The following is an excerpt from an article by the CPF Secretary-Treasurer Lew Stone. The title is “Our Obligations”. An obligation is defined as a binding contract or sense of duty. We have an obligation to do an excellent job as a firefighter. We have a duty to our employer to perform to the best of our abilities. We make a solemn promise to the community we serve that we will carry out our task, perhaps even to the point of laying down our lives. If this is not our highest priority then everything I discuss below loses its credibility.
We are obligated to be vital members of our union. This entails our support through the investment of our time and financial resources. Attendance at union meetings is imperative. Some will say I just don’t have the time. Think for a second. That meeting is your primary means of interacting with your leadership – to ask questions, to be a critical thinker. It’s your opportunity to hold your leaders accountable too. Many of us fail to make the connection between the financial security we enjoy and the union that made it possible. Ask a brother or sister in a right to work state, (Idaho), how that is working out for them. The tooth fairy is not negotiating your salary, the union is. Finally, a small investment of time by the majority alleviates the burden placed on the few. Lew Stone.
I believe that we all need to work as hard as possible within our union family as we do with our families at home. If we don’t then we are merely giving lip service when we refer to each other as brother and sister. A few members felt I went too far in speaking of our duty to take the survey, and that failing to take it would be noted. I wonder if I went far enough? It is time to understand that your brothers and sisters have every right to call out those that aren’t pulling their weight during these difficult times.
With that said, how can we hold our Fire Chief accountable if we fail to hold ourselves accountable? I truly believe in the saying; leadership is by example whether we want it or not. The example I hope you take from me is to participate in your local at as many levels that you can. There should be no excuse for failing to take an online survey, or an online vote. I see people sitting in front of their computers, I pads and smart phones all day long. Now I do understand why people can’t make every union meeting, but at the same time it warms my heart to see new mothers and fathers attend our meetings with their newest union members in tow. We all need to understand, the time of paying our union dues and being done is over. We all need to respect the union, and go the extra mile. We are the union and we are the Fire Department. Without us neither can work effectively. Chiefs and administrators come and go, but the Union Membership is the only constant factor in this equation.
With all that said, the results of the recent survey have overwhelmingly shown the lack of confidence in the leadership of Fire Chief Dave Hanneman by the membership. The Executive Board hears your response, and is geared to take the next step. This motion is an important action, and it is imperative that every members voice is heard. In the online voting section, the Executive Board has fulfilled its duty by posting the Vote of No Confidence. Now it’s your duty as union members to vote. Thank you,
President and the Executive Board
See attached survey results:
Survey Results 9-30-13.pdf