Volume 2 / Issue 1
Tired of being Bullied?
To provide quality service to the REAP members with integrity and respect, understanding the member is the priority.
Can you believe it?
We’ve just put another notch on the proverbial handle of our lives. With Christmas behind us and a new year beginning, there are so many things to think about. Deadlines to meet, household needs, KIDS -soccer, softball, baseball, track practice – all just around the corner. Heck, in 6 months we’ll be in vacation mode and before you know it, we’re standing in line for “Black Friday” again.
When I was younger, I always wanted to be “there”…At 16 I wanted to be 21. When I’m in Perris – I want to be in Paris. It seems there is always something just a bit better. Something that gives that feeling…You know the one I’m talking about…I’d rather try and fail, than not try at all. There has to be something better. I’m sure I’ve found it and I want to share it with all of you reading this…all 1100 of you!
In a few months, there is an opportunity for many of you to consider the fate of your current labor organization. Will you choose to stay with SEIU 721 because you feel the current management of SEIU is doing a good job for you? Before you answer, remind yourself of what has transpired in the past year:
1) SEIU 721 IE Chapter tried to impose a dues increase of 1.5% of your hourly rate. Over a 5 year time frame, most of us would have been hit with a 340% increase. From a flat rate of $288 per year to well over $1000.00 per year. Thanks to you and your fellow coworkers, this failed miserably…but had it passed, what would we have gotten for the increase?
2) Our current President, Bob Schoonover is a complete failure to the entire membership. He refuses to enforce the very Bylaws he has signed. Unfortunately, these Bylaws are not a living document and any changes must be approved by the membership. Wendy Thomas is a private citizen holding the office of Regional Vice President. She is not employed with the County of Riverside which is a violation of the SEIU local and International Bylaws. So why is this a problem? Because Wendy Thomas has been negotiating away our members’ pay!
3) Last year, a side letter between SEIU and County HR was signed by Wendy Thomas. In this side letter, she was successful in docking the Respiratory Care Practitioners at Riverside County Regional Medical Center, $2.00/hour. Ms. Thomas’ defense is that HR is interpreting the side letter incorrectly and she is working diligently to get the income returned to these folks…I wonder how she’s doing with that and will the pay be retroactive?
4) In another side letter authored by Ms. Thomas, she was instrumental in eliminating the shift differential for the 911 Dispatchers for the Sheriff’s Department. Wait a minute…Wasn’t Wendy a 911 Dispatch Supervisor…and didn’t she have some bad blood going on between her and her staff, and hersupervisor, and his supervisor which eventually turned into a federal lawsuit that got tossed because the judge, Federal Judge Virginia Phillips said Ms. Thomas’ complaints amounted to nothing more than petty work place gripes…and she and SEIU staff and the Executive Board think she is going to get her job back? Really?
5) Google SEIU and SEIU 721 – you will be amazed at the never-ending negative stories, complaints, legal action, questionable behavior and unethical related business dealings – some SEIU leaders have been found guilty of criminal activity! 52% of our dues money is sent directly to SEIU International – your money is being used and abused!
These are just some of the issues that come to me while writing…So what do you think? Is SEIU everything you need in your labor organization? Are you truly happy with what SEIU 721 has been able to accomplish? Most of us may see a meager wage increase in July of 2014 – remember, Ms. Thomas negotiated only a 5.5% increase over 5 years. I’m sure you have heard LIUNA members talk about the hefty increases they will receive this year. Why not us?
Have you thought about the untrained SEIU 721advocates, the people you will need to depend on in the event you are faced with disciplinary action? Are they experienced and knowledgeable about California Labor Laws? The truth is, SEIU International is only interested in you – the member – because of the monthly dues you provide every month. If this wasn’t true, you would see MANY more advocates in the IE to take care of YOUR needs.
On 1/11/14, REAP will be holding our monthly membership meeting. We try to provide free training to ALL REAP members at no cost. This training is beneficial to you on a professional, as well as personal level, and also your coworkers. Due to scheduling conflicts in January, we will not have a Home Call and Personal Safety training until February 14, 2014. We have attached fliers for the January General Membership meeting as well as the February Home Call and Personal Safety training. Please download the fliers and share them with your coworkers!
This year, make that personal resolution to yourself, your family, and your future. Come out and see what REAP has to offer.
I think John F. Kennedy said it best,
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss