The MRC Chapter Board has reminded me that you, our MRC members aren’t getting as much information about our activities and challenges as you need to feel connected.
First, we are experiencing vacancies on the Chapter Board. Currently we have vacancies in the South VR and the Administrative Offices. Julie Arroyo from Malden was just elected to fill the VR North vacant seat. If anyone is interested from the other locations, please call or e-mail me at the Lawrence MRC.
We have contacts or stewards in every location but have discovered that the monthly Chapter Board minutes have not been distributed. I have requested that they be posted on the 509 website so that you all may read them.
One major recent activity was the Reallocation Hearing for the QVRC series. On May 4th, Corey Durham, Pat Chabot and I met with representatives from OER and HRD to “state our case”, which Corey did quite eloquently. She had also prepared and distributed binders documenting the information which was presented . Pat, Cory and I have copies if anyone wants to visit to review the material. We felt that the hearing went well and are awaiting a response from the Commonwealth. We felt all of your support and solidarity when you wore purple on that day!
Pat and Rick Hanauer are also representing us on committees including the EPRS and Health and Safety Committees. I have been participating in the Grievance Committee Hearings at the Local until Dick Gates our Secretary of Grievances can resume his duties. The Union is referring cases to Alternative Dispute Resolution to try to eliminate the backlog at step 3 (OER). New cases are being filed at step 3. Any class actions or grievances with multiple witnesses will require a full hearing. Some of these which are in the queue the Unit Supervisors working Out of classification and not being paid , the SNO/Christmas Holiday grievance, the Tornado grievance and other individual grievances.
We have repeatedly asked MRC management for closure on the Alternative Work Options survey and committee work. Thus far, they have stonewalled us and more or less indicated that they will take no further action. Local 509 will be pursuing more flexibility in schedules as part of the last contract negotiations, so don’t give up. There are manager in other agencies who have seen the benefit of four day workweeks, flexible time and telecommuting so perhaps within the larger context we will fare better.
I have been very busy in the North Region. I believe in the Golden Rule. I believe that you get what you give. I believe that what goes around comes around. And I believe that the North Regional Director who has treated our members so disrespectfully and with such meanness is now receiving payback. L has throughout the years benefitted from the hard work of our members. Yet in this past year, she has encouraged members to file grievances, only to rule against them. She has overlooked horrific acts on the part of her “pet” managers, even after they retire. Now she has four vacant AD positions . She wouldn’t authorize travel to one supervisor who was willing to be acting. She wouldn’t fight for the higher pay rate so in-house qualified applicants have turned down the job. Boohoo. Poor L.
I was very pleased to hear that the CFO was fired. I want to again remind you that you can submit your travel more than a month after the travel is incurred, that you can get reimbursed for tolls and parking, that there is an automobile allowance in addition to the mileage rate. And clients really don’t have to go on direct deposit for CDP, that was for vendors. And the new self reporting for Time and Attendance is not to change practice or prevent part time employees from getting flex time. Someone was paying attention!
I was also thrilled to read the line item in the 2013 Senate Budget that ended with language to the effect that the Sturbridge Office would remain open and fully staffed exactly one week before we were scheduled for a “Demand to Bargain” the closing of the office. Of course, MRC management hasn’t said a word so I’m hoping that Senator Brewer will help us keep the office open.
Last week, the Program Coordinators in SES who have been “doing” our bargaining unit work were offered the opportunity to become QVRC’s. We have made it clear that if and when the SES is phased out to the field, they will have no transfer rights unless they are in the Q series.