Right now, more than 1,000 firefighters are battling the massive High Park fire in Colorado, which is in its sixth day and has so far burned nearly 50,000 acres. Many of these firefighters are NFFE-IAM Forest Service workers who do not have access to quality, affordable health care because their jobs are classified as temporary, making them ineligible to buy into the government health insurance program.
A NFFE-IAM member, who is part of a hotshot crew of Forest Service firefighters, has initiated a petition to President Barack Obama to extend health insurance benefits to seasonal wildland firefighters. To support him and all our Forest Service firefighters, click here to sign the petition.
Every year these dedicated men and women protect homes and businesses from being consumed by wildfires. Many return year after year. The work is dangerous and physically demanding. These workers have more-than-earned the same benefits enjoyed by permanent seasonal employees.
NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 has been fighting for temporary employees in all professions for years and has met with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) officials to explore ways that health care coverage could be extended to temporary employees by administrative action, as called for in the petition.
Tomorrow, NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 President William Dougan, NFFE-FSC President Mark Davis and NFFE Legislative Director Randy Erwin will meet with OPM officials to continue these discussions. Sign the petition in time for their meeting on Friday.