Author Archives: Bill Young

JOINT STATEMENT OF AFSCME, SEIU AND UAW ON FILING OF A FEDERAL LAWSUIT OVER MCSC ANTI-WORKER ATTACKS

Published by:

09-05-2020

DETROIT – As the country celebrates contributions of workers this Labor Day weekend,
a coalition of unions representing Michigan public employees is suing the Michigan Civil
Service Commission to stop capricious new rules attacking state employees’ first
amendment right to support their union and violating established contract provisions.

“We are disappointed, but not surprised that the Michigan Civil Service Commission is
choosing to blatantly ignore the carefully negotiated collective bargaining agreements
they themselves authorized in favor of political attacks. This is part of a long-running
campaign against working families in Michigan and across the country, pushed by
billionaire-backed anti-worker groups.

“It’s clear that the MCSC rule is meant to create burdens for members to freely associate
and be represented in the workplace. Now more than ever, these essential workers, who
serve the citizens of Michigan without fail, even during the 2020 pandemic, deserve the
right to be represented on crucial health and safety issues without hurdles. Dedicated
state employees are testing for COVID in Department of Health labs, distributing
unemployment benefits, providing healthcare, safeguarding our prison population, caring
for veterans, and keeping our roads, food and water supply safe, among many other duties.
Through their unions, they advocate for their families, for good jobs, and for quality public
services in Michigan.

“The Commission’s new rule requiring annual reauthorization of dues deduction conflicts
with our collective bargaining agreements, which the Commission previously approved, and
therefore violates the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Commission’s action
also interferes with our members’ freedom of association under the First and Fourteenth
Amendments to the Federal Constitution. These constitutional violations are particularly
galling at a time when these hardworking public workers are coping with providing service
to all Michiganders during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We ask that the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan uphold the Constitutional
rights of the members of UAW, AFSCME and SEIU.”

UAW:

“At a time when we are stepping up to serve the public during the pandemic, the Michigan
Civil Service Commission is making it harder on us to have representation. They seem to think
it’s cute to play games with our union membership rights. I’d much rather they leave us to serve
the public in this difficult time and have our union protected from political interference,” said
Ed Mitchell, President of UAW Local 6000.

AFSCME:

Tammy Porter, President of AFSCME Local 261 (Grand Rapids Home for Veterans) said “The fact
that the Civil Service Commission is fighting to change rules and take away more of our rights at
work during a pandemic is unbelievable. I have gone to work every day at the Grand Rapids Home
for Veterans, working hard to care for some of our nation’s most vulnerable heroes. I’ve seen so many
of my co-workers going above and beyond these last 6 months, putting ourselves and our families in
danger because of this disease. This is the thanks we get? We deserve better than this.”

SEIU:

“I’ve been working around 10 hours a day, six days a week at the Unemployment Insurance Agency,
trying to process all the skyrocketing claims so struggling Michiganders can keep a roof over their
heads and put food on the table,” said Roland Whitelow, a member of SEIU Local 517M who has been
an unemployment insurance agent in Detroit for 18 years. “State employees are dedicated to supporting
the people of our state, and all we ask for in return is fair treatment. I have three sons in college, a daughter
about to go to college, and all of them plus my wife are on my union-negotiated health insurance. Unions are
about protecting working families and the American Dream so we can have a better future, and that’s what
we’re fighting for in this case.”

Signing Up For The Union

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The easiest way to sign up is to call MiHR at 877-766-6447. You will need your Employee ID # when you call. Tell them you want to “REAUTHORIZE YOUR UNION DEDUCTIONS”

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

If you want to sign up on line the procedure is as follows:

  1. Go to www.mi.gov/selfserve
  2. Click on “Self Service” (the 2nd icon under HR Gateway)

HR Gateway

 

 

 

 

 

     3.  Click “OK” when the message box comes up “HR self service is for authorized. . .”

    4.  When the MI HR Self-Service comes up, put in your:  A User name, which is the
letter “h” followed
by  your 7 digit employee ID #, and B your Password, and then click on “Login”

   5.  On the upper left hand side, click on “Bookmarks”

   6.  Then go to “Employee Self Service>”, then “Pay> ”, then “Dues Payroll Deductions>”

  7.   Click the 3rd button — “REAUTHORIZE CONTINUED DEDUCTION FOR AN ADDITIONAL YEAR THROUGH 10/02/2021”.

You will get a confirmation email from MiHR to confirm the transaction

Questions? Please call me (Jim Walkowicz) at 313-999-9418 or email me at walkowiczj@aol.com

Be Aware When Signing Petitions

Published by:

08-07-2020

Dear UAW brothers and sisters,

We want to make you aware of a dangerous new petition drive has been launched that would
strip Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of her emergency powers and undermine her ability to keep us
safe during the pandemic.

We need all our union brothers and sisters to take action today by REFUSING
TO SIGN.

The anti-union paid operatives gathering signatures will literally say anything
to get you to sign. We’ve received reports that some operatives are claiming this
would help Gov. Whitmer or help add union jobs. This is not accurate.

PLEASE DECLINE TO SIGN.

Cynically named “Unlock Michigan,” this partisan political power grab is being
bankrolled by right-wing, anti-union special interests like Betsy DeVos and huge
wealthy corporations attacking Gov. Whitmer.  Unlock Michigan is attempting to
avoid both disclosure of its special interest donors and a vote of the people. If they
gather enough signatures, this dangerous petition could be approved unilaterally
by Republican politicians in Lansing and will not be able to be vetoed.  

If you see petition gatherers, DO NOT SIGN. Instead, report or record activities
of any petition gatherers under this name and call/text 517-618-9687 or make a
submission here. And, encourage everyone you know not to sign this dangerous
petition.

Gov. Whitmer is doing everything she can to keep Michigan working families
safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and get our economy moving again.
Let’s stand by our governor!

The bottom-line: DECLINE TO SIGN!

 

Public Sector Employees Under Attack–Again!!

Published by:

 

07-07-2020

Members

Please join us by clicking the link below to show your support for Michigan’s civil service workers.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/stand-up-for-frontline-workers

Union members in the public sector are once again under attack and need our support.

The Snyder-appointed Civil Service Commission is using the cover of a global pandemic to engage in underhanded union busting targeted at State of Michigan workers. This is not only an attack on dedicated state employees, but also their ability to provide quality public services to the people of Michigan.

At a time when state workers have been on the frontlines of protecting the people of Michigan from the coronavirus, these anti-worker commissioners are trying to undermine the right of state employees to collectively bargain. Stand with our brothers and sisters and tell the Civil Service Commission to end these anti-union attacks.

TAKE ACTION NOW >>>

COVID-19 email for member questions, click here.
8000 E. Jefferson Ave.
Detroit, MI 48214
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Letter From UAW International President

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Dear Sisters and Brothers,

As trade unionists and as Americans, we were outraged and heartsick at the
horror of George Floyd’s death on May 25. It was yet another tragedy in a
long and sorrowful history of the divisiveness of racism in this nation. Since
that day in communities from coast to coast, we have seen Americans from
all walks of life, black, brown and white, stand together to demand change.
To demand – finally – that we address the systemic racial divide that has
plagued our nation since its inception.

On Friday, June 19, at 8:46 a.m. in each time zone, UAW members and
allies across the globe will pause for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the agonizing
amount of time that George Floyd lay on an American street begging for his
life. We do this in support of the millions who are demanding an end to racism
and hate and calling for real reforms.

Join us on June 19 at 8:46 am as we stop work for 8 minutes 46 seconds
to reflect on the horrific event of May 25 and support the call for change.

We know that our members work in different circumstances and industries.
Please do not stop work unless authorized. The UAW leadership is working
across the country to facilitate peaceful and orderly stand downs.Some must care
for patients or engage with customers. Please do not abandon patients or
customers
. Please figure out a way to engage in the protest in the way that works
for you.

In Solidarity, Rory L. Gamble

 

Due to COVID-19, MDHHS closes lobbies

Published by:

03-18-2020

Due to COVID-19, MDHHS closes lobbies except for appointments; suspends rules requiring office visits

LANSING, MICH. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today announced that MDHHS will close its lobbies to visits from the public, except for appointments, and will stop requiring residents to visit MDHHS offices in order to receive state assistance benefits during the COVID-19 outbreak.

MDHHS offices continue to serve the public and will conduct telephone interviews with all public assistance clients and applicants.  As always, individuals who are applying for or receiving benefits can use www.michigan.gov/MIBridges to submit paperwork, review benefit information, report changes, apply for benefits and complete the process for redetermining eligibility for assistance.  Individuals unable to use MI Bridges can call MDHHS offices to get assistance.  Individual workers will schedule in-person meetings only as needed.

In addition, under a temporary policy change, families who receive or apply for cash assistance under the Family Independence Program will not be required to attend orientations at Michigan Works! offices or to engage in subsequent employment activities.

These changes are effective Wednesday, March 18, and will remain effective only as long as necessary for public health.

“Michigan is doing all it can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” Whitmer said. “We are asking residents to make smart choices by not going into group settings unless necessary. Closing MDHHS lobbies to unnecessary visits and eliminating requirements to visit offices are necessary steps in this emergency.”

About 15,000 low-income Michigan families receive monthly cash assistance through the Family Independence Program.  About 7,500 beneficiaries must engage in job search or readiness activities, which require individuals to congregate in groups for orientations and then to make additional public contacts for purposes of training and employment.  A typical family receives about $350 per month through the Family Independence Program.

“We’re committed to protecting public health and supporting families through this emergency,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “Closing lobbies except for appointments and eliminating requirements to visit offices accomplish these objectives. We will reduce infection rates and continue to deliver financial support to families who need it.”

Michigan had identified 65 COVID-19 cases as of today.

Information around the COVID-19 outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available by visiting Michigan’s Coronavirus website or via the CDC’s website.

With Your Assistance

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The Community Services Committee and District Chairs are asking for the memberships help in their mission to support local schools in need.  Their current project is to provide school uniforms.  They are asking for your support in this project and to see what is needed click here

With your assistance, we can make this happen.

Student Loan Problems?

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Having Problems with Student Loan Forgiveness You May be able to Get Help – please contact the Local at 800-243-1985 if you have been seeking to have your Student Loans Forgiven under the provision for public employment. Once you call the Local we will provide you with the information you’ll need to seek possible assistance in determining if you’re eligible to get your student loans forgiven.

UAWire

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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 Statement on UAW Cooperation with Government Investigation The UAW and President Gary Jones have always fully cooperated with the government investigators in this matter. As the leader of the UAW, President Jones is determined to uncover and address any and all wrongdoing, wherever it might lead. There was absolutely no need for search warrants to be used by the government today — the UAW has voluntarily responded to every request the government has made throughout the course of its investigation, produced literally hundreds of thousands of documents and other materials to the government, and most importantly, when wrongdoing has been discovered, we have taken strong action to address it. The UAW will continue to cooperate with the government in its investigation, as we have been doing throughout.

Trust in UAW leadership is never more important than during the bargaining process, when profit-laden auto companies stand to benefit from media leaks, false assumptions, and political grandstanding. The sole focus of President Jones and his team will be winning at the bargaining table for our members.

The UAW is in the process of planning a 50th Anniversary Event for Walter Reuther on Saturday, May 9, 2020. One of the things that the International is attempting to do is create a commemorative stamp in honor of Walter. The International will be submitting a proposal in writing, by U.S. mail. The deadline for submitting the letter and signatures must be mailed by August 8th.

What we are asking our UAW Members help obtaining as many signatures as possible. An online petition link has been created, https://surveymonkey.com/r/K5RD977 and if you have a SolidWeb 2.0 website, the post has been syndicated to you. We encourage you to sign the petition and spread the word so that we may capture as many signatures as possible.