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What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

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What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
Should a delegate "just say yes" to brand new by-laws fresh off the presses of the lawyer who tells Judge Berman that it will be a "draconian punishment" to the contractors to hire you from the OWL? Should a delegate "just say yes" to a brand new set of rules regarding the process of voting for a Collective Bargaining Agreement, and then, without taking a month to consider the new rules, to run them by the members for any thoughts, without giving any due consideration to changing or amending those brand-spankin' new rules from on high.......should a good, thoughtful, well-intentioned and well-meaning delegate feel compelled in any way whatsoever to "get this vote done right now"?

The power of our District Council really lies within the Delegate Body. Will your delegates wake up to that fact at some point in the near future? Delegates have the power to form their own committee to review these rules and to delay any kind of rush to shoot themselves in the foot. Thats just one of many ways that they can take control of this process.

Whether you are for or against this contract, or whether you are for or against full-mobility, can't we all agree that the specific way this new process is suddenly and from out of the blue being foisted upon us seems disrespectful to the power and authority that is actually vested in the Delegate Body and by extension, disrespectful to us?

The qualities that I seek in my delegates include:
-independence
-the ability to effectively communicate to union members what is going on and why, including different points of view and possible ways of looking at things.
-a commitment to express the memberships' views in the delegate meetings and to fight for their best interests
-fearlessness regarding the seeking of information necessary to make informed decisions.
-fearlessness regarding roll-call votes
-deep commitment to the values of unionism and an appreciation for why we have organized ourselves: for the betterment of all our members and their families and for working people everywhere.
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Erwin Shyster
NO council employee should be elected as a delegate, it is a conflict of interest.
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

THE FIX IS IN AGAIN
In reply to this post by Ross
Ross;

Did not DW memo the DC that the CDB must adhere to by law 20. To some that means another x days up to two months.

Is that what you really beleieve the DC is thinking about right now?
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
I'm not sure what you mean. Please break it down for me. My understanding is that DW is making the Executive Board come up with rules for contract ratification and that that was demanded by by-law 20. So suddenly the lawyer for the union, Murphy, is going to come up with some language, and the executive board will look at it and then present it to the delegates on the 25th and then immediately ask for the new rules to be approved and then a ratification of the WCC...thats the suspicion, I guess.

My view is that something as important as these rules regarding contract votes deserves a thorough discussion by the delegates, as well as some time to ponder them and think about them, and to take the suggested rules to their locals for some member input as well, and that this process cannot be rushed. To rush it is to disrespect us. That is my view. We might not approve of the new rules and we might want to make a different set of rules altogether. We wont know that right off the bat, and to act otherwise is to be non-transparent and fishy and disrespectful, yadda yadda yadda. Thats my view.

I dont understand your comment.

I'm thinking about this situation and asking the practical question, would you want a delegate to just shut up and vote yes to everything or do you want a more thoughtful, deliberative, consensus-building type of delegate representing you? This current situation regarding the WCC contract has me thinking about what I want from my delegates. What do you want? Please explain, and thanks for responding.
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
In reply to this post by Erwin Shyster
I'm not sure if I'm right, but I think there is a very strong argument for your point of view. If the EST has some kind of blanket authority to hire and fire any council employee, then there is an obvious structural conflict of interest. Its like the Executive board essentially controls those votes. Is that how it is? Is that your argument? I would like to hear from people that have feelings on this issue either way, along with logical arguments. If I have your argument wrong, please correct me.
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

John Musumeci
Administrator
In reply to this post by Ross
Ross: I could not agree with you more, see email sent to Bilello & Co. on Friday.  Update: WC&C Contract
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
Way to go, John. We need some stand-up delegates to take their jobs seriously and start being more thoughtful, communicative and deliberative. One note: I attended the recent "town-hall" by David Walsh and he mentioned that Judge Berman had cited "material differences" in the contract, but he said that Judge Berman did not specifically state what he felt they were. At least thats how I remember it. To me, that means the whole thing should be considered open to review.

I dont know if its fair to call it paranoia at this point, but I think we need to really go through this contract with a fine-toothed comb looking for contract language that may seem like no big deal, but actually turns out to be a sneaky poison-pill for us, things like the favored-nations clause in the MWA or some other disastrous line of junk. What is being given away without us understanding it yet?

We really need some time here, time to thoughtfully come up with the ratification rules, and time to thoughtfully go over this new contract.
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Common Sense
In reply to this post by Ross
Ross:

Common sense would dictate that more than ~20 minutes within the regular business of any Delegate Meeting is required to discuss items as important as drawing up rules and procedures (per Section 20) and/or the ratification of a CBA.

At the LU 157 meeting on Wednesday, Delegate John Maloney remarked that during the UBC trusteeship a full two days was set aside for the administration and the delegates to review all CBAs carefully before any vote was taken.

Such a common sense approach has not been the practice of the Bilello administration, who routinely gives insufficient, or no, notice at all to the delegates prior votes.

On Tuesday the Review Officer requested Council attorney James Murphy and the Executive Board inform the Executive Committee and the Delegate Body of the RO's Section 20 compliance recommendations; neither the Executive Committee (which met on Thursday) nor the Delegate Body had been given any notice as of yesterday (Friday) at close of business.

For Delegates who work on the tools, the weekend is often the only or best chance to address in-depth Union business such as: reviewing contractual documents, or working up proposals to be adopted by the Body; they have again been denied that opportunity by the EST and his counsel.

The Council Delegate Body (CDB) is vested with full plenary power, and the authority to initiate and raise legislation, but if the Office of the EST chooses to not disclose vital information and keeps the Delegate Body in the dark, then CDB can not function as it is supposed to according to the Bylaws.

Common sense dictates that legislating Section 20 rules and procedures, or reviewing CBA's before a Delegate vote (as these are highly significant questions regarding the functioning of our Union,) would require a SPECIAL CONVENTION of the Delegates, to responsibly consider such interests of the Membership, whether amendment to the bylaws is necessary, or not.  


See the NYCDCC Bylaws:

AMENDMENTS
Section 35.
(A) Any amendments and changes to these Bylaws may be put into effect by the action of the Delegates at a Special Convention of the Council.


MISCELLANEOUS
Section 37.
(A)The Council Delegate Body, by majority vote of the Delegates present, either in regular or special session, shall have the authority to adopt policies and procedures consistent with these Bylaws to govern the Council and all Local Unions, and to enact all measures, resolutions, trade rules, instruction to members and Local Unions and all other actions that may be necessary to further the objectives and purposes of the Council. Provided further that the foregoing shall be in conformity with the Consent Decree, Stipulation and Order of June 3, 2010, and any other Order entered, in United States v. District Council, 90 Civ. 5722 (CSH), and subject to the approval

(D) The Executive Committee of the Council shall have the authority to call a Special Convention. Written notice describing the purpose of a Special Convention must be given to all Delegates and the principal office of each Local Union at least thirty (30) days prior to such Convention. The delegates of any Special Convention of this Council shall consist exclusively of the Delegates to this Council.
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
AWWW.....Now you're gonna make me go read the bylaws....on a Saturday!! MOM!!!!!!!!

Thanks for the input. Honestly, after observing several of these Delegate Meetings from the gallery, the term "common sense" does not leap to mind...as you seem to point out in your comment, as well.

I agree with the sentiment of your comment. I am confused, though, by the bylaw language that you cite as it seems unclear or possibly even contradictory to me. I am not sure that a special convention is required to come up with the rules on contract ratification. Section 20 states:
 
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Section 20. Following recommendation by the Executive Committee, the Council Delegate Body shall have the exclusive power and authority to ratify and execute Collective Bargaining Agreements for and on behalf of its affiliated Local Unions, except to the extent the International Union exercises its jurisdiction or authority.

The District Council Delegate Body shall adopt rules and procedures governing the method of collective bargaining ratification.

The District Council has established, and shall maintain, procedures for processing grievances filed pursuant to District Council collective bargaining agreements, as set forth in aseparate document dated April 18, 2011, which is incorporated herein by reference.

So, I think that coming up with the rules for collective bargaining ratification is the "fulfillment" of the bylaws, and not a "change" to the bylaws. The bylaws say we have to come up with rules for ratification. See what I mean? I'm no expert and please continue the conversation with me if you see it differently, but I don't see how a SPECIAL CONVENTION is called out as required in this case. Perhaps we should have one anyway, but as a matter of following the bylaws, I do understand how the Executive Committee is required to call for one merely to fulfill the requirements already spelled out in Section 20. Don't get me wrong, I would be in favor of a special convention on this matter. I'm just saying I don't think the bylaws require it, as I think you are claiming. You quote Miscellaneous Section 37 which begins with:
(A)The Council Delegate Body, by majority vote of the Delegates present, either in regular or special session, shall have the authority to adopt policies and procedures consistent with these Bylaws...

I think that covers the contract ratification rules. But again....not sure, and I will call a SPECIAL CONVENTION for myself and read these bylaws this weekend....

P.S. while the Executive Committee is specifically empowered to call for a special convention, is the delegate body also able to do that? Is it specifically allowed or denied the power to do that? If it is not mentioned either way, what does that mean?

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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
I wrote "do" where i meant "don't"

Perhaps we should have one anyway, but as a matter of following the bylaws, I do understand how the Executive Committee is required...

should read:

Perhaps we should have one anyway, but as a matter of following the bylaws, I don't understand how the Executive Committee is required...
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
In reply to this post by Erwin Shyster
Hey Erwin, this is my second response to your comment. Sorry its taking me awhile to get it together. I have been reading the bylaws today and I just came across the part that says the EST can hire and fire people, but it turns out, that applies to clerical and custodial staff. So far, from what I'm reading other positions seem to be under the authority of the Delegate Body itself, but I haven't finished my read thru yet...soooo.....

I need someone to make the case for me, unemotionally, explaining why its a conflict of interest for a delegate to be a Council Employee. What kinds of positions are we talking about? How might they influenced directly or indirectly, and by who, that makes their membership in both roles a conflict of interest? Someone please help me out with a friendly explanation.

I think I've heard the accusation of jobs in exchange for voting "the right way" but I dont know what we're actually talking about. Someone please help me out here. Maybe its an argument about subtle influences or whatever...someone please tell me the argument.

What do we mean by council employees? What are the names of the positions we are talking about? How might there be a conflict of interest if they are also elected members of the delegate body?

Break it down for me....GO!
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

A las Barricadas
This post was updated on .
Ross:

Please do your homework before assigning others with a slew of tedious rhetorical/essay questions.

While there may be those who have time and energy, amidst applying themselves on the front line, to answer your disbelief for why we fight, silence is as acceptable response to the question asked by one who hasn't done their due diligence.

You are obviously a thinking man, so consider this question (and perhaps you'll find your answer without pulling a mechanic off station):

How is a rank-and-file, on-the-tools-delegate different from a Council employee-delegate?
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
I do really understand your point of view and I apologize if my questions, posed like they are, are bothering you or anyone else. I did spend an hour today reading the bylaws and I felt that I advanced the conversation a little bit. I am honestly seeking some answers and I am trying to get past some of the angry rhetoric that seems to clog things up. I think I can learn a lot from others and I don't want to reinvent the wheel. I'm hoping to strike up some friendly, informative conversation in the hope that it can make our union stronger. A couple days ago I found a great link to some of our union history and after I read it I posted it in one of these discussions. Later on it seemed to me that others had read it as well. I hope I am contributing as much as I am asking for assistance. I'm not in charge and I don't want to come off like a know-it-all because I definitely am not. I've also begun looking into the archives of this site, very interesting...

Anyway, sorry if I've made a bad impression.

I must not be making my own point of view clear if you think I have some sort of disbelief about our fight. I am a union believer, brother. I'm readin' books and getting deeper understandings. I just want to be able to think through some complex issues very clearly and I think that my brothers and sisters here can help me get there.

An on the tools delegate has the best perspective to represent rank and file members. That's a good argument against Council employee delegates. Is that what you're saying?

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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Wardenclyffe
You said:

"An on the tools delegate has the best perspective to represent rank and file members. That's a good argument against Council employee delegates. Is that what you're saying?"


As alternate to me answering that question, you could post a list of every way thought of that a rank-and-file, on-the-tools-delegate is different from a Council employee-delegate.

You're the one who was asking about where the conflict of interest lies; you may think and determine what that answer is, without others leading; you can provide us with content from the results of your investigation.


 
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
Well, I've gotten the impression that the voting of the delegate body is not really representing the will of the entire membership, but I'm not positive about it and I'm exploring ideas. It helps me to hear opposing views and their arguments. I mean views that oppose each other, and sometimes there are many different, well considered, nuanced views. If smart people can disagree, I was hoping to kind of inspire a civil and informative discourse on subjects that I'm thinking about. I didn't realize that I looked like I was handing out assignments. I've taken part in several discussions here. I thought that was the point. Please just ignore me if I irritate you, but know that I will really try to adjust.

I think that delegates goals need to align with general members' goals. I have been told that people are suspicious of the real goals of Council Employees that are also delegates. I also feel that many members feel betrayed by the leadership that they voted in, people who ran on a platform that they now oppose. This is all understandable to me and I've made some votes that I'm still happy about, and some, not so much.

I have had my hands in my work for many years, enjoying what I have been doing, building fine furniture. I am now sort of "waking up" to the ramifications of this union stuff that has passed by me, unnoticed, I'm sorry to say. I'm just getting involved now, trying to get myself informed. I am one of a handful of union members who has gone to the last 2 court....things. I don't even know what to properly call them. I went to the recent "town-hall". I have started to observe the Delegate meetings from the gallery for a few months now. I am learning by osmosis, but most of it goes over my head the first time or two. I tell you all this not to say I deserve any special treatment, but to try to convince you that I am sincerely trying to understand and contribute. I am trying to get a real grounded feeling for the issues we face and I'm seeking some help. I think there are other members in the same boat, and being able to read a discussion like this may help them as well. I'm hoping for a good point/counterpoint, and if one or the other doesn't add up for me, it helps me figure some things out. Thats all.

I have read your suggestion, that I try to consider for myself how my interests and a Council Employee's interests are not aligned, and I just don't know enough to know why. All I can come up with is that some people must think that they will keep their jobs and steady pay by voting for things that the membership doesn't generally want. Thats obviously the argument. But I just cant fill in the blanks. If they vote against this contract, for example, will that put their jobs at risk? I'm trying to understand the assertions.

I think people with strong opinions should be able to explain them. I want to be like that, and I invite reasoned opinions. It will help me.

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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

cheat-sheet
The rank-and-file, on-the-tools-delegate works every day under a CBA he or she voted to ratify.

The Council employee-delegate does not work under a CBA he or she voted to ratify.


Though they both are Members of this Union, while one works at carpentry, the other represents Carpenters.


The Bylaws should be changed so that Council employees cannot be delegates; so they may organize a staff union, negotiate and vote on terms of their own employment-- instead of voting on terms of  employment that is not theirs.
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
Thats pretty clear, cheat-sheet, thanks. That comes at the whole issue from a different direction than I had been considering. Very helpful. Thanks.

Anyone else?
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

FUSTRATED MEMBER
In reply to this post by Ross
The paid employes have to vote with thier bosses looking at what they do. You dont think there will be reprecusions if they do the right thing by the members you are sadly mistaken.
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

Ross
Thanks for responding. You are asserting that I am sadly mistaken if I don't see how council employees are intimidated into voting the way the Executive Board wants, correct? Please go on. Explain it to me.

I know that the EST can recommend firing or penalizing such employees, but that must be approved by a majority vote of the Delegate Body. Are you saying that just that threat is all the intimidation thats required? Also, there is a specific provision in the bylaws that is intended to protect delegates from that kind of intimidation, Sec 5(f), but I could understand if you were arguing that even with those protections in place, you suspect that in the real world, shit happens and its naive to think otherwise.

Again, thanks for your response, but actual examples or arguments would help get it thru my thick head....

Sec 5(f) is being talked about in John's post today. It seems to apply to all delegates, but "our" lawyer is asserting that it only applies to delegates who are council employees....not to my thick head.....
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Re: What qualities do you want in a delegate? Elections coming up....

bulldog88
In reply to this post by Ross
REMOVE the EST....REMOVE ALL DELEGATES....INVENT A NEW SYSTEM THAT WORKS!!! http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/35450319.jpg
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