“The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we do business from the fire house to the union hall,” said WSCFF President Dennis Lawson in his opening remarks to the delegates assembled for the 81st annual convention last week. “We continue to rise to the top,” said Lawson, “and the work goes on.”
Originally scheduled for Wenatchee in June, the convention was postponed to August and moved to a virtual platform due to conditions created by the Coronavirus pandemic. Things looked and operated a little differently, but the result was the same. Resolutions were adopted, officers were elected, and members from across the state met to set the course for the critical work of the organization.
Seven resolutions were presented and discussed in committees on Tuesday, August 25, and put before and ultimately passed by the delegates on Wednesday, August 26:
- Resolution 20-01 set the 2020-2021 operating budget which increased per capita by $.13 to $24.61 per member, including a $1.00 per member pass through to the WSLC.
- Resolutions 20-02 and 20-03 endorsed candidates in statewide and U.S. Congressional races.
- Resolution 20-04 approved holding the WSCFF 84th Annual WSCFF Convention in Wenatchee in 2023.
- Resolution 20-05 provides direction for the WSCFF to work toward finding ways to increase diversity in our ranks by reducing and eliminating barriers to the recruitment and hiring process for marginalized communities.
- Resolution 20-06 directed the legislative team to work on developing and passing bills to provide preventative medical physicals for fire fighters, and Resolution 20-07 directed the WSCFF to explore the viability of including infertility as a presumptive disease.
Elections were held and the following WSCFF Executive Board members were re-elected: President Dennis Lawson, Vice President Dean Shelton, Trustee Tom Reich, 1st District Representative Mike Bacon, 3rd District Representative Tim Hoover, 5th District Representative Ryan Reese, 7th District Representative Craig Soucy, 9th District Representative Keven Rojecki, and 11th District Representative Theresa Purtell.
The following WSCFF members were elected to serve as Burn Foundation trustees: 1st District Danny Betz, 3rd District Melissa Beard, 5th District Dave Lamb, 9th District Mickey McLain, 10th District Joe Kendrick, and 11th District Adam Jones. There is a vacancy on the Burn Foundation Board for a representative from the WSCFF 7th District. There was a contested election for President of the Burn Foundation. Each delegate who attended on Wednesday, August 26, was mailed a paper ballot to complete and return to the WSCFF office. Ballots must be received by the WSCFF by September 16, 2020. We will open the ballots when both candidates can have an observe come watch the process and announce the results at that time.
Chair Greg Markley gave a report on the WSCFF Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan (MERP). Craig Soucy and Jeff Wainwright were re-elected as MERP Trustees.
Chair Markley reported on the WSCFF Northwest Firefighter Trust (NWFFT). Craig Soucy and Jeff Wainwright were re-elected as NWFFT trustees.
Find more detailed information, the agenda and materials here — and view video addresses by Governor Jay Inslee, IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger, IAFF General Secretary-Treasurer Ed Kelly, and the leaders of the Washington State Labor Council, President Larry Brown and Secretary-Treasurer April Simms.
As always, if you have questions or need more information, please contact the WSCFF office or your district representative.