Firefighters Local 44 supports Bertino-Tarrant for 49th District

10/7/2016, midnight
A Joliet firefighters union endorses State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant in her bid for re-election to the 49th district.

Dear Editor:

As President of the Joliet Firefighters Local 44, I represent over a 150 firefighters and paramedics who put their lives on the line everyday to keep our community safe. Our organization works on behalf of its members to ensure fair and safe working conditions, a livable wage, and an absence of work-place discrimination. We work to negotiate our contracts with honesty, integrity and with respect to budgetary concerns.

So I was surprised to see a recent political ad attacking Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant for protecting our right to collectively bargain, especially since the benefits of such extend far beyond union organizations. Issues important to working people such as sick leave, overtime pay, social security, unemployment, workers compensation, workplace safety standards, family leave, medical leave, minimum wage, structured workdays and the weekend many non-union workers enjoy, are all the result of union collective bargaining efforts.

One only needs to look at her opponent’s record as Plainfield District 202 School board President to understand why she would attack the right to collectively bargain in a negative political ad. Michelle Smith has tried to outsource hundreds of custodial staff – most from right here in our community - in order to force layoffs and reduce salaries and sick leave. This comes after repeatedly voting to give pay raises to school administrators and five-straight years of property tax increases.

Recently on behalf of hundreds of firefighters throughout the 49th Senate District, the Joliet Firefighters Local 44 and the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois endorsed Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant for a second term in the Illinois Senate. In the short time since Jennifer took office, she has encouraged small business growth, improved public safety, increased education funding and taken on special interests in Springfield to protect our communities. She also supports our right to collectively bargain. Now - more than ever - we need to continue to elect common-sense legislators that will represent working families in Springfield.


Tim Hunter

President, Local 44