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Commentary :: Labor & Economics

The Truth About SPFPA

Security Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) have initiated a full-blown war against UGSOA. I am disheartened to have to deliver this kind of message, but you need to know the truth. The hate mail from them trying to discredit our organization and convince you that you would be better off in SPFPA are Lies. You may see one of their representatives infiltrate your local. They also go by the name of FOPSCO, a small union that recently merged with SPFPA.

Other mergers have failed. the independent security union called IUSP tried to merge last year and lost their entire treasury to SPFPA. Also, NAPSO, an independent union that merged with SPFPA in 2003 had their treasury and membership taken by SPFPA. Both unions have tried to get out. NASPSO has fought hard and gained independence again, and IUSP is still fighting to get back on their feet. SPFPA just took their money in the meantime.

I want to give you the background on this union. SPFPA was formerly called the United Plant Guard Workers of America (UPGWA). They changed their name at their last International Convention in 2000. I was a Local President of one of their Local Unions in Denver Colorado in 1990. UPGWA sold my Local members out, more than once. My members and I had enough. 14 years ago, after a difficult legal battle that cost my Local a lot of money, we broke away and became what is now UGSOA. They may have changed their name, but the leaders are still selling out.

Now other Locals of SPFPA around the United States who are leaving their organization for better representation. This is the truth, and we know they are saying that UGSOA Local Unions are going to them, and in a few cases they are, but there is no other way to describe to you what is happening except that they exaggerate and lie about 90% of the Locals which they are saying are leaving us. In fact, many more Local Unions are coming from their SPFPA to UGSOA.

CONSIDER THE SOURCE OF THEIR PROPAGANDA- the National Right To Work foundation (NRTW). This is truly unreal. There is no doubt in my mind that SPFPA is spreading these lies. You can see in their propaganda that SPFPA/FOPSCO uses Union Busters to help their RAIDING AGENDA against us. Now, SPFPA finds it fit for to use a piece of literature that originated in a fundamentally ANTI-UNION organization (NRTW) to discredit our organization. That's unheard of: A union using the labor hating national right to work agenda to fight another union. This is the forbidden transgression of Labor Raiding!

We encourage you to defend your Local Unions and let us know whenever their agents attack your Local Union.

Fraternally Yours,

James A. Vissar

President, UGSOA International Union


NOT BROKE - Just SPFPA propaganda 15.Nov.2005 10:39

James D. Carney link

Since UGSOA broke away from SPFPA over 13 years ago they have been bitter. SPFPA likes to state that we are going broke, but they have been saying this for... yes you guessed it, 13 years. In that time all we have done is grow in strength and numbers, financially and membership.

SPFPA employs their agents to submit propaganda all over the place. Readers of their garbage: rest assured that UGSOA IS VERY SOLVENT and has been solvent for years. The reason our Treasury reports the way is does is because we spend our members' dues to actually service them, as opposed to the kind of leadership that causes union bosses to become corrupt; hoarding money at the top and never going to Arbitration or Court for their members.

Don't be fooled, UGSOA is the strongest Union representing security!

James D. Carney
Sr. VP
United Government Security Officers of America
International Union
8620 Wolff Court, Suite #210
Westminster, CO 80031
Ph: 303-650-8515
Fax: 303-650-8510


Subject: SPFPA Lies and Deceit

Why is SPFPA afraid to compete against other unions in a fair market environment? SPFPA spends tens of thousands of dollars raiding and destroying other unions. Instead of building their union based upon better service at an equal or better price, they use their resources to steal from other unions.

A union's job is to represent their members. This is accomplished through time, effort, and an investment in capital.

In El Centro, California, SPFPA made no attempt to negotiate a contract for the 50 officers they represent. Instead they copied the neighboring unions CBA and blindly agreed to it "without change".

Is this the type of representation they provide to their members? SPFPA members should be asking their union leaders the following questions:
What are you doing with my money?
Why are you charging members more and giving less?
Why are you paying Steve Maritas, $100,000.00 per year to destroy other unions?
Why aren't you spending this money to help the members?
Why are you so afraid of UGSOA?

Michael P. Hough
Vice President, Federal Division
UGSOA International Union

(858)449-0383 Cell

(858)565-1968 Fax

MHough (at)


Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 20:32:25 EDT
Subject: Reasons for joining the UGSOA
To: jcarney (at)
X-Mailer: 6.0 sub 10582

I was asked to write and try to explain why we left the SPFPA and voted to become members of the UGSOA.
Under our old Union the SPFPA we felt as though we had little or no representation some of our grievances
and complaints were never responded to, by the International. We also felt as though the SPFPA was not
aware of specific problems we would encounter on our job, nor did they care. The only time we heard or saw
anyone from the SPFPA was at contract time, (once every three years). We just kept paying dues with
little or nothing coming back from the International. I can only liken it to "taxation without representation".
Under our current Union the UGSOA we have formed our own local, therefore our unique problems and
situation are dealt with each and every day. Under our current Union the UGSOA we have negotiated a
bargaining agreement using a team of our negotiators headed up by the International Executive Vice President
Mr James Carney. That is what I call representation from the International!! On numerous occasions I have
picked up the phone , or sent an E-Mail to the UGSOA International and have ALWAYS got a response
and assistance or information. I for one am proud to be called "brother" by the United Government Security
Officers of America.

Dennis E. Lynn
President Local 502



My name is Bryan Good, President of Local #254, UGSOA, and former President of SPFPA Local #253. My reasons for wanting to switch International unions are as follows. First of all contacting SPFPA or the representative Bobby Jenkins, is very difficult. He never answers the phone and does not have an assistant, so you always get his answering machine. It always takes him 3 days to 3 weeks to return your phone calls. This to me is not acceptable. Then during one phone conversation we were discussing the up coming contract negotiations, and he made a statement that we had under 25 members, and it costs the international more money to come and represent us than they collect in dues, for one year. But, he did state that they would come and take care of us since we had been with them for such a long time. I didn't like that comment.

After we looked into changing internationals and SPFPA discovered this, I received a phone call from Mr. Jenkins, and in this phone conversation he lied to me four times. Then he stated that if we gave them all of our funds they would more than likely let us go. Shortly after this conversations our Local talked with the company about changes, and we agreed to wait to negotiate the contract until we had changed internationals. About a week later I discovered that SPFPA was trying to negotiate a contract (CBA) behind our backs. We petitioned the NLRB to change to UGSOA.

SPFPA sent me a letter about trusteeship and came and took all of our funds, leaving us to pay a $400.00 check that was still out. So, I have just one thing to say:
Switching international unions could not come fast enough for me.

Bryan L. Good



The postings and literature you see from SPFPA are not a surprise to us. In 2001, SPFPA wanted a "coalition" of all security unions. Sounded like a good idea and Jim Vissar thought this meant that there was a change at SPFPA. We met with them in Vegas. The coalition turned out to be a ruse for a force merger. UGSOA was given the option of merge or else. We chose the "or else" because our members do not want that kind of union: 1) Higher dues, 2) CBAs being settled without ratification votes, 3) a Constitution that can take your Local Treasury with a simple vote of the International Executive Board, 4) no grievances to arbitration, and 5) playing golf with the Company. All of these thing are exactly what you'll get with SPFPA. Right now there are many Local Unions who have left SPFPA for UGSOA representation since they started raiding UGSOA to force a merger. It has backfired on them. 5 other locations are contacting us to leave. Two years ago, 370 Security Officers and Police Officers Working for the State of Pennsylvania voted for UGSOA to get away from years of SPFPA's kind of unionism. Last year two large Locals of SPFPA voted to come with UGSOA, Arizona INS Detention Facility (180 officers), and Millstone Nuclear plant in Connecticut (160 officers). This year (2006) they attempted to Raid UGSOA Local #80 in Washington DC and lost not only that election, but the representation of the officers they already represented in DC.
Tacoma, Washington Court Security Officers tried SPFPA's kind of union. They left UGSOA several years ago and found out what that did for them, nothing. They found out the truth and then came back to UGSOA, and we are proud to welcome them back. SPFPA cannot claim that this has ever happened with one of their Locals.

Best Regards,

James D. Carney
Sr. VP
United Government Security Officers of America
International Union
8620 Wolff Court, Suite #210
Westminster, CO 80031
Ph: 303-650-8515
Fax: 303-650-8510



United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) knows how to get along with real Unions. We've done joint campaigns with the Laborers International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and worked cooperatively with SEIU and PACE International Union. The arms of Union Labor should work and endorse one another at every turn to be successful.

SPFPA openly admits they are funding the effort to have our members abandon UGSOA, wanting them to stop paying dues completely, by voting out the Union Security Clause. SPFPA committed $500,000.00 from their Treasury in 2003 and in 2004 just to Raid UGSOA. Wouldn't that money be better spent fighting labor-abusive employers?

SPFPA International Union is the oldest security union (around for 50+ years) that has outlived their usefulness under their current leadership. UGSOA is the hardest charging Union and has become the second largest Union with consistent growth each year over our 13 years as a strong International Union. DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE LIES. THEY JUST WANT TO UNDERCUT THE COMPETITION, BECAUSE WE ARE DOING A BETTER JOB. They are trying to take away our strength by attacking your dues, and our members. There are plenty of anti-union movements to do this low ball fight against your rights.

Is that Unionism! Don’t let them take your Union apart! UGSOA is a solid and loyal Union representing security officers.

UGSOA has never abandoned our commitment to fight for better wages and working conditions for all Security Officers.


SPFPA Members Deserve Answers Why:

$ SPFPA President David Hickey gets paid almost $170,000 a year, plus a car allowance, which is unheard of for smaller

unions with less than 20,000 members?

$ Why he pays Steve Maritas a Salary over $100,000 a year to raid other unions. And just what is Maritas' criminal background?

Why did Steve Maritas jump in base salary from $51,000 in 2003 to over $100,000 in 2004? That's an annual raise of

$50,000 to their Union Organizer, when the Organizing Department of the union lost 4,000 members in the same year (See below).

Why did Steve Maritas make a total compensation of $128,000 in 2004, which is $40,000 more on average than any of the 7

Union Vice Presidents, who are officials of the Union?

$ Hickey is on a spending spree, wasting members’ dues money on personal vendettas fighting other unions around the country?

$ The SPFPA has lost more than $4 million since 1996 from their reported Treasury?

$ SPFPA’s overall receipts and Treasury have been in decline from the 1990s to present? And why they buy in and back out of the

Bond market each year to make fluff the numbers on their LM reports' bottom line to try to cover up the losses?

(SPFPA’s high point for total receipts came in 1996, and have since fallen by more than 50%.)

MORE: This should not be surprising, since the union spent less than one-half of one percent of its total receipts on its organizing budget in 2002 and is still losing members (SPFPA reported 18,000 members in 2003, and only 13,452 members in 2004).

Source: Department of Labor

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