August 2011

From The Chief Steward

DAS Local 125 Website:

Fellow members of SEIU503 – DAS Local 125, this website has been planned for some time but its creation has been hastened by the state’s prevention of the use of the state email system for union communication during the current period where we are operating without a contract.

The website will be upgraded in the near future but this will take time. The current need, to improve communication, between members of our local, has compelled us to get this temporary website operating as soon as possible.

Working without a contract:

As members will be aware, we are currently working without a contract, as the state refused its extension during negotiations, as they have in the past.

The state further escalated the situation, by preventing the use of state email for union contact, as is also normally allowed under the contract. More recently, the state has stopped functions related to the Labor Management system, a system is designed to resolve matters of mutual concern in our worksites.

In most cases, on a day to day basis, it should be mostly business as usual. I believe most managers in the state system will act with professionalism and working relationships should not change.

Members need to be vigilant to see that we don’t take actions that could expose any of our members to potential problems. If any member believes that a manager is acting in, or treating them, either personally, or as a group, in an inappropriate manner, they should document all relevant facts, and contact any union steward or the Members’ Resource Center for advice and assistance promptly. Such facts need to include a detailed description of the event and the names of any, and all witnesses.

Weingarten Rights:

Weingarten Rights guarantee the right of union representation for all members who believe a meeting could lead to disciplinary action. If you are called into a meeting, and you believe it could lead to discipline, you have the right to contact the union.

Weingarten Rights are Federal Labor Law, and not dependant on a contract, or any permission from the state. If you believe a meeting could lead to discipline, and you are prevented from contacting the union, then clearly announce that you are invoking you Weingarten Rights and refuse to answer questions until union representation in allowed.

If this right is violated, the union will take action against the state that may include the commencement of legal action.

First Amendment Rights:

Members have reported being instructed by management to remove union related material from display in the workplace. If members find themselves in this situation, document all relevant information and contact the union.

This matter is being looked at with the possibility of action being taken to protect union members’ First Amendment Rights.

Solidarity:

Our greatest strength comes from standing by each other and sticking together. Things are difficult at present, but if we support each other, we have the best chance for our brightest future.

Union Action:

Today, (07/18/11) SEIU filed charges with the Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB) over the State’s improper and illegal infringement of union members’ rights to communicate regarding union matters and continue representational activities.

Over the past two weeks, management has violated members’ rights to free speech, has sought to restrict or prevent representation, and has violated the “status quo” obligations outlined under State law.

If you have any concerns or issues, please contact a steward or officer from:

SEIU503 Local 125

Contact information should be on all union bulletin boards.

(If not call me as shown below)

Stephen Walsh Chief Steward SEIU503 – DAS Local 125:

971 223 2815 purple@constev.com

Members Resource Center: 1 877 772 6551

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