Legislators go home, finally

“It’s far better the legislature meet every sixty years for two days than every two years for sixty days.” –  Mark Twain

Arizona lawmakers wrapped up their work at 8:25 p.m. on Thursday, May 3 after nearly four months in session. During that time a furious battle raged between corporate-sponsored politicians and Arizona’s rank-and-file public employees.

The politicians wanted to silence you – Arizona’s real public servants. Here’s just some of what was proposed:

•    Prohibit Meet and Confer for State, County and City public employees in Arizona

•    Prohibit release time for union members working on joint projects with management

•    Prohibit payroll deduction of dues or add onerous conditions to maintaining membership from year to year

Fortunately, SEIU members got to work and united with union and community allies to fight back. Here are the results:

SB1485 (prohibition of meet & confer):  We defeated this and prevented it from moving at all.

HB2848 (prohibition of release time):  Even with a last-minute push to get this tacked on to the personnel “reform” bill, we killed this one too!

SB1487 (prohibition of dues deduct) and HB2103 (annual reauthorization):  Despite the protracted efforts by the extremist Goldwater Institute, we killed this bill.

Here’s something else we can all celebrate: last year’s pension split rip-off has been over turned in court and the legislature owes you some money! (Last year the Legislature changed the rate to 53-47 employee-employer; a court challenge forced the legislature to reverse that.)

HB2264 – ASRS Employee – Employer Contribution Rates:  Now public employees will return to contributing 50 percent of the total retirement contribution and the employer contribution will increase to 50 percent.

One win we did not achieve was stopping the Governor’s Pet Project HB2571: Personnel “Reform” that will loosen standards related to hiring, firing, promotions, and disciplinary action. You’ll soon be hearing much more on what you and your co-workers can do in response to this very bad law.

What did it take to defeat this barrage of anti-worker bills? (Or, what has the union done lately?)

Here’s a quick summary:

SEIU AZ sits on the 5 member Arizona Labor Table Steering Committee and was charged with managing the field campaign that included…
– Fielding 20 door-to-door canvassers and hundreds of yard signs in targeted legislative districts;
– Helping to launch a new media social network plan that produced over 20,000 petition signatures in opposition to the anti-worker bills;
– Hosting a Tele-Town Hall – a “mega conference call” that included nearly 2,000 public employees
– Generating over 5,000 calls into legislators and that helped STOP all the anti-union bills.

As the public campaign cools down, the worker campaign heats up!

Public Employees like you want to know:

•    What does “at will” employee mean?
•    What recourse do I have when dealing with an abusive boss?
•    How do I speak up to make things better for the public we serve, without becoming a target for retribution by management?
•    If I report misconduct or corruption, will I lose my job?

To find out, call us and schedule a “Lunch-time” Seminar where you and your co-workers can learn what it means and what you can do about it.

From anywhere in the state, members can call Hector at 520-979-9935 to set up a seminar.

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