From the Desk of the President (January, 2007)



The Local has accepted the resignation of Sylvia Gutierrez from her office as Membership Secretary. This was effective December 1, 2006. A motion was passed at the December 6th General Assembly to fill that position so a special election will be held at the January 17, 2007 Executive Board meeting with the Executive Board members voting. The Executive Board meeting is held at 5:30 PM in HSB 110. If you wish to run for this office, please attend this meeting. We will briefly interview all candidates for the position and hold an election after those interviews are completed. The newly elected officer will be sworn in that evening and assume the duties of the office at that time. As Membership Secretary, you do get to meet and talk to members from around our bargaining unit.  You would often be the first person from the Local contacted by a new employee for information about union benefits and dues. If you are interested in the position and want more information about the duties of the Membership Secretary, please contact me or Wes Volkenant as we both have held this office in the past. 



Last month, I told you that I hoped to have the names of our Local 34 members who were part of the Council 5 political efforts this past fall. Jon Grebner from the Council was able to provide me with a list of those names. Our sisters and brothers who did phone calls at phone banks; went out on door knocks with other members or candidates; dropped literature off for candidates; brought food to functions; etc., all helped to make the election one of the most successful for labor friendly candidates that we have seen in years. I previously noted the hard work of Shannon Wesley and Vern Wagner and their stellar achievements while doing lost time at the Council. 


Now please join me in thanking the following members for their efforts in this process:  Brian Backberg, Shirley Benetiz, Jeanne Bentgarmicha, Margo Blay, Diane Bourgeois, Stephen Cook, Chalmers Davis, Roger Day, DeAnna DeLoach, Katie Farber, Julie Gilbert, Maureen Glover, Alex Gordon, Terry Grace, Phillip Gray, Larry Heller, Monica Jochmans, Gena Johnson, Patricia Johnson, John Korman, Cate Lam, Sue Macek, Alice McGuiggan, Jeff Meyer, Denny Moore, Roberta Nagan, Sheryl Olsen, Virginia Peery,  Patrick Regan , Cliff Robinson, Miguel Salazar, Rita Salone, Lindsay Schwab, Anita Urvina Selin, James Stevenson, Joe Weston, Wes Volkenant, Shawnice Watson, and Kela Williams. 


This list is probably not complete as not everyone signed in or they did not include Local 34 by their name when they did sign in, and I apologize for not having your names if you are one of those folks. You all did a wonderful job and your hard work is very much appreciated. We hope to see some tangible results of that hard work in the upcoming legislative session when we ask those folks who were elected/reelected to office with our assistance to put money back into LGA funding, social service funding, schools, and roads to name a few. 


It is now 2007 and we yes - we are already planning for the end of the year when our current contract expires.  We enjoyed great success the last time around, largely in part to YOU. You participated in the process - from answering questions when we did the one-on-one surveys to working on the supplemental proposal for our Local as well as weigh in on the issues to be included in the main proposal - from helping out with rallies to being present at those rallies - from rattling the atrium windows to planning what to in case of the need to strike - all the way to voting on the proposed contract. Your presence and participation every step of the way sent a message - LOUD and CLEAR - to the County Commissioners that we were not going to accept a low wage offer or less than stellar health insurance provisions - that you deserved better. And YOU got it!  Your hard work on the Contract Campaign has been used as an example of what can go right when members stick together and stand up for what is right.


All that being said, we cannot rest on our laurels. The foundation is there and it is sturdy so now we must build on it to achieve even better results.  What are YOU willing to do this year to help all of us do even better? You will hear more on this topic over the next few months so think about what you enjoyed the last time around and what you would like to see happen this year.  All ideas are welcome.


In Solidarity,