Dear Sisters & Brothers,
The year is young, but the fights are old.
Next month, the Supreme Court is set to hear Janus v AFSCME, which challenges the long-held custom that all workers covered by a bargaining agreement should contribute their fair share to support the work the union does in representing them. Simply put, everyone in the unit benefits the same so everyone should pay their share. Because of unions, workers have good pay, health insurance, retirement benefits, workers compensation and many other workplace protections. Believe me… all those things we have we must fight for to keep. In addition, all worker protections and laws in this country such as a 40 hour work week, the 8 hour day, overtime pay, holiday pay and all bonuses, just to name a few. The employer doesn’t give you NOTHING!!! The Supreme Court will issue a ruling later this year, and should it go against unionism – unfortunately we’re afraid it will – this will have a negative impact on ALL working men and women across this nation. We can hope for the best, but we must prepare for the battles ahead.
This is why, signing and returning those membership cards you should have gotten in the mail earlier this month is so important. They were mailed along with the bargaining surveys you should have received from District Council 36, and including a postage paid envelope. If you haven’t already, sign the membership card and mail it back. Even if you think you’ve already signed a card before or did it a while ago, we need to ensure that the updated cards are on file. This is critical moving forward.
Speaking of preparing for the battles ahead, we are gearing up to once again enter into negotiations on a new contract with the City of Los Angeles, as our current agreement expires in June. You know that good pay, those health benefits, bonuses and those workplace protections I just spoke about? This is where we make that all happen. Management looks at that same contract to decide what to take away from you as well. In preparation, we’ve hosted a series of worksite meetings. I’ve gotten a chance to speak with many of you about your issues and concerns at work, and I promise you’re being heard. The last two worksite meetings are on Wednesday Jan. 31, at the Tillman Wastewater Plant in Van Nuys and the Police Administration Building downtown. I hope to see you there.
And in case you missed it, our Vision Care plan has changed from VSP to Eye Med. This is the same provider you get through the City, but it is a different (and better!) plan through your union. The benefit cards are nearly the same, but the union card has the AFSCME logo on it.