Your Voice, Your Choice
OPEIU Local 39
June / July 2017
Welcome to the Members of Local 95

OPEIU Local 39 has been around since 1945. We have many bargaining units in many different industries. We talk about the Union as being one thing, but we are many and it's time we got to know each other better.

With the pending merger with Local 95, we thought this would be great time to remind everyone of who we are, what industries we are in, and how open those industries are to the Unions that make them strong.

There's also a new Union benefit we want to talk about as well as encouraging everyone to buy Union for their 4th of July.

Who We Are: First in a Series
CUNA Mutual Group

Credit Unions are not-for-profit financial co-operatives. They are not dissimilar to Unions in that they are founded by members, members vote on issues important to the institution, and they exist to help members, not to profit off of them.

Getting their start in the US in 1908, the number of credit unions grew rapidly in the earl decades of the 20th century. When banks were failing during the Great Depression, Credit Unions continued to go strong. In 1934, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act, which federally chartered credit unions in the US and less than two months later, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), a trade organization for the burgeoning credit union movement, was founded.

Three of our bargaining units are in companies that are part of the credit union movement. While sharing similar names, they are separate companies. We'll talk more about CUNA, Inc. and the World Council of Credit Unions in a later issue. Today, we'll talk about our largest bargaining unit at CUNA Mutual Financial Group (CMFG). Founded in 1935 as CUNA Mutual Group to supply insurance products to Credit Unions, CMFG now provides a range of financial services from credit insurance to 401(k) plans to credit unions and credit union members.

Unions have been a part of the credit union movement from the start and so they were part of the Credit Union National Association from the start as well.

The story is told that Roy Bergengren the first CEO of CUNA Mutual Group encouraged the employees of the young company to unionize, warning them that not all administrations will be as supportive as workers/unions as his was.

Unfortunately, his prediction has been proven all too accurate in recent years. After decades of good relationships and strong growth of both the company and the Union, since the early 2000s we've seen a series of CEOs that, instead of focusing on building relationships with the Union or the community, have used threats of lockouts, outsourcing, and claims of economic difficulties to attack union membership.

The CMFG Unit represents members in a number of areas throughout the company:


  • Customers Operations/Claims
  • Direct to Consumer Sales
  • Finance
  • Information Technology
  • Ethics and Compliance, Legal, HR, International, Product
  • Sales & Marketing

It's an unfortunate fact that, despite being part of CUNA Mutual Group from the beginning, relations between management and the Union are not as strong as they were for the first several decades of the company. Even so, OPEIU Local 39 remains a part of CMFG and the credit union movement, representing our members in the work that they do.

Stewards at CUNA Mutual Financial Group

Below is a list of all of the current Stewards for CMFG. Click on their names to open an email (NOTE: All of the emails are to work addresses. Be careful what you disclose to anyone when using Company email).

We are always in need of more Stewards if anyone is interested in volunteering to be a Steward please reach out to the Chief Steward of your area (if you have one) or our Business Agent, Debi Eveland in the office. We can provide information on the duties and answer any questions you may have.

New Benefit - OPEIU Free College!
OPEIU is pleased to introduce the newest union benefit for all OPEIU members – the OPEIU Free College Benefit. Just as the name implies, OPEIU members and their families can now earn an associate degree completely free of charge.

With all the expenses working families have to deal with these days, it’s good to know that meeting the costs of rising tuition and textbooks doesn’t have to be one of them. If you have children graduating from high school and planning to attend college or you are looking for a way to advance your own career, the OPEIU Free College Benefit is here to help. Beginning this summer, every member or retired member, as well as spouses, children, grandchildren and dependents of OPEIU members, can earn a two-year degree online for free. You read that right – free college just for being an OPEIU member in good standing.

OPEIU has partnered with Eastern Gateway Community College to provide all members and their families access to their classes online. Eastern Gateway is an accredited, non-profit public institution with campuses serving eastern Ohio. But OPEIU members and their families can enroll in the distance learning program from anywhere in the country and earn a participating online associate degree and certificates with absolutely no out-of-pocket costs for tuition, fees or e-books.

For Fall 2017, students will have the opportunity to enroll in associate degree programs in general studies, healthcare, business management, criminal justice, paralegal and early childhood education. As demand increases, OPEIU will continue to look for additional programs to meet the needs of our members.

For those intending to transfer credits to a four-year college, credits earned at Eastern Gateway are accredited by the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), making transferring to a state or public college less complicated. Before enrolling in a private college or university, we recommend you first contact the private school regarding transferring credits.

The Fall 2017 semester begins August 21, with enrollment ending August 18. Complete information and enrollment details are available at, by calling 888-590-9009, or download this flyer
PS - Membership Meeting in August
The Union succeeds through everyone's efforts. Please join us Wednesday, August 17th at 5:30 PM.
Membership Meetings
Membership meetings are held the third Wednesday of the second month of the quarter, at 5:30 PM in the Union Office.

August 17, 2017
November 15, 2017
February 21, 2018
May 16, 2018

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
If you have any news you would like to share with other Members, please let us know! You can contact us via email or on our Facebook page.