1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
    Posts
    990

    Default No Cofidence vote????

    Members of my local would like to take a no confidence vote against my chief. We have had our highs and lows over the 6 1/2 yrs. he has been chief, but some people aren't satisfied no matter what. I am totally against this, because for the most part he doesn't bust our chops about the little things and the job gets done no matter what. People don't get it that doing this won't change anything, the mayor fully supports the chief and won't do anything in light of this action and it will only make things worse. And the public could care less. I also should mention we are without a contract, in arbitration and preparing to negotiate for the next contract after arbitration. My question is: Has anyone done this and what was the fallout from it??
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  2. #2
    Disillusioned Subscriber
    Steamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,475

    Default

    A department north of me just went through this when their chief had ordered some of them to remove asbestos from a building prior to a training burn. As I recall, they had no equipment or training to do this properly. I'm sure there were other issues unaddresed in the video. Long story short, the mayor just put him back to work after a fairly lengthy period on administrative leave. I think one of their guys posts here on the forums, but haven't seen anything from him for awhile.

    No confidence video scroll down about a third of the way to Firefighters Lack Confidence in Chief

    I learned a long time ago, it's unwise to smack a hornet's nest like a pinata. You better be pretty damned certain that you've got the support of the Chief's bosses before you start swingin' that stick.
    Steve Gallagher
    IACOJ BOT
    ----------------------------
    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

  3. #3
    Rabble rouser
    Kobersteen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Fairfax County (VA) Fire & Rescue Dept.
    Posts
    529

    Default

    The leadership of the local definately wants to consult your State Association or District VP before openly persuing a No Confidence vote.

    Like Steamer said, things can go from bad to worse quick if you don't have the support of those above and below him.
    Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

    "It's okay to to scared, just don't be chicken." - Clark

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,584

    Default

    Excellent advice from Koberteen and Steamer.

    A no confidence vote is nothing to be taken lightly. Like Steamer, a FD north off us filed a no confidence vote against their Chief for various reasons including a few close calls where they almost lost firefighters due to the orders of the Chief. They had guidance from the PFFM to make sure that everything was followed.

    Outcome: The Chief is still on the job, as a matter of fact they just moved his office into a nice shiny new station. The Town Manager loves him.

    Puffy... you have to make sure that all of your ducks are lined up in a row, that everything is documented with all the i's and j's dotted and the t's are crossed
    ‎"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

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
    Posts
    990

    Default

    I am against it, the e-board voted to let the body decide. It is only about 25 of 100 that would go along with this, mainly the guys that had their own way for a long time and haven't been able to influnce what they feel should happen on the job. From experience around here it just makes the chief stronger, he won't get fired and we'll be worse off if this hapeens. He is said to be retiring at the end of the summer once his son graduates HS, but he is the type to stay 5 more years just to bust chops. I say let sleeping chiefs lie.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  6. #6
    the 4-1-4
    Jasper 45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    ...A great place, on a Great Lake
    Posts
    2,784

    Default

    My local took a no-confidence vote against our chief in November, 2004. Since then it has set off a ****ing contest of epic proportions between the members of the local and our non-unionized chief officers.
    Be sure your reasons are sound and sure. Feel free to e-mail me if you would like more details.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    CFD Hazards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Cranston, RI, USA
    Posts
    381

    Default

    We did it in West Warwick in 1993. It was during the time when the town was on the verge on bankruptcy and firefighters, including myself, were laid off. It proved absolutely nothing. He didn't give a crap about us prior to the vote and it certainly didn't get any better. Funny thing is his son was on the job and he voted against his dad. Have your president call some of the guys on WW and see what they say.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    fieldseng2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    826

    Default

    Puffy,

    I am a union official. I can tell you from experience (nothing different from what the Brothers have already told you)..unless you have 100% of the ENTIRE membership of the dept. and you have substantial evidence that this chief is incompetant...then I highly suggest you do not go thru with it.

    We did this about 5 years ago (one of the rare times I was not on the e-board), and pretty much went thru the same things that have already been mentioned. We accomplished nothing but ****ing City Hall off, he is still chief, we were on the verge of our 1st contract w/recognition which needless to say fell thru, and destroyed our credibility with the city administration and the public.

    We are just now starting to recover from this disaster. There are better methods than a no-confidence vote. Get members politically involved, form a local PAC fund, join local civic clubs that my have influence over political figures who appoint dept. heads. Educate them about the job and what is going on. Don't lie or sling mud, but give the straight facts. I know all this sounds easier said than done. Sometimes I feel like the Lone Ranger...lol!

    Puffy...your situation is almost identical to ours..our chief is on the verge of retirement pending his son's graduation..he has been chief for years with no progress.....we are dangerously under manned, nearly killed 3 guys in November..

    The only difference is we went thru w/the vote and failed miserably..and we never got our contract (especially touchy for you since yours is in arbritration).

    You might be better off waiting to see if he retires and find a qualified replacement and endorse him as the new chief.

    I offer the same invitation..feel free to email me if you have any other problems/questions.

    fieldseng2

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
    Posts
    990

    Default

    Well it is 4 months later and this situation has come to a head. We are voting on June 22 whether or not we have confidence in our chief. Everything had quieted down until May 3. My dept. responded to a rooming house fire and everything that could go wrong short of a FF dying did go wrong. When they arrived on scene they had heavy fire and report of people trapped. Things went bad fast and we almost lost 2 guys; one trapped on the roof with the building heavily involved and the other trapped unconcious in an upstairs bedroom. They both made it safely without serious injuries, but it has called into question many lingering issues of our dept. Among them being the Fire Alarm Office. The dispatcher working that night is deaf in 1 ear (literally) and missed the call for the second alarm, wasting valuable time and delaying manpower arrival at the scene. Second being radio etiquette. When the first engine arrived "Engine 1, Code Red, additional Engine, Ladder, Rescue make it a second." Second what??? As a firefighter I can figure it out, but the civilian FAO didn't. This is typical of some of the officers on the job, coming up with their own radio jargon. Third, FREELANCING. Instead of operating with his company on a back up line, the Lt. on Engine 2 decided on his own to take out windows away from the fire thus causing the quick involvement of the rest of the building helping the 2 firefighters to be trapped. It took 15 minutes for 2nd alarm companies to arrive. Calls from depts. miles away to our FAO advising the dispatcher that we had people trapped that he did not know about, because he was too preoccupied. Now the local wants the IAFF to come in and do a study of the fire and what went wrong and alot of guys
    feel that this is going to make us look like heroes and embarass the chief and mayor. Fact is both sides have their demons. The chief has been scarce since the fire, refused to address any of the concerns or even check to see how the guys are. His silence is deafening. The only comment that he had is that after the fire he told a reporter that he had 62 violations of SOP's from that fire. This after the union president who was the FF trapped on the second floor went public with the unions desire to investigate the fire. On the flip side there were screw-ups on our part. The venting of the windows, the freelancing, the total breakdown of command. The consensus being that both sides are to blame for it coming to this. There is a huge ****ing contest between the union president and the mayor and the chief (himself a long time union president). My dept. has 4 stations. The FF's at HQ feel that "If you don't work here you aren't a real FF." So we have a 3 on 1 division. Because the 2 trapped FF's came from the promised land, and one being the union president, most of the guys in the other houses feel that this is why they are so bent on this. Many feel that if it had been a FF from elsewhere then it would have been simply a screw up on that FF's part and would have been fodder for the coffee table, nothing more. The union president has higher aspirations outside of our local, I feel he is sacrificing us for his own gain. We are in the paper constantly for trivial issues that the public could care less about. My feeling is the less they know the better. Especially in theses economic and social climates with many people not having it as good as us. The chief is a non entity. Not even around most of the time, and indifferent when he is. However like I said before he is planning on leaving soon, but he has said recently that he wiil stay just to bust chops, and he WILL make our lives miserable. But what do we do??? Both of our "leaders" are using us to get at each other. The majority of us are at a loss as to what to do.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    fieldseng2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    826

    Default

    Puffy,

    I know all to well of your pains. I am our local president (I have no other aspirations in the union other than being able to enjoy the greatest job of all.) Our dept. has 4 houses (for now), and at one time nearly 60 FFs. We've had 8 FFs retire, resign, or pension out within a years time. It appears the city has no intnetions of replacing anyone.

    Unfortunately, your situation sounds like an out and out political battle. I foresee more heartaches in your derpartment if you go thru a no confidence vote. Especially when you guys are NOT unified. What kind of support do you have from your mayor/council? If you do not have their support either, then this vote will be futile and do nothing but embarass your dept and cause more agony. I am speaking on pure experience, been there/done that with a no confidence vote.

    We can practically mirror the troubles you guys are having. We even lost a Brother 10 years ago and STILL run 2 guys on a rig. Last year we almost lost three guys in an incident very similar to what you are describing. Now the mayor wants to replace us with volunteers!

    First of all the membership must get unified. Easier said than done, but it is a MUST. If what you are saying is accurate about your local president, then help him out by electing a new union boss when his term is up. This will free him up to pursue his dreams, and remove him from your equation. Finally, your local MUST be politically engaged. Make friends with your council and/or mayor. If they are unwilling to help then you must seek out potential candidates and help them get elected.

    Organize a local PAC to help this process. We have a mayor and council that is not very co-operative with us, as well as a chief that is rarely seen or heard from. The chief is due to retire very soon. Unfortunately, our primary and general election in the city is two years away, but you can bet the bank we will have a hefty local PAC and we will be engaged to remove these Mutts from office.

    If there were blatant and beligerant safety violations on that fire, it is your RIGHT and DUTY to report it to the proper officials (your state equivalant to OSHA). It can be anonymous, and it is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you if they do find out who it was.

    Im not sure what you are asking the IAFF to do. I know they will perform a GIS, and a financial study for you.

    Feel free to email me: fieldseng2@firehousemail.com

    fieldseng2
    Last edited by fieldseng2; 06-11-2005 at 03:24 PM.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    indiana
    Posts
    135

    Default

    our department went through somthing similar 2 years ago. our chief had a couple of strokes and was making very bad decisions. out 2 captains approached him on retiring but to no avail. so then they went to the mayor who got the job done. he went out peacefully.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
    Posts
    990

    Default

    Well, last night was D-Day. 42 for no confidence, 32 against no confidence, 18 no shows. Let the $h!t storm begin. All the emotion of the fire on May 3 helped push this through. I hope the geniuses I work with are happy, they have divided the dept. further. I don't want to hear it when it gets really tough. I am done. I am going to start taking tests again, hopefully get out. Never thought it would come to this.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  13. #13
    Disillusioned Subscriber
    Steamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,475

    Default

    All I can say is Good Luck, Brother. There are usually no winners in something like this. Everyone gets hit when the feces strikes the high speed rotating oscillator.
    Steve Gallagher
    IACOJ BOT
    ----------------------------
    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber
    fieldseng2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    826

    Default

    My prayers are with you brother. I hope you will not have to experience what we went thru after we did that. We have never recovered and that was several years ago.

    Hopfully I'll be out of here soon. In a month or two....I could possibly working for my dreram job.

    Good luck.....stay safe

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register