Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Invitation to Join Them In La Crosse on Thursday

Join us tomorrow in La Crosse. State Rep. Steve Doyle and County Board Chair Tara Johnson will join local retirees, nursing aides, and families of the disabled to discuss choices facing Congress that could threaten vital services and the economy. Can we count on you to be there?

It is time for the wealthiest Americans and big corporations start paying their fair share - now's not the time to cut critical programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Families living paycheck to paycheck and all Americans working hard to make a better life for themselves won this election. By electing Tammy Baldwin to the U.S. Senate and re-electing President Barack Obama, Wisconsinites rejected a rigged system that only works for the wealthiest few and chose an economy that works for everyone.

Join us for tomorrow's 1 p.m. news conference in the lobby of the County Administrative Center,
400 N. Fourth St. In Wisconsin, Medicare provides health insurance for over 950,000 seniors - and Medicaid pays for more than two out of three nursing home residents are paid for by Medicaid. Funding for these critical programs is at risk in the lame duck budget session starting next Tuesday.

In Solidarity,

Phil Neuenfeldt, President
Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer

A reprieve for Wisconsin labor? |

WISCONSIN'S PUBLIC-sector workers may escape the brunt of Republican Gov. Scott Walker's anti-union laws, thanks to a September court ruling. But with Walker and anti-union forces set to appeal the ruling, unions that represent government workers are still at risk of losing their right to collective bargaining. …. In the meantime, some public-sector unions took concessionary contracts before Act 10 came into effect. Madison-area unions, including AFSCME Local 60 and MTI, seized the opportunity to negotiate contract extensions without Walker's restrictions on collective bargaining.

SPECIAL NOTE: Exit polling in Wisconsin unfortunately still showed that 33% of households reporting that at least one voting member in union household's voted for republicans. This still remains puzzling to a majority of "Union" households that have experienced the fallout from legislative actions like Wisconsin ACT 10. Whether these union households that voted republican were the reason Wisconsin delivered the presidency to President Obama, but returned "absolute" majority control of Wisconsin State Government to republicans, again, remains unknown. However, it certainly had to help the republicans to regain absolute majority control. What remains really scary for Wisconsin union households, or at least 66% of union households is how Governor Scott Walker and GOP legislative leadership interpret the Wisconsin vote. If they interpret the Wisconsin vote as a "mandate" to continue their legislative assault on "union" workers, then does that mean they initiate their anti-collective bargaining attack on "private" union workers? One thing will be certain in Wisconsin, if they do, it is likely they failed to recognize the wrath and pushback they received when they attecked the public-sector union workers.

A reprieve for Wisconsin labor? |

Statement of AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders on the 2012 Election

“We are proud of the role AFSCME members and our sisters and brothers in the labor movement have played in this critical victory. More workers than ever got involved through the AFL-CIO’s political program, the smartest, biggest and broadest effort we’ve ever run. More than 65,000 AFSCME volunteers went into action, combining cutting-edge voter communications with massive grassroots strength." --- Lee Saunders, AFSCME International President

Statement of AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders on the 2012 Election

Election 2012 - WISCONSIN Election Results - CBS News

Follow the below link for the "Top of the Ticket" Election results for WISCONSIN:

Election 2012 - Wisconsin Election Results - CBS News

AFSCME | Obama Re-Elected to the White House

They did it. … Across the country, 65,600 public service workers who are members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO pulled together with family, coworkers, neighbors and community allies to ensure victory in Election 2012 for Pres. Barack Obama and candidates who will support America’s working families in Congress and state and local offices …… “This is a good day for the middle class, the Main Street movement and the American Dream,” AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders said. “The American people sent a clear message that we will stand with a President who stands with all Americans. From the White House to the statehouses, we pulled together to elect leaders who believe that we are all in this together.”

AFSCME | Obama Re-Elected to the White House

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Still Waiting To Vote?

AFSCME ALERT: If you are in line to vote when the polls close, they HAVE to let you vote. Call 866-687-8683 to report voting problems.

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Monday, November 5, 2012

AFSCME Wisconsin: Complete Your Ballot

Thank you for all you have done to get our state and our nation moving forward again.

We know how hard you’ve been working – ever since the day Gov. Scott Walker “dropped the bomb” on public service workers.

We fought back hard, and you can be proud of what we’ve accomplished.

We can take another step forward tomorrow, by making sure that we elect worker-friendly candidates from top to bottom of the ballot.

Some polls are starting to predict that President Obama will be re-elected. 

In this time of saturation advertising and voter suppression tactics, we can take nothing for granted.

Please make sure to get to the polls tomorrow, and make sure your family, your friends and your co-workers get there between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

And while you’re casting your vote for president, make sure to mark your ballot for Tammy Baldwin. She is a true friend and will be a great champion for working people in the U.S. Senate.

And click here to see recommendations from your fellow AFSCME members for state and local races.

Through hard fought recall elections, we took back our State Senate from Walker’s rubber stampers. 

We need to hold on to the worker-friendly majority we won in the Senate.

And we need to send a message by making serious gains in the State Assembly.

The stakes are high in tomorrow’s election.

Will we continue to see Tea Party zealots slash services while serving up tax breaks for the rich?

Or will we elect leaders who believe our best days are before us and are willing to invest in a brighter vision for America?

The choice is yours. Please get out and vote tomorrow, and support worker friendly candidates for every office on your ballot.

In solidarity,

Jim Garity, President
AFSCME Council 40

Paulette Feld, President
AFSCME Council 24

Brian Stafford, President
AFSCME Council 48
Rick Badger, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 40

Marty Beil, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 24

Rich Abelson, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 48

PS. If you have two hours that you can help with the final day of the campaign, click here to volunteer.  This will be a close race and every thing you can do will help.

Paid for by Wisconsin Legislative Council 11, American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

AFSCME Council 24 Provides More Action and Advocacy

The arbitration results outlined below represent continued activity and advocacy by the Locals and Council 24 on behalf of our members.  Special thanks to Katy Krumm, Local 122, for her synopsis and comments:

Arbitration Results from 10/12/12
Stanley Correctional Institution 

Case #1
An employee received a 1 day suspension for allegedly violating ED #50. The employee had sent out a group email asking which staff members were interested in participating in a benefit for a former co-worker who had died and had pictures from a Green Bay Packers game that the employee attended which were being used as a screen saver. The union presented evidence that management , all the way up to Warden Wallace from CVCTF send out similar emails multiple times per year and that personal pictures are allowed if they are being used a screen saver. The union also argued that the 1 day suspension was not just because it was not progressive discipline. The arbitrator affirmed the union’s arguments and reduced the 1 day suspension to a letter of reprimand. The letter of reprimand may now be removed from the employees file on the 12 month anniversary of the date of the incident.

Case #2
An employee working a 7-3 shift was ordered for 2nd shift overtime at 1300. Management at SCI forced another 1st shift sergeant for the same position from 1400-1500 until the 7-3 sergeant finished their original shift and was available to work the ordered position. The union argued that the 7-3 sergeant was not eligible to be forced for overtime that occurred before the start of 2nd shift because they were not eligible to sign-up and accept the overtime. A staff member may not accept or be forced for overtime that conflicts with their regularly scheduled shift. An SCI Captain went as far as to present untruthful statements to the arbitrator, claiming that he had ordered Sgt. Rose in the past in the same manner that this Sergeant was ordered. Those statements were proven false. The arbitrator affirmed the union’s position and awarded the grievant comp. time for the incident.
Case #3
An employee was forced for 3rd shift overtime out of seniority order. An officer junior to the grievant left the institution without checking in with supervisors. SCI management stated that they would not affirm the grievance when it was originally filed because then they would have to write up the employee that left without checking in and didn’t want to do that, because then the union would grieve that discipline also. The union presented evidence that the employee was not the junior officer on shift and since he was forced at 2145 the need for overtime was known in plenty of time to notify the junior officer on shift. The arbitrator affirmed the union’s position and comp. time was awarded to the grievant.
Case #4
An employee was demoted without just cause. The union presented evidence that of the 3 staff involved only the grievant was disciplined. The union also presented evidence that the discipline was extremely excessive and not progressive. Management spent 4 hours attempting to sway the arbitrator with misinformation that was not relevant the grievance which was being heard. The arbitrator affirmed the union’s position and restored the grievant to the rank of Sergeant.
Case #5
An employee received a 1 day suspension for an incident that occurred 3 days from a similar incident. The union argued that the employer should have combined the two incidents since they happened 3 days apart and had the same mitigating circumstances. The arbitrator sided with management and upheld the discipline.
Case #6
An employee was denied 230.36 benefits. The union argued that the employee did everything correctly and should be made whole. Management argued that the employee should have re-submitted the forms several months after the incident when the employee was off work. The arbitrator sided with management and upheld the denial of benefits.


Following commentary provided by AFSCME Council 24 Local 122 President Katy Krumm;

The golden question I get asked day in and day out is, “What can the union do for me?” All of the people involved in the cases above have been career-long union members. They know the Golden Question isn’t ,“What can my union do for me?” It is, “What would happen to me without my union?” Without the support that comes from being in a union, management would have had free reign to discipline these members anyway they saw fit, but the union was there to hold them accountable for their actions and see that everyone was given a fair shake. Being part of a union means that no one has to stand alone. We are all in this together and by standing together we can effect a change in our workplace, whether management wants to admit or not. We are the majority, we have the voice, and that voice is the power as long as we stand by each other.