Workforce Investment Board of Solano County

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: SEIU 1021 CONVENTION 2015

SEIU 1021 CONVENTION 2015

Oakland Airport Hilton, September 26-27

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For the latest updates, go to: www.1021convention.org

The convention will be a transformative event, where members will gain greater clarity, energy, motivation and direction to step more fully into their power, with grace, vision, courage and knowledge. This is an opportunity for chapter building, engaging and developing potential leaders, hence making it a priority for staff and elected officers.

Q: What are the qualifications to be a delegate?

A: To be eligible, a member would have to had paid dues for any 4 months in 2014 as well as either January or February, 2015.


Q: Can fee payers participate in the nomination and/or delegate election process?

A: Yes, once they sign a membership form, then they can nominate and vote.

 

 Q: How many delegates can each Chapter elect?

A: Every Chapter gets 2 delegates automatically. After 300 members, each chapter will have 2 additional delegates. For every additional 150 members, a chapter will have 2 additional delegates.

 

Q: What is the period of time for completing elections?

A: April 20-July 20, 2015

 

Q: What is an “uncontested ballot”? (Previously referred to as “white ballot”)

A: When there are more or an equal number of delegate slots as candidates, that is referred to as a uncontested ballot and the chapter does not need to hold a full election.

 

Q: How are alternate delegates selected?

A: In case a delegate can’t participate due to scheduling, illness, etc. Chapters should select alternates even if the delegate election for that Chapter is uncontested or the Chapter does not elect the full number of delegates which it is entitled to.

Here are the rules for selecting alternates: All Chapters are encouraged to select at least two (2) alternates. Alternates need to be ranked by votes received (e.g. the highest vote total becomes Alternate #1, second highest voted becomes Alternate #2, etc.)

In Chapters with “uncontested ballots” (where there are more or an equal number of delegate slots as there are candidates, thus making an election unnecessary), Chapters are still encouraged to select up to two (2) alternates and designate these as Alternate #1 & #2.

Convention Delegates, who become ineligible or unable to attend, shall notify the 1021 Convention Election Committee in writing no later than 8/20/15. An Alternate or Alternates will then be credentialed and seated. Delegates who notify the 1021 Convention Election Committee after 8/20/15 will not be replaced by an alternate.

Q: Which chapters may select honorary delegates? How will honorary delegates be selected?

A:Workers who have recently organized with Local 1021, but who have not ratified their first collective bargaining agreement may select honorary delegates.  The process for selecting honorary delegates will be as follows:  two (2) honorary delegates will be elected at upcoming membership meetings.

 

If you are a Delegate:

Q: How will delegates register for the convention?

A:  Once the delegate certification form is turned in, the delegate will be sent a welcome letter by e-mail and mail which gives them directions on how to register.  (That is why it is critical that their contact information is on certification form).

 

Q: Do we pay lost time for delegates attending the Convention?

A: Yes, follow the local’s lost time policy. Anyone working from 12:01am on Saturday through 11:59pm on Sunday will receive lost time.

For example: If a delegate works anytime on Saturday or Sunday they may request lost time. So for instance if a member has a shift that starts 11pm on Friday September 25th but goes to 7am Saturday the 26th they may request the time off for their Friday shift and they would receive lost time per the guidelines specified in the policy.

 

Q: What are the rules around Friday night hotel stays for delegates?

A: Delegateswho travel 75 miles or more (one way) are qualified for Friday night lodging. All Delegates are entitled to Saturday night lodging (there is no required miles to qualify).

 

Q: What are the rules around the hotel stay on Saturday evening?

A: All delegates are encouraged to stay at the hotel regardless of how close they live to the venue. The local will pay the cost for double occupancy. Depending on room availability, they may request a single room but would need to pay the additional costs.

 

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Workforce Investment Board of Solano County Sued over Grievances

SEIU Local 1021 moved one step closer to holding an abusive employer accountable for their failure in dealing with 10 grievances over the last 8 months. Mr. Robert Bloom, Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Board of Solano County has maintained an unresponsive posture in dealing with grievances over working conditions at the WIB. The grievances involve the improper discharge of an employee, ignoring the job posting requirements of the CBA, differential treatment of Union members, ignoring the grievance process itself, and refusing to provide information for contract enforcement.

Mr. Bloom claims the CBA prohibits him from being involved in the grievance process. “I have no allowable direct role in the Informal Resolution Process under written terms of the CBA. Further, I have no intentions to violate terms of the CBA by becoming directly involved in the prescribed three-party meeting/discussions at the informal stage.” Mr. Bloom goes on to claim a direct parallel with the representation responsibilities of the Union stating “There is similarly no allowable role for an agency SEIU Steward or you as an SEIU Field Representative to sit in upon or participate in the CBA-prescribed three-party meeting to attempt informal resolution.” The “three-party meeting” consist of the employee, supervisor and Business & Employment Services Manager even when the CBA allows the member to have “Union Representation” at any meeting when requested.

Mr. Bloom’s determination to prevent grievances from being processed continued by hiring an outside legal counsel who argued with the National Labor Relations Board that the Workforce Investment Board of Solano County is a “government agency” not under the jurisdiction of the NLRB even though he has “voluntarily recognized” SEIU Local 1021 as the exclusive bargaining agent for the members. The agency clearly indicated their intention of not dealing with the Exclusive Representatives of the members by increasing their legal budget from $7,000.00 in May 2012 to $18,400.00 in November 2012. Currently, Mr. Bloom has spent $30,879.00 in legal fees fighting SEIU Local 1021, (168% over budget for fiscal 2012/2013) to prevent grievances from being heard. How much more money is Mr. Bloom willing to waste from the $706,736.00 surplus ending the fiscal year 12/13? We will know that answer shortly!

Today, SEIU 1021 filed a “petition for an Order Compelling Arbitration” with Superior Court of Solano County. Mr. Bloom’s lack of leadership and his continued refusal to abide by the basic tenants of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will cost the taxpayers more money, an estimated $20,000.00 to $25,000.00 according to sources familiar with legal cost. Potentially, this amount could double since SEIU Local 1021 is seeking “reasonable attorneys’ fee, reimbursement for the costs of suit and further relief as the Court seem just and proper.”

The grievances are a direct result of Mr. Bloom’s management style. This was a subject of discussion during the recent negotiations with SEIU Local 1021 where Mr. Bloom stated “I make no apologies for my management style” to the SEIU Bargaining Team. It is very ironic that Mr. Bloom claims to respect the tenants of the Collective Bargaining Agreement but refuses to perform the basic functions of an Executive Director for which is being paid around $125,000 per year. The function I am referring to is “LEADERSHIP!” Maybe it is time for the Board of Directors to exercise some leadership and send clear message to Mr. Bloom that his wasteful spending will not be tolerated. This could easily be accomplished by suspending Mr. Bloom from his position as Executive Director equivalent to the amount of funds he wasted in denying members due process of grievances and any cost associated with his lack of leadership handling grievances of employees.

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Top Heavy Management at Workforce Investment Board-Call to Action!

The Board of Directors of the Workforce Investment Board of Solano County recently implemented a policy decision to set aside $272,612 for a “Financial Reserve Fund.” This new Financial Reserve Fund is being paid for by laying off line staff. The Executive Director Robert Bloom issued lay off notices to three members on January 31st with an effective date of February 14th, Valentine’s Day! How ironic can this be? The agency’s love of money demonstrated once again to the public at a cost of direct services to the public. Here are the facts:

The current management/supervisor ratio to staff is 1 to 3.5. Just in case you are not sure what this means, there is one (1) management type for every three and half (3.5) employees within this agency. We have reduced our line staff by 5 positions with this latest layoff action by management. Line staff provides direct services to clients of Workforce Investment Board during the most difficult times of an individual’s life-unemployment. Maybe it is time to rethink laying off line staff and consider another option which would provide direct services to clients and allow the agency to have the “Financial Reserve Fund” it seeks.

Is it time to consider eliminating “Coordinators” within this agency?

The current management model has 1 “coordinator” supervising a range of two (2) to seven (7) line staff in five (5) different areas of responsibility. Each area of responsibility has one (1) manager assigned to two (2) “coordinators.” This is an excellent example of top heavy management at its finest and needs to change immediately. Industry standards would have one (1) manager to ten (10) employees.  The elimination of “coordinators” would provide the financial savings immediately to the agency and allow the agency to continue providing direct services to clients with little impact to the community. Over the last several months, the “One Stop Services” department has reduced its front line staffing level from ten (10) employees to seven (7) while the customer visits have increased from 28,074 during the last six months of  2011  to 30,680 in same time period of 2012.  The “One Stop” provides access to the Internet, job listings, on-site recruitment, career exploration, job networking clubs, training resource information, computer skill training, upgrade skills training, math and English tutoring, soft skills workshops, job search workshops, referrals to Partner’s agencies and unemployment insurance information.

Why should the community suffer the effects of top heavy management when there is another cost effective solution which protects the community-eliminating the “coordinators” within the agency. Lets do the right thing- Call the Executive Director, Mr. Robert Bloom at (707) 863-3501 and tell him it is time to eliminate coordinators. 

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