Welcome to 2019! Do you want to go to Vegas in June! Nominations for Member Delegates will be taken at the February Membership Meeting. In political news, we have the chance to start over and look ahead as we feature a new Congress that is so much more representative of the real America beginning its work on 3 January. But there is still much work to do to deal with what's left over from 2018, such as performance reviews. Read on and get yourself ready for 2019!
28th OPEIU International Convention
Be a Member Delegate!
The convention this year will be held June 10 - 14, 2019 at the Bally's Hotel and Casino. Did you know that delegates to this convention are nominated by the membership? Per Article VI, Section 7 of the OPEIU Constitution, delegates are nominated by membership.

Do you want to represent your Union in Las Vegas this June? Any member who wants to be a delegate to the convention must have been a member in good standing for at least 12 months prior to the convention in June.

Nominations will take place at the February Quarterly Membership Meeting (see below). Nominations can be made in person or in writing to the President of OPEIU Local 39 .
Yearly Ritual: The Performance Review
Putting 2018 behind us
With the start of the new year often comes an old ritual: the performance review. And while the process is different for each of our bargaining units, there are several elements that should be the same no matter what.

If you prepare a self-assessment, be sure to note all relevant work that you've done throughout the last year. Of course, if you come to January and can't remember what you did a year ago, you may want to start keeping a notebook next to your desk or a folder in your computer for each of the different things that you do in 2019 so as to not to find yourself staring at a blank field on your computer screen! If you didn't start that notebook in 2018, use what resources you have available: work tickets, emails, persistent chat sessions, and the co-workers you collaborated with during the last year.

The self-assessment is your time to shine! Put the best "spin" to your every role. No, of course, don't lie. But your manager most likely has even less of a recollection of what went on last year as you do so why not give them the best version of your work?

The contract at our largest bargaining unit stresses that the review should be between the DIRECT manager and the employee, but that gets confusing when the managers get together to "calibrate" or level set their ideas of what good performance might be. If you suspect that there is forced ranking goin on, be sure to contact a Union Steward.

If your review doesn't go as you hoped and you find yourself in the "Improvement Expected" (or similar) category, there are things that you can do starting now to get yourself a better ranking next year.

  • Check in, regularly, with your direct manager on your work performance. If you're in one of those areas that don't have regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings, schedule them yourself. Every month spend 15 minutes asking your manager one simple question: "How am I doing?" Point out your accomplishments, listen to what you hear about where you may be falling short, bring up those things that are making it hard for you to be your best. Repeat, monthly.
  • After the meeting, send an email to your manager stating: "Here is what I heard" with the "let me know if you disagree" at the end. Keep the dialog going. One best practice is to copy your home email address. Evernote, for example, has the ability to send an email to create a note in their cloud-based storage.
  • Use the rebuttal field on the review forms. Ideally, those fields at the bottom of the review is a consensus, a conversation. By the time you and your manager are done talking any distance between you is worked out. A review that is between you and your direct manager, then you can have a discussion and reach a consensus. You may not agree with everything that your manager tells you, but honest people can appreciate opposing views.
  • If you haven't made full use of the rebuttal part of the review in the past, it isn't too late. Wisconsin state law allows employees to request a printed copy of their employee file up to twice a year. Ask for it. Read it. And if you think something in there misrepresents how hard you work for the company, write a rebuttal then and there and send it to HR. The law states that they have to include it in your file.

Now is when we need to wrap up 2018 but we can also use this time to set ourselves up well for 2019. No matter what sort of organizational changes we may be facing, we'll all be working hard. Keep track of that work, keep your review updated, and be ready to put your best foot forward when reviews come around again in 2020.
Union Members now in Congress
USA shutdown and United States government closed and american federal shut down due to spending bill disagreement between the left and the right pas a national finance symbol with 3D illustration style.
The 116th Congress
The history making 116th Congress began on January 3rd. It's history making for several reasons including the highest number of women, people of color, and the variety of faith-traditions.

In addition, there are a large number of union members!
  • Sen. Jacky Rosen (UNITE HERE) of Nevada
  • Rep. Ed Perlmutter (LIUNA) of Colorado
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CWA) of Connecticut
  • Rep. Jahana Hayes (AFSA) of Connecticut
  • Rep. Dave Loebsack (AFT) of Iowa
  • Rep. Stephen Lynch (Ironworkers) of Massachusetts
  • Rep. Donald Norcross (IBEW) of New Jersey
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (NWU) of Washington
  • Rep. Kim Schrier (Public School Employees) of Washington
  • Rep. Denny Heck (Public School Employees) of Washington
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (AFSCME) of Minnesota

Unfortunately, the government continues it's shutdown as of this writing, keeping 800,000 federal workers without a paycheck, despite these reps voting to re-open more than nine times. Tell your elected officials that it is past time to stop the shutdown and quit holding federal workers hostage to a political agenda.
PS - Membership Meeting
in February
The Union succeeds through everyone's efforts. Please join us at the Union offices Wednesday, February 20th at 5:30PM

Agenda will include Nominations for Member Delegate to the OPEIU International Convention in June in Las Vegas.
News around the Local
See updates below from around the Local. Your business agents have been very busy! New contracts negotiated and your rights being enforced via all legal means, including grievances, arbitration, and even filing charges with the NLRB.
Ongoing Negotiations with Aspirus
Contract negotiations are ongoing. The next bargaining date is January 29th, pending weather
Contract negotiations with Verso begin in February
This is to bargain a local agreement
Contract Negotiations Ongoing
OPEIU has filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge against the employer with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The charge states that the employer has engaged in bad faith bargaining by unlawfully insisting on bargaining three separate contracts with the Union, thereby altering the scope of our bargaining unit and changing the recognition clause of the contract.

The ULP is being reviewed by the NLRB in Milwaukee. we are hopeful that the charge can be settled with the empolyer.
Meeting with Domtar to review Job Descriptions
We are meeting with management to review bargaining unit job descriptions. This was agreed to in the last contract negotiations. The goal is to update and modernize all of the job descriptions. We will keep members posted as to the progress that is made.
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 20, 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.