Welcome to the Santa Maria City Fire Fighters' Union Website.
The Santa Maria Fire Fighters' Union is Local #2020 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which represents over a quarter of a million professional fire fighters and paramedics in the United States and Canada.
Local #2020 represents approximately 51 active and retired members of the Santa Maria Fire Department. We are dedicated to making sure that our members are provided with all that they require to ensure that the citizens and visitors of Santa Maria receive the highest level of professional fire suppression and emergency medical services when needed.
Local #2020 also makes the needs of its members paramount. We work diligently to secure adequate pay and health benefits, as well as a safe work environment.
Myth: Police and firefighters retire at age 50 with 90 percent of pay. Fact: Our records indicate that over the last seven years, safety workers who retired at age 50 with 30 years of service represented 1 percent of all those retired. The reason very few ever would receive this level pension is that they would have had to start working age 20 to earn 30 years. Most start their safety careers at age 27, 28, or 29.
Twelve percent of all public safety members are subject to the 3 percent at age 55 formula. They would need 37.5 years of service at age 50 to get 90 percent, and would have had to start working at age 12.5 to earn 37.5 years. And 7 percent of all public agency safety members are subject to the 2 percent at age 50 formula. They would need to have 45 years of service at age 50 to get 90 percent, and would have had to start working at age 5 to earn 45 years.
Myth: Government pensions are paid by taxpayers.
Fact: Retirement benefits are paid from the CalPERS pension fund, which is a trust fund that can be used only for payment of member benefits and related expenses. Historically, almost 75 cents of every dollar paid in pensions come from investment returns, not tax dollars.
Members contribute a fixed amount into the fund. The rest comes from employers’ contributions and investment income. CalPERS uses this money to pay for benefits and its administrative expenses.
Investment returns have brought in income to CalPERS of over $200 billion in 20 years; employers’ income has been about $56 billion, and members, through payroll deductions, have paid in $34 billion.
Myth: Pension Costs for the State of California have increased by 2000 percent in the last 10 years.
Fact: This statement compares a time when the State paid little or nothing during years of robust investment earnings and took a pension holiday to the recent market cycle extremes and current economic downturn.
Fact: In 1981-82, pension contributions for the largest category of employees cost the State 19.6 percent of payroll. For the current 2009-10 fiscal year the state is paying 16.9 percent.
Fact: The State of California pays less as a percentage of payroll today than in did in the early 1980s.
Myth: Pensions are among the highest costs of State government.
Fact: Forty-one percent of the State general fund budget is earmarked for public education, 12 percent for higher education, and 10 percent for corrections. The cost of pensions is about 2.5 percent of total State spending
Myth: Increased pension formulas are bankrupting State and local government.
Fact: The downturn in the markets is the cause of greater employer contributions. Even if changes to pension formulas did not exist, CalPERS would need more contributions from employers, due to market losses over the past year. Only a quarter of the cost of State pensions is due to benefit changes of 1999
Santa Maria Firefighters ship 20 packages a month that Si Tenenberg and his foundation create for our troops in Iraq and Afganistan. The packages contain ordinary items that we take for granted at home, but are pricless to our troops including socks, battery powered fans, beef jerky and other items. Local 2020 is committed to continue working with Si to ship more pakages to our troops.
If you are interested in helping with this great program, contact Si Tenenberg at email@example.com
California Professional Firefighters' Online System for Documenting Exposures
Most firefighters don't need to be reminded about the risks of the job. But the risks don't end when the fire goes out.
Even when the call doesn't involve flames, firefighters risk exposure to a broad range of environmental and biological toxins. Because of this, firefighters and EMTs are at dramatically greater risk of contracting cancer, tuberculosis, and other blood-borne diseases. California's cancer and tuberculosis presumption laws require that firefighters document occupational exposures to hazardous agents.
In short, you need proof!
CPF's Personal Exposure Reporting System meets the linkage requirements for cancer. It meets the test for proving exposure in rebuttable presumption cases. And by documenting exposures and their effects, the PER system furthers efforts aimed at prevention.