IAFF & Ethics: Resolution Time

Setting Our Union on an Ethical Course

Perhaps we are catching a lucky break as the IAFF Convention begins in slightly more than two months.

Once upon a time the delegates of the IAFF Convention charted the future of the IAFF by passing meaningful resolutions directing the officers and board to act on our behalf in areas we care about.

Let’s return to that democratic moment.

The place to begin is by rededicating ourselves to a commonsense standard of ethical behavior.

The time honored method for doing so is a convention resolution submitted by “local unions, state and provincial associations or joint councils of this Association, or by its International officers or the Executive Board, or by the delegates.”

It’s actually very simple.

Submit a resolution by fax or email; the signed original resolution must be received by 5:00 pm EDT on June 4, 2014. The email is gst@iaff.org; send faxes to 202-637-0840 or 202-737-8418. The mailing address is Office of the GST, International Association of Fire Fighters, 1750 New York Ave, NW, WDC, 20006.

The more locals and entities that submit an ethics resolution the stronger the voice for much needed change.

(Of course, the first entity to submit the resolution should be the IAFF Executive Board but let’s not hold our breath waiting for that to happen.)

Be a force for positive change: copy, paste and submit the resolution below, today. If you are not a union officer, forward this to your local officers for action.

52nd IAFF Convention Ethics Resolution

Whereas, the IAFF is nearing its 100th anniversary and continues as the essential safeguard for North America’s union fire fighters and paramedics; and

Whereas, our union suffers from unsound and unethical decision making, and

Whereas, the way to protect our union and ensure its viability is to commit union officers to a sound and commonsense ethical standard,

Be it therefore resolved that delegates seated at the 52nd IAFF Convention present for constitutional adoption the following ethical precepts:

International Association of Fire Fighters Ethics

(a)Union service is a sacred trust.Union officers have a responsibility to place loyalty to the IAFF Constitution and ethical principles above private gain. Every union officer must work to uphold the integrity of the IAFF. Every officer shall respect and adhere to the principles of ethical conduct set forth in this section.

(b)General principles.The following general principles apply to every union officer and form the basis for the standards contained in this part. Where a situation is not covered by the standards set forth in this part, union officers shall apply the principles set forth in this section in determining whether their conduct is proper.

(1) Union officers will place loyalty to the IAFF Constitution and ethical principles above private gain.

(2) Union officers shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.

(3) Union officers shall not engage in financial transactions using union information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.

(4) A union officer shall not solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities with the IAFF, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the officer’s duties.

(5) Union officers shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.

(6) Union officers shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the IAFF.

(7) Union officers shall not use their office for private gain.

(8) Union officers shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any business, organization or individual.

(9) Union officers shall protect and conserve IAFF property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.

(10) Union officers shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with IAFF duties and responsibilities.

(11) Union officers shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.

(12) Union officers shall satisfy in good faith their obligations including all just financial obligations.

(13) Union officers shall take no action which directly or indirectly jeopardizes the Union’s health and safety advocacy role or the health and safety of IAFF members.

(14) Union officers shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards. Whether particular circumstances create an appearance that the law or these standards have been violated shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts.

Failure to adhere to these ethical principles will result in disciplinary action including trial board and loss of office.

If someone tries to make the argument that these commonsense principles are not needed, ask them why they are not in favor of basic ethics at the IAFF?


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  • Bob Johnson. says:

    I would proudly stand up and argue against this resolution. They’re written by you, a disgruntled pissant. Do you ever fight fire anymore? Do you even work under the IAFF anymore? Move on buddy. My captain in Kuwait would have you in tears. My brothers are losing their jobs and families are struggling here in middle America when their father loses his job. The only thing we have to help us fight is the resources provided to us by our IAFF. I will proudly fight for my career, my IAFF, my brothers and my country against naysayers like you.

  • David B Foreman says:

    I have read this resolution and do have some concerns about with it. That does not mean that I am opposed it just means, maybe it should be amended. I am in complete agreement that our elected officers should be held higher standard of ethics than the average, the same the same way fire fighters are held to a higher standard of behavior than the average citizen. This does not seem to be to much to ask of those we elect to represent us. Firefighters that make up the membership of the IAFF deserve and should expect the highest standards of ethical behavior from our leaders. The resolution really should not be needed but, unfortunately it appears to be necessary. If it is not, passing it certainly will cause no harm.
    Why would anyone oppose an ethical standards resolution?
    I hope the delegates assembled at this convention will pay close attention to the debate and support a reasonable and fair ethics resolution.
    I find it interesting that the most vocal opponents of the resolution do not disclose their local and their names are two of the most common names in America, Smith and Johnson, this reminds me of John Doe.

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