who is frank ramagnano?
I’ll tell you right now, this post is critical of Mr. Ramagnano, but it’s not an ad hominem attack. Rather, it’s an answer to Mr. Ramagnano’s public ad hominem assertions of Paul Atkinson.
In correspondence between Ramagnano and the OPFFA, which are now court documents, Ramagnano maliciously and snidely questioned the origin of Atkinson’s assets. In particular, how Atkinson affords to live in the neighbourhood in which he resides. Unfortunately, Ramagnano doesn’t possess the wherewithal to realize that a person who is vulnerable to criticism over a certain issue shouldn’t criticize others about the same issue. In other words….those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. So let’s have a look into who Frank Ramagnano is, what he does, what he stands for, and how he makes the income that affords him to reside in his neighbourhood.
Ramagnano is currently an Acting District Chief for the Toronto Fire Department. You should be aware there’s some contention among the ranks of the Toronto Fire department on whether Ramagano is eligible to hold this rank of Acting Chief, we’ll discuss this later in the article.
In 2019, Ramagnano held the position of Captain, earning a salary of approximately $129,000.00. Keep in mind, he was paid this salary without working a single shift as a Captain in 2019. The situation is not unlike the firefighting salary paid to the current IAFF President, Harold Schaitberger. Shaitberger has not worked a shift in a Fire Hall in 44 years. By the way, I strongly recommend visiting www.turnoutblog.com to read about Schaitberger and the corruption within the IAFF. After which, ask yourselves this
question….if such abject corruption is taking place at the international level, what are the chances it’s taking place at the provincial level, or within our own locals? Now, back to Ramagnano and his fire hall attendance since 2002. From what we’ve learned, he hasn’t worked in a fire hall, or ridden a rig, for 18 years. That’s over $2 million in firefighter and captain salary earned while never riding a rig.
Ramagnano is also the President of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 3888 IAFF. This position earns him an additional annual salary of over $70,000.00, plus any expenses, mileage, meals, and a substantial amount of sub days for his fire fighter buddies. The icing on the cake is his TPFFA union president’s salary is fully pensionable earnings. It will be equal in value to a Toronto firefighter’s pension. So, we (Toronto firefighters / local 3888 members) pay Ramagnano’s President salary, and then we (Toronto firefighters / local 3888 members) pay the employer’s contribution for his
TPFFA pension. So, we (Toronto firefighters / local 3888 members) pay twice for Ramagnano’s second OMERS pension when he retires.
Ramagnano has also been the co-chair of the OMERS Sponsors Board since 2009. Historically, the OPFFA has always had a member sit on an OMERS Board. Fred Leblanc sponsored Ramagnano for this position, although Freddy’s endorsement for this lucrative position was not free. In return, the OPFFA is guaranteed Ramagnano’s ongoing, unwavering, and continued support….plus the 3000 votes he brings from the Toronto Local. At this level, it’s all about quid pro quo. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Ramagnano is the OPFFA’s “yes man”. He knows he’ll be out of his lucrative OMERS position if he doesn’t do what the OPFFA and Freddy want him to do.
Members (TPFFA), have you ever found yourselves asking why we stay in the OPFFA? Obviously it’s for Ramagnano’s personal gain, $80 grand a year in his pocket. Ramagnano receives $80,000.00 plus $14,000.00 in expenses for sitting on the OMERS Sponsors Board. Ramagnano has an expense account with the TPFFA, and one with OMERS (and quite possibly one with the OPFFA as well, seeing that they sponsored him for the position). It begs to question, and it has been questioned many times within the fire halls, is Ramagnano collecting duplicate or triplicate expenses from all three sources? Come on, don’t you wonder when he goes out for lunch, or takes a taxi, does he photocopy that receipt and submit it to both the TPFFA and OMERS and quite possibly the OPFFA as well? Many of us think this calls for a full financial audit of the OPFFA and TPFFA books to confirm Ramagnano’s expenses, with the results forwarded to OMERS for cross referencing with their records. And if anyone cares to check these figures, OMERS uploads their annual reports to their website, you can visit the site to see how much board members earn, their expenses submitted, amount of meetings attended, etc. If you do happen to visit their site, please try to find out if Ramagnano receives a pension from OMERS as well (hmmmmm).
We looked at the OMERS annual report and saw that Ramagnano attended 46 OMERS Sponsors Board meetings. So while he was at these OMERS meetings and being paid by OMERS to be there, he was also being paid as President in Toronto, but not doing any Toronto work. Did he repay his daily calculated rate back to the TPFFA for these days he wasn’t working for us. Is this also called double dipping?
We realize this article is full of clichés but here’s another one…..birds of a feather flock together. Guys like Ramagnano like to create the façade that they’re altruistic, doing what they do for the good of the membership. I’m sorry to tell you, that’s BS. Guess who Ramagnano is supporting in the OPFFA presidential run? Carmen Santoro, of course! Who do they both support at the international level? Their buddy Harold Schaitberger, of course. That’s three guys that use their positions for their own personal gain. Schaitberger’s schemes are being investigated by the FBI as we speak. Ramagnano and Santoro’s schemes will shortly be investigated by The Canada Revenue Agency and the OPP, you can mark my word on it.
What would the CRA want with Ramagnano? Ya, perhaps his motives are questionable, and sure we all talk about him slurping it up at the trough, but is he doing anything illegal besides double or triple dipping? I don’t know if it really needs to be said because we all talk about it openly in the fire halls. Well, I guess it should be said for the new members who weren’t around when Frank was the Secretary/Treasurer. You see, back then the Association would run various fund raising events honouring past members who had passed away. As the treasurer, Ramagnano would be in charge of all monies associated with the event. From what we understand, after the event Ramagnano would collect all the money, pay any outstanding costs, then with the remaining funds he would make a donation to the hospital or other charity of the TPFFA choice. Job well done you might think. Well, here’s the kicker, rumor has it that Ramagano would make these hospital donations in his name, or his wife’s and his name, thereby reaping the benefits of a charitable donation on his personal income tax. What an altruistic soul he is. Perhaps this is just rumor and gossip, but an easy way to put these stories to rest is for the current TPFFA executives to ask Ramagano for his personal tax returns for those years and the supporting source documents for any charitable donations made by him.
Also appalling is Ramagnano’s actions as the co-chair of the OMERS Sponsors Board. In the last year there has been many discussions regarding our index pension in OMERS. It’s our understanding that Ramagnano, our OPFFA representative on the OMERS Sponsors Board, who represents all firefighters, past and present, voted to support the de-indexing of our pension, stating “we have to help with the cost of our pensions”. Clearly, one can see which side Ramagnano represents, and it’s not the members. If
nothing else, Ramagnano should step down from this OMERS position and another member should be appointed. This would also allow Ramagnano to solely concentrate on his position of President of the TPFFA (for however long that last).
In Local 3888 there’s a real interesting concern similar to that of IAFF President Harold Schaitberger and his double dipping of pensions. In the TPFFA members have been wondering about the ability of past executive board members accessing their Local 3888 OMERS pension while still at work as a firefighter in Toronto. The executive board has not been sufficiently forthcoming with information about our Executive Boards ability to double dip with earnings and pensions. As local 3888 members, we need to insist on an investigation to determine if there is any wrong doing!
Lastly, let’s get back to President Frank Ramagnano in the role as Acting District Chief. The man wrote the promotional exam when he hasn’t been in a Fire Hall in over 15 years. Does this sound similar to his mentor and IAFF President Harold Schaitberger? As a Toronto Firefighter I certainly would not feel safe with AD/C Frank Ramagnano in command. And what about the Captains who worked non-stop throughout those 15 years who missed out on a promotion because Ramagnano came waltzing in basically stealing their spot, without any experience! We should take this up with our union president but …….
The following is a comment taken from www.turnoutblog.com. Eric Lamar has done an incredible job revealing the true Schaitberger and the corruption within the IAFF. It would benefit us all to heed this comment’s advice.
Also check out this link to read the 105 page document detaing the Schaitberger corruption. https://medium.com/@lamarericslamar/iaff-the-edzo-strikes-back-3a9044d9a3ec
Defeat Schaitberger’s Corruption
Southwest IAFF Firefighter says:
Every IAFF local from the smallest to the biggest should conduct an audit of their finances. I’m not talking about the mandatory routine mail-it in audits that never produce any information good, bad, or otherwise. I am talking about a forensic audit of all union monies from an outside auditor. Most locals will find nothing, but, some of the biggest locals will discover some of Shady Schaitberger tactics have filtered all the way down into the local level.
Ed Kelly IAFF secretary and ALL District VP’s should be encouraging ALL IAFF Locals to participate in this accounting endeavor. Self-dealing President’s need to be exposed and run out of the IAFF. The IRS needs to shine some light on the graft, theft, and self-dealing.
Question: Why would anybody want to be a part of a labor organization knowing a thief is at the helm?