Union democracy – Union Strong Caucus https://unionstrong.us Fighting for a stronger union. Tue, 17 Dec 2019 01:18:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 169454536 Having trouble voting? https://unionstrong.us/2019/12/16/having-trouble-voting/ Tue, 17 Dec 2019 01:08:55 +0000 https://unionstrong.us/?p=420 Read more Having trouble voting?]]> Did you:

  • lose your letter from NTEU?
  • never receive it??
  • have some other issue where you cannot vote, even though you are a dues-paying member?

Email the Election Committee ASAP so they can help you vote: electioncommittee335x@gmail.com

Voting ends Tuesday, December 17 at 5PM Eastern, so email them NOW so you have time to vote online or by phone before then.

How to vote before Tuesday 12/17 at 5pm EST https://unionstrong.us/2019/12/16/how-to-vote-before-tuesday-12-17-at-5pm-est/ Mon, 16 Dec 2019 23:49:05 +0000 https://unionstrong.us/?p=412 Read more How to vote before Tuesday 12/17 at 5pm EST]]> Voting ends Tuesday, December 17 at 5pm Eastern ✅

  1. Check your snail mail for the letter from NTEU with your election code.
  2. If you didn’t get your ballot or have trouble voting, email the Election Committee ASAP. They will respond so you can vote before the deadline: electioncommittee335x@gmail.com
  3. Voting is online or by telephone and it takes 1 minute. Vote for the candidates with UNION STRONG CAUCUS next to their name.

Time left to vote:

“YOU don’t have a say” 🙀👎 Incumbents’ attitude to union bargaining is everything wrong with our current board https://unionstrong.us/2019/12/10/you-dont-have-a-say-incumbents-attitude-to-union-bargaining-is-everything-wrong-with-our-current-board/ Tue, 10 Dec 2019 06:01:37 +0000 https://unionstrong.us/?p=371 Read more “YOU don’t have a say” 🙀👎 Incumbents’ attitude to union bargaining is everything wrong with our current board]]> The incumbent slate’s position on collective bargaining: “You don’t have a say” 🙀

This was their message to members, repeated two more times in a recent chapter stewards meeting.

They are wrong. Every member deserves a voice and a vote in bargaining

Carmen Cruz is running for VP with Gail Wisely’s incumbent slate. Carmen’s on the bargaining committee.

When stewards told her that members want a say in midterm bargaining to prevent another bad deal like the secret pay-for-space swap, Carmen insisted:“you don’t have a say,” and the bargaining team can do whatever it wants, without your input.

“Nothing to report” is Gail Wisely’s latest update on Kraninger’s union-busting contract changes

Last month, Director Kraninger proposed major union-busting changes to our contract as part of midterm bargaining, which threaten our job security and fundamental employee rights. Gail and Carmen have no plan to fight these threats, or to involve you in their decision-making as members of the bargaining team.

Collective bargaining is the core responsibility of a union. We can’t afford to have undemocratic leaders in charge of bargaining any longer.

You deserve leadership that acts transparently, shares information, and respects the will of the members. You deserve an informed vote to approve any negotiated articles. You deserve a seat at the bargaining table.

Here’s Union Strong’s vision for what real representation will look like. These approaches may be new to our chapter, and will require work for us to achieve, but they are part of a strong tradition of union democracy.

Open negotiations

When the union’s bargaining team meets to negotiate with management, members are invited to observe, in person or via livestream. This keeps the national union and the bargaining committee accountable to the members, while showing management our strength in numbers.

Examples: Temple University, American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, GWC-UAW Local 2110 Graduate Workers of Columbia

“Most employers don’t like open negotiations because their comments and attitude become common knowledge to people. This is the way it should be. Many times the Union Committee becomes used to hearing the employer say ridiculous things to justify a position they are holding. When members are present and hear such things they usually become insulted and tell other members what they heard.”


Contract Action Teams (CATs)

CATs empower members to lead 10-person Contract Action Teams to communicate with, organize, and mobilize members for ongoing contract negotiations. Each leader meets regularly with the bargaining committee to report and receive updates. With our contract’s Compensation article up for negotiation this year, we’ll need grassroots participation to make sure your voice is heard at the bargaining table.

Examples: American Postal Workers Union, UFCW 21, United Teachers Los Angeles, SEIU

An informed vote

The chapter distributes tentative contract agreements to the members, and its analysis of the tradeoffs. Members have time to read everything, and meet to ask questions, share and discuss their positions. Members must vote to ratify a contract. This is a right our union chapter does not currently have, but other unions have fought for and won this right.

Examples: United Auto Workers, Chicago Teachers Union, CUNY contract blitz

“The right to vote on contracts is most often undermined when members can’t make an informed decision. They need accurate contract language, the opportunity for alternative leaders to analyze the proposal, time to discuss the likely implications, and time to perhaps campaign among co-workers for a ‘no’ vote.”

Getting a Fair Contract Vote

Protected concerted activity

When employers refuse to bargain, like many federal agencies under Trump, we must use other means to leverage our union’s power to bring management to the bargaining table. Federal workers lost the right to strike (although somepresidential candidates propose restoring this right in their platforms). This means we must get creative with protected concerted activity, which are collective actions we have a legally protected right to partake in, like petitioning, picketing, canvassing, rallying and more.

Examples: AFGE: Fight Back Against the EOs, EPA Employee protests contract during ceremony with Wheeler, Hundreds of federal workers rallied on Capitol Hill to protest the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back employee benefits and protections

Read more about Kraninger-Trump union-busting, and join Union Strong as we fight back against Trump’s executive orders and build a democratic union that will represent all employees, equally.

In solidarity,
Union Strong Caucus

Director Kraninger is taking illegal orders from Trump— just like her predecessor Mulvaney 🆘 https://unionstrong.us/2019/11/22/kraninger-trump-union-busting/ Fri, 22 Nov 2019 17:00:03 +0000 https://unionstrong.us/?p=358 Read more Director Kraninger is taking illegal orders from Trump— just like her predecessor Mulvaney 🆘]]> We can’t let her eliminate our most basic union rights. It’s time to stand up to Kraninger-Trump union-busting

Union Strong Caucus has been pushing our current chapter leadership to be more transparent about midterm bargaining. Here’s what we’ve learned about what’s going on with midterm bargaining at CFPB and NTEU Chapter 335.

In May 2018, Trump signed 3 union-busting executive orders.

His goal was to destroy the rights and protections that we as federal employees have fought hard for decades to win. NTEU and other federal employee unions have been fighting those illegal orders through the courts ever since.

In November 2019, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger followed Trump’s illegal orders.

CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger

She put 2 proposals on the table for midterm bargaining that would implement his union-busting orders at CFPB, taking away fundamental employee rights like access to union representation on the job and the right to file a grievance when you are disciplined or fired for illegal reasons. Even though these EOs are still being litigated, KK is doing Trump’s bidding to push these on us.

What is Gail Wisely doing?

We are holding our chapter leaders accountable and asking for updates on these negotiations every week. So far we have pushed our sitting President Gail to email the bargaining unit about Kraninger’s proposals, and the bargaining team to share the documents containing the Director’s proposed updated Grievance Procedure and Official Time contract articles with the chapter stewards. Ask your steward if they haven’t shared these files with you yet.

We still need to do more, and we need your help to take action:

What are your ideas for standing up to Kraninger-Trump union busting?