“As a 38 year IAFF member, I have to confess that I must not have been paying attention. As close as I am to retirement, it would be so easy to ignore this stuff. However, if we can’t operate our Union without hiring private detectives to spy on other Members, then we’ve already lost. Where can I go to learn more about this behavior?”
First, you ask where you “can go to learn more about this behavior?”
Nowhere, you are already here.
Just go to the search box in the upper right corner of this page and type in “IAFF.”
Read some of the 150+ posts from me and others detailing the long and sordid history of Schaitberger’s corruption, ethical lapses, abuse of position and power, destruction of member’s rights, etc.
You aren’t the only one not paying attention.
Until recently, most have been completely oblivious, just the way Schaitberger wants it.
As to how it happened, a very experienced IAFF district vice-president recently pointed out that in 2000 we elected “someone who had been an IAFF staffer longer than he was a fire fighter to the position of President.”
(Schaitberger was briefly a Fairfax County firefighter, perhaps not even long enough to vest in the pension system there.)
That speaks to Schaitberger’s ability to consolidate power and eliminate opposition.
He took those skills right into the president’s suite at the IAFF and used them to gain total control over the IAFF board by buying them off with fancy meals and hotel rooms, unethical per diems, a fat pay raise and retirement package and a four-year term.
Along the way he also charmed local union officers, mostly new in office, with a trip to Washington and a fancy dinner at the Prime Rib or Capital Grille; more than one now say they regret that meal.
With a “bought” board and local and state leaders lacking courage or conviction or both, he is free to do whatever he pleases, including spending $400,000 to spy on us.
I and other IAFF members have the dubious distinction of being loyal union members who actually pay for the privilege to have our communications (emails, texts, phone records) scoured by private dicks hired by Schaitberger and the IAFF board.
That is an extraordinary fact, most especially for a labor union that was created to protect our rights — how far we have fallen.
Schaitberger and his cowardly board are destroying our right to free speech by subjecting us to communist-inspired police state tactics, all to protect his and their corrupt hold on power.
At some future point, perhaps not that far away, people will look back at this time, shake their heads and ask how it could ever have happened.