OPEIU and our employers are partnering together for the success of our members! Below you'll find the story of how one Steward came up with a creative way to keep a member on the job. There is also News around the Local and a Call to Action.
A Good Start
Midterm election results
"Good Riddance" wrote the Facebook group Labor 411 about soon-to-be-former Governor Scott Walker. Labor 411 bills itself as "Buy Union, Buy American" pro-labor organization and they summed up the feeling of many of us who have been fighting for eight years to try and minimize the damage this most anti-worker and anti-labor of governors in Wisconsin history.

November 6th was a good night for Democrats and labor in many ways. Democrats won back the House of Representatives for the first time in ten years, giving them the power to investigate the current administration to see if the many allegations of criminality have any basis. According to Business Insider, the 116th Congress will also be the most diverse in history, at least on the Democratic side of the aisle. And not just diverse in terms of racial, ethnic, or gender makeup, but also in terms of net-worth, with former bartenders and high school teachers among those about to be seated. It helps all of us when the people representing us look like US.

There was much to celebrate. But unseating the anti-worker governor doesn't change the fact that the equally anti-worker GOP still controls the other two branches of state government. We still have one of the most anti-worker presidents in history being enabled by the GOP in the Senate. We've stopped the bleeding but there is a long way to go before our country even begins to start healing again.

The record turnout was undoubtedly the difference in many races, including the Governor and Attorney General races and the close margin of victory in several races across the country point to the importance of every vote. There is so much momentum from the big wins that we need to harness that moving forward. Putting pro-worker politicians in place is just the first step. They can't do it alone, particularly not with divided government. There are still children separated from their parents and kept in cages. There is still collusion and corruption to be investigated. There is still domestic terrorism that must be countered. We may be stopping the bleeding, but the patient will need all of us, pulling together, to make sure that all workers can organize, that there are fair immigration laws, all of it.

But we've stopped the bleeding. That's great news. We'll take it. And then we'll get back to work.
Membership Meeting: CANCELLED
The meeting set for this Wednesday has been cancelled. The next meeting is in February 2019. We apologize for any inconvenience.
News around the Local
Note: Bargaining a good contract is just the start of what the Union does for us. Once the contract has been agreed to, the terms of the contract have to be honored by both the Union and the company that signs the agreement. Below, you'll see how the Union fights to maintain the gains made in those contract negotiations by using the remedy provided for in the contract itself: the grievance. Feel free to reach out to a steward or business agent if you have any questions.
Grievance filed against Aspirus
Step 3 of the grievance process occurred on November 7th. The position of OPEIU is that members working under the job titles within our contract are all entitled to share in the rights, working conditions and benefits of all members. This means all members throughout the organization at all Aspirus locations.

We are hopeful that this grievance can be resolved between the parties but if not we are prepared to take the case to arbitration.
Negotiations with CUNA Inc have begun
Negotiations have started for a wage and health care reopener. The employer put forward changes to health care based “on a trend” that they have defined versus concerns over cost and providing health care to employees that is competitive in the Madison area market.  OPEIU is perplexed at management’s apparent desire to become an employer that puts them at the lower end of Madison employer’s for good benefits and wages. It is unclear what their goal could be but their current path is truly disappointing. Negotiations resume next week. OPEIU will continue to bargain for our members and all employees of CUNA Inc.
Grievance filed against CUNA Mutual Group
Welcome New Members!
Shynyque Aden
Amber Thies
Tiffany L. Harston
Linda Cleary
Sean E McConkey
Joshua Becker
Daniel Lao
Mona Haglund
Simret Ghebremariam
Joyce Outlaw
Tiffanie Hill
David Ziegler
Jill Hietpas
Jeff Johnson
Doug Olson
Contract Negotiations with Verso in progress
OPEIU, along with USW and the craft unions, recently were in Pittsburgh to continue bargaining with management. This puts negotiations out by over 2 years for our members to be without a new contract. Negotiations were not successful with management digging in its heals on absenteeism, premium pay, and changes to health care. Negotiations resume again November 13th and 14th.
Contract Negotiations with Corenso NA have been suspended
The employer has requested that negotiations be suspended for the time being. The employer’s attorney stated that the employer wished to give “further consideration regarding its position in negotiations.” OPEIU estimates that the employer is reviewing their outstanding NLRB charge with our brother’s and sister’s of USW. The employer had stated that they wanted to divide the union by division which in turn would reduce the profit sharing payout to members significantly. Corenso management made the same proposal to OPEIU which we too, along with USW, have serious concerns of the potential financial impact to our members.
Unions = Gym Membership
Upcoming Membership Meetings
Membership meetings are held the third Wednesday of the second month of the quarter, at 5:30PM at the Union Office.

February 21, 2019
May 15, 2019
August 21, 2019
November 20, 2019

This is your Union. Your participation gives us the strength to face the continued opposition of both politicians and companies.
Know Your Weingarten Rights!
The US Supreme Court has ruled that the National Labor Relations Act gives workers the right to request union representation during investigatory interviews by supervisors, security personal, and other managerial staff. These are called Weingarten Rights.

An investigatory interview occurs if 1) management questions you to obtain information; and 2) you have reasonable apprehension that your answers could be used as a basis for discipline or other adverse action.

You must ask for union representation either before or during an investigatory interview. Management does not have to remind you of this right. If your request is refused and Management continues asking questions, you may refuse to answer. Your employer is guilty of an unfair labor practice and charges may be filed. If you are questioned in a situation where Weingarten may apply, read or present this statement:

"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present at this meeting. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion."
If you have any news you would like to share with other Members, please let us know! You can contact us via email or our Facebook page.