November 2021 General Membership Minutes part 2

7. Good and Welfare: Proposal is for the local to gift members who lose child or spouse get 250 form local. Member who dies gets 404 dollars. Retirees get 100 for 10-19 years. 150 for 20 – 29. 200 for 30 and above. Motion to approve by Hesse, 2nd by Marvin. Cory would like for something to be given for losing parents. Concerns are difficulties for tracking parents. It was voted down. Cory-I feel the union should be in support if someone brings it to the union if it is available. Cory would like to make a friendly amendment. Eric accepts. Cory proposes 50 dollars for parent death. Ben-I would like a flat rate for all members. Eric accepts the benefit if passes probation but not the flat rate. Marvin-What is a flat rate for and what is it? Ben-If the top is 250, we can have 250 for everyone. Making point that any life lost is the same. Ryan-404 for members. 250 for spouse or child. Retirement amounts are the different amounts. Hans-If you are paying dues, you are part of the union so there shouldn’t be a cutoff for probation. Kurt-The reason for 404 for members is symbolic due to the local 404. Everyone that pay dues are a member, however we have plenty of people who quit or get fired. The local only gets 10 dollars for every member. Motion is to add 50 for parent and people don’t have to be off probation to receive benefit. Motion passes unanimously.

Constitutional changes in March were approved. Main change is increase from 5 to 7 chief steward. The new constitution will be placed on the 404 website soon. Kurt-With the addition of the chief stewards, I recommend one is a communications steward. Eric-Per constitution, all chief stewards are the same, so the coordinator would need to assign that. Kurt-We are adding two positions so the main concern is communications so one should be designated by the eboard.

Ben-People have been paying dues and decide not to pay dues and are getting kicked out of the 404 page. Another complaint about the bidding and no initial days off anymore. Is that something that can be put back in or wait for next contract? Ryan-That bid language was taken out because management weren’t offering the weekends out to more senior staff. So days off go by seniority strictly now. For non-members, we offer fair representation. The social meeting pages are something we do on the side. Ben-If afscme is legally required to represent them regardless, we should let them stay on. Annie-Even if not a member we have to represent them for grievance and contract representation. That stays. To be a member, gives you a voice. A lot of stuff on those sites are discussions on union business. If you don’t pay dues, you don’t have that voice. We have to represent all things contract related but input on union affairs, they don’t have the right. Just because they are a part of the bargaining unit, if they don’t pay dues, they don’t have input on anything local related and no say in negotiations. Nick-Motion to get rid of afscme 404 Facebook pages altogether. It’s a cancer. Motion to get rid of it. Steve 2nds. Steve-Before Facebook, we had a call list and was moved to inverse page. Annie did a great job explaining the Facebook page. It isn’t the right or entity. It was meant to be professional and has changed. If people aren’t respectful, this is why it will get removed. If you can’t be respectful, the motion is to remove it. Hans-Was it started by the union? Ryan-It was a union member who started it. Eric-While I understand the point behind it, I am opposed. We have discussion about lack of communication and it is a good resource. Kurt-The inverse page is not for opinions. Joe-I made a comment that was deleted because you didn’t know who I was. It was deleted and makes me question things. Ryan-There are many people that can add on there. I don’t know the settings. When you made your comment, someone reported you and I looked into it and added you back. Shawn-I don’t feel like the page is worth it if we can’t have an opinion. Ryan-When we found out who you were, you were added. This was for all afscme social pages. Lauren-Get rid of the 404 page but keep inverse page. Joe-why were the comments turned off? Ryan-There were personal insults and comments because they weren’t helpful. They were attacking people. Nick-The motion is to get rid of 404 chat page and keep the inverse page. Steve-this is a good tool to give the new staff. Using the inverse page is a great thing. If we abuse it, it won’t be there. Alex-call to question.

Joe-I would like to ask about Ben Zarns comments. If they are dues paying members, why are their comments being deleted? I would like to hear their opinion. Ryan-I deleted the comments that were rude and disruptive. It wasn’t to alienate anyone. Steve-I respectfully disagree. It is necessary. The 404 member chat was available for members to voice concerns. A media is great from the eboard to the membership and not have commentary. You can call us with your opinions. Annie-Comment of what Joe was saying. I want to remind everyone it is a local website and represents people from all backgrounds and we don’t support members attacking members. It is represented by the local and that needs to be stopped. Nicole-For the inverse page, look at the members. There are some MNA members that shouldn’t be on there. Ryan-They were added when they were going to overtime, we will go through it again and get them out of there. Lauren-Suggest we go through all pages. Eric M-I went through them a week ago and I did delete those who are not employed or moved locations. I believe I got most of them. Let me know if you see anyone else. Nick-Amendment motion to add social media promoter to executive board. Annie-we can’t have stuff like that added to the board because it would have to be constitutional amendment. The eboard positions are all the same, so to put a task to the name would be through the constitution amendment process. If you have suggestion, get that to the executive board to put it together. Motion Passes.

Hans-Make a motion to create a fund to be allocated an amount out of every months dues to it and place in an investment account. Steve-I make a motion to decline the motion open for discussion. Eric-Has there been a 2nd to the motion. Shelly 2nds the motion. Eric-I make a motion to refer to committee to talk about this more. 2nd by Alex. Discussion by Steve-Earmarking funds to a specific task is a bad idea because it limits our money. Keeping it into a saving account allows us to have free flow of money at any time. If we allocate, it’s for that only. Changes have happened with arbitrations lately but I imagine if we go back to putting arbitrations to locals. There is a chance we may have to split it with council 5 and we will need the money. If arbitration costs 20k, we have to put 10k in. We file 100 cases, we deplete our funds quickly. Eric-This is hypothetical right now. Arbitration is going to the local but the exec board has put something through that if they don’t think it has merit, it would all go to the local. It’s not in place right now but it is out there. Ryan-The committee would be me, if interested contact me. Hans-When I say contingency fund, you are telling your members it has to be a long term thing. Most likely we won’t use it but it does give you strength in bargaining when you need to. We need to look into attorneys as well for workers comp or fighting covid. Steve-People need to look at Toby’s comment, if you make a fund at 25k and 900 members, you get peanuts. You want to keep fluidity with your money. Lauren-A fund is a good idea. Annie-We have locals with a fund but they have a lot more money than you guys do. The problem with letting it grow at different rates, it affects the dues and has to be done constitutionally. Eric-Our treasury is only 280k. The Hans motion is to set 25k among 900 is 27 dollars per person. If we are off for a months and you want to set aside enough money, it would be 900k. The fund isn’t the answer. It starts with the person to save their own money as well. It won’t pay your bills. Ryan-The motion is to send this to a committee and to discuss next month. Hans-None of the funds are huge but they never start big. It could be anything. It could be a long term piece, maybe 30 years. Looking at sweatshirts, I’m not sure people are excited about a sweatshirt. What could membership get behind? It was a good faith motion and I didn’t appreciate a comment by an officer. Motion Passes.