CSEA

CSEA

Friday, April 29, 2011

What is Fact-Finding.......


Monroe County Local 828 - Monroe County Employees Unit 7400

The Community’s Workforce

The Facts on Fact-finding:

Fact-Finding: Discovery or determination  of  facts
or accurate information. adj. Of, relating to, or used
in the discovery or determination of facts:
a fact-finding committee
In the event that an agreement is not reached in Mediation, the process moves on to the Fact-finding stage. In Fact-finding, PERB appoints a neutral Fact-finder to meet with both parties. It is a somewhat more formal process, where both parties meet with the Fact-finder and then submit written briefs (similar to legal briefs) and research documentation supporting their positions and proposals. At the end of this stage, the Fact-finder will make a written recommendation that is given to both sides. This report is not binding and can be rejected by either side. The Fact-finder’s report is usually released publicly once both parties have had an opportunity to review it. This process can also take several months to complete. Currently, this is the stage we are in with the Monroe County Administration.

If Fact-finding fails to produce a tentative agreement between the parties, the process moves on to the third and even more rarely-occurring stage of Legislative Imposition, where the governing body for the municipality would impose a one-year contract to cover the first year following the last contact that expired. If it gets to this stage, the Legislature can only impose a wage settlement, which nine times out of ten ends up being zero percent. Everything else remains as it was under our previous contract. By the time a contract stalemate gets to this point, we’re usually more than a year working under an expired contract, which means we’re right back at the negotiating table starting from scratch for subsequent contract years. Also, the legislative body does not have to impose a settlement. They can ignore this stage and continue on negotiating. It is their option.

It’s important to note several key points about the Fact-finding process. First, at any stage during the process, we can still meet with management and talk with them, and even negotiate if we think there’s progress to be made. If, at any point, our Negotiating Team feels they have a legitimate offer to present, they’ll bring it back for your vote. The important thing to remember is that as a dues-paying CSEA member, YOU have the final say on whether the contract is approved or not.

Another key point is that during this process, we do not expect our members to just sit idly by waiting for something to happen, and wait for information to slowly drip out. Our goals are to keep you involved in your contract negotiations process, and quickly informed of what’s going on throughout. To that end, CSEA has developed a proven mobilization process that includes increasing communications and putting together a strategy for member involvement that helps build public awareness and political pressure to reach our negotiating goals. As your chief negotiator, your CSEA Labor Relations Specialist (LRS), Robert Leonard, is working with your local union leadership and other union staff members on a strategic contract campaign mobilization committee.

Also, you should know that once Fact-finding is declared, any ground rules previously agreed to with management about going to the press or publicizing what’s going on in negotiations are immediately invalid. We will utilize the media to get our message out, and there are no news “blackouts.”

Always remember: There is power
in CSEA Political Action

Finally, you need to know that the declaration of Fact-finding and the process that follows should have NO impact upon your current terms and conditions of employment, until a new contract is agreed upon and ratified by both parties. Under the Triborough Amendment of the Taylor Law, all the provisions of your previous contract, with the exception of salary increases and any language tied to a “sunset” date, will continue unchanged. You are still protected and have binding legal rights under your expired contract, and you should make sure you let your union officers know if anyone tries to change working conditions because the contract has expired or Fact-finding has been declared.

If you have any further questions about negotiations or getting involved with mobilization, please contact your Unit President: Cris Zaffuto or your CSEA Labor Relations Specialist: Robert Leonard.




Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Telling the Whole Story About Public Employee Pension Funds

Posted By AFSCME  - In Labor Movement, Media, Pension Security, Public Service, Retirement Security, Workers' Rights

CSEA/AFSCME is fighting back against a misleading report  released by The Pew Center on the States on public pensions entitled The Widening Gap. In a press release, President Gerald W. McEntee said that the report reflects “ancient history, distorts the true state of public pension funds and is of limited use for anyone hoping to make informed public policy.”

While our opponents are certainly going to use the report as an excuse to portray the public pension system as “broken” and in need of “reform”, the facts don’t back that up.

The Pew report provides a snapshot of public pensions from June 2009, near the very depth of the market during the recession. It simply does not accurately reflect the current state of public pensions.

The real estate and stock market crash of 2008 and 2009 took its toll on all investors. However, while individual investors are still struggling to recover from these losses, pension funds are well on their way to recovery.

Rather than rely on the stale numbers provided in the Pew report, we should instead examine the current state of public pensions in 2011. Just this month the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems released much more relevant data in a member survey  assessing the health of public pensions. Here are some of the key findings from the survey:

In the past year, public pension fund investments have produced an average return of 13.5% and now have a 20-year average annual return of 8.2%.

Investment returns are the single most significant source of pension funding — comprising 66% of fund revenues.

The vast majority of public pension plans are managed responsibly and currently maintain strong funding levels. Public pensions are, on average, 75.7% funded and, with market recovery, that number will continue to increase.

Our opponents would also have you believe that our members are receiving lavish pensions at no cost. The reality is that CSEA/AFSCME members receive, on average, just $19,000 per year in pension benefits, while members’ contributions and investment returns pay 70%-80% of the total cost.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Struggle For Justice Continues....

CSEA Unit 7400 Worksite Information Visits Ongoing

CSEA Unit 7400 Leadership, Negotiating Team Members, Labor Relations Specialist and Mobilization Specialist are continuing to visit various worksites around the county to meet with members and keep them
informed and up to date with regard to the current contract situation.

Unit 7400 leadership recently sent out a letter to notify all members that the team had declared to go to the Fact-finding process in negotiations. The letter also included the newest list of County proposals that were presented to the CSEA team at the failed negotiations on March 22nd. It is important to note when reading the proposals, that the County wrote them with our membership as the intended reader (and thereby added some “spin” to them) as they knew the team would distribute it to the members. This new “approach” from the County is a result from the when the team gave out the County’s proposals after impasse had been declared and the County Administration had been “mystified” by the team’s action to inform the membership as to the County demands for concessions.

It is also important to note that every action in negotiations has been driven by CSEA. The County has shown little to no interest in negotiations, yet alone coming to a fair agreement. “The County has seemingly had a lack of interest since the start of negotiations”, said CSEA Unit 7400 President Cris Zaffuto, “we have had to request every meeting, we have had to declare impasse and then we have had to call for Fact-finding. I believe the Fact-finding report will show that we’ve done everything possible to negotiate in an upfront and fair manner”.

Although all previous attempts to create a final binding contract have failed, the CSEA Unit 7400 team has pledged to meet with the County at any time during this process if the County wants to return to fair bargaining negotiations.

Important dates to remember:


Monday April 25th, 5:30 - Unit 7400 Contract Negotiations Mobilization Taskforce Meeting, Rochester Satellite Office


Tuesday, May 10th, 5:45 - Monroe County Legislative Meeting, Monroe County Office Building


Monday, May 12th, 5:30 – Unit 7400 General membership Meeting, Diplomat Party House in Rochester

CSEA Unit 7400 Leadership thanks all members for their continued involvement and will continue to keep all members up to date on the contract situation. Reminder: Get up to date info at the Unit 7400 Blog at http://unit7400.blogspot.com/


-----------------------------

Download a copy of the BLAST and distribute it to your co-workers. (CLICK HERE)

-----------------------------

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CSEA Unit 7400 to enter Fact-finding with Monroe County

The CSEA Unit 7400 negotiating team officially declared to go to Fact-finding and filed the need notification with the New York State Public Employees Relations Board (PERB).

This next step in the negotiations process was driven by the inaction of the County to put any real effort into negotiations at the last meeting on March 22nd. The CSEA team returned to negotiate a reasonable contract, one with terms both sides could agree to, the County only continued to demand concessions and made no response to any offer that might benefit the workforce.

“The County’s lack of interest in bargaining is the factor that brings us to where we are today”, stated CSEA Unit 7400 President Cris Zaffuto. “If they had come to the table with any effort whatsoever to work out an equitable deal, we could have continued to negotiate or even came up with a tentative agreement. Unfortunately, I believe their lack of action shows they just don’t care about the workers, despite all the ‘praise’ they have publicly gave workforce”. Zaffuto added, “We believe the Fact-finding will be in our favor and the County has the economic ability to correctly compensate the county workforce, whose only purpose is for the betterment of the community”.

As a reminder, this is how the Factfinding process works. PERB appoints a neutral Factfinder (mediator) to meet with both parties. It is a somewhat more formal process, where both parties meet with the Factfinder and then submit written briefs (similar to legal briefs) and research documentation supporting their positions and proposals. At the end of this stage, the Factfinder will make a written recommendation that is given to both sides. This report is not binding and can be rejected by either side. The Factfinder’s report is usually released publicly once both parties have had an opportunity to review it. This process can also take several months to complete.

CSEA Unit 7400 has agreed to remain optimistic and has pledged to meet with the County at any time during this process if the County wants to fairly negotiate.

Important dates to remember:


Monday April 25th, 5:30 - Unit 7400 Contract Negotiations Mobilization Taskforce Meeting, Rochester Satellite Office Please call 328-5250 to confirm attendance!

Photo by: R.Leonard, LRS
Tuesday, May 10th, 5:45 - Monroe County Legislative Meeting, Monroe County Office Building




Thursday May 12th, 5:30pm - General Membership Meeting, Diplomat Banquet Center, Lyell Ave. Please call 328-5250 to confirm attendance!







CSEA Unit 7400 Leadership thanks all members for their continued involvement and will continue to keep all members up to date on the contract situation. Reminder: Get up to date info at the Unit 7400 Blog at http://unit7400.blogspot.com/




Thursday, April 7, 2011

Don’t Let Quality Health Services Fall Into the Wrong Hands


Since 1826 Monroe Community Hospital has had a long history of providing high quality health care to the residents of the county. We know you’ll agree that there are many components to achieving and maintaining good health. We also know that you’ll agree that good nutrition and sanitary conditions have as much a significant impact on health as medical and motivational care when it comes to the men, women and children who are frail, sick, elderly or in need of rehabilitation. Unfortunately, if the county goes through with their plans to privatize some departments at Monroe Community Hospital to a profit driven company, the patients and residents may be put at risk.

As a member of the Monroe Community Hospital family, you need to know that county officials are trying to contract out the dietary and laundry services at MCH. To do so would be misguided, it would not save money and it would threaten the full, complete circle of health care at the facility. Along with doctors, nurses, counselors and support staff, the nutrition and cleanliness programs play very significant roles in recovery and maintenance of residents’ health and quality of life.

The public owned Monroe Community Hospital provides high quality care for all residents of Monroe County. Privatizing current services at Monroe Community Hospital is not a way to save. Instead, privatization would come with a cost. Privatization would threaten quality care and cheapen valuable and important services.

All Monroe County residents deserve complete and quality care. Don't let the circle of health care be broken. Call Monroe Community Hospital Executive Director Todd Spring today and tell him: "Keep MCH at the top of quality health services. Don’t outsource any hospital departments.” Call Mr. Spring at 760-6304.


For more information on the county’s misguided plan to outsource MCH dietary and laundry, call 585-328-5250.