Saving the IAFF
2018 is just around the corner and sooner than we think the IAFF will be 100 years old.
Now is the time to contemplate where we are and where we want to go when we begin our second hundred years.
And, Labor Day, when we celebrate the accomplishments of our united efforts, is also the perfect time to ponder the future.
Where We Are
If the test of a 21st-century labor leader is that they fight for the rights of workers and spend union money wisely and honestly, the current IAFF Â is a complete failure.
General President Harold Schaitberger ruthlessly denied IAFF brother Darren Bates his fundamental right to due process making it all the more difficult for local leaders to protect their members. Â Manangement can now say, “We are just doing what your union does.”
Read more about Bates here: Â http://www.turnoutblog.com/2014/05/07/ethics-the-darren-bates-story/
We also know that Schaitberger is engaged in a witch hunt to find the alleged leakers of information pointing to corruption by the IAFF board. Â At the IAFF we don’t fight corruption, we protect it. Â Concerned about management spying on your members? Â Don’t ask for help from Schaitberger, he spies, too.
At the IAFF that Schaitberger built he does cozy deals with his business buddies crossing the line into blatant conflicts of interest. Â His IAFF is, well, his, and there are absolutely no ethical boundaries. Â He purchased a house and property worth $1M from someone doing substantial business with the IAFF and failed to disclose it until ordered to by the US Department of Labor.
When Schaitberger was caught out on the house conflict of interest he simply had the IAFF Executive Board rewrite the already anemic ethics policy to give him (and them) complete control to do as they wish.
Schaitberger spends member’s dues like a drunken sailor.
Of course, the ethical shambles that we call the IAFF is also made possible by the derelict Executive Board who eagerly line up behind Schaitberger especially after he got them their stupendous and embarrassing pay raise at the last convention.
The latest revelation is that Schaitberger shakes down MDA to the tune of nearly $1.4M a year to bankroll is lavish lifestyle, money meant to help sick children and their families.
What Lies Ahead?
As long as Schaitberger and the current executive board remain in power it will just be more of the same.
It’s been 15 long years of rape and pillage and they see no reason to change–their cynical revision of the ethics policy is proof of that.
But, change–and help–may be on the way.
It now appears that enough proof of their collective misdeeds has seeped out that folks outside the IAFF are beginning to pay attention.
One item surely on the radar screen is the improper, unethical and possibly illegal taking of travel per diems by all of the IAFF executive board when they are not entitled to them.
Many district vice presidents annually embezzle tens-of-thousands of dollars in false travel per diems as does Harold Schaitberger.
Schaitberger regularly puts in for the per diem despite the fact that he never spends personal funds.
All Schaitberger expenses, and I mean ALL, are paid for by the IAFF including tips, speeding tickets, even a Scrabble game.
Yet he takes the daily $80 too, because as one of his closest (and longest) current advisers once said, “Harold Schaitberger never leaves ANYTHING on the table.”
The only way the IAFF can be saved is from the outside and through a period of painful and turbulent disclosure where we recognize our misdeeds and commit ourselves to a new ethical course.
The 2016 convention and some very important elections are also just around the corner.
So far, candidates are ignoring the 800 pound ethical gorilla in the room.
Let’s see how long that lasts.
Happy Labor Day.
– See more at: http://www.turnoutblog.com/2015/09/03/schaitberger-mda-shakedown-unprecedented/#sthash.JM62ba7a.dpuf