From the Desk of the President (2/2005)


From the Desk of the President

Local 34 is OUR union - use it! Probably the easiest method to become acquainted with our union is to attend the General Assembly meetings. They are generally held the first Wednesday of each month at 5:15 PM (unless that day coincides with a holiday - then it is the following Wednesday). The meeting is your opportunity to bring forth items of concern to you and your fellow union members about union issues, work issues, social justice issues, community issues, anything that you feel is of importance to you as a union member. If you have an item for discussion that you would like to have placed on the agenda, please contact our Recording Secretary, Chalmers Davis, or myself with a brief explanation of the item. If you, like me, are shy and retiring, don't worry. You can sit back and observe the process. Many of our current activists began their days with the Local by observing until they felt ready to become more involved. It is a painless way to meet your sisters and brothers - some of whom you have corresponded with via e-mail but can now meet face to face. We even have door prizes - drawn at various times during the meeting. So come and join us. It could be your night to win a t-shirt, scarf, cap, pin. We are waiting for you.     

For the past five or six months, we have had one recurring topic of discussion - reports of our officers, stewards and activists being hassled during the workday by supervisors and/or managers. Many times, this action is taken while we are attempting to do our County work, not just our union work. It has been frustrating to have to deal with this ongoing problem when so many of us have attended Trust & Teamwork training with those same supervisors and mangers who, at the time of the training, agreed that they would operate under the tenets of the training. Such blatant disregard of basic dignity and respect for us because we are union representatives cannot continue. We do deserve and expect respect - regardless of what we are doing - union or County work. Several of the instances in Eligibility Supports and Work Supports have been addressed and will, hopefully, improve. We still have issues in Corrections and other work areas which we are addressing. Know that we cannot condone any abrogation to our ability to perform our duties as union officers and stewards and will take action when necessary. An injury to one of us is an injury to all. 

I attended a Brown Bag lunchtime meeting at Century Plaza to, with the officers and stewards from that work site, update members on the happenings around the Local in 2004 and an overview of what lies ahead for 2005. Thanks to all of you who took the time to attend this spur of the moment meeting. Your questions and observations are much appreciated and I look forward to working with all of you during the year. I especially enjoyed meeting Areda Stewart who, along with Terri Huston and Joan Kappenman, was appointed as a steward for our Local effective January 1, 2005. Please welcome both of them to the stewards’ ranks. Please let any of the officers or stewards know if you would like to have a brown bag lunchtime meeting at your worksite - any topic can be discussed - and we will make arrangements to do so. 

Stay warm,