1. #1
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    Default Does anybody care ??

    This may be the wrong place to post this, but I have one question. Please answer honestly. Does anyone pay attention to what the AFL-CIO is supporting? Correct me if I am wrong. We pay union dues to the IAFF. They give money to the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO supports the healthcare bill, immigration amnesty, the SEIU, bailouts of other unions, and many other union issues I cant think of right at the moment. I am so tired of all the political protest marches and political agendas supported by the AFL-CIO. I get emails from the AFL-CIO president Branka, saying support Healthcare reform, support immigraton, support more government, support bailout of XYZ company .We need the unions for safety issues, labor issues, and many other issues. I am not on board with spending money in government we dont have and supporting bussinesses that are failing. Ever wonder if we pulled our monies and started our own union, strictly representing fire-police issues, what would happen? I believe there is a need for unions. I Love my job, country, and being in the union. I just dont feel like they represent me.

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    i care....


    you should be able to opt out of the politcal funding via union due, talk to your reps.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffmedcbk1 View Post
    i care....


    you should be able to opt out of the politcal funding via union due, talk to your reps.
    Prior to the recent Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance, political funding did not come from Union Dues. It came from voluntary contributions to PAC funds (Political Action Committees).

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    I heard at one time that something like 80% of IAFF members voted for a conservative. I don't know if that's true, but it seems to me anyway they farther up the ladder the money goes, the farther away from my values it gets.

    While I whole heartedly support my union and thank those for standing up for me, I do wish that PAC money reflected (what I think) are the views of the majority.

    I could be totally wrong on this, I have no hard facts to back this up, but I know just by getting to know the guys in my area and beyond, the number of liberals at least in my local fire service is significantly less than those with a conservative bent.

    Personally, I think both "parties" need to have the reset button pushed.

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    Angry

    There are some grumblings in my local about possibly getting out of the IAFF. Others are arguing about trying to form a voting bloc to remove Schaitberger and put a conservative in. I don't know if it's 50, 75, 90, 95% are upset about it and making noise or just if the upset conservative faction is making all the noise, and the content/liberal faction is being quiet. (Actually I think 2% are upset, no one is content, and the other 98% are too apathetic to matter.)

    Of the ones who are making noise, they are upset for the same reasons listed above. And a major difference - we had a member run for congress, and the IAFF wouldn't back him in the republican primary because they endorsed an incumbent democrat liberal. They stated the incumbent had a "proven track record of supporting IAFF", and by implication the MEMBER didn't. That alone has many of the guys ****ed. WTF?
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    Being a member of a local that openly endorsed Bush in 2000 and then again in 2004 has given me a better perspective.
    I think that unions are getting it wrong with the way they support political candidates.

    I am aware that Philly has taken some huge hits in the past few years, as have we, along with many others. I fail to see why we, as unions support candidates who drive business away. From a local perspective, many of the political candidates we have supported have done everything in their power to drive business out of the area; business that supports our cities and jobs thru their taxes. The candidates we have supported have driven Masterlock, Pabst, Schlitz, Miller Brewing and even now Harley out of the area for greener pastures.

    My opinion is that if we create a climate for supporting business, business will stay and create a healthier economic environment, that will allow us to have properly staffed rigs and engine houses.
    The fact is that we don’t have that now, and that is partly due to the political candidates we support as unions.
    We have argued and pleaded against cuts till we’re all blue in the face, all to no avail. The same thing keeps getting tossed back at us by the politicians; no money. well, when business leaves because of a tax environment, or because they must provide sick days to all employees, or a business must provide healthcare, then what?

    If the business tax base is driven away, then what? Be vocal in your union.

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    Wow.

    Jasper and I actually agree. For the moment.

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    Well, we actually don’t, because I still refuse to lie down and just take cuts, and I do believe that the protective services of a city are an essential service while many others are not.
    I also know that chiefs and city administrations will stick it up our asses, if given the opportunity, especially if it will save them a few pennies; unlike you who believes there is some kind of utopia, where a handshake is all that is needed to invest 30 years of your working life.

    I have always believed in a pro-business tax climate, and forged my thoughts starting in 1990 when anti-business tax climates forced the closure of an entire all career department; in fact, it was a headliner for this magazine once upon a time; “Death of a fire department” was the catchy title. Like many of the once famous breweries here that shuttered their doors, these guys were tossed out on their ears without even a simple handshake, some with twenty plus years of service, or more.
    All business basically left West Milwaukee high and dry, and broke. Many of the laws causing that economic climate were supported by the unions, including the IAFF. I still see the same thing occurring today, especially from unions that require a successful tax base to support them.

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    Jasper's nailing it. NAILING it.

    Any nitwit can have a "pro-labor" voting record (and oh how many nitwits do), but has s/he done anything to prevent the decimation of the commercial taxbase that pays for the contracts of union members?

    THAT'S what I'd want to see. THAT'S pro-labor (pubic sector anyway). Problem is too many die-hards are too blind to see it. Pulling the "D" lever like the trained monkey they think you are isn't going to get you anywhere.

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    I believe that we as a union should not be endorsing anybody... period.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    To my Brother and Sister Union Firefighters out there. If you will go back and look at locals throughout our vast nation. You will see that IAFF members supported leaders on both sides of the fence over the last couple years. They have won and lost crucial battles that mean alot to those locals. I have seen the IAFF step out and speak against what the AFL-CIO is doing on some issues. Some of you say maybe we need to get rid of Schaitburger well I stand up in support of our International President and tell you this. Write him letters letting him know how you feel. Members all over the country complain to their local leaders of the unions but unless higher ups hear it coming from the body nothing will ever be done to change. I have held office in my local for several years and just recently stepped down to take a break from office. First and foremost we all need to remember that our Union puts firefighter issues at the front line, and that has always seemed to be the focus. Now I know that there are those that will not agree with me on some or all of what I have said but I have come to understand that that happens.

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    Yeah, cause those form letters we get back from the international mean SO much to me. Believe me, its not just Philly where the talk of leaving the international exists. There are other LARGE locals with the same rumblings, for the same reasons.

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    Another thing I was just reminded of that kinda p's me off about the IAFF. VP Biden addressing the Legislative Conference last year:

    "Ladies and gentlemen, I think we should start by -- I want to personally -- give a personal thank you. As they say, as the President says, a shout out to Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia for keeping those fire stations open. (Applause.) We did it. We did it. (Applause.) Five engine companies and two truck companies, and more importantly, all those jobs saved. It was one of the first pieces of the economic Recovery Act we were actually able to put to work, and put to work the way we want to see that money put to work. We want to see it -- put the money into saving jobs, but also, particularly saving jobs that are absolutely essential to the community, the safety and well-being of the community. "

    Um, NO. Those 5 engines and 2 ladders are GONE. There's no jobs saved.

    OK, it's not the IAFF's fault Biden was wrong. But NOBODY bothered to correct him. Everyone just stood and applauded like fools. Schaitberger was here for a rally, promising to be there for us and help, just a month before they closed. Three months after, he's applauding how the Second Coming and crew are saving Philly fire companies, but he knew it was a lie. Time to go.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    Jasper couldn't possibly be more right. How in the hell do you claim to be pro-labor and then create an atmosphere that destroys the very jobs that labor needs in order to feed their families?

    I also agree whole heartedly with Gonzo that the Union as a Body should not endorse ANY candidate for anything ever. If individuals want to support a candidate fantastic. Why should my money go to support candidates and ideals that are diametrically opposed to my own.

    My local at one time was going to go to a system where you got to bank your amount of dues that was for political actio activities and spend it ONLY as the member allowed. Not quite sure why but the idea died.

    Frankly, just because the IAFF endorses a candidate doesn't make that candidate the best choice overall for my vote.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    FyredUp,

    I hear you and almost agree with everything you state. However, civil service regulations here forbid us from political activity. I cannot publicly endorse a candidate. I cannot publicly endorse any partisan position - so I can be pro/con an issue - say gun control - but I cannot adopt the party line from the Dems/Reps/whatever. I cannot run for office. (The brother I spoke of earlier had to resign in order to run.) I cannot volunteer to collect signatures or otherwise work for a candidate. I cannot even put a yard sign on my lawn or a bumper sticker on my car. By extension, my wife/family cannot do much of these either.

    So, the only way to have our voice heard (other than the voting booth) is through the union endorsements.

    (I guess I should have addressed this to CaptGonzo....)
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpita View Post
    FyredUp,

    I hear you and almost agree with everything you state. However, civil service regulations here forbid us from political activity. I cannot publicly endorse a candidate. I cannot publicly endorse any partisan position - so I can be pro/con an issue - say gun control - but I cannot adopt the party line from the Dems/Reps/whatever. I cannot run for office. (The brother I spoke of earlier had to resign in order to run.) I cannot volunteer to collect signatures or otherwise work for a candidate. I cannot even put a yard sign on my lawn or a bumper sticker on my car. By extension, my wife/family cannot do much of these either.

    So, the only way to have our voice heard (other than the voting booth) is through the union endorsements.

    (I guess I should have addressed this to CaptGonzo....)
    So in Philadelphia, one of the most important cities in the birth of our nation, your right to free speech is taken away from you by civil service regulations?

    Let me just say that I am glad I don't live there. Not only do we endorse candidates, we do lit drops and I am more than free to put signs up in my yard supporting candidates of my choice. To silence you is completely distasteful and wrong, but to extend that to your family seems Draconian in nature.

    Just another example of why I am happy to be in Wisconsin where we still have free speech.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    You got it. Actually, I just reread the rules. Yard signs and bumper stickers are not specifically forbidden. However the rules are interpreted to mean so. By extension, if I cannot put a sign on my yard, no one living there can; and if my name is on the registration, the car cannot show a partisan bumper sticker.

    An employee in the civil service shall not: ... Wear on his person display badges, emblems, signs, posters and the like which are in favor of or against a political party, body or candidate. ...
    Full rules:
    http://www.phila.gov/personnel/webregs/reg29.htm

    Also, I should note that our city council is seeking to give themselves power to overturn these rules. The argument they are using is the 1st amendment, as you rightly point out; but they are trying to swing the rules in almost a polar opposite direction. This is in order that ward leaders, committee people, and political lackeys can obtain civil service jobs (Nepotism and Patronage). But this issue involves a lot of political infighting between our council and our board of ethics.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    mrpita...

    Frankly, your Union should be telling whoever made those rules to drop them or face a court battle over restricting my right to free speech while OFF duty. I believe they may be abe to tell you that you can't have that stuff on your car, or on your person, while working but it goes too far to tell you that you have no right to free expression off duty and off city property.

    I am amazed that you seem to just cavalierly accept this ridiculousness.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    I believe that we as a union should not be endorsing anybody... period.
    Yes... The union should have only one concern IT'S MEMBERS
    Bring enough hose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Itshotinhere View Post
    Yes... The union should have only one concern IT'S MEMBERS
    Do you realize that it is concern for the members that results in endorsements and other political activity?

    We can certainly debate whether or not it's wise to gamble on making endorsements, but unfortunately it's part of the overall political games these days to get our concerns and issues addressed.

    You may not like it on a personal level, but the fact is the endorsement of the current President is currently bearing fruit for the Union and its members. We can see this in the changes to the SAFER Act that is putting OUR members back to work or keeping them on the job across the country. We can see this in the fact that this administration didn't follow the previous administration's course and "zero out" funding for the FIRE & SAFER Acts.

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    I am always interested in what the union has to say, but I do not "vote" what my union says. For example, here in California the union is supporting Jerry Brown for governor. There is no way in the world I would ever vote for him. He is a complete MORON.
    On the other hand, Meg Whitman, would be a disaster as well (at least for firefighters). She would come in and clean house. Ironically, this is what the state of California really needs. The democratic run politicians have run it into the ground. We need strong leadership that will cut all of the "social" programs. Unfortunately this also will most likely include the fire service.

    Hmmm, with the democrats we get what we want. Since the state is 19 billion in the hole, we end up giving much back in the form of pay concessions. What is the right answer?

    I know it's not Jerry Brown, regardless of what my union says....
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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