Two union members walked into a bar

Well, not exactly. Two union members  came to members of the Local 800 Executive Board, asking for help, within a month of each other. In one case, the request was probably too late – though we could have been of help earlier. In the other case, the member ended up receiving a tidy packet of owed back pay!

FIRST SCENARIO: We've written more than once about a union member's Weingarten Rights, that is, your right to union representation at a meeting with management in which discipline might result.  (See here.)  In light of what recently happened to a member at one of the agencies, we want to recommend again to all members to contact a union rep if you get a warning or other discipline. (It can be just for consultation, if you're not sure you want a rep with you at the meeting with management.) Don't let a warning or multiple warnings pile up until it may be too late.  

TAKE-AWAY: Just Cause protection against termination is one of the most important rights a union member has. See here for information about your Weingarten Rights – and if you want a business-side card to put in your wallet or purse and didn't receive one (we sent to everyone for whom we have a current mailing address), please let us know.

SECOND SCENARIO: A union member mentioned to an Executive Board member that he was never told his job classification (grade) when he was hired, something he began wondering about when he looked through his union contract and saw that salary ranges were listed at the end, by grade. We advised him to find out – and when he asked HR, and received his answer: he realized that since he was hired, over a year ago, he had been paid at a rate below what the contract specified. Management gave him a 10% raise to his correct level, and paid him his due back pay.

TAKE-AWAY: Know your union benefits, including your salary level!

As always, please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about what is happening at work. Gary Guthman, our professional AFSCME union representative, can be reached at (213) 248-0381, or [email protected]   Charlie Orlowski, Local 800 President, can be reached by phone at 323-761-8888 ex. 8869, and by email at [email protected].