Sunday, November 20, 2016

“Who Else Needs to Know”

I recently received a phone call about a worksite issue, that I was unaware of and filed a grievance that hopefully will result in a fair and just outcome.  The employees had requested a resolution but were unsuccessful.  That afternoon it occurred to me that employees are like planes up in the sky going from place to place. No one will ever know if they hit turbulence unless they radio and tell someone.  Others can learn from what goes on up there, or in the workplace.

“Who Else Needs to Know” was one of the lessons learned at an IMT meeting many years ago. As a Team we embraced the concept which made us a very effective and efficient fire fighting force.  Bits of information known by one Section can only help if shared.

If there is a worksite issue, someone needs to know.  Part of that is seeking a resolution that will allow you and Department to succeed.  The other is seeing if it isolated or happening other places.  If there is a contract violation share it, starting with your Steward. If you don't have a Steward contact our Member Resource Center and after that your elected Local’s leadership.  Many worksite issues can be solved when good listening and communication skills are applied but if there is a problem that talking needs to start.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Local Logo Caps Available in December

Caps with our Local’s Logo will be available beginning in early December.  Distribution channels have not been set but they should be available from your leadership and from our SEIU 503 Statewide organizer, Mike Bray.  They are “unstructured” in a putty color and look very cool.

If you don’t pick one up, a supply will be reserved for our Statewide Local Meeting in Eugene on February 4th and you can get one there.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Getting to Know Our New State Forester, Peter Daugherty

Following Peter’s self introduction at our last Labor/ Management meeting it left me with little doubt why the Private Forests Program has never built into a Union stronghold, they had a leader who values integrity, equity and has strong listening skills.

These are the skills I work to develop in our Stewards.

On the job as State Forester for about a month, Peter, showed that he has a sense of humour and vision forward for the Department.  He described himself as a “straightforward communicator” and that “you will know my position and why”.  That may sound harsh, but beneath that is an openness to listen to everyone to shape policy, provided it complies with statute.  This is how we work in the Public Sector, where Peter has spent his entire career.

Strategic in nature he is thinking about the Department’s needs five years from now. What will Oregon’s diversity look like and how will the Department reflect that. What services will be expected and how to provide them without overwhelming staff.  What training is needed to prepare employees.  He shared his support for the Protection from Fire Program and his view of the future looked like it was taken out of the line building section of the Fireline Handbook. You don’t build the line where the fire is, you put it where it is going to be.

A month on the job is not very long but Peter said he plans to get out and visit the Districts and will be our guest at our next Statewide Forestry meeting in Eugene on February 4, 2017.

SAVE THE DATE: Forestry Local Statewide meeting February 4, 2017 in Eugene.