Sunday, October 23, 2016

Forestry Local Fields Member Concerns in The Dalles

Member concerns and developing Labor/ Management discussion items were the big topics when the Forestry Local held its Fall Statewide meeting in The Dalles on October 22nd.

Often these two topics crossed paths and those that will be addressed at the Labor/ Management on October 27th will be presented in the jointly prepared agenda, but there are others outside the privy of the committee that will be worked on by the membership.

Dogs in the workplace.  Everybody agreed that driving in a rig that smells of wet dog covered with hair is unacceptable but there is a place for a dog to accompany field workers.  Using a Forest Service developed agreement as a model, management will be approached to see if Department needs and employee desires can both be met.

Selection of Stewards.  The election of a Steward to represent a group of workers should be taken seriously and reflect the desire (vote) of a majority of the represented members.  Two years ago the Local changed its bylaws to clarify the selection, notification of leadership and training requirements.  The process to remove a Steward is also documented.  Stewards are needed within the Local and if you know of someone who is considering taking on the role or interested yourself you are invited to call your Local President, Dave Wells for more information.

Salary steps.  Many in Forestry have reached or are reaching their top salary step in their range.  Bargaining will likely begin in December 2016 or January 2017 on the wage and benefit contract re-opener and it is time to start thinking about what you think is important and fair.

Layoff of seasonals.  The notice of the end of the season for Seasonal employees has been negotiated and is documented in Contract Article 71, Section 4.  From the contract “A seasonal employee shall be given at least ten calendar days advance notice of end of the season…..”.  This is notification is fair, just, negotiated, written and grievable.

Other business items were the selection of Local promotional items, hats and on-the-go charging kits with our logo.

All of your elected leadership and other members were at our meeting making for a very informative and productive time.  Our next meeting is planned for February 2017 with the date and location to be determined when our new State Forester, Peter Daugherty (invited) can address the group.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Two and Four Leggers Team Up on Tiger Thin

Forestry Local employees began work with their Forest Service counterparts on Tiger Thin in the Siuslaw National Forest on Tuesday, October 11th as part of a special cooperative project to prepare a timber sale. It was a real welcome surprise when Eric from the Forest Service showed up with his black and chocolate labs that joined us in the woods.  Working along Wildcat Road on Tiger Thin the accompaniment was especially welcome.  The greatest obvious threats were salmonberry thorns and “boomer” (mountain beaver) holes, but it was nice to know that our dog friends, with all of their senses, were along to alert us to other dangers.  Currently Forestry Local employees are prohibited from bringing their dogs to work. Working with Forest Service employees who are allowed to bring their dogs with them was an example where Agencies and species can work across borders to achieve a common goal.

If you are interested in renewing the “bring your dog to work” discussion please contact any of your elected Forestry Local leadership or better yet join us in in person or during the call-in hour (10-11 am) at the Forestry Local Statewide meeting in The Dalles on Saturday, October 22nd.