From the Desk of the President (April/May, 2016)

 

Announcements: May 4, 2016 General Assembly - we will elect our delegates to the 42nd Annual AFSCME International Convention held in Las Vegas, July 17—22, 2016,. The local will cover round-trip airfare; (we fly out 7/16 and come back 7/23/; 7 nights lodging (our local policy is to cover the cost of double occupancy for our housing—anyone who wishes to have their own room will be responsible for 1/2 the cost of the lodging), 5 days lost time; and 7.5 days of per diem at the IRS rate of $64.00 = total of $480.00.

We also voted to send two members to Netroots Nation held in St Louis, Missouri 7/14 - 17, 2016 and will hold an election for those spots at this meeting. The local will cover roundtrip airfare; registration costs; lost time for two days; lodging for three nights (the local policy s to cover the cost of double occupancy for housing - anyone who wishes to have their own room will be responsible for 1/2 the cost of the lodging) and 3.5 days of per diem at the IRS rate of $54.00 = $189.00.

Any member is able to put their names forward for either of these events. If you are not able to attend the General Assembly on May 4th but would like to have your name included in the nominations, please send me an email with the event that you would like to attend. You should get that information to me by no later than 12:00 noon on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.

Meet & Confer - changing how we approach our issues: As you are aware, we are changing our approach to our monthly Meet & Confers with the Employer. Based on the past several years, we noted that the majority of our time was spent on two arears— issues pertaining to the Human Service Representative job classes and issues pertaining to the Social Worker job classes. Very little of our time has been spent on other issues.

Beginning in May, we will hold separate Meet & Confers - one on the first Thursday of each month to discuss items for the Human Service Representatives and one on the third Thursday of the month for those issues pertaining to the Social Work-er job classes. We will still continue to bring issues forward as they crop that are global to all job classes. Our sister locals, 2822 and 2864, will also continue to bring their issues forward. The agreement is that they will bring them as needed to the meetings on the first Thursday of the month.

Kathy Kelly, Kela Williams and Mara Ssengendo will be responsible for meeting with HSR’s to identify and gather information on issues that pop up. Laura Ross and Andrea Lazo-Rice will be responsible for meeting with Social Workers to identify and gather information on issues that occur for the myriad of the Social Worker job classes. Please look for notices of meetings to share your concerns as they are scheduled.

Acting Chief Steward: Please note that Mara Ssengendo has been appointed to serve as our Acting Junior Chief Steward as of May 1, 2016. She is stepping into the position while our current Junior Chief Steward, Tywanna Gray, takes an Acting Position as Supervisor for the next six months.

Mara will perform all the duties of the office and will work with our Senior Chief Steward, Kela Williams. Any questions that you would have directed to Tywanna and Kela should now be directed to Mara and Kela. They will work together on steward assignments as needed for grievances.

Please join me in thanking Mara for stepping in while Tywanna is in her acting assignment. And join me in wishing Tywanna well as she explores this opportunity to further develop her job skills.

Special Election: The Local 34 Executive Board will hold a special election at the May 18, 2016 meeting to fill the Member-at-Large seat vacated with the resignation of Sharon Streeter. This term will expire April 30, 2017. If you are interested in putting your name forward for this seat, please contact me immediately and plan to attend that meeting which begins at 5:30 PM and is held in HSB 917.

Here’s hoping that the April rains wash away the wintery weather we had the end of the month and bring us some sunshine and blooming plants.

Jean