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AFSCME Council 72 Grievance Procedure Highly Successful

Even though the current Agreement has only been in place for a few months, the results are already apparent. The grievance procedure included in the Agreement has changed the attitude of management and held them accountable.

 
“I’m seeing a whole different attitude when it comes to dealing with grievances, by every level of management from the front-line supervisor to the administrator’s and directors” stated Eric Moore, Staff Representative, “We recently had a termination at Fulton State Hospital where the merits of the grievance proved that it was an unjust termination. The Department denied the grievance and the Union made a decision to move the grievance to arbitration, within a week of notifying the employer of our intent to arbitrate, they reversed their decision and reinstated our member with full back pay and benefits”.
 
The intent of the grievance procedure and binding arbitration is to ensure that every member has a right to a fair and impartial dispute resolution. We must continue to enforce the contract we worked so hard to negotiate. The strongest way to do this is to organize and educate new members about our rights in the contract, along with organizing we now have a powerful tool in the grievance procedure to enforce our rights.
 
If you feel your rights have been violated under the new contract please find a shop steward immediately and they can assist and advise you of your rights and the process of enforcing those rights.
 

 



Details of the House Budget Plan

The Missouri legislature is in recess for spring break, but details of the House Budget Committee's spending plan have been released, and they include the AFSCME negotiated 2% wage increase.  From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

Missouri spending plan advances

The House Budget Committee this week approved a $24 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1...

The budget recommendation includes raises for state employees who make less than $70,000 a year. The raises would take effect July 1. That is a bit of a departure from Nixon’s raise plan, which would have applied to all workers and started Jan. 1, 2013, but it will cost the state about the same amount.

We will be working with the legislature to ensure this moves forward, and we encourage you to join us for Lobby Day on March 21 to ensure your legislators hear directly from you regarding our pay raise, as well as other critical workers' rights legislation.



Lobby Day is March 21

On Wednesday, March 21st we’ll be having our annual Lobby Day. This is our chance to remind our legislators that we’re watching how they vote in Jefferson City, and we expect them to do right by their constituents. This year, we’ll be joining the other public employee unions in the state for a joint lobby day. Public workers all over the state have been under attack, and standing with our sisters and brothers will give us a stronger voice in the Capitol. Workers from AFSCME, Communication Workers of America (CWA), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) will come together at the state capitol to fight the anti-worker bills moving in the legislature.

Some lawmakers have already tried to pass right-to-work-for-less and paycheck deception laws in an attempt to weaken our rights, and so far have been unsuccessful. On top of that, some legislators once again don’t want to give us a pay raise. You know better than anyone that state and public workers have gone far too long without a pay raise and the one we’ve negotiated in our contract is long overdue. With the governor’s recent actions, it is now up to us to ensure that our legislators hear us loud and clear.

This year more than ever, it’s critical we make our voices heard, to keep the pressure on legislators.

Busses will be leaving from Kansas City, Higginsville, Marshall, and St. Louis.  For more information and to RSVP to save your spot on the bus, call us at the AFSCME office: (800) 554-2054.

 



The Governor's Budget Proposal and How it Affects State Workers

Sisters and Brothers,

As many of you already know, on Tuesday night Gov. Jay Nixon delivered his annual State of the State address. This was Gov. Nixon’s opportunity to present the legislature with his budget proposal for next year. In his address, like in previous years, the Governor outlined how the recession has hurt all Missourians. Even though some folks say we’re slowly working our way out of the recession, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the budget. The state still isn’t collecting as much money as it has in the past. Because of this, cuts in service will once again be necessary to balance the budget.   

As Missouri’s public workers, you know better than anyone how budget cuts in previous years have affected the services we provide. It’s getting harder and harder to do our jobs. Because of this, when we hear the phrase “budget cuts,” we all get very nervous about what exactly that means.  Also because of this, you deserve to know what exactly the budget proposal means for your jobs and your facilities. Here are some of the things that affect our membership:

  • Pension Funding: No cuts or changes were proposed to the state employee pension system, or MOSERS.
  • Health Care: Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP), the state’s health care provider, was funded the same amount as last year. It will now be up to us to make sure MCHCP knows how important it is to not raise our health care premiums.
  • Veterans Homes: No cuts or reductions were proposed to the state’s Veterans Homes.
  • Dept. of Mental Health: Cuts were made in DMH, but not nearly as many as feared. Of the 800 recommended cuts, only 40 come from mental health facilities. The majority of these cuts will be administrative positions in management.  Even though the number of cuts is small, it’s now more important than ever that we stand together to prevent these cuts from affecting our sisters and brothers.
  • Dept. of Corrections: Cuts were proposed, but only in the ranks of management. Our members will not see job cuts.
  • Office of Administration: Craft & Maintenance employees of OA will see no job cuts.
  • 2% Pay Raise: State employees were given a 2% pay raise that would take effect Jan. 1, 2013, not July 1, 2012 as was negotiated in our contract.

We have also been told that the administration is proposing to completely close Northwest Habilitation Center.  This will of course, have a dire impact on our members.  The proposal calls for the closure of the facility and job cuts in the ranks of management only. The employees and clients will be moved to another facility in the St. Louis area.  All of our members at Northwest Habilitation Center will have the opportunity to keep their job at one of these facilities. It is incredibly important to note that this is the only facility that is slated for closure.  Members who work at Northwest Habilitation Center will receive further communication from us in the very near future.

With regards to our 2% pay raise, our Bargaining Team members worked tirelessly for months during negotiations. When they decided to agree to the 2% pay raise, we were the only union to have a pay raise negotiated in our contract. Just so everyone is clear, this is not what we bargained for. All state employees should be outraged by this.

We are encouraging every state worker in all of our facilities to contact Gov. Nixon and tell him that this is not what we bargained for, and this is not what state employees deserve.  Below is a sample script for when you call the governor’s office.

The governor’s office number is: (573) 751-3222

Hello, my name is _______________________ and I am calling to leave a message for Governor Nixon.

Governor Nixon, as an AFSCME member and a dedicated state employee, I am extremely disappointed with your broken promise and decision not to propose our full 2% pay increase which was agreed to in our contract.  State workers have done our part in this tough economy by providing the highest quality services and going without pay raises for over 4 years, and Missouri can do better than having the worst-paid workforce in the nation.  I am asking you to reconsider this proposal and ask the legislature to make our 2% pay raise effective July 1, 2012, as your administration agreed to do.

Once you have contacted the governor’s office and expressed your disappointment, please encourage your coworkers, family members, and friends to contact him as well.  The governor cannot ignore a highly organized movement of dedicated state workers and our allies who are calling on him to keep his promise to ask the legislature to appropriate our pay raise.

No matter what, AFSCME will continue to fight to preserve and expand the rights of workers in Missouri and we ask you to continue to stand with us.

In Solidarity,

 

Alexandra Townsend, Political Coordinator

Josh McCarroll, Legislative Director