I'm looking for feedback on letters of no confidence on fire service administrators and chiefs.
Just to put things bluntly our chief due to in-action and lack of knowledge about the job and "good ol boy" politics, has gotten 3 firefighters injured on 3 different incidents. There have been other times we just plain got lucky. I wonít take up your time with the details but all 3 incidents, as well as the close calls have been documented by the rank and file in the department.
The question Iím asking is 1) what if any is the proper procedure in doing a letter of no confidence and 2) what has been the experience of any department that has done such a letter 3) what words of widsom can anyone give on this.
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Thread: Vote of No Confidence
03-13-2002, 06:19 PM #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2001
Vote of No Confidence
03-13-2002, 08:08 PM #2
- Join Date
- Sep 2001
- No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
First off you have to gain the rank and file support for the vote. If you can get it, need either a majority or unanimous vote to declare a no confidence vote. If you are union, then you bring it up at the union meeting and have EVERYONE in the union vote either way. Once you vote tally up the votes and reach the decision. Then after it has been reached put it on paper and send it to the powers that be.
Make sure you list all of the reasons that the rank and file came to this decision and back it up with documentation of each instance. It isn't easy especially if the powers that be are in bed with the chief.
I personnally have not been involved in the process but one of my best friends is on a neighboring dept whose chief is selling the dept. down the river. They took a spur of the moment no confidence vote at a city council meeting and it was not accepted because they had to go through the formality with all members in attendance, and list and back up all the reasons they came to the decision. They did and the chief is still there. This is not a guarantee that this will change anything, especially if the pols like him. This could put it up your a**es because the chief WILL be looking for any little thing to punish people and will begin a war. Not discouraging you but think it through carefully and make sure you have majority support to take this action. Consult with the union lawyer if you have one and dot your I's and cross your T's. Good Luck!
03-14-2002, 01:52 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
Puffy makes excellent points that you should follow.
I suggest you contact, and I hope I have the name right, a DC firefighter named Sneed. DC gave a vote of no confidence to their "piece of work" chief. Go to DCFD.com and ask them how to get into contact with Sneed. If the name is wrong, let me know and I will track it down. The best ones are in the form of a resolution. Politco's can read them and understand them, well, hopefully.
03-15-2002, 06:12 PM #4
If members have been injured and those injuries can be directly related to an IC's actions, forget the vote of N/C and get some good lawyers for your injured members.
Bad press will always sway any administration quicker than Union action. Again, if what you say is true, put it in print.
Now, those being done, a vote of N/C will/may have some impact.
My union took a N/C vote against our commissioner and it was a blurb on the inner pages of the local papers. Had the press already been looking at a serious problem or issue, it would have been front page.
Lastly, a N/C vote by a narrow majority means nothing. Add the word unanimous and you've got some weight.
03-18-2002, 12:03 AM #5
I know little or nothing about US law, but might this not be better approached from the health and saftey aspect? There should be all kinds of state and federal regulations that have to be complied to. If this chief is ignoring basic saftey practices, that might be the way to go. Worth checking into, anyway.
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