CUSTODIAL STAFF UNITE FOR FAIR SCHEDULING & RESPECT

group photo

We united to demand management stop their shift change plan which would have moved most evening shift custodians to day shift on August 14th.

20 custodians and supporters delivered a petition (see other side) to Vice President of Administrative Services Bruce Riveland, VP of Administrative Services and shared how the shift change would hurt our lives and students, highlighting:

  • Pay cuts due to loss of evening shift differential & having to quit second jobs
  • Scheduling problems including having to find different childcare and many of us not being able to arrive by 6am
  • The disrespectful way management proposed this having failed to follow the process laid out in our contract or even consult us

As a result of our unity, management agreed to delay the shift change until after we negotiate an agreement but continued their practice of disrespect by refusing to schedule negotiations during our normal workday making it challenging for most of us to attend.  We are scheduled to meet with management on August 17th in the morning.

We expect more from a college that rightful strives to eliminate institutional racism and achieve equity and diversity.  Despite these goals, many workers of color perform difficult work for the lowest wages in the college district and are not involved in even the most basic decisions about their work. We believe an injury to one is an injury to all, and strive to build a workplace that reflects our values.

As long time workers at Seattle Central, some for over 20 years, we agree that this decision is not right for the college. It impacts the safety of the students and staff with less people on campus to look out for others. It amplifies the rodent problem with food left in trash bins, particularly the culinary areas. And it increases the risk of students, staff, and the public coming into contact with needles and other hazardous materials left around campus that is usually picked up at night. Other logistical problems come into play, when considering how the work will be done with students on campus, how classrooms will be cleaned when occupied, how bathrooms will be cleaned when students and staff ignore signage, and how our mobility will be limited due to restricted elevator usage as priority is given to students.

Recent challenges within the custodial department led to a mediation meeting involving the Director, Manager, Custodial Staff, HR, and WFSE shop stewards. As a result of this meeting, a memo dated July 11th was sent by HR to Chuck Davis, outlining steps to “clarify workplace expectations, as well as improve accountability”. However, the very next day, management notified the custodial staff of the proposed shift change. We believe management should focus on solving the identified challenges through the methods outlined in the memo before upending our lives and making it more difficult to keep our campus clean.

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Rally @ Amazon HQ: No Shutdown, Tax the Rich!

RALLY
Tuesday, June 27
5:00 pm @ Amazon HQ
410 Terry Ave. N., Seattle

No state shutdown!

Tax the wealthy and corporate profits

Fund education, social services and living wages for state employees!

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Enough is enough! If you are state worker holding a pink slip, courtesy of state legislators who don’t do their job, bring it to the rally so we can burn it! If you are a working person who is tired of seeing the corporate elite get away with paying so little in taxes, while you get taxed out of your home and the state services you rely on are slashed to the bone, this rally is for you!

Tax avoider

Amazon pays an effective tax rate on their profits, which includes all local, state and federal taxes, of only 14%. That is less than half what Walmart pays! In a city where two of the three richest men in the world live, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos being one of them, we should not be seeing drastic budget cuts at community colleges and poverty wages for state workers

Unfair to workers

SIS security workers are trying to win fair wages and an end to unfair religious practices on the job. Yet Amazon stands by as SIS, their security contractor, retaliates against employees for exercising their legal right to organize a union. Demand that Amazon respect security staff and their rights now! For information and ways to support these SIS workers, contact SEIU Local 6 at 206-448-7348.

Sponsored by: Washington Federation of State Employees Local 304 For more information, contact WFSE 304 Secretary Steve Hoffman at 206-915-1910, stevhoff@earthlink.net.

General Membership Meeting Location for Thursday 5/25 & Local 304 Newsletter

(email from our local’s recording secretary, Steve Hoffman – he also shared the May 2017 Local 304 Newsletter/Meeting announcement which you should have received in the mail.  If you didn’t, please confirm your address with Council 28.)

Hello WFSE 304ers.

I am writing to make sure that you know that our May general membership meeting will be in Bellevue. We are trying moving the meeting around to bring the union to the members who live and work all over King County. See the info below. I have also attached the May newsletter, in case you did not get it in the mail. It also talks about our exciting job actions on May 24.

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING NOTICE
TIME/DATE: Thursday, May 25, 2017 from 6pm to 8pm
SPECIAL LOCATION: Department of Ecology
Northwest Regional  Office
3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA (see directions below)

AGENDA: Getting our pay raises funded, protecting members during budget cuts, union reports, and your concerns.

Layoff & Reorganization Frequently Asked Questions

Know Your Rights: Layoffs & Reorganizations Frequently Asked Questions

What is a layoff?
Anything management does that results in: losing your job, working in a job class with a lower salary range, a reduction in the work year or or work hours (35.1.A)

What rights do I have if I’m notified of layoff?
Written notice at least 21 days before the layoff or payment for days that you aren’t provided notice for (35.10.A)

To be laid off in accordance with seniority (35.8.A.1). Seniority is defined as the length of your unbroken classified service (39.1.A)

Your options for other positions (i.e. “bumping”) & the date when you must select your layoff option (35.10.A.2-4)

To meet with our chief shop steward on the clock to discuss your options (35.1.B.2)

How do “bumping” rights work?
(coming soon)

What rights do I have in departmental reorganizations?
(coming soon)

Additional rights & things to be aware of:Our union hasn’t been consulted and had no input on these layoffs or reorganizations (35.1.A)

If laid off, the right to be hired first for future openings in classifications you have the skills and the abilities for (35.13.A)

To file a grievance if you believe your rights are being violated and get the help of a steward in doing so (30.2.A)

You don’t have rights to positions that are funded differently. For example, if your position is funded by a grant from the federal government, you won’t be able to “bump” people in state funded positions (35.8 & 35.9)

Layoff, Budget, Reorganization & Contracting Out Info Request

This is the information request we delivered to Dr. Edwards Lange on May 10th (pictured above).  We are demanding basic information, not rumors, about what’s going on in our workplace to make sure our voices are included and our rights are respected.

Here’s a list of what we’ve asked for, and what we’ve gotten back.  For requests that don’t include documents with our members names on them, we’ll link them below as we get them:

  1. Information about layoffs: no response
  2. List of vacation positions: no response
  3. List of posted classified positions: provided on 5/18
  4. List of classified positions eliminated by attrition: no response
  5. Current seniority list: provided on 5/18
  6. Breakdown of district’s cash balance: no response
  7. Information about reorganizations: no response
  8. Copy of all requests for contractor proposals: no response
  9. Copy of all contracts issued: no response
  10. Cost estimates for contracted out projects: no response
  11. Other information about contracted out projects: no response
  12. Final costs of all contracted out projects: no response
  13. Info that contracted out work was paid at the prevailing wage: no response
  14. Confirmation that work was offered to WFSE members before being contracted out: no response
  15. Copies of warranties and maintenance agreements given to the college for contracted out projects: no response

Seattle College District Cash Reserves – 99 Million Dollars?

According to a document from the Washington State Legislature, the Seattle College District had $99,388,219 in cash reserves at the end of 2016. Here is the district’s cash reserves from June 30th of the past five years:

2016: $97,974,682
2015: $99,199,717
2014: $90,779,199
2013: $80,173,788
2012: $66,129,906

We asked for a detailed breakdown of the district’s cash on hand to understand why layoffs and cuts are necessary in our May 10th information request, but have yet to receive a response to that question.  We will share it when we do get an answer!