Demand for Fair and Equitable Union Representation from United EMS Workers Local 4911
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We, the collective membership of the Local 4911 UEMSW/AFSCME, stand together in the interests of fostering safe work environments, reasonable wages and affordable benefits that add value to our lives and our families. The inequity of power between AMR and our union brothers and sisters has been tolerated for too long. We believe that in addition to our union membership standing together in response to this unchecked power, the infrastructure that is UEMSW/AFSCME has a duty to support us with equal tenacity and unwavering effort. To date, this has not been so.
The union has vocalized their opinion of the membership many times. The union claims that the membership is not organized, unified or willing to fight. This direct, vocal action of the union has acted as a suppressant to democracy and freedom of speech. This lack of confidence in the membership has also discouraged, instead of encouraged, membership involvement. During a critical time when collective efforts should be focused towards bargaining and strategy during negotiations, the membership instead finds ourselves defending and “proving” ourselves as valuable assets. We should not need to “prove” ourselves and struggle to retain our membership rights to those we pay to represent us. SHAME ON THE LOCAL FOR THIS!! IMMEDIATELY, our call to the membership in organizing this work action against our local was answered by way of a PLAN, PARTICIPATION and EXECUTION. Our direct intent is to let the local know to NEVER AGAIN QUESTION our ability to organize OR the passion and dedication our membership has for improving our work environment.
Recent actions of union representatives, in direct response to current bargaining efforts, have stripped the collective trust of the membership. Acting in Bad Faith towards the membership by discouraging member participation and suggesting job loss as a result of organization and education of bargaining strategy in order to quiet opinions and action, is an unacceptable practice. We collectively expect better.
Allowing AMR to gain ground, the union willingly giving it up, continues a precedent perpetuated from the last contract negotiated. This poor practice has encouraged AMR to continue bargaining unreasonably and without due regard for their employees. AMR will continue to do so in future negotiations if we allow it to go UNCHECKED. We expect our local to hold their ground against unreasonable tactics and fight for us!
Vested membership that have an active desire to improve working conditions, have spoken out only to be discouraged, and even chastised, by some members of the bargaining team and union representatives. Some bargaining team members that have attempted to represent their members fairly and resolutely have also experienced inappropriate push-back from the union. The union is expected to serve the needs of the membership. The union is expected to thoroughly and steadfastly go into negotiations prepared with applicable research and tactics and strategy. During negotiations, every potential advantage and strategy is expected to be pursued with the goal of bettering the work environment of the membership, equally, fairly and without regression.
The membership asks the following of our local union:
● Local union leadership shall hold those employed by them accountable for ensuring first, and above all, the interests of the membership.
● No local staff shall discourage stewards from pursuing grievances.
● Staff shall increase the detail and frequency of communication with the
● No local staff shall encourage mediocrity or discourage membership aspirations
of workplace improvements.
● Local leadership and staff support shall consist of positive guidance, diligence
and possess a “can-do” attitude while creatively asserting to achieve
● Staff shall ONLY foster a positive environment for membership growth and
opportunity, never submitting to negativity by “admitting defeat” or calling the
● We ask that the board, too, provide continuous guidance, ideas for improvement,
and recognition of local staff in response to their advancements and achievements.
As the vote for the currently presented TA draws near, we remind the union that they are to represent membership wants and needs to the very BEST of their ability. The membership expects nothing less and sees the great potential in what we can collectively achieve.
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