Monday, November 25, 2013

November Statewide Meeting – Notes and Observations

On Saturday, November 23, 2013 the Forestry Local held a statewide meeting in Portland.  The agenda was full and in the spirit of the season it looked a bit like the Christmas wish list of a 6 year old.  But unlike a wish list we were able to get it all and were completed by 3:00 pm.

Doug Decker, our State Forester started the meeting with a sincere thank-you for everyone, and their families, for the firefighting work this past season, Oregon’s worst since 1951.  Referring to the firefighting work Decker said “when we can demonstrate value we are recognized” which is coming in helpful now that ODF is asking the Legislature to help pay the accrued bills. Decker also talked about the Elliot State Forest and the recent layoffs, lawsuit and management changes and asked for support for the current employees.

Agenda Items:

Jesse Backman was recognized for his years as President and contributions towards Police and Fire Retirement.  A recognition gift from the Local will be presented on December 12th.

Protection personnel receiving up to 3 additional checks August – October:  About 80 employees primarily in Protection received 3 additional checks due to a mis-interpretation of a Letter of Agreement meant for employees hired in 2009 that had been passed over for a step increase.  The overpayments need to be re-paid but an agreement was reached to minimize the burden on the employee.  More information is available from Human Resources, Payroll or your President.

Fire Season Wrap-up:  Primary issues were around Rest and Rotation periods and lunches. These items will be brought up at Labor/ Management.

New Contract:  Printed copies will be available from your Organizer in early December.

Bully Boss Training:  New contract language provides more accountability, but if necessary, a worksite campaign is still needed for successful resolution.

Anti-Worker Family Ballot Measure: Presentation on a potential ballot measure that would target the ability of Public Sector Unions to function and provide representation for employees.  Contributing to CAPE encouraged.

Election Timeline Established:  Elections for Forestry Local 629 leadership positions will be held in 2014.  The elections committee will be established in early January; Nominations will open on January 13, 2014; Nominations will close on January 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm; Candidate statements are due February 7, 2014; Ballots will be mailed February 21, 2014, with replacement ballot requests by March 5, 2014; Ballots due back by March 14, 2014; Official election results due by March 21, 2014.

Requests and approvals:

Union cell phones for the President and Treasurer were approved.

The Treasurer’s tour of District offices in Central and Eastern Oregon was approved.

The President’s travel to Alternate Forest Management Plan meetings was approved.

For Astoria’s forest management staff a “pizza meeting” with 5 more possible was approved to see if there is an opportunity to build equity in timber sale contract administration.

Next meeting:

The next meeting will be held in Coos Bay on April 26, 2014.