There's a lot of people who want your vote in the November 2020 (yes, 17 months away) and we talk about the deep bench below. But did you know there's an important election next week? Hugely important races such as mayor, school boards, and the Wisconsin Supreme court! Get prepared to vote!

In News Around the Local, there's a reminder that you can be a member delegate to the 29tht OPEIU International convention, scholarship and summer camp opportunities, as well as other news. Read on!
That's One Deep Bench
The urge to replace President* Trump in the White House has led to an ever-increasing field of announced candidates. It's hard to come up with an actual count of candidates: there are hundreds of people who have declared their candidacy " but most of them are people you’ve never heard of and never will." The number of candidates running isn't a bad thing, except when it turns into a horse race before the horses even make it to the track.

Articles like this Rolling Stone article are already talking about a "leaderboard" while we're still more than a year before the election! Talking about "leaders" in terms of money raised, people attending rallies, or numbers of people pledging money may not be the best way to determine who should continue in the race this early in the process.

Quartz online did a great service to democracy by listing the Democratic candidates in the order that they announced their candidacy, giving some top level bullet points about the person such as "Who gives them money" and "Who will like this candidate" and (most important for workers) "Biggest idea for the economy." Being online, its been updated regularly since it first came out, and even includes those who are still considering running but haven't announced. The Minneapolis StarTribune did something similar back in February. Unfortunately, neither article provides links directly to the candidates' websites. That job falls to each of us.

Are there dangers to a large field this early in the process? Nate Silver (first link, above) seems to think yes. Bloomberg Opinion online disagrees, saying that the process will work itself out. But part of that process requires voters to get involved early and do the work of democracy: by paying more attention to what the candidate says they are going to do as president and how they are going to do it than to how much money has been raised to-date or how many people have attended rallies.

The Republicans paid so much attention to the horse race that we've ended up with a horse's ass in the White House, probably the most unqualified person to ever hold that office. Democratic voters -- and democracy itself -- demands that this time around, we have to do the hard work of choosing the best candidate for the job and make that person the most popular. Then we will have a horse race that workers can win.
Democracy is never "done"
Your opportunity to vote in the upcoming spring elections
Our next chance to participate in Democracy is coming up fast! April 2nd will allow us to vote on a large number of important races, including Supreme Court, Madison, Fitchburg, Monona, and Sun Prairie mayors and alders, and school boards all around the area.

News around the Local
See updates below from around the Local. Your business agents have been very busy!
Reminder - Be a Member Delegate!
The OPEIU 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? That's per Article VI, Section 7 of the OPEIU Constitution.

Do you want to represent your Union in Las Vegas this June? All expenses (except for your time away from your job) is covered by the Union. 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 May Quarterly Membership Meeting. Nominations can be made in person or in writing. Any questions about what being a delegate entails or to nominate yourself or someone else, please email the President of the local at .
Send Your Child to Camp this Summer
OPEIU will award twenty scholarships for children, between the ages of 13 and 16, of OPEIU members or associate members.
The one-week summer camp will be held July 14-19 at the University of Missouri Campus in Columbia, Mo., and will teach children about the labor movement, while providing fun summer activities such as camping, boating and swimming.

Applications are due April 30 and winners will be selected and notified by email by May 31.

SCFL Scholarships
Members and children of members who belong to any of our affiliated unions, live or work in one of our eleven counties, have not yet received a post-secondary degree, and have not previously been awarded a SCFL scholarship are eligible to apply. We award four $1000 scholarships, by lottery drawing from amongst the eligible applicants. The application deadline is Friday, June 28 and the winners will be drawn at our July Executive Board meeting.

In addition, for members or children of members who live or work in Dodge County, we are offering two additional $500 scholarships.  These scholarships will also be determined by lottery drawing from amongst Dodge County applicants who do not win the $1000 scholarships.
Ongoing Negotiations with Aspirus
OPEIU will meet with management on April 17th and 18th for another bargaining session. Members biggest concerns are the high cost of health care and wages that have not kept pace with inflation. Aspirus Hospital and Clinics is one of the most profitable health care systems in central Wisconsin and Michigan and they got that way through the hard work and dedication by our members.
Bargaining continues at Verso with bargaining sessions scheduled
OPEIU will meet with management on April 8th and 12th for another session of bargaining. Management representative Erick Nyberg – Human Resources Director for the Wisconsin Rapids mill will be leaving at the end of the month. At the time of the publication of this newsletter OPEIU has not been informed as to whom in management will be representing the company going forward in bargaining.
Corenso Contract Negotiations Ongoing
OPEIU is scheduled to meet with management on April 22nd and 25th for bargaining. OPEIU last gave management a proposal on February 25th and we are expecting a counter offer at the time of bargaining.
Meetings continue with Domtar over Job Descriptions
OPEIU met with management on February 28th to review a structure for job descriptions. OPEIU has provided management with a point’s system to evaluate jobs and a sample job description. The next step is to set up a second meeting to agree upon a system for writing and reviewing jobs going forward.
Waiting on Connexus
OPEIU has reached out to management regarding the issues brought forward by employees at the unit meeting held on February 19th. The union has suggested several dates to meet to discuss employees concerns but management has yet to agree to a date. These issues will be addressed as soon as possible. Stay tuned.
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.

May 15, 2019
August 21, 2019
November 20, 2019
February 19, 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.