NFFE Wildland Firefighters Meet with Over One Hundred Members of Congress to Advocate for Reforms
Internal NFFE News
June 26, 2023
Last week, many federal wildland firefighters who are proud NFFE members traveled to Washington, DC for the 2023 NFFE-IAM Legislative Conference. The group met with nearly 125 members of Congress from across the political spectrum over the course of the week, where they advocated for several important reforms. The main point of emphasis was the need for Congress to take immediate action on pay raises before the temporary funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expires in the fall and wildland firefighters see their compensation cut by fifty percent or $20,000.
“The participation of our local leaders and other NFFE members is how we will achieve this much needed change,” said NFFE Business Representative and former wildland firefighter Max Alonzo. “The federal government needs our members out in the field to give them direction. This past week, we made our voices heard. It is now up to Congress to act accordingly.”
In addition to lobbying for immediate pay reform, the group urged members of Congress to cosponsor and call a vote for Tim’s Act. The bill aims to completely overhaul not only wildland firefighter pay, but also working conditions, housing, physical and mental wellness, and the recruitment and retention of federal wildland firefighters.
“This year’s conference was one of the most productive legislative weeks that NFFE has had in decades,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “That is in large part because of the efforts of this union’s wildland firefighters, who gave up valuable hours that they could have spent working on fires. Instead, these dedicated members traveled to Washington from across the country to make sure that Congress understands the dire situation the workforce is facing. I am confident that because of the advocacy last week, lawmakers are aware of the pending pay cliff, and a large majority of them are committed to supporting our federal wildland firefighters.”