Union doesn't help much. You aren't allowed to strike, which is the only real way to get action. Get fired for that. So the unions only real support is money and lawyers, which help alot, but the advantage is always with the city. Free market works both ways man. I can't take my pension, or seniority from department to department. I start as a rookie at base pay if I switch department and lose both pension and seniority. I am retired from the FD, and believe me, it's MUCH easier to survive in the free market. I can tell my employer to go f$ck off if I don't like them, and get a better job and better pay with the experience I earned, which I have done twice. Can't do that with the FD. FD is a great job, but limiting in many ways. I know you were in the service JB. You are one of the guys that makes this country great.