LOCAL 1014 LOSES A GREAT LABOR LEADER
August 9, 1923 - November 1, 2013
Hired LA Co FD December 4, 1953
Retired LA Co FD March 31, 1983
Served on Local 1014 and Health Insurance Trust for nearly 2 Decades
It is with great Pride and Admiration, not sadness I write to you today to bring you the news of the passing of one of the great Local 1014 Labor Leaders that I hope all of the membership takes pause to give not only a moment of silence and respect for, but also a moment of reflection as to what you have today that this man fought for.
Herb Schisler died like he served the public and the Union, on his terms and of natural causes after a very full life. He will be joining his wife Constance in Heaven above and leaves behind his Children Lisa Drew and Camela Sutton and Thurman Schisler.
Herb Schisler served valiantly not only as a great firefighter for LA County Fire, but also as a Local 1014 Labor Leader and Health Trust Pioneer when times were tough and there was no path to follow, only one to blaze…during the Al Whitehead Years.
Accomplishing much as a Union Board Member he also served as an Insurance Committee Member, and at a time when our Health Insurance; established in the late 50’s and early 60’s was facing increasing premiums from the carriers with no end in sight. Herb Schisler approached Al Whitehead and said, “Screw those carriers, we should self-insure and fund it ourselves, we’ve got 300,000 grand in a trust”. Al Whitehead said “Are you out of your mind? 300,000 to cover all claims, if it fails they will throw us all out of office”. Herb replied, “We’ve got good legal advice we can do it, and besides I’ll back it up with my own credit card if necessary”. Whitehead took a breath and moved it forward with Herb’s guidance and as they say, the rest is history.
We wouldn’t have our self-funded Los Angeles County Fire Fighters Health and Welfare Trust with all of the premium benefits we have today if it were not for a man by the name of Herb Schisler. Think about that a moment.
Herb also served on the LA Federation of Labor COPE Political Board for County and State Endorsements and walked in as a Republican and challenged working with only one side of the aisle, but rather we should work with both sides of the aisle, both positively and negatively based on the issues. They saw his wisdom in that good Republicans that garnered our support would work hard for Labor when and where they could, and bad Republicans who did not support working class folks, with a COPE endorsement would be thrown out of office, so we had a tool that worked both ways! Brilliant! Another Schislerism.
He was honored as part of the founding fathers of the San Gabriel Valley COPE by United States Congresswoman Hilda Solis in a resolution that named Dallas Jones and Herb Schisler specifically for their efforts.
Herb also served last under me. Imagine that spread of years… Whitehead to Gillotte, with everything from establishing the Health Trust, to working to preserve it with national healthcare and other such issues to contend with. What a great. I brought Herb into my office when we needed to move to a true plan administrator with real world education and experience to deal with the new wave of administration complexities of claims processing and evolving health systems world, and jointly we worked on how to transition the Trust. I walked him into my office, bought him a cup of coffee and said to him in the old school way, “Herbie, you’re fired”. He laughed and smiled as so many knew that smile and said, “Young feller (as he often called me), you know how long I have waited for someone with the balls to do that?” We laughed and got to work on the transition to the future, and he went off to care for his wife and kids and grandkids in a well-deserved way with a smile from ear to ear.
“WE SHALL NEVER FORGET” - HERB SCHISLER
We will forever be greatful for all he has done to better the lives of every member of 1014 both past and present.
On behalf of the entire Executive Board,
President Local 1014
Friday, November 15th @ 1:00 PM
Vineyard Community Church
2801 N. Towne Avenue
In lieu of flowers for Herb, donations can be sent to Local 1014 "Los Angeles County Firefighters Foundation". This foundation has been established to assit our widows and orphans in their time of need. Cards can be sent to Local 1014 as well and they will be deliverd to his surviving family members.
Los Angeles County Fire Fighters Local 1014
3460 Fletcher Ave
El Monte, CA 91731