The primary election for Governor is next month, as is our next Membership Meeting. Enjoy the next few weeks and then get ready. It's time to participate in our democracy.
August Primary Election
Time to choose who will defeat Walker
At one point, there were sixteen declared Democratic candidates running to be the one to take on the governor that brought Act 10 and "right to work" to Wisconsin. The large number of candidates has since been cut in half, but even with eight candidates still running, we have a great opportunity to find the candidate who we think has the best ideas for Wisconsin. You get to choose on August 14th.

This election is vital to workers and the prosperity of Wisconsin. By every measure, the Republican control of Wisconsin has been devastating. When he was promoting Act 10, Walker "sugar-coated the far-reaching law" but in the result of the Republican bill is that school districts have been starved of operating funds and they've been forced to make up what they can by passing costs on to teachers who have faced worsening conditions in the classroom and less compensation in their paychecks.

The economic situation has worsened for all of us under Walker, especially compared with our neighbor to the west. Regardless of what happens on football Sundays, "Minnesota crushing it vs Wisconsin" has been true for eight years, allowing us a direct comparison of the effectiveness of economic ideas. One example is that, while Wisconsin has more residents, Minnesota has more people employed. Also higher economic activity, Gross domestic product, and wages and salaries (see chart, below).

We have an opportunity in August to start Wisconsin moving towards a tomorrow that is better for all of us. In August, we must reduce the field of eight candidates down to the best candidate to defeat anti-worker Walker in the general election. Click on the name, below, to be taken to the candidate website for more information:

As he has been a union member, the AFL-CIO of Wisconsin has endorsed Mahlon Mitchell for governor. Our local has a personal connection to Paul Soglin. Not only is he the current Mayor of Madison, but he has helped Local 39 with contract negotiations and other labor issues when he was a private citizen. The decision is going to be hard but don't leave it to someone else! Register (are you SURE you're still registered?) to vote, go vote, take someone else with you to vote. August 14th will be a great practice run for the November election.
Hard Times for Public Sector Unions
The recent decision by the US Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME will devastate public sector unions across the country, in essence, making every state a so-called "right to work" state when it comes to the public sector. Ironically, the fact that Act 10 has already destroyed almost all public sector unions in Wisconsin means that we'll see fewer disruptions from the decision. However, if you remember, Walker and the GOP exempted the public safety unions of the Firefighters and Police (the only unions that endorsed Walker for governor) from the provisions of Act 10. No such reprieve is coming from the Janus decision for those unions.

There is no question these are hard times for unions. The hyper partisan judicial nonsense that is the Janus decision ignored 40 years of precedent in its goal to devastate public sector unions. The groundwork for this event was a long time in the making. There are several groups that have been at the forefront of anti-union legislation, but they are usually pretty careful about presenting a face that seems to be "pro-worker, not anti-union" and yet they have worked for years to "deal a 'mortal blow'" to both unions and workers.

With the theft of the Supreme Court seat that should have been filled by Merrick Garland, it wasn't difficult to guess how this decision might go. Unions and union organizers saw it coming and have been pushing to recruit more workers. In that article, "Mary Kay Henry, the International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) told the Chicago Sun-Times the union attitude is 'You can't take us down.'" We are all going to need that attitude in the coming years.

There's even hope that this decision might have unintended consequences that may give new leverage to Unions and workers. According to Shaun Richman, writing in the Washington Post "Conservatives won't like what happens next."

"American labor laws, and the employers who benefit from them, prefer that if there’s going to be a union, only one should serve as the exclusive representative of all eligible employees in a workplace. That scheme imposes on unions a legal obligation to fairly represent all members of the bargaining unit, and a political imperative to defend the terms of any deal as “the best we could get” (even if it includes concessions on benefits and work rules). It rewards the unions with a guaranteed right to exist and a reliable base of fee-paying membership. But it rewards employers with the far more valuable guarantee of the right to direct the uninterrupted work of the enterprise while union leadership has to tamp down rank-and-file gripes and discord for the length of the contract."

With the agency fee "routinely traded for a no-strike clause" in most public sector unions, remove the one (as the Janus decision did) then you lose the other, with the potential for chaos in the public sector. Maybe that's what is is going to take to correct constant conservative anti-union practices.

There is a lot of information and comments on this decision and other Union issues out there. For example, if you use Twitter, you can follow the discussions by searching for the following hashtags:

We're on LinkedIn
We have great news on the digital front. Our Local 39 is meeting anti-union rhetoric and marketing head on by becoming active in the digital space and on social media. Earlier in the year we introduced the public-facing Local 39 Facebook page and now we're on LinkedIn!

Because together we grow and we strengthen through your visible support, we are establishing a presence on LinkedIn, a professional networking site. PLEASE SEE OUR NEW PAGE and tap “Follow” to help us grow our visibility, and to help you stay up to date on the latest Union related news.
Win for Members! Update on the Phone Grievance at CUNA Mutual Group
Earlier in the year, CUNA Mutual Group ended a practice of more than a decade of providing on-call and other support personnel with a cell phone to do the work expected by the company. They changed that practice with no consultation or warning to the union, ending what had come to be an expected benefit for hundreds of employees. Because of this change, the Union filed a grievance on behalf of members that were losing their cell phone and or MiFi device.

Before we took the company to arbitration to resolve this grievance, the parties agreed to settle. Each of those impacted will receive compensation for the loss of the benefit in their paychecks within the month.

The Union is glad that we could provide something for those members impacted by the situation.
PS - Membership Meeting in August
The Union succeeds through everyone's efforts. Please Join us Wednesday, August 15th at 5:30PM. Feel free to wear your "I Voted" sticker from the day before!
Are you coming to the Membership meeting?
Union Offices, 701 Watson Ave, Madison WI 53713

08/15/18 5:30pm - 08/15/18 6:30pm

Summer Membership Meeting
I'll be there!
I can't make it
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.

August 15, 2018
November 21, 2018
February 20, 2019
May 15, 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."
It's a fact: people don't mind scrolling to read an email, as long as it's relevant and interesting. Make sure your message follows through on the promise in your subject line, and use several short paragraphs if you have a lot to say. When in doubt, challenge yourself to write less and add links that support your topic.
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. Please also add us to your network on LinkedIn.