Leadership: IAFF Ethics Over the Cliff

Four Reasons Why the Ethics Policy is a Disaster

In virtually all organizations it is the elected leadership who set the overall tone.

And, so it is at the International Association of Fire Fighters but the results are devastating.

The new ethics policy has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese and is nothing more than a huge escape hatch for Our Deal Leader and his bought board to thumb their nose at ethical concerns.

They think we are all too stupid or complacent to notice, care or react.

The Final Say– For 97 years affiliate leaders meeting at the IAFF convention have charted our course and had the final say.  Not any more.  Under the new ethics policy, “The executive board shall have the final decision in the matter and no further appeals are allowed.”  ODL and his bought board now have a license to do as they please.

No Outside Review-  It’s very common for an ethics complaint to first be referred to an independent and objective third party to render an opinion on the validity of the concern.  Not at the IAFF.  The very group most at risk, the officers and the board, police themselves.

Members Only-  Conflicts of interest and inside dealing very often involve an “outside” party or interest such as a vendor.  For example, Harold Schaitberger’s (ODL) conflict was with a key IAFF-FC services provider.  Under the policy, a vendor cannot report a possible ethics violation, even if they want to.

No Disclosure– With the foxes guarding the hen house they have come up with a system where their shenanigans are disclosed only to themselves.  They are free to muck about and sweep it all under the rug.

An Ethical Titanic

Down the Tubes

Down the Tubes

Harold Schaitberger and his spineless and complacent board are weakening the IAFF as they gorge themselves on the trappings of office.

Sadly, state, provincial and local leaders seem happy to let them do it.

The new ethics policy does nothing more than “codify” their predatory behavior complete with permission to keep their actions secret from the membership.

That’s ODL’s way of doing business.

The bottom line is that you would only have the “balls” to create such a policy if you were convinced you could do exactly as you please.

Sadly, he can, at least for now.

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– See more at: http://www.turnoutblog.com/2015/03/08/iaff-ethics-trashing-the-rules/#sthash.lm51JgVH.dpuf



  • Mike Mohler says:

    Eric, I read your blog regularly. I believe you do a great job of shining light on very important issues critical to the integrity of our Union and our occupation. At times you and I have disagreed and that is as it should be. I believe differences of opinion are critical to establishing a strong consensus. When people choose not to voice their opinions on matters potentially damaging to the IAFF we become complicit in the damage done to the organization we have worked to help make it the organization it is today.

    As the head of a State organization, I feel compelled to defend my state, Virginia Professional Fire Fighters, because we have taken issue with the ethical lapses at the IAFF. I stood at our last convention in the minority to voice my support for the ethics resolution. I did this having already experienced retribution from IAFF leadership for my outspoken contributions in the past. Having failed to convince others of the need for this change to our IAFF Constitution and Bylaws, I went home, appointed a VPFF committee and charged them with the responsibility of crafting a resolution to amend the VPFF C&B at our next convention in 2016. The committee is using the resolution that was proposed at the IAFF convention as a basis for their work. Our Secretary Treasurer, Mike Hanks, gets the credit for this suggestion. So, there are at least two members of the State and Provincial Association who are attempting, albeit a small way, to change the course of our IAFF.

    Keep up the good work,

    Mike Mohler

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