Volume 3 / Issue 1
To provide quality service to the REAP members with integrity and respect, understanding the member is the priority.
My New Year’s Resolution –
Each New Year, some of us will make resolutions. Some may resolve to improve their health, their financial situation or may resolve not to make any more resolutions. My resolution this year is going to have fewer “Personnel Investigations”.
As an employee of the Sheriff’s Department, whenever an allegation of misconduct is made, whether by staff or a private citizen, an investigation is launched. In June of 2014, a Citizens Complaint was filed against me by Wendy Thomas, terminated Sheriff Dispatch Supervisor and current SEIU Inland Region VP.
In a nut shell, here’s what happened – During March of last year, I approached a supervisor assigned to Adult Protective Services (APS), a division of the Department of Social Services, at the Banning office. I was given this individual’s name through a third party and was told she would be a good choice to help educate people about REAP. I had never met this person before and I wanted her to feel comfortable so I planned to meet her at her work place. I arrived about 6:40 AM. Since the office wasn’t open yet, I asked one of her coworkers who had just pulled into
the parking lot, to see if she had arrived for work and if so, to ask her to come outside so we could talk. When she came out, I briefly had the chance to tell her about REAP. She indicated to me that she was a relatively new supervisor and didn’t want to jeopardize her position since she was still in a probationary status. I told her I understood and did not want her to feel uncomfortable. I offered some REAP material to her and she politely declined. Shortly after our meeting, an email was sent to SEIU to memorialize our meeting. I’ve included a link to the complaint, but have redacted the names of the staff from APS and the Sheriff’s Department. After a thorough investigation, and I mean thorough, it was determined to be unfounded…it did not happen, at least not the way Wendy documented in the formal complaint she made to the Sheriff’s Department.
What DNA gene would propel a Vice President of ANY union to take an overt action, such as the one Wendy Thomas
did, with the specific intent of trying to hurt a public employee? Could it be out of fear, inadequacy, ego, or a combination of all? To be so very vindictive she is willing to make false claims against a public employee, waste the critical time of valued investigative staff who work for the Sheriff’s Department and are tasked with investigating every complaint, and waste valuable tax-payer dollars on such a false and frivolous complaint – yes, this is the SEIU 721 IE Vice President. Let’s not forget she did sign two side letters to our current MOU that cost some SEIU members a significant amount of money. Why she has been given so much power and authority over the members in the IE should be the question asked by every IE SEIU member. How is this fair to the employees forced to be represented by SEIU?
In every organization,there are leaders and there are followers. For 16 years I was a follower. That all came to a screeching halt in 2013. Leadership is the ability of a person to organize a group of people to achieve a common goal.
There are many attributes to a good leader. A few are listed here –
There is no question there are some good people on the SEIU 721 E Board, but there are also some on the SEIU 721 Executive Board that are not very familiar with these qualities . Since I am no longer an SEIU member, I guess
Wendy Thomas felt it was open season on me because of my views, my opinions and my desire to provide a better alternative to employees currently being represented by SEIU. SEIU doesn’t get it – People don’t want to feel intimidated by their union. Union membership across the country is in decline. There are several movements to remove SEIU from the lives of public, and private, employees. SEIU has an addiction problem and your money is feeding the beast. Even though union membership is dwindling, revenues continue to grow. Changing the dues structure is key to SEIU’s survival. If you are reading this and still belong to SEIU, a tidbit of history – The IE Chapter of SEIU 721 is a legacy local. This means it was absorbed by 721 in 2000-2001. Prior to this, our local was SEIU 1997. SEIU 721 cannot force you to pay more than the $12.00 per pay period you are currently paying unless a vote of the IE membership is taken that would allow this to happen. However, the Bylaws can be rewritten forcing an increase. Remember this – Any change to the Bylaws is voted on by the ENTIRE 85,000 member local, not just the 5800 members in Riverside County. Don’t be fooled when they tell you they’re operating in the red…have them open their books. You won’t believe what you see!
If you are interested in how a real labor organization is supposed to run, if you want to know that your dues are
working for you and not against you, if you want complete transparency from your association, if keeping your dues
dollars in Riverside County is important to you, then allow me to suggest the alternative. Make that resolution for a positive change!
Have a safe and prosperous 2015!
Looking towards the future…