Recent Updates to Site 1/18/18- See "From the President" section to the right
From The President . AFSCME Local 1092
I want to take a few minutes to address the concerns going around on social media and in workplaces about gift cards, “the union”, E-Board duties, dues etc.
I will start with the Gift Cards. I understand that in the past gift cards have been giving out around the holidays as a gift from the local to most members. This year it was discussed at various membership and e board meetings but no action was taken. When I say no action was taken I am referring to nobody came and presented a motion before the governing body. Up to the point of me typing this letter, nobody has said “I want the local to buy gift cards for all members of this local. All I have seen is, “Why hasn’t the union got us gift cards”. These gift cards are not a present from the e board to the members, these should be looked at as a present from the membership to the membership.
Next I will address “the union”. The union is the members, plain and simple. It is not the E-Board, President, Field Rep or anyone else with a title. It is the membership as a whole. If you don’t feel part of that, then I would encourage you to get involved. This does not just mean attending meetings. There are numerous ways to get involved just ask. I would encourage you all to look at this issue in a different way. If you are a member of a gym, do you blame the gym when you don’t go and work out? Or if you don’t get into shape? The gym is still there, the gym is still serving its purpose for those people that are going and working out. Those people that are going to the gym are seeing and making a difference in their life. The gym is not doing that, it is just giving them a vehicle to reach their goals.
Now I want to talk about the dues for a bit. I will try to break this down to the best of my ability and hopefully it is not confusing. Every full paying member of AFSCME local 1092 has 115% of their hourly wage taking out and paid as dues. That means that if you are making $20.00 an hour your dues per month are $23 a pay period. Which equals $598 year ($23 x 26 pay periods). I agree that is a lot of money that would help many of us out. But now I want to break this down a bit further. Out of your $598 a year, roughly 50% goes directly to AFSCME Council 5, roughly 25% goes to AFSCME International, and 25% comes back to local 1092. There are a few other AFSCME entities that get a small percentage as well but I am not including them here because I am unsure on those percentages. But what this all adds up to is $149.50 a year in dues comes to your Local. I understand by looking at your paystubs it appears that the Local is getting a lot of money from all of you, but in reality the great majority is never seen by this local. Next is fair share. When a member is fair share, they still pay dues. But those dues go directly to AFSCME Council 5 and AFSCME International. So what that means is this local receives $0 from any fair share member dues but the council and International get their share. To sum this paragraph up, I am not saying that you don’t have a right to be concerned where your dues are going, but I would encourage you to ask the right questions to the right people. This local is very transparent on the money spent at the local level and I will answer any and all questions to the best of my ability.
Last but not least I want to touch base on all of the above mentioned things and I am going to be brutally honest with you all. If a motion was presented to the governing body of the Local, to purchase gift cards, I would speak against that motion. Not because I don’t think you all deserve one, or that we don’t have the money. My reason would be a case being heard at the Federal Supreme Court called “Janus Vs AFSCME Council 31”. I am going to leave my opinions out of this and give you the facts as I know them. This is a case being heard by the Federal Supreme Court this year sometime. It focuses around “fee payers” or what we refer to as fair share members (a lot of people call this Right to Work). Giving the political make-up of the Supreme Court we are all expecting them to rule in
Janus’s favor. What does that mean for this Local? We are not exactly sure yet, but what we are expecting is that if a person goes Fair Share they pay no dues. That means that the Council or International will not get any money from fair share anymore but the local is still bound by law to represent those fair share folks. Now my question to you. How many of you are going to voluntarily pay dues to “The Union”, if you no longer have to, but “The Union” is still bound legally to represent you? How long will Local 1092 have money in the checking account once this happens? Where will that money be better spent? Gift Cards? Contract Negotiations? Lobbying at the Capital? Grievances? Rent for an Office? I could go on for days. What I am saying is, giving what we as a Local are facing in the near future, I can’t and won’t support any big spending. Of course like I said already, I am not the Union, we all are, so I encourage any and all of you to do what you think is best. Sorry about how long winded this is. Have a great day, Jason