Pension- After a weeklong exhaustive conference in Chicago, Local 2960 worked hard to convince the International to stay in the fight for pensions in Phoenix with the upcoming elections. Our team was able to convince them to send a full-time communication specialist from Washington DC and after a meeting I had with the mayor we are prepared to team up and show the public that switching from a pension to a 401k is both wrong for employees and wrong for the tax payers. We also have a full-time political consultant from the international working the political angle. Our spokespeople have been on the radio and in the newspaper showing the citizens how this proposition is bad for Phoenix.
Water- We continue to have problems with HR departments not understanding our contract language with furloughs. The Water Dept. recently had the gall to tell their people that they could not take furloughs on Mondays and Fridays. CLEARLY this is in violation of our contract. Our members were furious and rightfully so! After placing calls and emails to department heads and Labor Relations I got an apology from the Water Dept. and our stewards were called into meetings to clarify that in fact ALL days during the week were open to furloughs. This is what unions do...they make sure that departments don’t take advantage of our membership and don’t try to make the workplace a harder place to work. PLEASE call me on my cell if these things are happening in your department. (And thanks to those members who donated release hours after this situation was fixed)
PD Cross-Training- A memo will be issued in the next week in PD Communications clearly stating that the cross training program was fought by the union and that there is no intent to let anyone go over this issue. In the department it was a long time in coming but I was just sent the draft by supervision and the memo should be out soon. Hopefully this clears up any confusion that the Union years ago was okay with this ideology and that this new program is not intended in any way to result in anyone losing their jobs. This union will make sure that NO one is fired if they have a problems working phones and radio.
Courts- I will be meeting with Department heads in Law and in Courts over various issues of intimidation and hostile workplaces this week. NO ONE should feel intimidated by their supervisors at work...this will be corrected!!! The courts and law have a long history of this type of intimidation and it needs to end NOW. Of all departments it shocks me to no end that a department dedicated to justice should treat their people this way. I hope this is the first of many meetings that will put an end to this type of behavor.
Aviation- A supervisor at aviation was telling people that no bid was occurring this year for some of our members and that the union had agreed to it. The union did not. When I confronted the supervisor on it, the situation changed suddenly and the bid process has now begun. PLEASE....if a supervisor or director ever says "The union agreed"...CALL US and do not take their word for it. This has been happening more and more lately and the hall needs to know about it.
Death in unit- We lost another member in our union family this last week. I have spoken to the family and filed their claim for their union death benefit. We will also be helping out with any funeral expenses the family may need or cover some bills. This person did NOT have a beneficiary on file so I send this out as a reminder that the UNION....not the city needs to have your beneficiary on file so we can smoothly handle these benefits. Please call the hall or email us to confirm you have a current beneficiary on file.
Union Release- with Angie being forced back to work until we win in the courts, the union hall's staff is not as available in the hall as we would like. (I am actually typing this at lunch eating my Taco Bell :) PLEASE, if you do not get an answer at the hall, call my cell, email the staff (firstname.lastname@example.org), or leave a message and we will get back with you as soon as possible. The reduced staff is working an average of 60 hours per week but much of that time is spent in meetings, dealing with dept. heads, fighting the pension proposition, talking with the media, the mayor, councilman, and running around putting out fires in the various departments. Text or call me and I promise to return your call or have someone do so ASAP.
Shifts- I have had various meetings lately with some departments wanting to try 12 hour shifts or flex time. Be aware that neither are approved in our contract and if a dept. wants to try this as a pilot program they need to go through the union and the union will consult with its members before any program is approved. You CANNOT be forced to flex your time and if this is being done we need to know immediately.
EMS Lake Havasu- I will be heading up next week to continue to negotiate the first contract for our newest brothers and sisters in our Local. After some extensive meetings this week with our brothers it looks like we will be filing ULP charges against AMR unless they become more serious in negotitaions. We are still hoping for a first contract by the end of the year and of expanding our Local to even more EMS providers in the State. These members have asked if we can take their donated vacation for our purposes but we cannot...but it was an honor to have them offer to donate. They are a great group and truly brothers and sisters in Solidarity.
Again, any comments or concerns email us at this address or call my cell.
Thanks for all you do for this city and this union....We continue to fight for your rights!!!!
President AFSCME 2960