Pittsburghers Try a Community Union

Pittsburghers Try a Community Union

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Women of Steel, a Steelworkers caucus, attend a rally called by Fight Back Pittsburgh, the new community union. Photo: Chelsea Engel.

In the face of an awful economic climate and labor laws that too often favor employers, Pittsburghers are trying out a new organizing model: a rank-and-file community union.

The fledgling group brings union and non-union workers together to fight side by side on social justice issues and to seed workplace organizing committees through a Pittsburgh-flavored campaign called “Is Your Boss a Jagoff?” Continue reading “Pittsburghers Try a Community Union”

Being a union member has advantages

Ask The Lawyer

By Bill Bransford

Being a union member has advantages

June 3rd, 2013 | Uncategorized

In theory, your rights as a union member should be the same as your rights if you are in a bargaining unit and not a union member. Being a union member means you pay dues. Nonmembers do not pay dues but are supposed to receive representation rights and other benefits related to the union being the exclusive representative of employees in the bargaining unit.

While federal-sector labor unions have an obligation to represent all employees in the bargaining unit fairly, dues-paying members are likely to be more knowledgeable about the union and how it works and are likely to receive services from the union with a smile and enthusiasm that may not necessarily be present if the union is representing someone who is not paying dues. One of the biggest advantages of being in a bargaining unit is a grievance procedure that includes the availability, at the union’s option, of having grievances resolved by an outside arbitrator. Because arbitration is expensive and because it  is difficult to challenge a union’s decision against arbitration, being a dues-paying member is a factor in your favor to obtain the arbitration option, if needed. Arbitration is widely viewed in the labor relations community as more favorable to employees than is the Merit Systems Protection Board. Continue reading “Being a union member has advantages”

Is Telework a Critical Benefit?

 GovLoop - Social Network for Government

Is Telework a Critical Benefit?

Posted by Lindy Kyzer on March 7, 2012 at 8:11pm

As someone who teleworks full-time and considers it a non-negotiable benefit, it’s a topic near and dear to my heart. Across government it would seem the tide is shifting in favor of telework, yet many employees still find barriers from management perception to lengthy delays in implementation. What about you – is telework a benefit you take advantage of, or that is available?

 A decade ago, the idea of telework wasn’t even a consideration for many people, especially workers in the federal government. Presence was seen as a key aspect of employment and productivity, for supervisors as well as employees themselves.  Continue reading “Is Telework a Critical Benefit?”

Before Slashing Budgets, Find the Savings

Before Slashing Budgets, Find the Savings

It was a bold move for a government entity. In 2005, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania hired a private company to overhaul the archaic way it buys goods and services. It seemed simple enough, but what was innovative — and daring — was a key condition: 30 percent of the contractor’s compensation would come from the savings achieved. No savings, no payment.

Putting such a risk on the contractor paid off handsomely. Among other things, officials combined the buying clout and pricing data of all 89 executive branch agencies and departments to strike better deals. Without cutting a single program or service, Pennsylvania saved more than $140 million, or 21 percent, from its annual $700 million tab for everything from office and cleaning supplies to information technology services and tires. The savings far exceeded projections.

Pennsylvania is not alone. Similar value-based contracts enabled the New York City Board of Education to shave $86 million from its $720 million procurement budget, and state and local agencies are experiencing similar savings. Continue reading “Before Slashing Budgets, Find the Savings”

AFGE Union Leader Responds To Democratic Party Platform

WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following comment in response to the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform:

The Democratic Party has laid out a vision for the country that focuses on restoring and growing the middle class, creating jobs, investing in the future and ensuring that everyone pays their fair share. Continue reading “AFGE Union Leader Responds To Democratic Party Platform”