Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ballots Mailed, Must be Received by 5:00 pm April 24th

Ballots to elect the next Forestry Sub-local 629 leadership have been mailed and should have been in your mailbox for about a week now.  To be counted they need to be received by 5:00 pm April 24th.  This is another opportunity to be active within the sub-local, by either checking the boxes for the declared candidates or choosing to designate a write-in.  Again remember that the ballots must be received no later than 5:00 pm on April 24th.

Another opportunity for activity is at the next Statewide meeting on May 19th in Eugene.  One activity will the installation of new officers that you have chosen, you wouldn't want to miss that would you.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Forestry Sub-Local Hits the Road

Your Forestry Sub-local 629 leadership is hitting the road from Wednesday, March 21st to Friday, March 23rd.  From Tillamook to Central Point, Local President Dave Wells and Vice President Will Bennett will be visiting Oregon Department of Forestry offices along the I5 corridor with open ears and sharing a few messages.  It has been many years since a similar trip has been planned and with Sub-local ballots soon in the mail and possible changes on how our union is funded it seems like a good time to sit down together.  Pizza will be involved.  Hope to see you at one of the stops.

Here is the planned road trip itinerary:

Wednesday, March 21st
0600 Tillamook District
0800 Forest Grove District
1000 Schroder Seed Orchard (St. Paul)
1200 Salem - Sun Pass Room
1630 West Oregon (Philomath)

Thursday, March 22nd
1000 Western Lane (Veneta)
1200 East Lane (Springfield)
1630? Grants Pass

Friday
1200 Southwest Oregon (Central Point)

If you miss one of these stops the next Forestry Sub-local 629 meeting is May 19th in the Eugene Area.
 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Forestry Local Officer Nominations Now Open

Forestry Sublocal 629 Officer nominations opened Monday, February 5, 2018 and will close Friday, March 2, 2018.  President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and General Council Delegate positions are open.  The current Sublocal President, David Wells, is not seeking re-election.

You can nominate yourself or another member in good standing and as part of the nomination process please try and get the nominee’s acceptance signature that they will accept the position if successfully elected.

Nomination forms are available through Mike Bray (braym@seiu503.org) and can be returned to David Wells at searocket21@gmail.com or Mike Bray.  Nominations close Friday, March 2, 2018.

The nomination form is here: http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/t-uploads-2018-02-L629-Nom-pdf/mk9c7/124352204

Monday, January 15, 2018

Forestry Statewide Meeting, January 20, 2018

Our next Forestry Sub-local statewide meeting will be Saturday, January 20, 2018 from 0900 to 1300 at the Inn at Otter Crest (north of Newport). Lunch and lodging are provided and pre-registration is required.  A call in phone number is available and the number and access code is available through our Statewide organizer, Mike Bray or your Sub-local president Dave Wells.

The agenda includes:
New officer elections (announcement of election process and deadlines)
Office Coordinator update
Incident Management Rest
Portal to Portal pay (like structural firefighters)
Sexual harassment files
Pay equity DAS study
Sustainable fire organization
Workforce futuring
Who are (what constitutes) essential and non-essential fire personnel

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Bargaining to be Thankful For

It was a year of contract bargaining, and I am thankful that the bargaining team and supporting members were able to bring home a present for everyone of us. A pay raise, new tree falling differential, and maintaining steps and our health insurance benefit were all big wins.  It was no small feat, considering the economic condition that our Oregon was in, with virtually no revenue to keep employees wages up with the rising cost of getting by.

This holiday give thanks that we have our Union and were able to organize to negotiate the contract.  Bargaining this time was limited to a wage and benefit re-opener as part of our four year Contract.  Next time it will likely be different, all of the articles will be open for review.  Fairness has never been a successful line of reasoning at the table, but strength in membership is.  It is a time to be thankful.

Below is a sampling of changes made benefiting employees as a result of collective bargaining:

Article 26 – Differentials •  Creates a Tree Faller differential of $1.25 per hour for employees who hold a current Advanced Tree Faller certification for time spent working on Advanced  level trees.

Article 27 - Salary Increase •  Effective June 15, 2018, a 1.85% COLA.

Article 31 — Insurance •  Maintains that for plan years 2018 and 2019, for workers enrolled in a    medical plan that is at least 10% lower in cost than the monthly premium of the most expensive medical plan, the State will pay 99% and the worker will pay 1% of the premium. •  Maintains that for plan years 2018 and 2019, for all other workers the State will pay 95% and the worker will pay 5%.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Don’t Let Cyber Monday be Your Waterloo

As tempting as the specials are, don’t let Cyber Monday be your Waterloo.  It seems like the holidays keep getting earlier and earlier and that is why I would like to share this reminder that ODF has a computer use (enforcement) policy.  I’m not going to go over it all, in case I mis-state the exact language, but personal financial transactions should not be conducted using an ODF computer.  Even if a deal is great and time limited taking a shortcut with the work computer is not the way to do it. A computer that thinks in “ones and zeros” and has a time clock leaves little to the imagination for minutes of use and websites visited.  This season remember that Santa will know who is naughty or within policy.

Save the date, Saturday, January 20, 2018 for the next Forestry Sub-local Statewide Meeting.  Location to be determined, but likely on the Central Oregon Coast.

Forestry Sub-local nominations for Statewide Officers will open in early February 2018.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Stewards Conference, Sharpens the Sword

Stewards stand up and stand out in our workplaces and SEIU 503’s biennial Stewards Conference allowed for reconnecting, sharing stories and training to improve skills.  Micki Varney a Steward representing ODFW employees summed up the reasons why she and many Stewards take on the responsibility the willingness to help others, seeking a sense of fairness, and looking for social justice.

In the classes that I took Making a Good First Impression, Information Requests, and Putting it all into Practice, skilled organizers shared their skills in holding an effective 15-20 minute orientation, what information can be requested to support a grievant and some grievance meeting role playing.  The world changes but the need to be supported and join together to solve worksite problems doesn’t, and we were reminded that “everyone in this room is the Union, really our Union”.  “Go ahead and start filling out your membership forms”.

Contact your Steward first and if none is available contact the Member Resource Center phone number 1-844-503-SEIU and e-mail: DHSagencies@SEIU503.org

Next Contract Enforcement training, SEIU 503 Salem Headquarters, 1730 Commercial St. NE, Salem begins Friday November 3rd 5:30 - 8:30 P and continues Saturday November 4th 9:00 A - 4:00 P. Register online: https://fastfor.ms/E8B2D

Next Sub-local 629 Forestry Statewide meeting, January or February 2018