Your Voice, Your Choice
OPEIU Local 39
February 2016
A Busy Week Ahead!
February is off to a busy start. Tomorrow (Tuesday, 2/16) is the first of four elections to be held in Wisconsin this year. Wednesday is the Quarterly Membership meeting. And the negotiations for a new contract have already begun with CMFG. More below.
Election 2016
Tomorrow, Tuesday the 16th, is the first of four elections to be held in Wisconsin this year. First up is the primary election for the State Supreme Court. The two with the highest vote totals will advance to the general election in April.

Primary elections tend to be extremely low turnout, so if you ever wanted to know for certain your vote was important, tomorrow is your chance.

The rules have changed regarding voting. You must have a valid ID to vote in elections now. If you have any questions on Voter ID requirements, go to MyVote Wisconsin.
Held at the Union Office
This is the IBEW Union Building:
701 Watson Ave, Madison WI 53713

We meet in the conference room one floor up from our Local's offices.

Membership Meeting Wednesday
The Union succeeds through everyone's  efforts. Please join us THIS Wednesday, February 17th at 5:30PM.
  • Unit Updates
  • Financial Update
  • Update on the 2016 CMFG contract negotiations

The floor is always open for questions, comments, and suggestions.

Contract Negotiations Begin with CMFG
February 8th marked the opening of contract negotiations with our largest bargaining unit, CUNA Mutual Financial Group (CMFG). This is always a big undertaking as the Company and the Union try to find the right balance and tone going forward.

CMFG has been very successful during the term of the last contract. With the Union in place, with good Union wages being paid and health care coverage being offered, CMFG continues to be a successful company. As Debi Eveland, the Local 39 Business Agent, said in her opening statement to the Company negotiating team:

"CUNA Mutual has prospered over the last three years and has continued to build financial strength. In 2013 CUNA Mutual had a net income of $162M; in 2014 that rose 26.8% to 206 million. While the figures for 2015 are not in yet, we anticipate the company did well since we have heard nothing to the contrary. Your success is our success and we all prosper when the company does well."

She went on to state that "The number one concern of our membership is the subcontracting, outsourcing, and transferring of bargaining unit work" and noted just how many good paying Madison jobs have gone to outsourcing, contracting, or the refusal to fill vacant positions (thus requiring Union members to pick up those duties as well).

The Union stands ready to offer solutions that will benefit both the Company and the community, because good jobs in the community help make it strong. CMFG has declared its support for "causes that help to strengthen our communities and the lives of the people who live in them" and Debi responded: 

"We want CUNA Mutual Group to continue being a leader in the Madison area when it comes to helping the local community.  We also want the company to continue being known as one of the best places to work."

We have every reason to believe that negotiations will be tough but fair, and that CMFG understands that having the Union has helped make it the successful company that it is. Director of Employee & Labor Relations Jim Denholm wrote: “I wanted to proactively reach out to Union Leadership and ensure that you understand CUNA Mutual Group’s commitment to our longstanding positive relations.  It is our desire to continue our relationship with OPEIU, Local 39 and the represented employees, regardless of any legislation passed.”

Both sides seem to understand that the Company works best when it works with us, the Union. As Union members, we must stay unified and strong. The Negotiating team will use that strength to bargain the best contract for all of us. Look for more updates, respond to that first survey (there may be more coming in the days ahead), or requests to show your solidarity.

Together we are Union Strong.
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