– The locals have outlived their usefulness
In Reply To
Small fragmented locals wielding the power of their little fiefdoms would only favor the developers. To be fair, a unified council is the better way to go.
What needs to be dealt with is how to make this system work for the members as opposed to the chosen few, in order to do this, members have to give up their sentimental attachment to their locals.
The locals have lost none of their powers during this current supervision.
Any frustrations members feel at their inability to influence the path being taken by our union or to even know what is going on, is more due to the fact that Spencer is not attempting to appease the membership and is simply working in the most efficient manner possible to implement whatever changes he wants to. He is simply using the powers held at a council level to implement these changes, nothing more.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING Section 17
The Executive Committee shall have the exclusive power and authority to negotiate, the Delegate Body to consider and finally approve, and the Executive Secretary-Treasurer to execute Collective Bargaining Agreements for and on behalf of its affiliated Local Unions and as per the Constitution of the United Brotherhood.
Locals were not involved in contract negotitiations before Spencer arrived, they did not ratify contracts before Spencer arrived, these were all done by the council and as Spener has all the authority of the council, he can alter these agreements and negotiate on our behalf without consulting with anyone.
Locals did not have any influence on the council before Spencer arrived, and they have no less of an influence now. This has not changed.
Locals do not and did not have any staff who would deal with anything relating to their supposed labor organization functions. Every local in the city has only administrative staff in their offices to collect and process dues. Locals are not permitted to have any staff other than those needed to collect and record dues.
Where Local Unions are affiliated with a District, Industrial
or Regional Council, the services of any Business Representatives,
Assistant Business Representatives, and Organizers shall be provided
by and through such Council and such Business Representatives,
Assistant Business Representatives, and Organizers shall
be appointed by the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Council,
No Representative or Organizer shall have authority to act as such until he or she receives the proper credentials from the Council through the Executive Secretary-Treasurer.
Any member who represents himself or herself as a representative or any member acting as such and not having received credentials from the Council, or a Business Representative whose credentials have been canceled and who represents himself or herself as a Representative of this Council or any Local Union, shall for the first offense, after having been tried and found Guilty, be fined the sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00) and for the second offense, if found guilty shall be expelled from the United Brotherhood.
The simple fact of the matter is that locals have outlived their usefullness to members and have become a detriment to those same members.
The constitution requires members to belong to a local. It then gives all the powers to the councils. The only true purpose the local serves is to keep its membership in the dark.
The council is not required to inform the members of any local as to what it is planning or implementing on behalf of those members.
Frank Spencer did not need to tell the membership that he was foregoing the raise agreed to in the collective bargaining agreement before doing so. The only reason he did inform us was because members would have found out when they got paid. The only reason we were told was so that our employers would not have to deal with this when we got paid.
Frank Spencer does not inform the membership as to what he is doing because under our bylaws and under the constitution, he does not have to.
This is the same power held by the council when there is no supervision.
Locals simply do not perform any functions which would make them a labor organization.
Any organization of any kind, or any agency or employee representation committee or plan, in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work. 29 USC
If you want a voice in this union, you have to let the locals go. They are only there to allow the UBCJA to have a structure where the bodies which have the most members have the least amount of say.
Local members are not permitted to know how any delegate votes on any issue.
If we were to treat the council as our local, this would not be an issue as members would vote directly and would know how they voted.
Local members do not ratify contracts.
If we treated the council as out local we would ratify contracts.
Local members have no say in who is hired or fired as a council employee.
The EST would have to bring all such decisions to the members if the council were a local.
Locals have no input into increased assessments levied by the council. No one is really sure if the delegates ever even voted on the last two 60 cent assessments. The simple fact is that even if they did, many of the delegates would not have been affected by these assessments as they were council employees. So they would have had nothing to lose by approving them and the possible wrath of their employer, the EST, if they voted against them.
If the council were our local, members would need to be given a valid reason for increased dues or assessments if the EST expected those members to approve those increases. And those assessments would be decided by persons who would be impacted by those assessments.
For those of you who do not know, during the last convention, there was a 25 cent an hour additional assessment levied on all members by the UBCJA.
The only things I am aware of that the General Officers do as part of their jobs is flying on Airforce 1, stealing from the pension funds, taking bribes from contractors, and telling the membership that it is not because of their system of governance that the corruption is rampant in the council in the jurisdiction that they are imposing a trusteeship.
I think it is past time that the General Officers started showing some value for their salaries. Anyone who thinks that you can do this from a powerless local is fooling themselves. Anyone who has dealt with Frank Spencer and has found a man who would be useful in any situation where his main purpose was not protecting the various councils from scrutiny by their memberships, is deluding themselves.
Remember that this is the guy who chose Michael Forde as supervisor of local 157 and that this was after seeing Michael Fordes response to his invitation to attend the EST conference in Hawaii. Spencer was also the guy who chose Hawaii as the venue.
Even if one were to put aside the fact that Hawaii was the most expensive venue that could have been chosen, and if you were to ignore the fact that this venue on the west coast would cause the greatest possible disruption in the lives of the EST’s who were all from the east coast.
It still leaves the fact that it was a very poor choice simply because it did not curry favor with businesses from any of the jurisdictions of any of the EST’s involved. It was a meeting of EST’s from the East coast.
This money would have served a dual purpose if spent businesses on the east coast. The hotels, caterers and others involved who benefited financially would have had a reason to think union on their next project on the east coast. While the money may have garnered some good will in Hawaii, that does not help the guy who is out of work on the east coast.
At least if the council were our local, we could have vetoed the $11,000 it cost members to fly Forde and his wife there, or at least been informed that we were to pay for Fordes spouse.
There are a few members who always want power to be returned to the locals. This makes no sense. In a business which has many international companies, small fragmented locals would be a detriment.
These posters are usually looking for specific powers such as contract ratification or direct officer elections. This is far too limited for me. I want a real say. I want some form of control over what is supposed to be my union representing me. I want a system where I am forced to contribute to someone’s vacation simply by not being told that my money is being spent for it.
I do not want to pay for a council employees gas and tolls when they commute. I do not want to pay for their meals.
I do not want to pay a guy $150,000’s a year to a guy who needs another guy with him who costs another $150,000’s a year to make sure that he actually does his job.
I would not want to pay this guy $150,000 a year even if he were capable of doing it on his own. What does any business agent do that is worth $150,000?
Go to site, make sure steward is correctly recording members onsite. Make sure that our contract is being honored. Go to next site, repeat. $150,000?
Organizer, go to site, record members present, hand out whistles, flyers and direct members on where to picket. Watch members walk around in a circle blowing whistles. Give out stubs. $130,000?
Members seem to be far too fixated on trying to return the locals to what they were, this is not going to happen.