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Union Training! Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 5:15 in FAH 110

Hi everyone,

Hector Ramos, Director of Region 3 AFSCME will be conducting a general Union Training on Wednesday, February 12—this coming Wednesday!

5:15 pm in FAH 110 on the Tampa campus.

Light refreshments will be served.

Come learn how the union addresses workers’ concerns. Bring your questions!

The meeting will be conducted in both English and Spanish, so please invite ALL your coworkers.

Hope to see you there! Thanks!

 Susie Shannon

AFSCME 3342

Meeting Minutes for December 9, 2013

Minutes of the AFSCME Local 3342 meeting held on December 9, 2013 at the USF Tampa campus, room FAH 110.

Call to order

The AFSCME Local 3342 meeting was called to order at 5PM by Hector Ramos, AFSCME Region 3 Director who served as facilitator for the meeting.

Attendance and Introductions

Fourteen members and three guests attended.  Attendees introduced themselves providing their name and area they work in.

Current status of the union
Facilitated by Hector Ramos.

Status of Officers: Bill McClelland, President and Nadine Priester, Secretary, have retired.

Status of negotiations with the university regarding salary and sick leave payout proposals:

1. The university proposal for staff increases to base pay have been agreed upon by both the AFSCME and USF bargaining teams.
The proposal agreed to states:
a.  “Employees who earn up to and including $41,400 shall be awarded a base salary increase of $600.
b.   Employees who earn more than $41,400 shall be awarded a base salary increase of $1,000.”

2. The university proposal for changes to sick leave payout has been rejected by the AFSCME bargaining team.
The university proposal eliminates sick leave payouts entirely to employees hired as of January 1, 2014 and also eliminates payouts to existing staff members if they accept an offer of a one time pay out of sick leave at a rate lower than that normally paid upon retirement.
The AFSCME bargaining team rejected the offer since they felt the proposal would have created a two-tiered system of staff, some who are eligible to accrue and eventually sell back sick leave (current employees) and some who are not eligible (those who participate in the proposed Early Sick Leave Payout Program—ESLPP– and all those hired after January 1, 2014).

It is expected that the two bargaining teams will meet again, date has not been determined, to continue the sick leave payout proposal.

Elections
Facilitated by Hector Ramos.

1.  The essential duties of the local officer positions were explained.
2.  Elections were conducted.  New officers were nominated and elected by acclimation (with no challenging candidates).

The new union officers are:

President: Susie Shannon
Vice President: Michael Williams
Recording Secretary: Debbie O’Hearn
Secretary Treasurer: Maria Peas
Trustee: Doug Calwhite
Trustee: Robert Chapman
Trustee: Aleatha Neal

Hector Ramos stated that the Union staff will continue to handle grievances and that officers of the union will receive training.

Discussion

Susie Shannon began a discussion to hear attendee ideas for building a collaborative and responsive union.

Concerns were expressed about administration portrayal of the union.

The cost of our union dues was brought up and Hector Ramos explained that the amount is determined centrally by the international office.

Announcements

Hector Ramos informed us that:
Beginning in January 2014, a region 3 union representative will be on campus at the Marshall Center on Fridays from 11:30 am to 1pm.   Look for the person in the green union shirt in the lobby area on the first floor.

Arrangements are being made for a representative to be available at USF St. Petersburg as well and these will be announced at a later date.

Know Your Employee Rights training is also in the works and everyone was encouraged to attend.  Dates and locations will be forthcoming.

Union contract booklets were made available as were union dues authorization forms and grievance forms.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Debbie O’Hearn, Recording Secretary

Meeting on Monday, December 9, 2013

To the Members of AFSCME 3342

Please spend some time this week thinking about what you want your union to look like, what you want it to accomplish, and what skills you can bring to the mix.  Then come to the membership meeting on Monday, December 9th (5pm in FAH 110) to participate in rebuilding our union into something we can all get behind.   

We do have to elect officers, but there is no need for any officer to be responsible for doing all the work of each office.  We can make choices.  We can choose to work individually or in pairs or teams.  We can choose to do what works for US.

Everyone has a skill or two to share!  Are you good at financial paperwork?  Research?  Numbers crunching?  Writing?  Organizing?  Are you good with people, details, pictures, words, ideas?  Bring hearts, minds and skills to the table and let’s build a union worth bragging about!

Thanks,

Susie Shannon

Secretary Treasurer, Local 3342

Meeting to be scheduled in November

A General Membership Meeting is in the works for November and all members should have received a survey in the mail asking for your feedback on the best day and time for the meeting to schedule.

President Bill McClellan and Recording Secretary Nadine Preister have retired after many years of wonderful service, Thank You!, and while Vice President Mike Williams and Secretary Treasurer Susie Shannon have been working hard to take care of business, additional officers will be needed.

If you have not received the survey or need additional information, contact the AFSCME office at 813:319-0705.

AFSCME vs Rick Scott: Drug testing state employees violates 4th amendment

http://aclufl.org/2013/05/29/federal-appeals-court-delivers-latest-blow-to-gov-scotts-unprecedented-state-employee-drug-testing-program/

May 29, 2013

Decision comes in case of AFSCME and ACLU’s challenge to Gov. Scott’s Executive Order requiring employees to submit to invasive searches; lower court previously found program unconstitutional

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 29, 2013
CONTACT:
ACLU of Florida Media Office, (786) 363-2737, media@aclufl.org

MIAMI- Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit issued an opinion rejecting the argument made by the Scott administration that the state has the authority to require all state employees to submit to invasive and humiliating drug tests as a condition of employment. The decision comes in the case of AFSCME v. Rick Scott, in which the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, on behalf of the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the state’s largest union of public employees, argued against the constitutionality of an Executive Order issued by Gov. Rick Scott which a lower court had previously found violated the Fourth Amendment.

“With today’s decision, the 11th Circuit becomes the latest court to reject what it calls ‘a testing policy of unprecedented scope’ by Governor Scott,” stated ACLU of Florida staff attorney Shalini Goel Agarwal, who was lead counsel in the case. “It would be foolish of the governor to continue pushing to implement his across-the-board drug testing regime when the court clearly states that, under the Fourth Amendment, many of the individuals covered by the executive order cannot be subjected to invasive and humiliating searches just because they are government employees.  We look forward to returning to the district court where the Governor will have to show how each of his 85,000 employees presents a serious safety risk in order to test them. Without a safety-related reason or suspicion of drug use, people can’t be required to sacrifice their Constitutional rights in order to serve the people of Florida.”

“Governor Scott’s relentless quest for urine testing has once again been rejected by a federal court,” stated Alma Gonzalez, Special Counsel, AFSCME Council 79. “No matter how much Governor Scott wants people to believe otherwise, the fact remains that people don’t have to give up their privacy, dignity and constitutional protections in order to serve our communities. Public employees should not be subject to arbitrary testing without probable cause or consent.”

The 2011 Executive Order mandated all state employees and job applicants in executive branch agencies under the purview of the governor (about 77% of the state workforce) submit to invasive tests of their bodily fluids, even if there was no suspicion of drug use. On Tuesday, May 31, 2011, the ACLU of Florida filed a lawsuit challenging the order on behalf of the AFSCME Council 79, which represents over 40,000 public workers who were subject to the suspicionless drug-testing program under the order. In April of 2012, U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro enjoined the order, ruling that requiring state employees to submit to suspicionless, invasive searches without suspicion of drug use violated the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches.

The state appealed that decision, leading to the 11th Circuit’s decision today. Citing Lebron v. Wilkins, a recent case in which the ACLU of Florida also successfully challenged a Florida program requiring people to submit to suspicionless searches, the court found that:  “Surrendering to drug testing in order to remain eligible for a government benefit such as employment or welfare, whatever else it is, is not the type of consent that automatically renders a search reasonable as a matter of law.” The case now returns to the lower court where the governor must justify, job-by-job, why there is a special need for the drug testing.

“The idea put forth by our governor and his attorneys – that people can be forced to surrender their constitutional rights simply because they are government employees – has once again been rejected by yet another federal court,” stated ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon. “The lawsuit on behalf of AFSCME is one of about a dozen lawsuits that the ACLU has filed or in which the organization has submitted a friend-of-the-court brief challenging policies of the Scott Administration since January 2011.  The cases include challenges to voting restrictions, a gag order on doctors and health care workers about inquiring how guns are stored in the home, and mandatory urine testing for government employees and applicants for temporary assistance from the state through the TANF program.”

“It is a sad commentary that we have had to go to court so frequently to protect Florida citizens from their own government,” Simon added.

The ACLU of Florida most recently challenged across-the-board drug testing in a separate case challenging the drug testing policy of the City of Key West. The complaint in that case is available here: http://aclufl.org/resources/key-west-mandatory-drug-testing-complaintpdf

A copy of today’s decision from the court is available here: http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/201212908.pdf

Contact: ACLU of Florida Media Office, (786) 363-2737, media@aclufl.org