A safe place to speak our minds about FUSE operations, whether good or bad, and not risk being made a public target & outcast.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

False Accusations & Ratification Rumors

I had originally written this in the comments of a previous post, in response to a false accusation of who was behind this blog site. But I felt it was more appropriate as a separate post, so here it is:

Contrary to what some believe, this blog site was NOT created by Jory or Tim, nor requested by them. There are actually others of us out here who can think for ourselves and have our own personal issues with how the Union has operated over the last few years. I am actually "pro-union". I'm thankful for all the strides that have been made in working conditions for Americans over the last century because of union involvement, and I agree that we'd probably not have the same level of benefits at Sierra without our own union. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world - everyone's human. It's a natural instinct to push for one's own survival. What I think happened over the last few years is simply that a little human nature took over, which we're all guilty of from time to time. For argument’s sake, let's say you have a choice between a 1% raise for all employees, or a 2% raise for half the employees, and you're part of that lucky half - which option would you choose? (Be honest with yourself, now!) I know many of us would choose the latter, because we’re all human. The problem, however, is that if you were elected to represent the best interests of a union membership and make decisions that affect EVERYONE, you can't let your own human nature take over. You need to rise above and look at the whole picture, find out what your constituents want, and make your decision based on what's best for everyone. That's why it's so important to survey the membership each year, and to give options & choices instead of "all-or-nothing" ratification packages that were pre-decided before membership input. I'm not suggesting to get rid of this union; I'm only suggesting ways to fix the problems with it.

Now to add to my previous comments: We’re up for another ratification this week, and I’m concerned because nothing has been officially communicated to the membership for input or discussion. It seems that this is another “All-or-nothing” package, which is also a concern since it’s OUR bucket to use however we see fit. If the ratification that is proposed to us is not acceptable and it doesn’t pass, we don’t lose that money. Please don’t let yourself be pressured into ratifying something you’re not comfortable with. I only say this because there has been NO communication regarding what’s going on, and what I have heard is not what I would consider the most ideal way to apply that money. I hope that everyone can attend one of the meetings this week and that there is plenty of room for discussion – please make an effort to be there, especially if you have concerns too.


Blogger KG6PIR said...

What I do not like is this package is it is not being posted any ware. It is not posted in public folder nor it posted on the website. If I was going to go to the meeting it would beneficial to see this package before the meeting so I could look at the package. So one more time FUSE is treating it members like mushrooms.

October 26, 2005 8:21 AM

Blogger KG6PIR said...

How funny an hour after my last post the document was posted in the public folders. I know I will vote no for the package because I do not like the fact of there being in the document the following wording for Fiscal Emergency. With the way the board works lately my main concern what is an extraordinary increase in expenditures (i.e. the new math and tech building overrun).

Fiscal Emergency - A decrease in funding from the State or an extraordinary increase in expenditures that requires corrective fiscal action. A Fiscal Emergency is declared by the Board of Trustees.

Fiscal Emergency

If State or local funding is reduced to such an extent as to constitute a Fiscal Emergency, then the District in collaboration with the Omniparty may implement the following actions as necessary to protect the fiscal integrity of the District (not in priority order):

Hiring freeze

Reduction in hours or assignments for temporary staff

Temporary salary schedule adjustments (requires Unit Approval)

Temporary furloughs or work load adjustments (requires Unit Approval)

Temporary suspension of salary schedule step advancements (requires Unit Approval)

Deletion of vacant Approved Positions

Reduction in force (requires District negotiation with each affected Unit regarding the impact on the Unit)

Other adjustments.

Temporary actions taken under this Section are to be reviewed by the Omniparty annually.

If Fiscal Emergency conditions persist for more than two consecutive Fiscal Years, the District in collaboration with the Omniparty may choose to make temporary actions permanent.

October 26, 2005 12:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ran into a former Sierra employee the other day who, out of the blue, made the comment about how for the 4 years they were here, the only raises or ratification packages that went through seemed to only benefit the “old-timers”. There are obviously many people at the college who feel this way but too new to be comfortable saying anything – especially when others in their own department who are very vocal about their support of the E-Board would make this person’s work life a living Hell. Another thing that this former employee was telling me was that since they quit before the 5 year mark, they will NOT GET ANY OF THEIR LIUNA CONTRIBUTIONS BACK!!! EVER!!! I looked into it a bit and found out that it is set up as an Employer-paid pension, meaning that Liuna does NOT show each individual person paying into it, and therefore does not have to refund anyone since it’s not the employee’s money. BUT - It comes out of our INDIVIDUAL CHECKS, so we really are paying it, NOT the District. Something is very wrong here. I’m not sure if this was something that was overlooked, or purposely misrepresented at the time it was voted on. (Remember, everyone at the time would get their past years applied towards service credit without having to pay for those years – a HUGE benefit to “old-timers”, including the one who presented it to the membership!) I even remember the question coming up if those who quit before 5 years would get refunds and the answer was yes. I will personally be fine since I’ve passed the 5 year mark, but let this be a warning to anyone who is thinking about resigning before then -- Your Liuna contributions, 1% of your salary, will be long gone if you don’t stick it out here for at least 5 years!

October 26, 2005 2:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

kg6pir, thanks for the information. If I read right, any time there is a decrease in funding (or an increase in spending), the District can declare a fiscal emergency and alter employees salaries, work schedules, hiring, step increases. Is that about right?

October 27, 2005 7:40 AM


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