Your Voice, Your Choice
OPEIU Local 39
July 2016
Upcoming Elections

After all of the tumult of early June, July has been relatively quietly. We hope that you've been able to take some time off to relax because August is looking to be pretty busy.

Below we'll talk about the August primary election as well as other election news. We'll also give you what we have as updates on what's happening at CMFG. And finally, there's a Membership Meeting coming in August. Plan for it!

Update on CUNA Mutual Group
It's been over a month since CEO Bob Trunzo announced that he would do "The right thing to do for the future of this company." Over a month since he promised that "We're going to do our best to create certainty for you." So far, we haven't heard much.

During the last month, the Union met with the Company in what was described as a "disappointing" meeting that lacked anything like specifics. No new layoffs of Union Members have been announced (the changes to the Retirement Services area had been announced well before Trunzo's announcement). The Union will continue to press for information and to offer input but there's nothing we can do as long as the Company fails to present either a timeline or a list of areas affected.

In other news, the Union did meet with the Company to discuss positions that have been moved into management that we feel should be part of the bargaining unit. During negotiations last March, both the Union and the Company agreed to review positions that were out of the Union and determine if they had been properly classified out of the Union.

Employees excluded from coverage under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) include supervisors, managers, confidential employees, and others. Under the NLRA:
  • A supervisor is defined as someone who uses independent judgment to make personnel decisions or to recommend personnel decisions. Personnel decisions include hiring, promoting, transferring, rewarding, and terminating employees.
  • A managerial employee is defined as someone who makes, executes, and exercises independent judgment about management policies. Managerial employees normally do not manage people.
  • A confidential employee is defined as someone who assists and acts in a confidential capacity to the management personnel who make and implement labor relations policies, or as someone who has regular access to confidential information about future bargaining strategy or changes that the employer anticipates may result from collective bargaining.
  • Other employees who are excluded from the bargaining unit include independent contractors, agricultural workers, domestic workers, people employed by a parent or a spouse, and public employees.
If we determine that there are jobs being done that belong in the Union, we'll bring those folks back into the Union so that they can have the full protection of the Collective Bargaining agreement, including the recent wins on health care, paid parental leave, and job protections.

While we're doing this for CMFG, this is something that should be done for all units. Companies need to be held accountable for the contracts they sign, and that means following the rules as to what is -- and is not -- bargaining unit work.

Finally, we're at the mid-year point. Some of us have gotten mid-year reviews, others may still be waiting. But, don't wait. If you haven't had a chance to discuss with your manager how you are doing, please make time to do so as soon as possible. Ask how you are doing. Insist on having one-on-one discussions about performance. You should never be surprised by the results of a review but it really is on all of us to make sure that doesn't happen. Especially as the company refuses to fill positions, if you are finding it hard to keep up, work with your manager to set your priorities. That's their job, and they need to know how the worker shortage is affecting the Company.

If you do discover that you are trending towards "Unsuccessful" then you need to contact a Steward or the Union office right away. There are protections built into the contracts to make sure that you get what you need to get back on track.

Be Ready for the Election. In August.
T he primary for selecting the presidential candidates was last spring, but coming up August 9th is the primary to select the candidates for other state and national offices. These include Senator, Congress, District Attorney, and many local offices.

It is important to vote in every election but if you haven't voted yet, do you know if your ID will be sufficient to allow you to cast a vote? August will be a great time to test that out. While you may have an affidavit option come November, you still need a valid ID next month.

While you made your choice back in the spring for your favorite presidential candidate, the national parties are meeting this month to nominate who will actually be on the ballot in November, even though it is obvious by now who those major party candidates will be. The AFL-CIO has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, saying: "How you vote is a personal decision. Your union has done the research and recommends Hillary Clinton for President." 

You may or may not agree with that endorsement (the AFL-CIO has other endorsements as well). Your candidate might not have made it past the primary last April or he might have fallen short only in the last few months. You might be unhappy, not only with the result but with the whole process itself! Politics is messy, contentious, and is anything but perfect because politics is full of imperfect human beings. As you ponder what your "personal decision" will be, it will be important that you do two things. 
What You Can Do

Show up in November. Even if your candidate isn't on the ballot, there is an entire slate of candidates whose election has the potential to radically impact your life. Do the research, study the ballot (now and in November), and show up to vote, even if you only cast ballots for the down-ticket races. You will be impacted as much by the Senator, Representative, and County Clerk as you are by the President

Do your homework. The AFL-CIO is made up of Unions, ours and many others. The people in those Unions voted to endorse Secretary Clinton but you don't have to take anyone else's opinion on such an important choice. You can do your own research. I recommend the following:

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.

PS - Membership Meeting in August
The Union succeeds through everyone's efforts. Please join us next month, August 17th at 5:30 PM.

  • Unit Updates
  • Financial Updates
  • Updates on issues at CMFG

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

Membership meetings are held the third Wednesday of the second month of the quarter, at 5:30 PM in the Union Office.

August 17th, 2016
November 16, 2016
February 15th, 2017
May 18th, 2017

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