It is your union's job to represent you on the issues that have a profound effect on your career - health and safety, wages, benefits and working conditions. It is not a duty we take lightly and not one we will not shy away from. Because whether we like it or not, every single decision that affects you, your career and the ability to provide for your family is made by a politician or someone who is appointed by a politician. With that in mind, it is important that you have a union that fights hard on your behalf in the political process.
Many of you may not like us being involved in politics or just won't like our decision. But we need to have a role in determining who gets the Democratic nomination for president to ensure that your voice is heard and remains a core part of the election and discourse - while also working to keep the Democratic party from going further and further to the extreme left, not supporting our issues at all. As the 2020 Democratic primary for president of the United States heats up, the IAFF is supporting the one candidate who will protect our members on the job, help keep fire departments fully staffed and support your right to have a voice in the workplace.
Based on his unequaled record on our union's basket of issues and our long-standing core value of having our friends' backs, the IAFF Executive Board - your elected representatives who make decisions on your behalf - has voted unanimously to endorse Joe Biden in his run for president of the United States in the Democratic primary. In addition, we did our due diligence and commissioned Zogby Strategies, a renowned national polling company, to conduct a poll targeting a sample of our 160,000 members who are likely to vote in their state's Democratic presidential primary. With a margin of error of 2.6 percent, the results showed that Biden has a strong lead over all contenders in the Democratic primary.
Biden's record of support includes establishing the Public Safety Officers Benefit (PSOB) that today provides critical financial support ($359,000) to the families of our fallen and creating laws that continue to ensure our members get paid overtime after 53 hours of work. He has been there for us on our core basket of issues and will be there as we work to pass national collective bargaining and increase funding for the SAFER and FIRE Act grant programs. The announcement video below further explains the reasons for our union's support of Joe Biden and why it is vital for the IAFF to play a role in the Democratic party's nominating process. Simply put, Joe is the strongest candidate on our issues. He runs in the middle of the political spectrum on a worker-focused platform - and that's where we have to be a strong voice.
As part of our efforts to highlight Biden's support for fire fighters and his record on our issues, we have developed a Fire Fighters For Biden website as a resource on Biden's support and his record on our issues. I want to be clear: this union will never tell our members how to vote. But it is our responsibility to clearly communicate which candidate supports protecting bargaining and worker rights and will work hard to protect our members’ retirement security after a career serving their community. Sincerely and Fraternally, Harold A. Schaitberger General President