Welcome to a New Year with AFSCME 191 and a new look.
First of all, I am pleased and excited that you all trusted me enough to be nominated and elected to be president once again. I will work my hardest to honor all of you, the contract and the job that we do. We have an excellent group of officers and stewards with a wide range of knowledge and experience. We also have a new council business agent. His name is Joseph West and you can follow the links on this website to make contact with him.
I hope to accomplish four goals this year and through the contract period.
1. Prevail in our selective salary arbitration. We are battling for JPPO’s to increase to pay level 29 and for JPPA’s to increase to pay level 24. We have begun looking at comps and position descriptions nationally and have the union attorney supporting us. Look for arbitration to begin no sooner than may. I believe we have a good shot.
2. Increase communication. This is already evidenced by the website. Please use it. We will also have a steward network sharing information. Additionally we plan on have regional meetings around the state.
3. Better use of the contract to protect workers and our rights around important issues to include; safety, per-diems, labor/management meetings, flexible hours, trainings and sound policy. The local is positioned well to flex when needed and to negotiate when needed. We are strong through the use of our contract.
4. Improve in key areas of the contract as suggested by members. In December we will solicit ideas for the next contract period. Please share ideas.
The 2014 legislative session is set to begin and our administration will soon be busy with budget. I have been invited to a meeting at central and will be keeping you posted.
Many are concerned about the impact of our relations with some counties and with the downsizing of facilities. I have asked Joseph West to set a meeting with “the cabinet” around this. We (191) have every intent to take action as necessary and are looking at some avenues right now to stop the counties from sending work to other agencies. We will protect our workers livelihood and continue to provide the best services to youth and families.
To close, please use this website as a positive tool to encourage productive membership activity. I hope tohear from all of you.
Greg Van Vlack