A Leadership Referendum
The recent and rather predictable IAFF convention was considerably enlivened by General President Schaitberger’s narrowly successful attempt to line his Board’s pockets.
He presented a resolution calling for a 60% pay increase over three years for the 16 district vice presidents (VPs) that barely passed.
A swing of less than 1,100 votes out of 192,000 would have spelled defeat.
If Schaitberger thought that after nearly 14 years in office he could issue a kingly edict, he was sadly disappointed.
In fact, the king’s robes were surprisingly short as he was unable to drag some of his most compliant supporters across the finish line.
Delegates cared naught for Schaitberger’s “they deserve it” message, splitting every which way in a vote that ultimately showed where the real power lies.
All Politics Local
Having ignored Schaitberger’s wishes, delegates went on to use the vote as a report card on their respective vice president and some of them have apparently not been doing their homework.
For example, 1st district VP Bill Romaka received 19 yes votes and 14,209 against. Â Ouch.
The 4th’s Bill Taylor did nearly as badly with 3,729 for and 16,246 against.
And, Tom Thornburg was 100 yea and 3,434 nay.
In the 10th, James Ferguson went down to a sound defeat, 10,255/21,149, not even to be supported by his own local.
Hufnagel (8th) and Osborne (12th) also lost the confidence vote by sizeable margins.
If this was a parliamentary democracy, it would be teetering on the brink of extinction.
But, speaking of parliaments, Canadians VPs astonishingly carried 100% of their votes.
Elections are right around the corner, a mere two years away.
With such poor grades many of these VPs should be facing challengers who may be capable of achieving a passing grade.
Still, King Schaitberger can be a potent force operating behind the scenes to keep Â a board around which does his bidding, unchallenged.
But, he’ll sure have his work cut out for him.
Don’t forget, this is the crew that “investigated” Schaitberger’s obvious $1,000,000 conflict of interest real estate deal, though they were also conflicted, and then kept the report effectively secret.
In fact, “crew” is an apt descriptor, as in street gang.
That’s the way our union is being run: with those at the top having fat pockets and full stomachs just like they do it on the street.
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