AFSCME Local 171

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November 2019

Workers Independent News

Local 171 News & Announcements

HR Design Delayed

In the 2011-2013 state budget legislation was passed separating the UW-System including UW-Madison from the rest of the state in certain operational areas including human resources policy.  The official split was supposed to occur on July 1, 2013.  UW-Madison began preparing for the split with the creation of the HR Design Plan which was a large review of current human resources policies and procedures and desired changes.

The HR Design Plan is currently awaiting approval from the state legislature. Unfortunately, the state legislature is currently choosing not to vote on the plan.  An amendment has been added to the state budget bill delaying the effective date of the HR Design Plan until July 1, 2015.  The legislature still has to vote on the budget bill in order to change the effective date of the HR Design Plan.  UW-Madison is still trying to figure out how this delay will affect the implementation of the HR Design Plan.

A number of changes that were expected to take place on July 1, 2013 will most likely be delayed.  One major change Local 171 fought for was a pay raise for employees.  The Local fought to bring all full time employees’ wages up to the cost of living for the City of Madison, which is $12.19/hour.  Originally it was believed all employees would be making $12.19/hour starting on July 1, 2013 but because of the delay in the legislature this may not happen.  Local 171 will continue to fight for pay raises for all employees.

It is likely that the renaming of Classified Staff to University Staff will not occur on July 1, 2013 and it is not clear when this will take place.

Another change that is probably going to be delayed was the creation of a UW-Madison specific hiring process; where UW-Madison employees would no longer be hired through the state classified system.

Hopefully more information will be available in the near future about how UW plans to go forward now that the HR Design Plan has been delayed and what changes if any will affect employees.  UW is releasing updates on their website

Act 10 Can’t Prevent Us From Acting Like Union Members; Standing Up for Rights and Respect in the Workplace

The 7th Circuit court in Chicago recently upheld Governor Walker’s union busting Act 10 in its entirety. While this is a terrible decision for working people in Wisconsin and across the country, it is not the nail in the coffin that Walker and his Koch-Brother-funded cronies believe it to be.

That’s because they can’t tell us we can’t act like a union. They can’t prevent us from organizing for dignity and respect. They can pass no law that can stop us from fighting back together.

We should not depend entirely on winning our rights back in court. The fight for our rights will be won in the workplace and in the streets. Now is not the time to back down.

We cannot afford to avoid these kinds of fights.

Recently, Local 171 activists and members in FP&M organized a campaign to bring to light management’s despicable treatment of custodians. One manager in particular yelled and screamed at people, threw boxes at employees, and solicited bribes for a lighter work loads, among other things. Due to the courage of these custodians standing up for dignity and respect, that manager has been demoted. He now has to do the work shoulder to shoulder with the very people he thought he could terrorize. He has learned not to mess with local 171.

This was only possible because these folks stood up for what was right and acted like union members. They had each other’s back. They decided they didn’t want to take this treatment anymore and organized to stop it. These kinds of fights need to happen all over the university. We need to demand respect and be willing to fight for it.

Respect and dignity is just the beginning.  If we want to get back all that has been taken from us, we are going to need to be organized enough to fight for it. Local 171 is the vehicle for this fight. Join your union! Get involved! Let’s fight for a life worth living, TOGETHER!

UW HR Design Plan-Union Response
Employee Categories
What We Want
●      For all represented staff to remain represented now and in the future.
●      Maintain transfer rights across state agencies.
What they want
●      To rename classified staff University staff.
●      To eventually remove collective bargaining rights for 700 union positions by turning them into Academic staff. 
Why is this bad?
●      Our union brothers and sisters are losing their rights.  No one should lose their rights.
What we agree on
●      For all UW employees to make a living wage; in 2013 it will be $12.19 per hour.
What we want
●      For UW to increase the wages of all employees in the jobs that earn below a living wage to avoid compression. 
●      Across the board pay increases for everyone in cents per hour, not percentages.
●      Pay based on years in service and the cost of living. 
What they want
●      A performance (merit) and market based compensation structure
●      Market based means the UW will look at the pay of comparable jobs outside the UW.
Why is this Bad?
●      Merit based pay is biased and unfair.  Management can just give raises to their favorites.
●      If a low wage comparable is chosen to base our wages on, our pay could stay low. 
What We Agree On
●      For vacation usage to begin immediately for new employees.
●      For UW to contribute to health insurance as soon as possible for new employees.
What We Want
●      Vacation and sick leave earnings to stay the same.  They are a form of pay.
●      Continue cash out for unused leave time.   
What they want
●      To “streamline” benefits across employee categories.
Why is this Bad?
●      It could reduce our vacation and sick leave earnings.
Job Security

What We Want
●      Terminations and discipline based on just cause.
●      The progressive discipline structure to stay the same.
●      Recognize seniority in layoffs by laying off the last person hired.
●      Right of return to your previous position if you fail probation on a transfer.
What they want
●      To be able to lay off senior employees over newer employees.
●      To deny employees who fail probation in a transfer the right to return to their old jobs.
Why is this Bad?
●      Senior employees make more and could be laid off to save money.
●      Employees will be afraid to transfer for fear of losing their job.
Recruitment, Selection and Employee Movement
What we want
●      Hiring should be based on skills and knowledge.
●      Ability to apply for jobs without using a computer.
What they Want
●      Ability to direct hire internal or external candidates without open recruitment.
Why is this Bad?
●      Management could hire favorites, friends, or family members.


Using the "Bill Pay" Option to Pay Your Union Dues
"BILL PAY"is a way to pay your dues bi-weekly without giving your account number. Click HERE to find out how it works. "BILL PAY" gives members another option to recommit to their union that meets their privacy needs.
New UW Personnel Principles System
The University of Wisconsin-Madison tried unsuccessfully to separate from the UW-System. As a compromise, the legislature is allowing the UW-Madison and UW-System to set up their own Human Resource systems. The leadership of your Local, Local 2412, the TAA's, student labor groups, classified non-represented, faculty and academic staff have been meeting with Vice Chancellor Darrell Bazzell to work on principles for our new HR system, which will take effect in July of 2013.
This new HR system will give UW-Madison local unions the right to bargain with the university rather then bargain with the state. As a result, we will be focusing solely on our members. Corrections, probation and parole officers and other union members that are not hired by the university will not be involved in our bargaining process. We will have the opportunity to increase current pay levels as well as night and weekend differentials, and bargain many other things.
To read a draft of the principles, click on the PDF link below.

Union News & Views is published monthly by AFSCME Local 171. The newsletter is mailed to union members' homes. Submissions from members are encouraged. The deadline is the day of the membership meeting (2nd Wednesday of every month) for the next month's newsletter.

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