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View Diary: Massive Earthquake in AZ Dem Party (115 comments)

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  •  Need to get behind state workers (13+ / 0-)

    Attempting to organize. I work for DES and we are attempting to organize under SEIU. If this happens this will be a big boost to the DEM party in AZ.

    •  WTF is going on with the unions? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leftcandid

      SEIU and AFSME are fighting over us.  I want to be on the right side, but I'm very confused, and reps keep showing up at my house to confuse me more, while I'm on maternity leave.  (I work for Dept. of Environmental Quality.)

      "As scientific knowledge advances, it does not mean that religious knowledge retreats." - horse69 on the bnet recon C&C board

      by lonespark on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:50:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  was unaware (0+ / 0-)

        I know that SEIU comes to our office every few weeks and we have a worker here who signed a few people up. I don't think either side would be bad, just as long as we unionize to give us pay that is fair and adjusts with inflation. However, seems foolish for them to be fighting. I know there was a push to get the unions all back together.

      •  Pima County and my experiences with SEIU rep (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boadicea, skohayes

        SEIU now represents Pima County workers for "meet and confer" purposes. They had a big push to represent this way -- last year or so.

        I found the SEUI rep who came to my workplace to be pretty slippery and not particularly thoughtful about actual workers.

        He had been brought in from some other state to "organize" here but I suppose that's normal.

        Anyway, I had and have concerns about the most vulnerable of Pima Co workers (the ones who like myself work regularly and in actual function are permanent employees, but are classified as "intermittent" to avoid giving benefits). He didn't seem to get it. His focus was on getting intermittents to support SEUI. My focus was on asking whether or not SEUI would be concerned with the the intermittent workers who are not covered under the usual procedures (merit rules?) -- completely unprotected.

        It was like for him the ONLY real concern is what these most vulnerable workers could give to the union (like, money to join). Questions about what the union might be able to do for these workers were somehow irrelevant to him, as were concerns that it would be harder for these workers to organize than it would be for protected permanent employees since the risk of being fired is greater when you can always be fired for any reason without cause.

        Talking with him was like talking to an evangelical Christian. He wanted to "convert" me. My concerns didn't fit his script so he evaded them. We went around and around and around and I kept wanting to get out of the conversation because I hate talking to evangelicals and that's what this felt like.

        I was left feeling like SEUI is concerned with building itself and not so much with the most vulnerable workers.

        I never got a chance to compare this with AFSME. If they made a bid for Pima County, I didn't know about it or speak to their rep. Maybe they would have done what the SEIU guy did, I don't know.

        •  Next Time an SEIU rep comes in (0+ / 0-)

          I will have to ask the same questions. Makes me wonder what response I will get.

        •  I understand this completely... (0+ / 0-)

          ...but I don't know what the "right answer" is for you other than to say please, please, please be sure and go with one of them for meet and confer. In short, the point is to establish meet and confer process in the system before the wingnuts kill it. That's what the nutters are trying to do.

        •  Michellebird, a Union gives you... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          revgerry

          ...One paramount advantage, the right to not be fired or discriminated against IF you don't deserve it (once your probationary period is over). If you've "screwed up," given your length of service, your indiscretion and where you are in the disciplinary process you have the possibility of a "lesser" punishment than "termination." The Union is mandated by LAW to support you - to make the employer make the case against you. The Union is your defense attorney.

          Things like the 22% more Unionized employees make are also nice. BUT - the RIGHT to be treated PROFESSIONALLY and WITH DUE PROCESS are the key reasons to be in a Unionized workplace.

          I was a Union Staff Representative (the Canadian equivalent to a Business Agent) for many years and I'm proud of my efforts to represent workers and I'm proud of our members who had the self respect to join with their Union and DEMAND they be treated PROFESSIONALLY, RESPECTFULLY and with DUE PROCESS.

          The SEIU is an exceptional Union. Personally, I would have considered it an honour (the Canadian spelling of "honor") to have been a Staff Representative with them.

          Any worker will be in good hands with their professional staff representing you and working with your elected local executive.

          •  Mylegacy you don't get it. We're invisible to you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            boadicea

            ...One paramount advantage, the right to not be fired or discriminated against IF you don't deserve it (once your probationary period is over).

            Okay, you don't get it either, it seems.

            Intermittent workers have no probationary period to get over. We are in the status of "can get fired for any time for any/no cause" all the time.

            If you've "screwed up," given your length of service, your indiscretion and where you are in the disciplinary process you have the possibility of a "lesser" punishment than "termination."

            There is no disciplinary process for intermittents. We have no rights under any process. It does not apply to us.

            BUT - the RIGHT to be treated PROFESSIONALLY and WITH DUE PROCESS are the key reasons to be in a Unionized workplace.

            Again, there is no due process for intermittent employees inside of the county's system. This is how the class of employees is defined.

            There are permanent employees who have a probationary period, and intermittents who do not.

            And yet there are intermittent positions that work regyularly and without which some departments would cease to function. For example: this is not my job, but the public library has workers who are responsible for a lot of the grunt work of shelving and sorting and related things. This is a huge part of what makes the library function. Without them the library's circulation services would grind to a halt. Some of the people inthis position have been doing it for years.

            These workers are classified as intermittents. They have no probationary period because they do not get any protection under the county's rules for due process. They are outside of that due process.

            I was a Union Staff Representative

            I don't know why this actual lived reality is so hard for union people to grasp. It is like we in these positions are invisible to you, or something. Maybe that's it.

            Do you get it now?

    •  Can I drive (0+ / 0-)

      my steam roller to the grocery store?

      ...where will it tickle you?

      by GANJA on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:54:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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