Bargaining Unit 3 November 2015 Newsletter
BU3 includes about a thousand correctional librarians and teachers, about four hundred State Special Schools educators, about a hundred teachers in hospitals and developmental centers, about a dozen teachers in the Orientation Center for the Blind, and a handful of teachers working in the Starbase Academy program, employed by the California Military Department.
BU3 members can communicate with their bargaining team though their locally elected District Bargaining Unit Representative (DBUR). To get in touch with a DBUR or for any other type of union information, please call the SEIU Local 1000 Member Resource Center at 866.471.SEIU (7348). BU3 also has an email address: Unit3@seiu1000.org
(Or, What Happens To Me If the Union Disappears?)
Today, union members are faced with the tremendous task of educating a population that is either uninformed or misinformed, as to why unions developed and how the factors that sparked the development of the modern unions are once again gaining ascendancy in political, social and economic life.
Regardless of whether you are a member of a “trade” union or a “service” union (a union that represents numerous skills under an umbrella type organization), that union represents you on an individual, and a collective basis. Unions are democratic organizations and are strong and true only when its members participate as voting citizens and representatives within the organization. If you as an individual, or as a part of the larger whole, are not willing to stand with the union when it asks, then the union becomes meaningless and employers will treat it, and you, as meaningless. However, if you are willing to stand firm when asked to, then employers are forced to take notice because of the strength in numbers.
How do we do this? First, by becoming active and supportive of your union representatives in the workplace; second, step forward to accept more responsibility by becoming a job steward, willing to represent our fellow state workers when a contract violation is brought forward. Third, step out of your comfort zone and volunteer to serve as a District Bargaining Unit Representative (DBUR) for your classification if your District Labor Council (DLC) does not have one.
In our current time, we are looking at the modern day “Robber Baron” and tycoon in the rise of the mega-corporations (Exxon Mobil, GE, Berkshire Hathaway and Wal-Mart, to name a few), and the huge banking combines (the top four are JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and, Wells Fargo) which control nearly ninety-nine percent of the wealth produced in this nation. The financial power of these institutions is such that it no longer really matters which political party is in power; any legislation that is generated, will either favor them, or because of the loopholes contained in it, not affect them. Unbridled power is a powerful motivator, equal to that of individual greed.
We are currently facing the next round of attacks on our retirement and health care benefits; more importantly, we are facing an outright assault on our rights to collectively bargain for our wages and working conditions as exemplified by the ballot initiative sponsored by former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed (with the support of the National Right to Work organization)
Voter Empowerment Act of 2016
SECTION 1. TITLE.
This measure shall be known and may be cited as “The Voter Empowerment Act of 2016.”
SECTION 2. STATEMENT OF FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(a) Government has an obligation to provide essential services that protect the safety, health, welfare, and quality of life enjoyed by all Californians.
Unfortunately, state and local governments face a severe financial crisis due to unsustainable compensation and retirement benefits granted to government employees by state and local politicians.
Without reform, California taxpayers face a future of a massive public debt requiring the elimination or reduction of even basic essential services.
(b) Almost all of these disastrous financial decisions were made without the approval or consent of the voters.
© State and local politicians, government agencies, and courts have blocked common-sense efforts to address this financial crisis. Consequently, the need to empower voters and clarify their rights with respect to compensation and retirement benefits for government employees is a matter of statewide concern.
(d) Therefore, the people hereby amend the Constitution to reserve to themselves the power to approve or reject compensation and retirement benefits of government employees.
Those who are sponsoring the “Voter Empowerment Act of 2016” are betting that state employees are so apathetic that they’ll vote for this act, the same way a large number of state employees voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Governor’s office - TWICE! (Many should remember this because they lost their homes because of very tight personal budgets that were broken by the furloughs.) Do you actually want the voting public telling you that you’re not worth the salary you are earning, especially when they are subject to the 30 second sound bite saying that YOU are the reason that they are paying higher taxes and that good paying jobs are fleeing California.
Your BUNC consists of the following DBUR’s:
Chair: Bruce Theel, High Desert State Prison, Susanville, CA (CDCR) firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Chair: John Kern (CDCR)
Alt. Vice Chair: Suzanne Knapp (CDCR)
BUNC Member: Terry Hibbard (CDCR)
BUNC Member: Sulghi Hong (CDE)