Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you! Thank you for the good work you perform on a daily basis both in your position at the University as well as on behalf of our Union. Thank you for the dedication and commitment made to the work we so proudly perform and most importantly to each other. In addition thank you for paying your monthly dues.
Your active participation is vital to the survival and long term viability of Local 528. Attending monthly meetings, staying informed, participating in the multiple lines of communication that have been established, contributing to PEOPLE, and being a registered voter are just a few examples.
Equally important to active participation are the dues we collectively pay. The small by-weekly investment we make in each other allows us the ability to enjoy resources which serve to protect, and strengthen us all. Professional staff, highly qualified Business Agents, and Staff Reps, educational programs, and strong state government and organizing programs just begin to scratch the surface of resources available to us because of our dues.
Specifically since the year 2004 our dues have helped to secure an accumulative 27% in across the board wage increases. Combined with active participation our dues have assisted in the ability to defeat several privatization attempts at state hospitals including Eleanor Slater. Closer to home members of Local 528 were able to successfully survive, regroup and finally defeat an aggressive privatization effort of our Housekeeping jobs on campus. A decade later we can proudly lay claim to cleaning work through out campus. Just recently Council 94 was able to negotiate an agreement with the State to prevent privitazation of almost 300 jobs. The bumping process would have had disastrous consequences for our Local.
Because of our dues and the resources they help fund we have successfully fended off countless efforts to “water down” the quality of our healthcare. We have protected the integrity of the plan and continue to do so. During the last 2 contract negotiations we were successful in defeating efforts to severely weaken our seniority rights. Within Local 528 we are able to continue programs including the Local 528 Scholarship, annual Thanksgiving raffle, Christmas raffle, and support fellow members in times of need all because of our collective investment in each other. For over 3 decades our dues have helped to protect our work in Dining Services ensuring we remain as one of the few public institutions to have not been “out sourced.” Every year we are able review, and evaluate state, local, and university budgets allowing us to prepare for and resolve problem areas harmful to our job security, working conditions, or long term viability.
Most recently our dues helped pay for the defeat of budget article 22 which if enacted would have removed items such as reemployment lists, extended probationary periods, reduced job security, etc… Worth noting the terms of article 22 while removed for union employees remained in place for non-union state employees.
Shift differential, Holidays, Seniority, Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Compensatory time, Leave protections, Jury leave, Grievance procedure, Arbitration, Reclassification “desk audit”, and Parity are all contractual rights earned as a direct result of union dues.
The challenge before us is this; take the time, make the effort, do 1 thing to help strengthen our union. Attend the next membership meeting 9/8/2015 11:30AM MU Ballroom. Sign up to receive information via email, sign up to receive text alerts, make a commitment to visit the Local 528 website http://web.uri.edu/local528/, register to vote, stay informed, contribute to PEOPLE, ask questions, be active in our union. These are all concrete steps we can take to collectively continue the work of strengthening our union. By individually taking on a small amount of responsibility with and each one of us recommitting ourselves we can overcome any challenge put in front of us.
Brothers and Sisters in conjunction with our active participation, our diversity, commitment to perform our jobs well, commitment to each other, and ability to adapt and overcome challenges financial resources allow for organizational resources which in turn makes us STRONG.
Once again THANK YOU for your participation and THANK YOU for paying your dues.
President Local 528