AFSCME Council 93 has extended the nomination deadline for the Annual M. Michael Botelho Award to September 30. Named in honor of the Council’s first Field Services Director, the award is presented annually to a Council 93 member in good standing who through exemplary action and steadfast determination, exemplifies the spirit and actions of a true trade unionist.
Established in 1993, the award will be presented at the Council’s 20thBiennial Convention to be held November 4-6 at the CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort in Danvers, MA. The winner is chosen by a committee comprised of past award recipients.
Nomination forms must be completed and returned no later than September 30, 2011.
Completed forms can be emailed or sent via regular U.S. Mail to:
AFSCME Council 93
8 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02018
Council 93 members working in public safety will gather in Salem, MA on September 24 for an in-depth training on issues faced during administrative interviews, internal affairs investigations and other disciplinary hearings.
Instructor Richard Gudis will provide attendees with an overview of Weingarten Rights and Garrity Warnings, which are critical tools in ensuring due process for public safety officers. Attendees will learn about the practical application of Garrity and Weingarten Rights as well as core interpretations of those rights.
The training will also feature a discussion of Loudermill hearings and legislative issues that affect public safety professionals.
Details of the training are as follows:
DATE: Saturday September, 24
TIME: 9:30 am – 2:00 pm (registration begins at 9:00 am)
LOCATION: Salem State University, Campus Police Conference Room
73 Loring Avenue, Salem MA 01970
This is a free training but seating is limited. Members interested in attending must pre-register with Alva Arellano no later than Monday, September 19. Registration is available by phone at (617) 367-3686 or by emailing Alva.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Training Instructor Richard Gudis is an attorney and former Groton Long Point police officer. A 2002 graduate of Quinnipiac School of Law, Richard joined the staff of AFSCME Council 15 in 2006. He currently represents several police union locals within the Connecticut Council of Police.
Faced with a choice of remaining with their current union or affiliating with an unproven and unaffiliated organization, a unit of county corrections officers in Maine recently voted overwhelmingly to stay with AFSCME.
The officers, members of Local 1828, rejected affiliation with the National Employees Corrections Union (NCEU) by more than a 3-1 margin.
NCEU does not devote any resources towards organizing new, non-union members. Rather, the organization's leaders focus exclusively on raiding existing unions. This time, NCEU targeted a unit of 60 officers working at the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.
In the months leading up to the election, NCEU made a number of empty promises to the officers. But with 77% of voters choosing AFSCME, the election results were a clear indication that the officers are pleased with the service they receive from AFSCME, and confident that Council 93 is providing them with the best representation possible during these extremely difficult times for public employees.
Frank Moroney, the Special Assistant to Council 93 Executive Director Tony Caso, lauded the work of AFSCME staff and Local 1828 members who fought off the misleading campaign by the raider organization. “Our staff and members did a fantastic job,” Moroney said, noting specifically the contributions of Council 93 Staff Representative Jim Mackie, AFSCME International’s Tim Birch, Local 1828 President Sean Emery, and members Mark Domenech and George Dean who serve as unit chair and vice chair respectively.
“True trade unionists spend their time and resources trying to bring the benefits of union membership to workers who do not already belong to a union,” Moroney said, noting that AFSCME had recently organized more than 500 new union members at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. “We wish we could focus all of our organizing efforts on increasing union membership. But unfortunately, because of misleading organizations like NCEU, AFSCME must also devote some of its resources towards dispelling lies and protecting our members from being duped into paying dues for substandard service.”
After nearly three years of fighting, Council 93 has secured long-overdue retroactive pay increases for a group of Local 2968 members working as sergeants working in Maine State Correctional facilities.
The 32 officers will receive the pay this week in two separate checks. One check will include
Sergeant Curtis Doyle
the full increase amount the union negotiated through collective bargaining, while the second check will include the non-taxable interest the state owes on the delinquent payments.
I have two words for AFSCME, said Local 2968 member Curtis Doyle, “thank you.”
In addition to active sergeants like Doyle, all eligible members who retired after the reclassification agreement was reached will receive the money they are owed.
The state agreed to the increases in December of 2008 as part of a job reclassification proposed by the union. At the time, the sergeants were told they may have to wait a few months before their pay reflected their new classifications. “That turned into many months and eventually years,” said Doyle. “But the union kept fighting.”
Since the retroactive increase applies to both regular wages and overtime earnings, Doyle is expecting checks totaling approximately $6,500. Doyle said the money will help purchase a used but “more reliable” car, college
books for his son, and heating oil to keep his family warm during the long Maine winter. “These are all thing I would have had to borrow money for,” he said. “I can’t thank the union enough. They were instrumental through this whole process, from negotiating the reclassification to putting the money in our pockets.”
While Doyle recognizes and appreciates the benefits of being a part of AFSCME, he noted that sometimes, a few of his colleagues fail to realize the importance of being part of a union during these volatile times for public employees. “Some people just don’t get it,” he said. “For the life of me I can’t understand why. It’s baffling. I keep telling them if you take the union out of here we’re all going to be given a choice: come to work tomorrow for $9.00 per hour or don’t show up.”
Council 93 represents more than 780 Maine State Corrections officers all of whom put their lives on the line every day on the job. In an effort to raise public awareness of difficult work performed by these brave men and women, the Council recently produced a series of radio commercials that aired state-wide over a two week period in the spring. The radio spots provided AFSCME members with the opportunity to speak directly to hundreds of thousands of citizens about the difficult and dangerous nature of their jobs.
To listen to the radio spots, click on the names of the individuals officers listed below:
As Wisconsin voters prepare to head to the polls for landmark Senate recall elections, union volunteers are leaving no stone unturned and no door “un-knocked” in their efforts to win support for their candidates.
Over the past several weeks more than 100 AFSCME volunteers from other states have joined an army of nearly 12,000 Wisconsinites in a historic grassroots campaign aimed ultimately
at stopping right-wing Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union agenda. The volunteers include
Rudy Renaud visits home of Wisconsin voter
Council 93’s Greg Callahan, Carol Markland, and Rudy Renaud.
Their efforts include door-to-door education campaigns, voter-turnout drives, and phone banks. With every vote critical, AFSCME volunteers have been dispatched to the state’s remote farmlands, where sometimes several miles separate one household from the next. “We’re out in very rural areas,” Renaud stated in an email update. “This campaign is taking us to doors that never really get knocked on.”
The recall elections are targeting six Republican state senators who rubber-stamped Governor Scott Walker's union-busting legislation. In addition to the six Republicans, three Democratic Senators have been targeted by Walker supporters, one of whom defeated his challenger last month by a healthy 66-33 percent margin.
In that election, Senator David Hansen defeated a challenge by Republican David VanderLeest While VanderLeest was considered to be a relatively week candidate who has been plagued by a string of legal and financial troubles, Democratic supporters are strongly encouraged by the win as polling indicated the election was held in a “right-leaning” district.
Assuming the other two Democratic seats are retained, a defeat of three of the six Republicans will be enough for Democrats to gain control of the senate and start turning the tide against Walker.
The eyes of the entire nation have been on Wisconsin since Walker moved to bust public employee unions at the start of the year. But instead of having the affect he was hoping for, Walker's moves have reenergized the labor movement and increased public support for collective bargaining rights.
Carol Markland (2nd from right) with other volunteers
The final recall elections will be held on Tuesday, August 9. For up-to-the-minute coverage of the recall fights and union efforts check in regularly with We Are Wisconsin.
The Botelho Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Chelsea Mason-Basiliere as the 2011 recipient of the M. Michael Botelho Scholarship Award.
A recent graduate of Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton, MA, Chelsea will use the scholarship funds for tuition at Bridgewater State University, where she has been accepted as a member of the class of 2015. Chelsea is the step-daughter of Local 204 member and steward Michael Kaley, a custodian and groundskeeper for Central Berkshire Regional School District.
Named in honor of Council 93’s first Field Services Director, the fund provides $1,000 scholarships for each year of attendance at an accredited two or four year degree program. The funds are awarded to AFSCME members in good standing as well as members’ spouses, children, grandchildren and legal dependents. Applicants must be a graduating senior accepted into an accredited college, community college, university or recognized trade or technical school or a student already enrolled in one of these institutions. Applicants must also submit an essay about the importance of unions to them or their families. Chelsea’s winning essay was chosen from among fourteen others.
The Botelho Scholarship Fund has provided nearly $25,000 in education assistance since 1998. A new scholarship winner is selected annually so Council 93 members are encouraged to check this website next spring for application materials and deadlines. In the interim, any questions can be emailed to Dianne Hurley.
Scholarships opportunities are also available from AFSCME International. Click here to learn more.
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