Our Soul For Sale: Labor Education

From Brian Gaughan, Past President

IAFF Local 4186, Retired Member


As I read the article, I couldn’t help but think back about my many attempts to find out more about Harold’s position on the closing of labors own school of higher education, The National Labor College.

From what students and alumni (of which I am one) were told, the Executive Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO voted to stop funding it, which in turn forced the college to cease operations.

Knowing that Harold was on the Executive Board of Directors, I was curious as to what his position and vote on de-funding the college was.

Over numerous phone calls, I was repeatedly told by various staff members of the International that Harold was “very upset” and was “totally against” the closing of the college.

I was even told that “very soon” Harold will be putting out a statement expressing his disappointment concerning the matter.

I was told that something would “probably” be in the IAFF magazine concerning the issue.

None of those came to fruition.

But what I DO see in our magazine and on our website are ads touting for-profit college degrees.

I have to wonder, was a vote cast to close the only college devoted exclusively to promoting labor and the working class so money could be made by extolling the virtues of profit based education?

From what I have learned recently, it would not surprise me in the slightest.

I also have to ad that at the National Labor College, I met several other IAFF members, among them was John Teefy, the previous poster.

What a small world!



  • Eric Lamar says:

    When longtime US Senator Edward Moore Kennedy died Schaitberger pledged around $150,000 of IAFF funds for some vague educational purpose connected to his passing.

    He did to be a “player” in the democratic party and amongst the democratic creme de la creme.

    I remember thinking at the time that a lot of IAFF members could be educated for that amount.

    There was NO discussion on the decision including what the repercussions were of expending such a large amount of money outside the IAFF.


  • Frank Erwin says:

    Do you know if the money was actually spent or was it a photo op pledge just to get attention?

  • John Teefy says:

    Hi Brian, good to hear from you again. I loved the NLC and was able to graduate after 18 years of college. After that long I believe I should be a PHD.
    Take care,
    John Teefy

  • David B Foreman says:

    Who knows when it comes to Harold it seems it is all hollywood, smoke, mirrors and expensive laser shows.

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