Saturday, May 8, 2010

We Won! Retirees Spared in Budget

From AFSCME Council 79:

On Monday, April 19, the hundreds of calls we made to the capitol paid off when the House leadership announced they were backing down from their plan to eliminate the Retiree Health Insurance Subsidy in HB 5701.  In battling this bad bill that would have taken up to $150 per month from Florida Retirement System beneficiaries, AFSCME partnered with the Florida Alliance of Retired Americans and set up a toll free number so workers and retirees could call Senate President Jeff Atwater.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

From UFF: Staff Overwhelmingly Vote Against BOT'S Contract

Our allies at the United Faculty of Florida posted the following to their April 22, 2010 newsletter:

Last Friday, USF staff voted against ratifying contract language containing terms and conditions dictated by the Labor Committee of the Board of Trustees.  82% of the votes were against ratification of the language that is now the choice of the Board of Trustees but not the staff.  As a result, the terms and conditions dictated by the Labor Committee at the end of the impasse process are now imposed for the remainder of this fiscal year (ending June 30), but the staff's rejection of the imposed resolution means that the language dies on July 1, and the terms and conditions of employment will then return to the status quo ante--the conditions before impasse was declared.  The end of the impasse process was a victory for the staff union, with an overwhelming majority voting for the union's position.  Nonetheless, the whole process entails moral, morale, and political consequences that could bedevil USF for years to come.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What the UBOT Heard: Shift Change by Seniority

This is the presentation I made to the UBOT, March 29, 2010:

It has been established as fact that the last time a shift change took place at the University of South Florida in early May 2009, the affected custodians were selected by a random process. Their manager wrote the names of the 45 day shift custodians on the backs of his business cards. He then placed the cards on a table top, shuffled them around, picked up 18 of them, and called out the names on those cards to his assistant.

Not a single one of the allegedly crucial qualifications listed in management’s argument was taken into consideration during this shift change.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

AFSCME Lobby Day 2010

Please take the time to thank Regina Gainey, Indrea Pope and Pam Wilson next time you see them in the Registrar's Office.  They are the courageous women from USF's Tampa campus who joined me for an action-packed, 23-hour trip to Tallahassee for AFSCME Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 16.

 L-R:  Susie, Pam, Indrea & Regina

After an overnight bus trip best left undescribed, we four USFers met with approximately 250 AFSCME members and supporters over an impressive 7 am buffet breakfast where we learned about the issues to be addressed that day, received a crash course in lobbying and picked up our t-shirts and loaded canvas bags.  The assembled activists then broke up into groups each advocating for issues of concern in their particular workplaces, be they State offices, Juvenile Justice Offices, Hospitals, School Boards, or State Universities.  Another large group, comprised of the myriad of other public employees from around the state, would spend the day fighting legislative assaults on the Florida Retirement System on behalf of us all ( see: .