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Pre-Draft in house change of staus
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Post Pre-Draft in house change of staus Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:20 pm
James Rooney
Seniority issues for the Jones Beach Lifeguard Union:

I thought it might be a good idea to separate and move these Two topics of discussion to the Union section of the Forum in order to encourage debate on them.

I know not everyone will be able to attend wednesday's BRA meeting, and the ones that do would rather not spend 4-5 hours discussing the Pros and Cons. The perfect place to discuss it would be here at the Lifeguard Forum. I received a chain of e-mails where various union members commented via e-mail concerning the current issues being presented by our Executive Board.

I've felt for some time that the In House change of Status rule wasn't fair to the CORPS as a whole and goes outside of seniority.

Most lifeguards begin as rookies while still in high school or just entering college. Their initial years as a Jones Beach lifeguard progress as rookie and encompass their college years while they decide on a career.

At 5 Years most have finished college and are settled into their working life. That is why many are making the switch from full-time to part-time status at that time in their careers.

This rule has basically locked up any part time spots at prime ocean facilities to younger guards at that point in their career. Great for them, but not so good for senior guards who find their fields being closed, or other guards who are making career changes later in Life.

There is something wrong when each year 5-6 part time positions are going to 5 year guards at prime ocean front fields, while guards with 20-40 years find the only open part-time positions are in the pool or out in Sunken Meadow.

Another possible solution would be the formula used to determine full time and part time spots. Back in 1989 the LISPC used a formula of split lines in order to retain seasoned lifeguards who wanted to remain on the Beach after taking careers that didn't allow them to continue as full time lifeguards or have weekends off and become weekenders.

That is really how the part-time status started. Most part-timers are 9-5 monday to friday workers who are available on weekends when the beaches are busiest. The rest are people who work jobs that don't have weekends off but still want to remain lifeguards. Alot are emergency service workers who are trained to handle emegencies year round. EMT's, Firefighters, Police Officers, etc.

The true weekenders are important to the Beach, but having seasoned year round emergency service workers are a big benefit to the Beach too. This situation can be beneficial to both the individual lifeguards and the Long Island State Park Commission as a whole. These Pros and Cons need to be presented to the Water Safety Office during negotiations for staffing. And as the years go on more and more lifeguards are making the move toward careers in Emergency Service fields where they gain valuable year round experience and skills that are vital to their fellow guards.

When split lines went out in 1997 and the part-time status began, the initial formula was instead of 2 split lines making 1 full time slot, you would have 5 part-timers for every 2 full time slots. The beach would actually pick up an extra body to utilize in their manpower.

Over the years the way the part timers where allocated and the rules governing hours and days have changed many ways. We've had guys working four 10 hour days, we've had rules where you could only do 10 hour days on weekends, we've had part timers working full time if the beach gets it approved, we've had Captains allow lifeguards to hold full time slots for the entire summer, yet show up less than their part timers (Remember Lifeguard Lou?)

Maybe someone can search back through the Lifeguard Union records and try to trace all these various rules?

Anyway...........that's my start to the debate; Feel free to join in and discuss it here!
Post Re: Pre-Draft in house change of staus Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:33 pm
Jim gives some great thoughts to at least take into consideration on 'bumping' and 'in-house transfers'. I will just throw this into the brainstorm ring, as an idea on 'in-house'. Although, I am open to other solutions.

I guess the first step is deciding for ourselves if you like the idea of giving some preference to in-house transfers based on length of service. Personally, I do. It makes sense. Sounds fair. It is/was my thinking that if you have a certain degree of seniority, there should be some 'preference of transfer rights' at your own field. I felt this way, even before I had significant seniority.

One could also possibly suggest that a "seasonal continuity of experienced lifeguards at a field' would add a public safety value, and an educational value to that particular crew.

I am suggesting that we now lengthen the rule to lifeguards with 10 years of lifeguard service. Not necessarily 10 years seniority time; just 10 summers of JBLC in some capacity, FT or PT. (Thus we are not eliminating long standing part-timers, and weekenders who are also valuable corps assets).

Early in my career, somebody had said to me ,”if you're here 5 years, you're here for life". 20 years ago, that adage was true. Maybe you were a guard for your 4 years of college. But if you came back for 5, you were hooked. And that is why the rule made sense.

Times have changed. 7- 9 years is not uncommon amount of time before someone decides the direction they want their life to go. Also, college seems to be a longer experience. The ‘short timers’ are staying longer, just as are the ‘long-timers’.

In 2010, I think every JB lifeguard with more than 3 summers, would have to acknowledge that you are not a 'lifer' after 5 years anymore. What do the guards with 3-10 years think? Those are our colleagues who can best determine if themselves, and/or which of their peers are going to be ‘lifers’. When you are sitting in the shack, ask your fellow 10 year or less guard “Do you think you want to be here, and will you be here, for 10 more years?” Great rainy day conversation that happens ever Summer.

“If you are here_____ years, you are here for life”. That is the answer.

I would suggest the simple extension of time. I say 10 years. I think :)
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