Your Voice, Your Choice
OPEIU Local 39
January 2015
Happy New Year
We hope that you enjoyed the holidays and had just the right amount of time with family and friends. Feeling refreshed? Relaxed? Because 2016 is going to be an exciting year.

The contract at our largest bargaining unit expires at the end of March and there will be a lot for all of us to do in order to get the best contract.

This new year is also an election year. Did you know the first chance to vote in 2016 is in just a few weeks? More info below.

And we've started a new format for the Newsletter! What do you think? Let us know on the Facebook page.
Negotiations at CMFG
The current contract with CUNA Mutual Group ends March 31st and negotiations are scheduled to begin February 8th.
The Stewards and Business agent have been meeting in preparation for some while. Their goal is to get the best contract they can for the Membership.

All of our CMFG members should have already gotten the 2016 Bargaining Survey. If you haven't received one, please contact the Chief Steward Mike Pionke or call the Union office.
Please return the survey to your Steward no later than this Friday, the 22nd. Also, please share with them any concerns, questions, or ideas you may have regarding the upcoming bargaining.

The CMFG Stewards are:

Time to Get Politically Involved
The election season has begun! The presidential campaign has been on-going for most of 2015, so you may have already made plans to vote in November. But that is only one of FOUR elections to be held in Wisconsin this year. Your first opportunity to cast a vote to help yourself and your fellow Union members comes in February.

The first election is February 16th and it is a primary to select the top two candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Because turnout is usually small in spring primaries, those who do show up have an even bigger impact. 

The seat up is the one that had been held by the "swing vote" of the court, Justice Patrick Crooks, before his death in September. Governor Scott Walker appointed Rebecca Bradly to the court and she is running as an incumbent. The number of candidates is down to three: Rebecca Bradley, State Appeals Court justice JoAnne Kloppenburg of Madison and general trial judge Joe Donald from Milwaukee.

But that's just the start of election season. The complete list of voting opportunities:
  • On February 16th, the Supreme Court Primary election.
  • On April 5th, the final vote for Wisconsin Supreme Court as well as Wisconsin's Presidential primary.
  • On August 9th, the fall partisan primary for Congress and the Wisconsin Legislature
  • On November 8th, the National election for President. Wisconsin also has a Senate race as well as local races.
Remember that the rules regarding voting in Wisconsin have changed. You now have to have a Wisconsin Driver's license or State ID and proof of residence. Plan now to be able to vote in every Wisconsin election. Get more info on Voter ID at

Every election is important, not just the big ones that get all the attention. Voting on February 16th may provide you the best opportunity to cast a vote in favor of workers.
The 2016 OPEUI Scholarships have been announced, specifically the John Kelly Labor Studies Scholarship, the Howard Coughlin Memorial Scholarship (both with a deadline of March 31st), and the Romeo Corbeil/Gilles Beauregard Summer Camp (with a deadline of May 16th).

The OPEIU Scholarships are a great benefit for OPEIU members and their families. More information and scholarship applications can be found here.

Also, CUNA Mutual members once again have a bulletin board! Located on the Ground Level of the 5910 building, near the vending area at C5.

So now you have our Facebook page, these newsletters, and the bulletin board for current information. Of course, you can always ask a Steward!
Upcoming Membership Meetings
Membership meetings are held the third Wednesday of the second month of the quarter, at 5:30 PM in the Union Office.

February 17th, 2016
May 18th, 2016
August 17th, 2016
November 16, 2016

This is your Union. Your participation gives us the strength to face the continued opposition of both companies and politicians.
Unions = Gym Membership
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."
Local 39 Union Offices
701 Watson Ave
Ste 102
Madison WI 53713