Brothers and Sisters,
I would also like to recognize the work we do each day to “make URI happen”. While I thank every member of Local 528 for their efforts throughout this hot sticky summer I would like to specifically recognize our Brothers and Sisters working in HRL sweating it out all summer preparing dorms for the arrival of yet another crop of incoming resident students. This is not to diminish the work of every member. The contribution to this University by all members of Local 528 is substantial. Your efforts and commitment do not go unrecognized, and they are greatly appreciated. THANK YOU!
Membership meetings for the next several months will include educational opportunities including a presentation on retiree health care/ Medicare, learning more about our health care benefits, and presentation on what constitutes a “good union member” and keeping our union strong. Local 528 scholarships will be awarded in October. November will begin our annual winter clothing and food drive. Volunteers are needed. Taking a lead from RI Council 94/ AFSCME we continue our commitment to providing educational opportunities for members at the local level. Our greatest weapon in protecting our jobs is an educated union member. Thank you to everyone who attended the steward training held on campus9/10/2016.
What has happened over the summer I should know?
Friedrich’s V. CTA; as you know in an attempt to create a national “right to work” environment our adversaries brought Friedrich’s before the US Supreme Court. Due to the passing of Justice Scalia the decision in Friedrich’s was a 4-4 tie allowing a lower court decision to stand (in which we prevailed). While this was good news the threat remains as our adversaries will continue to attempt to weaken us through the courts. The Presidential election will have a deep impact on the make up of the US Supreme Court for the next 30 years. We will discuss this further this fall. (additional info can be found on the Local 528 website)
At the beginning of summer our union was successful in lobbying our elected officials to restore funds to RICLAS which had been defunded by Governor Raimondo. Had the money not been restored several hundred jobs could have been at stake. The restoration of funding was a result of direct action by our union, and is an example of what we can accomplish when we work together.
In accordance with the contract we began bargaining wage re-opener (article 6.1). These discussions have continued throughout the summer and are still ongoing. As you know we are under contract through June 30, 2017.
We welcomed 10 new members with the completion of the new chemistry building continuing our slow but steady growth. As the University has grown and continues to grow so to is our union. Because of our commitment to our work and to each other we have been successful in growing our union and re-affirming our position on campus.
In July VP John Rose and I were proud to represent Local 528 at the 42nd AFSCME International Convention. AFSCME President Lee Saunders and Secretary- Treasurer Laura Reyes were both re-elected. (See video from convention on the Local 528 website)
What is coming up?
The rewards for wellness are already underway. If you need additional info please visit Local 528 website. Info will also be provided at the September membership meeting.
The Local 528 Scholarship applications are out now. The deadline to submit is 9/30/2016. For more information refer to the Local 528 website or call the union office. Additional info will also be available on the 13th.
General election Nov 8th
Winter clothing and food drive kicks off in November. We need several more volunteers if your interested please contact union office.
In line with our continued effort to support members in the community we have sponsored a SK LL fall ball team in addition to the team we sponsored in the spring, & continue to sponsor the Dow Field scoreboard in Hope Valley. If you have a sponsorship opportunity you think is worthwhile please contact the union office.
In closing I thank you again for your efforts and the work you do in the public service. Your hard work and commitment to our jobs and each other is the foundation our union is built on. Welcome back to everyone in Dining and Health Services who were off for the summer. I look forward to working with everyone, protecting our jobs, and growing our union. See you on campus this fall.