Reaping What We Sow
IAFF-MDA began in Boston with Local 718 in 1952 when they instituted a community-wide fundraising effort.
It started with a selfless appeal to help a single family and evolved into a North American effort involving tens of thousands of IAFF members.
That original selfless act has turned into a for-profit entity of the IAFF, raising more revenue than the IAFF Financial Corporation.
The Death of Altruism
The public ideal or image of firefighters continues to be of folks who operate from selfless motivation, Â risking their lives to save others.
That “mental image” of self-sacrifice is eroded and endangered when our union takes money meant to help sick children.
How did the Local 718 MDA project evolve into an IAFF money-maker?
Our treasured and irreplaceable image is scarred when the IAFF shakes down MDA.
The Language of Business
Apparently a few IAFF members and leaders are ready to trade on our revered image as if it were common stock.
They talk of investments and returns.
Are we really for sale to the highest bidder?
The IAFF firefighter image is “on the block” and the payment is coins skimmed from sick children.
“It’s Worth It”, They Say
The ideal of selflessness so cherished by us is brazenly forfeited when the IAFF skims MDA nickels.
And, if MDA is in tacit agreement with the practice, shame on them but in the end we should be far smarter than to sell our soul for any price.
There is much too much at stake.
When we cynically turn a children’s charity into a money-maker be ready when elected politicians do the same to us.
Up For Sale
When our union engages in the ethics of profit-making and sells our cherished reputation we are next.
Union leaders far and wide will squeal like pigs when conservative politicians move to operate fire and rescue departments with a profit motive.
We’ll say, “But wait, we’re different.”
They will say, “No, you are not” and they can point to the IAFF make-a-buck-anywhere philosophy as proof.
If we can do it, why shouldn’t they?
Telling Tales Out of School
For those just tuning in or extracting their heads from the sand (or elsewhere), it will be news that shaking down MDA was done without any discussion of the strategic consequences.
And, well, forget any thoughts about ethics and morality.
Not even on the radar screen.
The reason is that the IAFF is run by one person: Harold Schaitberger and his pronouncements are IAFF policies, period.
The Truth in 110 Words
Harold Schaitberger has no vision, only what could best be described as a series of narcissistic impulses fueled by his addiction to a luxury lifestyle paid for with other people’s money.
He operates without checks or balances and his only fear is that the “high-life” will be curtailed but he prevents that by buying off the board and many affiliate leaders.
They all turn a blind eye.
The IAFF under his “leadership” Â has become a for-profit enterprise to fund neurotic behavior.
He is not a labor leader but rather a ruthless businessman who denies his own members their due process and is happy to spy on them if it furthers his aims.
The IAFF-MDA scandal is simply the latest evidence.
Care About Ethics?
– See more at: http://www.turnoutblog.com/2015/08/30/iaff-mda-the-shakedown-believe-it-or-not/#sthash.ULrS61sl.dpuf