If your forest is interested in organizing you should contact the Council Vice President for R5 Barry McDonald. I think his address is bmcdonald (at)fs.fed.us. CC the NFFE business rep. Jan Thompson at jthompson (at) nffe.org. If you don’t get any satisfaction contact the NFFE President Bill Dougan bdougan (at) nffe.org.
In the old days only the bargaining unit employees would be eligible for the boots since NFFE can’t negotiate for non BUE, but some years back management started allowing all employees to enjoy the benefits of our hard work. I remember going on fires years ago when NFFE had negotiated a different reimbursement for phone calls (not a biggy nowdays with cell phones) where BU got reimbursed for a 10 minute call each day. Non BU got $5. I made a call from a bank of phones they brought in to camp and my bill was $77 for 10 minutes. If I hadn’t been in the BU I would have only got $5 for my call. As it was they paid the whole thing.
I’ve heard a couple of times that some people think only GS 9 and below can join the union. Not true. Local 60 in Missoula has many GS 12s & 13s. Another untrue rumor is that there aren’t many union reps that know anything about fire. I was a Type 2 OPS and Safety. The president of my local was the same and an ex jumper. We have jumpers, Hotshots, and firefighters from all levels so if something isn’t being addressed correctly contact Joe Duran the Fire Committee Chair and maybe he can get it fixed. He’s way smarter than he looks LOL.