employees in the workplace may not only adversely affect employee performance but can also impact morale and safety and significantly increase the risk of the City incurring civil liability.
Any illegal use of alcohol or drugs by Fire Department employees poses a serious threat to public safety. Therefore, in the interests of the City, its residents, and the members of the Fire Department, the Fire Department shall implement the following alcohol/drug testing policy and procedures.
Aspects of this alcohol/drug testing program shall be conducted on City time and while participating in thisprogram employees shall be paid in a manner consistent with the provisions of the developed Oxnard Fire Department Administrative Policy.
When reporting for duty, Fire Department employees shall not have any alcohol in their body (i.e., less than .01% blood alcohol). Further, employees shall not consume alcohol or alcoholic beverages while on duty.
Occasionally, Fire Department employees will be ordered on a nonscheduled call-out to respond to a situation that cannot be delayed. If the employee has consumed any alcohol within eight hours of the call-out, the employee will inform the appropriate Fire Battalion Chief. If an employee has ingested alcohol but is determined to not be under the influence of alcohol, the employee may be considered eligible to work on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the Fire Battalion Chief.
Fire Department employees will not ingest any substance at any time that is prohibited by law.
Fire Department employees will not report for duty while under the influence of any substance, including prescription drugs, that impairs the employees’ judgment, emotional stability or physical ability to the extent that the substance could adversely affect the ability of the employee to satisfactorily perform.
Any employee taking any medication marked “do not drive,” “do not operate heavy equipment” or similarly labeled, shall inform the appropriate Fire Battalion Chief of the use of the medication prior to reporting to
In such cases, the Fire Battalion Chief shall determine whether the employee may work full-duty or light-duty based upon the written opinion of the employee’s personal medical provider that the use of the medication will or will not impair the employee’s ability to perform specific duties. The Fire Battalion Chief may direct the employee not to respond to the work site or the Fire Battalion Chief may order the employee to return home on the employee’s accrued sick leave or accrued vacation leave to be selected at the employee’s option. The Fire Battalion Chief has no obligation to provide a full-duty or light-duty position.
In the event that the employee’s personal medical provider provides a written opinion that the use of the medication will not impair the employee’s ability to perform specific job duties, the Fire Battalion Chief shall permit the employee to work as scheduled and perform those approved specific job duties.
Nothing in this section shall constitute a waiver of an employee’s rights under the California Labor Code, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Public Employees Retirement System statutes or any other similar provision.
Method – For Cause/Accident-Driven Testing
Fire Department employees shall be subject to mandatory alcohol/drug testing, while on duty, based on articulable reasonable symptoms of suspicion. Articulable reasonable symptoms of suspicion means a level of suspicion based upon specific personal observations of a trained supervisor. The observing supervisor shall describe and document the following:
Personally perceived and specific, articulable observations of the appearance, behavior, speech, body odors or performance of the employee; or
A violation by the employee of a safety rule or other unsafe work incident which, after further investigation of the employee’s behavior or appearance, leads the observing supervisor and a Fire Battalion Chief to conclude that the use of alcohol or a controlled substance may be a contributing factor; or
Other physical, circumstantial or contemporaneous indicators of alcohol or controlled substance use by the employee.
Suspicion does not constitute reasonable suspicion for purposes of this policy if based solely upon the observations and reports of third parties, or solely upon violation of a safety rule or other unsafe work incident.
The observing supervisor must inform the employee to be tested of his or her right to representation prior to any testing. All reasonable accommodations shall be made by the Fire Department to ensure the employee has the opportunity to confer with his or her representative prior to testing.
Fire Department employees may be subject to mandatory alcohol/drug testing, while on duty, based on critical incidents involving a vehicle accident resulting in personal injury or property damage reasonably believed by the Fire Chief to be in excess of $1,000.
The test, at the option of the employee’s supervisor, will be of breath or urine. If the employee refuses to take the test, the employee will be considered insubordinate and subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge.
Testing procedures and processes related to the “for cause” and “vehicle accident,” standards will be consistent with, and subject to limitations of, Section IV below, for urine testing and to Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration guidelines for breath testing as those may change from time to time. The Fire Department will arrange to transport the employee to and from the testing site for an employee to be tested “for cause” or following a vehicle accident.
Specimen collection shall be done at a designated facility which is licensed and approved by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Method – Random Testing
Frequency of Random Testing
All Fire Department employees hired on or after September 18, 1999, may be tested up to, but not more than, four times in a twelve-month period.
An alcohol/drug test occurring for cause, or due to a vehicle accident shall not count towards these random test frequency limits.
Any Fire Department employee not in Category One who has (1) tested positive for alcohol or drugs on a previous occasion or (2) been convicted of a crime related to alcohol or drugs may be tested up to, but not more than, four times in a twelve-month period for five consecutive twelve-month periods.
A twelve-month period shall be July 1, 1999, through June 30, 2000 and each July 1 through June 30 of succeeding years.
An alcohol/drug test occurring for cause, or due to a vehicle accident shall not count towards these random test frequency limits.
Any current Fire Department employee competing for promotion to the classification of Fire Engineer may be tested one time prior to establishment of a certified promotional list.
This test shall not count towards these random test frequency limits.
Among other things, all Unit employees shall be subject to drug testing in accordance with the procedures and subject to the safeguards set forth herein in cases where (1) there exist articulable symptoms or suspicions of substance abuse or (2) the employee has caused a vehicle accident resulting in personal injury or property damage reasonably believed by the Fire Chief or designee to be in excess of $1,000.
City may conduct random drug and alcohol testing up to four occasions per calendar year pursuant to the procedures and subject to the safeguards set forth herein with respect to (1) all Unit employees hired after September 18, 1999; (2) any Unit employee who was tested positive for drugs or alcohol on a previous occasion; and (3) any Unit employee who has be convicted of a crime related to the use of drugs or alcohol subsequent to ratification of this MOU.
Any current Unit employee who competes for promotion to the classification of Fire Engineer shall be required to submit to a drug and alcohol test in accordance with the procedures and subject to the safeguards set forth in Exhibit E as part of that examination process only.
Disciplinary Action Appeals Procedure
Definition of Disciplinary Action
“Disciplinary Action” is any suspension, demotion, discharge or restriction of access to overtime of regular non-probationary Unit employees taken for punitive reasons.
The Fire Chief may utilize as a form of discipline the penalty of causing an employee to be ineligible for a period not to exceed thirty days for any voluntary overtime assignment. The Unit employee may appeal this discipline in the same manner, and subject to the same hearing rights and procedures, as a dismissal, demotion or suspension.
Opportunity to Respond and Appeal
Within five calendar days of receipt of an intent to impose disciplinary action, a Unit employee shall be accorded a prompt opportunity to respond orally or in writing to the person proposing the disciplinary action and to the charges constituting the bases for the action.
Within ten calendar days of the receipt of a notice imposing a disciplinary action, a Unit employee may file a request for advisory arbitration with the Human Resources Director or his/her designee to appeal the disciplinary action.
Human Resources Director and the Unit employee, or their designated representatives, shall agree on an advisory arbitrator. If they are not able to agree on an arbitrator within a reasonable time, either the Human Resources Director or the Unit employee, or their designated representatives may request the State Mediation and Conciliation Service to submit a list of seven arbitrators who have had experience in public sector employee relations. The parties shall select the arbitrator by alternately striking names from a list until one name remains. The identity of the first person striking the first name shall be determined by a coin flip or other random means. Unless agreement is reached on the name of a specific arbitrator, the last name remaining on the list shall become the advisory arbitrator.
The arbitrator so selected shall conduct a hearing as expeditiously as possible at a time and place convenient to the parties.
Upon conclusion of the hearing, the arbitrator shall submit findings and an advisory recommendation to the employee, the Human Resources Director and the City Manager.
Within forty-five calendar days of the receipt of the written findings, conclusions and advisory recommendation, the City Manager shall determine whether or not to adopt the recommendation of the arbitrator. The City Manager cannot reject the arbitrator’s advisory recommendation and impose discipline that has a greater negative financial impact on the Unit employee than the arbitrator’s recommendation without first reviewing the entire evidentiary record of the arbitration proceedings.
The cost of the arbitrator and other mutually incurred costs shall be borne equally by the Unit employee and City.
The time limits expressed herein may be modified by mutual written agreement of the Unit employee and the Human Resources Director or their designated representatives.
Written reprimands will be removed from an employee’s personnel file five years from the date the appeal process has been completed provided no further disciplinary action has occurred in the intervening years. Should additional punitive action be imposed that is not later set aside by an administrative appeal or Court action, then the written reprimand will become part of the employee’s permanent record.
Future Meet and Confer Item
City and Union agree to “meet and confer in good faith” with regard to modification of City’s Personnel Rules and Regulations. City may not implement any changes in the Personnel Rules and Regulations during the term of this MOU without the concurrence of the Union unless those changes apply uniformly to City employees.
On the first pay period in the month of October of each year, City shall pay to all active Unit employees a lump sum amount of four hundred dollars ($400) for the purchase and maintenance of incidental uniform items. Active Unit employees are those employees in the Fire Unit in a regular pay status. Employees on a paid leave status or on an unpaid leave status shall be provided this additional compensation upon their return to work in regular pay status. This amount shall be reported to PERS as part of compensation earnable.
In addition to the existing uniform allowance, City shall provide Nomex III A aramid or equivalent thermal protective uniforms to Unit employees on an as-needed basis. City shall repair or replace these uniforms as necessary unless the uniforms were lost or damaged through negligence of the employee.
EMT Premium Pay
Each employee represented by Local 1684 (“Represented Employee”) who has been certified by City, the State, or a recognized professional organization to perform EMT functions, and who maintains current certification, shall be entitled to a biweekly increase of base wages equal to two and one-half percent (2½%).
Paramedic Squad Program
Represented Employees who meet the following criteria shall be eligible to become a member of the Paramedic Resource Pool:
(a) successful graduation from the Academy;
(b) completion of probation;
(c) licensed as a Paramedic by the State of California to perform Level II services; and
(d) accreditation from the Ventura County Emergency Medical Service Agency (“VCEMSA”),
Represented Employees who are members of the Paramedic Resource Pool (“Pool Members”) shall receive Paramedic Resource Pool premium pay of eight percent (8%) of the employee’s current bi weekly base rate of pay. The number of members in the Paramedic Resource Pool shall be flexible at the Fire Chief’s discretion based upon the program’s needs. The Paramedic Resource Pool premium pay shall be in addition to the EMT premium pay set forth in Section 34 of this MOU.
Pool Members who have been assigned by the Fire Chief on a permanent or temporary basis as a Squad Paramedic shall receive Paramedic premium pay in an amount equal to 15% of the employee’s current bi weekly base rate of pay for time worked. The Paramedic premium pay shall be in addition to the EMT premium pay set forth in Section 34 of this MOU.
The Department, at its discretion, retains the right to designate Represented Employees in the ranks of Captain and Engineer as Pool Members. Such individuals shall be known as Upgraded Paramedics.
Pool Members assigned to positions within the Paramedic Squad Program may be permitted to work overtime as a Squad Paramedic and be compensated with the paramedic premium pay (15%) for time worked at that assignment.
Firefighters who become Upgraded Paramedics, Engineers, and Captains in the Resource Pool as of the start of the program shall continue to receive Paramedic Resource Pool Pay (8%) as described above, provided such employee retains appropriate certifications/licensure and makes himself/herself available for assignment as a Squad Paramedic. Furthermore, probationary employees in the ranks of Engineer and Captain are allowed to work overtime as a Squad Paramedic.
Squad Paramedic Internship: The Department will provide the minimum hours required for the Squad Paramedic Internship with a 1 on 1 preceptor on the vehicle. The department will assign a qualified employee to be the Field Training Officer. Should the FTO be in this unit, then they will receive 5% FTO pay for those shifts where they are acting as an FTO.
Release Time for Union Business
Union members shall be authorized to use a total allocation of 400 hours per year of paid release time from duty for the conduct of usual and normal Union activities relating to the employer-employee relationship. For purposes of this Section, a reasonable amount of time spent managing/supervising Union business shall be considered to be an authorized Union activity. A Union member’s time spent in labor negotiations shall not be included in this 400-hour allocation. City agrees that Union members may carry over fifty percent (50%) of any unused hours of paid release time from duty remaining at the end of a year for use in subsequent years, subject to a maximum accrual limit of eight hundred (800) hours.
The Fire Department shall maintain complete, accurate, and current records of release time used. No member shall utilize release time for Union activities without prior authorization of the Fire Chief.
If a Union member uses release time under this Section to receive training and such training is creditable by fire safety standards, City may claim credit for such training.
Resignation and Reinstatement
A Unit employee may resign from City service at any time. A Unit employee resigning from City service, however, shall give a minimum of two (2) weeks’ notice to his/her supervisor in order to enable the City to make proper provisions for filling his/her position, unless a shorter notice period is mutually agreed to by the City and the employee.
Forfeiture of Privileges
Except as provided below, upon resignation, the Unit employee shall forfeit all seniority and employment privileges allowed by this MOU and other applicable City policies. Any person resigning may, at the discretion of the City Manager, be reinstated in accordance with Section C below.
Any Unit employee who has resigned from City service may apply for reinstatement within one (1) year by means of a written request. If, in his/her sole discretion, the City Manager determines that the reinstatement request should be granted, the applicant may be reemployed in the same job classification as occupied upon resignation if there is a vacancy in that classification. The Unity employee will have his or her seniority rights related to leave accruals and longevity pay reinstated and shall not be required to serve a new probationary period, but shall have no other rights, privileges or benefits accrued by him/her during his/her previous employment. This section will not apply to reinstatement after military service.
City supports the continuation of the current physical fitness, wellness, light duty and/or a non-tobacco use program consistent with guidelines developed jointly by the International Fire Chief’s Association and the Union with respect to Unit employees. City will make every reasonable effort to continue to fund these programs.
The Fire Chief shall have the right to temporarily reassign a Unit employee assigned to fire suppression duties who works on 24-hour shifts to another fire station for up to ten 24-hour shifts when there is a reasonable suspicion as defined by the Oxnard Fire Department’s Administrative Policy No. 1025-0-96, as determined by the Fire Chief that such employee is creating or contributing to a hostile work environment, under the following conditions.
If more than one Unit employee is suspected of engaging such activity, the determination as to which employee or employees shall be relocated shall be based upon seniority in rank, with the least senior Unit employee being temporarily relocated before a more senior Unit employee;
An employee who is temporarily relocated will remain on the same “shift” while being moved to a different fire station.
The employee replacing any temporarily relocated employee shall be on the same “shift”;
In determining which employee on the same shift to replace the temporarily relocated employee, first preference shall be given to volunteers. If there are no volunteers, than the least senior employee in the same classification on the same shift shall be selected to replace the temporarily relocated employee.
During the period of temporary relocation of such Unit employee, the Fire Chief shall conduct an investigation of the matter in expeditious manner.
This MOU shall be in full force and effect from September 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021.
City and Union agree to ethically and responsibly support this MOU as ratified by the City Council and, except as provided herein, to seek neither increased nor decreased wages or other benefits from the City Council for the term hereof.