NEW LOCAL 334 GRIEVANCE REPRESENTATIVES
Local 334 welcomes our newest grievance representatives, who took the time to attend training in Rochester in October. They are: Robert Fuller (Onondaga), Dawn Antonette-Luce (Oneida), Donna Cichon (Oneida) and Jennifer Crouse (Oswego).
All Local members will be mailed out a letter today or tomorrow from Headquarters regarding enrolling in the Welfare Fund. The enrollment period will run from 1/15/18 through 3/15/18. Follow the instructions in the letter carefully and be certain to get a confirmation.
U.S. SUPREME COURT CASE: JANUS v. AFSCME
Our endeavors to fight against a constitutional convention were successful last year, and we are all very proud of that “win.” But we now have another hurdle with the US Supreme Court Case of Janus v. AFSCME. What that case is about is the ability of unions to charge agency shop fees (dues) for non-members of the union. With the new conservative majority on the US Supreme Court, every indication is that that decision will not be in our favor and we (the Unions) will not be allowed to collect non-members’ dues. So technically, at first glance, you could leave the union, be a non-member not paying dues and still be entitled to the same representation, contract, etc. Basically, a free-loader. But the full story is that if members took the attitude of “Why pay for something I can get for free?,” then ultimately any Union would falter in its capability to adequately provide representation due to lack of staffing, lack of resources, etc. If a member believes that they will save $500, $600 or $700 a year by not paying Union dues, they are sadly mistaken as the losses that they will eventually incur would be far in excess of that amount. And if Union membership falls just one person below 50%, the Union may be decertified. And then you not only could be working without a contract, you also would have no Union representation and the employer can change everything from work hours to health insurance contributions to stopping salary increases and bonuses – and the non-represented employees would have no recourse.
CSEA and AFSCME have been working to inform our members about the “Never Quit” campaign. If you’ve been at a Local dinner meeting in the last year or two, you have heard about “Never Quit” and the importance of being a Union member and keeping our Union strong. And now it is becoming a reality – the Supreme Court will be hearing the Janus case and issuing a decision most likely in June of this year.
In Washington State, an organization called Freedom Foundation sent out a lengthy fundraising mailing to union members, telling them to opt out of paying Union dues, that the Unions “trembled, cursed and cowered” when hearing about Janus, that [the unions] “won’t go away until we drive the proverbial stake through their hearts and finish them off for good.” And who do you think backs the Freedom Foundation? Big Business. And those that certainly do not have your best interests in mind. You may receive a similar mailing from the Freedom Foundation. Let’s be clear: We are not cowering and trembling; instead, we are educating our members of the importance of belonging to a strong Union and how it is in your best interests to “Never Quit” your Union.
You will be hearing more about this case in the coming months.
Thank you to all of the volunteers across our 20 counties of the Local for assisting in the distribution of the printed contracts. If you have not received a printed contract by the end of this month, please let me know.
A reminder, whether you are required to swipe in or not required to swipe into Kronos, when you certify your time sheet you are confirming that you were at your workplace during the hours indicated. If you do not swipe in/out and were late, took an extended lunch or left early, your time sheet should accurately reflect that information. With security cameras, etc., it is nearly impossible to provide a defense for a member that has been brought up on charges for falsifying their time sheet.
LOCAL 334 PHONE/FAX NUMBER
The Local will discontinue utilizing the 1-800-498-0334 phone/fax number as of mid-February. Over the last couple of years, there have been very few faxes sent and very rarely are any messages left on the answering machine. Scan/email seems to be the easiest method of communication. Members have access to all of the Local officers’ email addresses as listed on our web site. Members may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at my office number (315) 266-4238.