Firefighter quits union after charges are brought over volunteering.

For more than three decades, Michael Schaffer has willingly run into burning buildings.

He’s performed CPR on children. He’s freed people trapped in crashed vehicles. He’s even rescued cats and dogs.

Last June, the union Schaffer has belonged to for 21 years brought him up on charges for volunteering with the fire department where he resides. Read more...

Voluntary Emergency Responders Challenge Forced Unionism Scheme

Three Harford County emergency responders have filed charges against a local union for violating their rights and illegally demanding that they join the union.

Beginning in November 2012, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 4847 union became the exclusive bargaining representative of the emergency responders at Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Foundation. Between November and April, the union hierarchy never informed the workers of any financial obligations they would have to meet to keep working for the County Foundation. Read more...

Ontario firefighters’ battle over volunteer work heads to union trial

Four firefighters will be put on trial before their union peers on Monday, charged with misconduct for also joining volunteer fire departments in the small communities in which they live, as the struggle over "double-hatting" spreads through Ontario. The four could be expelled from the union, which could lead to them losing their jobs.

Many Ontario communities rely on part-timers to fight blazes, but union rules forbid firefighters from working part-time for other fire departments that are also part of their union.  Read more...

NYT: Firefighters’ Union Owes Clout to Its Free-Spending Chief

The stature of Mr. Schaitberger, who favors chunky cuff links and suits from Nordstrom, and takes home roughly $330,000 a year from the union, has not come cheap. He has a fondness for first-class airfare and chauffeured travel. According to Labor Department filings, the union spends roughly $30,000 a year with a single hired-car service, and officials said Mr. Schaitberger took most of the rides. Read more...

IAFF Firefighters Who Serve as Volunteers on Their Own Time May Face ‘Serious Consequences’

For years, officials of International Association of Firefighters (IAFF/AFL-CIO) union affiliates have used threats, fines and expulsions to deter the union rank and file from serving their own communities as volunteer firefighters when they aren’t on the job.  

And IAFF President Harold Schaitberger adopts a menacing tone towards the tens of thousands of firefighters who have so far refused to toe the union line: 

 “Although an IAFF member may make a personal choice to join a volunteer fire department,” intones Mr. Schaitberger, “that personal choice is one that can have serious consequences under our [union] Constitution, including the loss of IAFF membership.” Read more [in PDF]...

Fire Fighter Union Boss Rips Off Taxpayers, Part 1: Quid Pro Quo

This is a story that can be told far too often.  It’s about a Union Boss who rips off taxpayers and his own union members in order to have a fatter retirement.  But, this story has so many twists that it will take three articles to give it justice – “Part 1: Quid Pro Quo,” “Part 2: Get Out Of Jail Free Cards,” and “Part 3: Big Labor Boss Payback.”  By the end of the three blogs, you should have a terrible taste in your mouth and a feeling of outrage about a system corrupted by union bosses from local town halls to the White House.  Let’s begin with an introduction to the protagonist.


Fire Fighter Union Boss Rips Off Taxpayers, Part 2: Get Out Jail Free Cards

The previous article, “Part 1, Quid Pro Quo,” introduces the selfish Fire Fighter Union (IAFF) Local President Ron Saathoff’s successful scheme to have taxpayers fund his union officer retirement program in exchange for his votes to weaken the pension plans for San Diego government employees.  In fact, Saathoff began collecting his taxpayer-funded “enhanced pension” one year, at age 55, after he started trading his pension board votes, and several before he retired from his union presidency. Read more...

Fire Fighter Union Boss Rips Off Taxpayers, Part 3: Big Labor Boss Payback

In the two previous blog installments “Part 1: Quid Pro Quo” and “Part 2: Get Out Jail Free Cards” the real-life scandal of government union boss Ron Saathoff is documented.  “Part 1” exposes Saathoff’s abuse of his position and taxpayers to reap a special taxpayer-funded retirement increase in an apparent exchange for his vote sanctioning the city employees’ pension to become increasingly underfunded.  “Part 2” exposes two politically motivated chief prosecutors whose offices dropped their cases against Saathoff for questionable reasons.

Even those two articles don’t accurately depict the huge impact of Saathoff’s scandal and how Big Labor bosses take care of themselves using taxpayer funds and forced-dues. Read more...

IAFF FirePac: Suckered, Again

Harold Schaitberger never spends a dime of his own money if it can be avoided.

It would take a hydraulic ram to open his wallet.

He once put a $12 dollar Scrabble game on his expense report; he uses IAFF cash to tip service workers when on the road.

FirePac fares no better.



The information and opinions of the writers in the above articles and posts are those of the individual writers.