Entries Tagged 'Unions' ↓

So are City of Sioux Falls Union Reps admitting they have failed their members?

This story gets more confusing by the minute, first the hussle-bussle on Cory’s site;

They received a 1% COLA last year, this cannot wait. – Kooper Caraway, president of the South Dakota Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

Well Mr. Caraway, whose fault is that? It’s certainly not the taxpayers fault. You are the chief negotiator. Unless you have been living under a rock, economists have been talking about how the economic recovery will go, they have predicted inflation, employment issues etc. This is not some surprise. So why didn’t you negotiate this to begin with?

I will also say that I have never heard of a non-management union employee of the city living paycheck to paycheck. Maybe it is happening, but you truly need to supply proof. You have not.

But it didn’t stop them from bullying a mayoral candidate;

In a statement to the Argus Leader Wednesday afternoon, Islam said “since [the ordinance] was advanced to a second reading last night, it should be approved on March 1.”

Do they deserve this? I am not sure. But if they do it isn’t because inflation suddenly reared its head it’s because the original negotiations were horrible. Who accepts a 1% raise even in normal economic times?

But I will argue it still goes back to whose money this is. The taxpayers. Why are we so quick to hand out bonuses when this money could be spent on much needed infrastructure projects for the very people who paid in the money?

I am astounded how this has become so complicated and convoluted;

• The union messed up in the original bargaining agreement

• They want to save face

• The timing is horrific, so they make excuses

You can spin this how ever you want to, you can bully candidates, but at the end of the day a spade is a spade. This is a bribe right before an election and any other assessment is hogwash and circumvent.

Local Union Speaks Out about Smithfield’s treatment of workers

Local AFL-CIO Awards Taneeza Islam Community Hero Award

Taneeza took the opportunity to talk about her work with protecting immigrants rights and the organization SD Voices for Peace.

I would like to thank Kooper Caraway for inviting me to the Labor Day breakfast this morning hosted by the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO. It was inspiring to see so many immigrants at the event, there was also three state legislators (Healy, Duba & Saba) and County Commissioner Jeff Barth in attendance. Below are some messages from Union.

Kooper Caraway featured on State of the Unions Podcast

Kooper Caraway, president of the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO was featured on yesterday’s episode. Listen HERE.

SFPD Union has some harsh words for Mayor TenHaken

While people have railed on me in the past about things I say about local public servants, not sure if I can beat a zinger like this;

“(The mayor) has failed every single character test when it comes to the rank and file,” Holbeck said. “Right now, his word is worth about five cents.”

Now that I have stopped laughing, let’s continue.

Another mayor and another snub of the PD. While I have often been critical of policies and leadership at the SFPD, I do think the officers deserve fair pay and reasonable wage increases and benefits. But it seems how to negotiate those contracts goes over the anti-union, right-wing, Republican Mayor’s head;

Holbeck said that response doesn’t sit well with union members, who prefer wages based on responsibility than equity and feel like TenHaken isn’t following through with his commitment to being supportive of law enforcement.

Wouldn’t you pay on what people do instead of thinking the responsibility of all the officers are the same?

This is what happens when you have a partisan-hack who comes from a non-union corporate structure that rewards ‘SALES’ over actual ‘WORK’. This is why I have despised sales people for a very long time. Not all ‘worker bees’ are the same, and they shouldn’t be treated that way.

During the campaign, TenHaken said he’d have an open-door policy for police officers, who have since been told to direct all communications to the mayor through the chief of police; and the mayor didn’t attend any of the negotiation hearings or a recent briefing between the City Council and the union, Holbeck said.

If Paul would have bothered to show up to a couple of meetings, he might have learned something. I guess he was too busy filming carpool karaoke with pastor Keith in his Lexus. Which many people have asked me if the officer was on the clock while filming this or was he just given a free ‘bottle of pop’?

Why is it so hard for city government leaders to complete some of the easiest tasks? If they can’t negotiate a simple union contract, I hate to see what is in store for transit riders. Grab your ankles, the bus is now in motion.

Union President Kooper Caraway at McGovern Day Dinner

I think Kooper was channeling JC Crawford

Unions in Sioux Falls continue to get suckered by this guy

This picture appeared on FB with this tagline;

Achut Deng, UFCW Member, rallies the crowd of 2500 people in support of The Labor Movement. And Union Workers march together at the Sioux Falls Women’s March.

The last thing ANY union member in Sioux Falls wants is to be pictured with this man rallying for unions. Not only did he take advantage of the unions by posing as a fake Democrat to get elected to his first term, he has fought hard as mayor to work against the unions when it comes to benefits, pension and raises.

The next time Mike climbs on stage with a union member, they need to politely ask him to leave.

Sioux Falls Education Association is rumored to endorse Mickelson

In one of the most bizarre moves I have ever seen a teacher union association pull, they are rumored to have endorsed a well known Republican for school board. It’s not like she is just some regular old house wife Republican, she is married to a staunch Republican lawmaker who is anti-union and anti-organized labor.

When teachers stand around with their fingers in their butts wondering why they can’t get raises, all they need to do is look at the 50 year chokehold Cynthia and Mark’s party has had on Pierre and their anti-public education stances on funding. It’s almost an insult to teachers that this person is running, than they endorse her? Baffling! The half-penny sales tax only passed because the chicken-shit Democrats voted for it also.

I’m sure this stems from the higher ups in the organization making this perplexing decision based on who they think will win, and who Cynthia sleeps with. But don’t expect Mark to wake up the day after the school board election and suddenly become PRO-UNION, the party would burn him at the stake.

Also, I think the SFEA should have stayed neutral in the race to begin with, voter turnout will probably be a record low, and it could only take a couple of votes for any of the 4 candidates to prevail, even though it seems Mickelson is spending several thousand on her campaign (rumor has it that Mark is donating his legislative campaign funds to Cynthia’s, which is totally legal) I guess we will find out after May 30 when financial reports are due. It’s your typical Republican strategy, outspend your opponent 5-10 fold instead of actually running on your credentials.

As a person who has worked in printing and the sign business, if I had to make an educated guess, Mickelson has probably spent well over $10K on signs alone. I also saw a bumper sticker today, and would expect billboards closer to the election.

Pretty sad really when you are only trying to get a majority of the predicted 2,000 votes that will be cast.

UPDATE: Also, teachers typically are not big on voting, and take into account that a large percentage of them can’t vote because they live outside district.

When will the City of Sioux Falls tell it’s citizens we are going broke?

City workers collecting their pay checks

You can’t rack up millions in record debt building structures we don’t need, turn around and give your directors atrocious corporate like raises then turn around and tell the minions, here are your crumbs;

The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, which represents hundreds of clerks, drivers, and maintenance workers, said Friday that members have rejected a contract offer from the city that would have offered 1.5 percent annual pay increases through 2018.

A spokesman for the union said the raises aren’t enough to cover the rising cost of health insurance paid by city employees. The union representing police officers in the city rejected a similar contract late last year, leaving firefighters as the only employee group with a new labor contract in place.

At the end of the day, the city council will be expected to do the heavy lifting without being let in on the negotiations, basically a shot in the dark;

Although not privy to the negotiations, the City Council will be asked in the coming weeks to approve  the new terms. If the unions declare an impasse, the Council can impose the contract without the consent of the employee groups. Asked by leadership and city attorneys to stay quiet on the topic as it could end up in litigation, councilors mostly have balked at questions surrounding the labor dispute.

“We were told not to comment,” Councilor Greg Neitzert said Thursday.

Councilor Theresa Stehly said it’s not her intention to complicate the process, but she shares the unions’ concerns about not prioritizing personnel.

The city in recent years has extended itself financially with more than $150-million worth of large-scale spending projects like the Midco Aquatic Center, the Denny Sanford Premier Center and the planned city administration building, yet can’t keep the labor force happy, she said.

“I can understand how these unions feel like things aren’t adding up when we’re extending ourselves with pools and administration building,” Stehly said. “It’s so very important in our personal lives and in city life that we take care of what we already have and support what we have before we go out and extend ourselves for these wants.”

While true, seems too little too late. People often tell me that Mayor Huether has accomplished a lot, he sure has, on the backs and debt of the citizenry. He has been anything BUT prudent with our money and now it is time to pay the piper on the bill of goods he sold us.

These are the kind of ‘Worker Rights’ you get under one-party rule in South Dakota

Anytime I hear right wing ding bats talk about less regulation, I only hear one thing; less safety, low wages and more profits.

A KELOLAND Investigation into the Copper Lounge building collapse has discovered that the family of the construction worker, who died, Ethan McMahon, may have a difficult time pursuing a case in court against the construction company he worked for. It all has to do with Workers’ Compensation and South Dakota laws surrounding the insurance.   According to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, Hultgren Construction had a Workers’ Compensation policy for its employees. By state law, the family would have to prove intentional injury by McMahon’s employer in order to bring a lawsuit

I have actually known about these horrible anti-worker laws for a long time, but try to explain them to workers and they blurt out some kind of anti-union garbage, then buildings collapse, and everyone is wondering why families are not being properly compensated for their losses. One party rule, corruption, lack of ethics, ALEC run legislature, just to name a few, protect big business instead of the common worker.

Workers’ Compensation would provide death benefits amounting to 2/3 of McMahon’s weekly salary to any of his children through the age of 18 or 22, if they are a full-time student. McMahon was not married. If he had a spouse she would have been entitled to that benefit. Workers’ Compensation also covers up to $10,000 in funeral and burial expenses.

Oh, and also being punished for being a heathen and not being married. Nice.

Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith says the city has created a log of is expenses, just as it would in the case of a natural disaster where it would seek reimbursement from the state or FEMA. In this case, the city will wait to see if any party is found responsible for the collapse and bill them.

So let me get this straight. When the city destroys other people’s property through bad plumbing, or inspections, they blame GOD and won’t reimburse those people, but when the city ‘thinks’ someone is responsible for causing them expenses, they send them a bill. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me? But no surprise.

There is so much dirty pool going on with this building collapse, it’s disgusting, and our city charter and state laws are not helping the matter much.

I also take issue with our mayor talking about how great our first responders are (in which they are) then turns around and screws their unions on raises and benefits. Kudos and compliments don’t buy groceries or pay insurance premiums.

So keep voting for the one-party rule, because like the day of the collapse, in the end, all we are going to find under the rubble is the little guy holding the bag once again.