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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, November 07, 2014

Mat Benol to County Workers - Open Your Eyes

Mat Benol
Last night's meeting of Northampton County Council was held in its regular meeting room. Though employees were present, it was nothing like the past three meetings, which had to be moved to courtroom No. 1 to accommodate the crowds. Mat Benol took the opportunity to lash out at the unions and to suggest it is time for workers to "open their eyes." Here's his speech,.

At the last three Council meetings that we had in Courthouse 1, I made a list as everybody was talking. I tried to get most of your names and your concerns. On two separate occasions, at the end of the first meeting and at the end of the last meeting, I gave my County business card to Justus James - he has it twice - and to Paul Row [Breau]. I notice they spoke multiple times - a lot of the people who spoke deferred their time, didn't speak, deferred their time to both of those gentlemen. 

What bothers me is that each of those gentlemen had said that this Administration has not contacted them. Now I don't know who is telling half truths or not. I know the Administration says that they have spoken to them. All I can say is that I think it's a disservice to the county workers who rely on those people as their leadership, because nobody has contacted me. We spoke in the parking deck for at least an hour. Some of you are here, and I passed out my card and everybody said, 'We have a plan, we have ideas, we've come to the Administration with these plans.' And again, it's been three weeks since that meeting. Not an email, not a phone call. 

So I also looked into how much money that the County spends on union dues. And last year, it was $757,000, technically of taxpayer money, that went to pay the unions, the same unions that are supposed to be representing the workers. And there's your representation. Not one phone call. Not one email. 

And I'm not saying this to defend the Administration. but what I'm saying is you need to open your eyes. 

I'm still willing. I want to talk to people who work for the County to figure out what your ideas are to see if there's something to help get through this Budget process because it affects all of us. But I just thought it was important to know that, in three weeks, not one contact. 

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

How did this guy get elected? Seriously??

Were the Democrats that bad?

Anonymous said...

Maybe union reps don't want to talk to Benol because he is so woefully ignorant that he thinks the County "spends" on union dues and paid the unions "$757,000, technically of taxpayer money". Union dues are "paid" to the union by its members, through legal, voluntary deductions that are transferred to the union by the County just like voluntary donations to other entities like the United Way or the American Cancer Society.

Anonymous said...

what 6:27 said.

Anonymous said...

He should have given the card to the non union employees I bet they would have called. Whats his email address?

Anonymous said...

Did his card have the joker on it?

Anonymous said...

Only a few workers at the meeting. Why do you think this man was electe?. It rained last year on election day. Sad...

Anonymous said...

He and all the other republicans were elected because the democrats stayed home on election day.

Fair Play said...

public unions are public enemy number one. It is good to see the administration and real members of council taking them to task and forcing them to see reality

Anonymous said...

Union workers really have no choice. They either join the union or have to pay a "fair share." Either way it is deducted from their pay and yes, it is taxpayer money that is the source of revenue.

Anonymous said...

so when a retired person spends their social security check for groceries, that money given to the store remains taxpayer money ? or a welfare or ssi check ? You are a moron Mat Benol.

Anonymous said...

Benol's anatomical reference should more accurately be close your eyes and open your butt cheeks.

Anonymous said...

The county does not pay union dues. The money comes out of worker's wages. If he is saying that deducting the dues is an expense then apply the same thinking to United Way deductions.

The unions don't negotiate with the commissioners. They are not the bargaining agent. Talks with the commissioners would be illegal in terms of bargaining.

Anonymous said...

Why would the union contact the one Tea Party libertarian clown on the council?

Anonymous said...

Wait, he thinks the COUNTY pays the union dues?

Anonymous said...

What about Seth Vaughn's bizarre hypocrisy in stating that attendance of Council meetings is "abysmal"?

His attendance at LVPC meetings hovers at 0, and he is a member! He didn't show up for 2 of 3 Council budget meetings. Astonishing gall.

Anonymous said...

"How did this guy get elected? Seriously?? Were the Democrats that bad? 3:49 AM"

Off year election?

Anonymous said...

Justus James is utterly useless.

Anonymous said...

Union employees were instructed by union officials to stay away from the meeting because Executive Brown has agreed to negotiate with several of the union heads. Looks like the fight is on the non-union emoployees at this point, as a non-union employee its time for us to lead the way on these issues.

Anonymous said...

Yes, where was JJ last night? Trouble rallying the troops? The meeting was about as dull as could be, starting with the useless Artsquest dog and pony show. Little Stevie Blunder made his usual appearance blabbering about an anonymous fraud tip he received via his website. It barely raised an eyebrow. Other than Jiminy Cricket Benol's anti-union rant and the budget debacle the meeting was a yawn fest.

Anonymous said...

Unions have no interest in negotiating. They just want to steal. Benol is silly for even trying to talk to these greedy goons. Bernie will now accuse Benol of murdering one of their members. Conversation is not the way things are being done in NorCo. Benol should watch his and his family's back. They're vicious and Bernie exhorts them to do bad things.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Based on Vaighn's remarks, he should not seek re-election.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:23, his statement is inaccurate. The employees pay for their unions out of their salaries.

Anonymous said...

The Democratic Party is adrift in NORCO and it appears to be getting worse if you consider the bunch of loons coming around this last election.
Sad.

Anonymous said...

10:02....you havent worked in a decade, i think you should spend more time seeking employment and less time blogging. Join the conversation once you get a job and actually contribute to the tax base.

Guy Williams said...

Based on what I just read lets take a step back and reason. For Matt to say the county spends 700 Gs is wrong. Yes 700 Gs of taxpayer money [dues] is funneled through the county to unions for representation. Representation at least in the past came in the form of collective bargining. Bargining as far as I know means neither side gets all that they want but an agreement thats acceptable to both sides. As a former member of CWA thats how it use to work. Is it fair to call it a compromise ? Seems like compromise is a dirty word on all levels in this day an age. Result being that both sides cant bargin and nothing gets accomplished. God help us all.

Anonymous said...

Benol is just a shit stirrer. Trying to convince the public they are paying the dues of union members. Apparently, a few are gullible enough to believe this moron.

Anonymous said...

As Bernie has stated, Brown is a premeditated killer. How can union members be expected to negotiate with a vicious killer, as Bernie has repeatedly asserted? It's like writing a secret letter to Iran. Terrorist killers cannot be bargained with. Tell 'em Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I understand it is just semantics, but technically, the employee's salaries are paid by taxpayers, so their dues are "technically", at least arguably, taxpayer funds, indirectly obviously.

Guy Williams said...

union members dont negotiate. Their leaders do or lawyer rep. And may I add public meetings are okay for the public including union reps to lobby for action but without personal one on one interaction both sides at public meetings just speak to their choirs.

Guy Williams said...

How far for the stretch. County employees taxes are paid with taxpayer money along with car payments etc. etc. And im sure for some taxpayer money is used for gambling,prostitutes and drugs.

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:15, Technically, it is not taxpayer money. It is the employee's money. He does not pay his mortgage or car payment with taxpayer money. It is his. He earned it. And he can use his money to pay for union representation, too. I believe Benol's objection is the automatic check off and the fact that the county collects this money. That's not a matter for county government.

His objection is that union leaders have not called him. He is not the Administration. He is one of none members of Council. His comment betrays an anti-union animus. I think their concern is that Benol would only use what they dsay to him against them. Just as he aited until no one was around to attack the unions.

And did he file a RTK to learn how much money was spent last year in union dues? I am sure that information was willingly supplied to him by the Administration in an effort to make unions look bad.

If he wants people to open up to him, this is the wrong way to do it.

Anonymous said...

I concede. IT was at one time tax payer money.

We agree, poor tact...but I agree with him regarding the union leadership in Norco.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So do many union members. But Benol's argument is disingenuous. He should know that no union leader is going to trust him, especially when he magically has the amount of union dues paid last year to throw in their faces.

Bernie O'Hare said...

In addition, he is one of none council members, not a part of the administration.

Anonymous said...

Is Benol planning to kill any county employees, as Brown has done (per Bernie)? Hysterical hyperbole is better than conversation and negotiation. Matt should know this, but he's new. Bernie will instruct him on productive discourse.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:00, I thought some of the
Democrats that ran last year were good people. I didn't vote for all of them but a few were great choices.

Anonymous said...

My eyes are open....I see my employer again trying to ROB me. We AFSCME/Gracedale workers compromised last contract and lost 5hrs of pay a week, gave back holiday pay and sickdays. I now GROSS slightly under 28,000 per year after 27 years of public service work. I haven't gotten RICH working for the County...I stayed because I as many of us care for our Residents and feel we are doing something good in this world for another Human Being...caring for the disabled, less fortunate and elder members of our society. Over the years many of us have gone above and beyond for those we care for. All we expect is a FAIR WAGE AND BENEFIT PACKAGE....How I see it we are required to do more with less reward. I am married with a child and I could never live on my wage alone. I am disgusted at what our world has become. It used to be you worked a 40 hour work week at a reasonable wage and had health insurance...now you want us to every year work for less money per hour...and pay more weekly torward health insurance.....have high deductibles and higher co-payments after we just took a pay cut. There is something wrong here! The County should be setting a better example and showing some appreciation for their employees. I don't want to hear what others are paying torward Health Insurance....none of this should be in this Country. I earn less than 30,000 per year after 27 years so AGAIN someone tell me how good I have it. I am a contributing member of society, a taxpayer and a caretaker and I need to put a roof over my head and food on the table. If they need to make cuts start at the top...instead of paying a 47 to 50 thousand starting wage for some of the positions you have knock a few thousand off....and let them earn their way up the pay ladder.

Anonymous said...

AGREE!!!!

Anonymous said...

You are correct but so is he. The public does not show up at the meetings.

Anonymous said...

Tell it like it is Matt! These guys wrote their own bad check when they supported seven years of bad budgets and rudderless government.

Anonymous said...

Benol has no idea what a working person does or how to survive under duress of government. Stick together workers! Do not let them drive a wedge between union and non-union workers. Do not let them divide and conquer as they have in the past. Stand your ground as the public is in your corner. Fight the good fight. You are not alone. You have each other!

Anonymous said...

Another clueless politician in NorCo

Anonymous said...

WELL SAID 5:26 pm. I completely agree!!!

Anonymous said...

There's not enough context here. Sounds to me that he could have actually been supporting the workers by telling them that their Union officials are not doing their job and they have to individually contact council.

I'm an elected democrat and I don't think there is ebough to hang Benol out on this.

Norco unions are weak and this is why they are being butchered. Do something, even a 15 minute strike, if organized, would get the point across. But they do nothing.

Hate to say it but Benol is right.

Bernie O'Hare said...

nothing is out of context. Benol' entire speech is reproduced here for that reason.

Anonymous said...

2:59 @ Bernie: Didn't mean to imply you put anything out of context. Just meant to say that there's not enough context to when exactly he made this speech and why.

I do think he, as a politician, made some careless statements. However, I do think he meant well.

Anonymous said...

"My eyes are open....I see my employer again trying to ROB me. We AFSCME/Gracedale workers compromised last contract and lost 5hrs of pay a week, gave back holiday pay and sickdays."

Peg Ferraro gave your money to Nazareth Ambulance in exchange for votes for her re-election.

Anonymous said...

Well, I do agree with him that our union representation is lousy. I've been a part if the court-appointed professionals union for almost 10 years, and I'd know literally nothing about this situation if it weren't for this blog. I wouldn't be able to tell you my union reps name (it might be Renee?), and I have so many questions, but no clue as to who to ask. Are there union meetings? Can anyone give me an e-mail address or other contact info?

Anonymous said...

"I see my employer again trying to ROB me."

Nice rant. What you fail to realize is that Gracedale is on pace to run a $9 million deficit this year and more counties continue to get out of the business. The pension and health benefits you receive from the government far exceed those of private and nonprofit nursing homes. It's convenient to direct your venom at the County Executive and Council but they aren't the issue. What you need to do is confront your state reps and senators to change the reimbursement formula in the welfare code back to what it was in 2006.

Anonymous said...

@5:26..if you are not happy, then quit. It is pretty simple. Someone will fill your job. You are obviously skilled and should be able to do better at places like Manor Care or Country Meadows. Thank you for your service to the County.

Anonymous said...

@7:51 if you are not happy just quit is a pretty lame statement. What people may not realize is how dedicTed to our jobs we are, even tho our salaries suck. Some of us get satisfaction in knowing that we helped someone. We love our jobs just not the way we are treated for doing a good job on a low salary. The public hS a misconception that we are being difficult becUse we Rent getting our "own way". We work hard to help you, the public. We don't ask for much in return, just to be treAted with respect by JB and his new cabinet and we aren't. We knew when we were hired that we would be working for a lower salary than in the private sector. That's not the point. We are being asked to work even harder now at a low salary because the open positions are not being filled and more money out of pocket for healthcare. I tried to instill in my kids not to be a quitter but to stand up for your rights. If we don't stand up for ourselves who will?

Anonymous said...

Where are the union representatives? Why not talk to the press and get your side of the story out there? I'm a pro union person and they are a benefit to members but at some point you got to stand up and push back. AFSCME has a bad habit of in the past cutting their own deals and that is as far as they go for their members. That has to stop and a united effort put forth here in the county. a work stoppage is called for otherwise the seperate unions will be run over by this guy Brown. Stand together!

Anonymous said...

The people of the county will support you. Walk out! Do not labor under fear of threat and retaliation. Tell this admin. to get to work the same as you and stop trying to destroy the workforce. Time to take action!

Anonymous said...

The workers can not strike, they have no strike clauses in the contracts, and as far as prison goes I believe there is a federal mandate that they not be allowed to strike due to public safety. So calling for a strike is nonsense. And as far as "I don't know who my union rep is dope" give me a break, look to the person next to you and say. Hey when is the next union meeting, who is my rep and how do I get involved. A union is only as strong as the people they represent and having you in the union playing a mouse is a major reason why Brown thinks he can pull this crap on the workers.

Anonymous said...

Decertification elections

Employees represented by a union can also petition to decertify the union. They must also produce evidence that at least thirty percent of the unit supports decertification and are bound by the same “contract bar” rules as an outside union would be. The only appropriate bargaining unit for a decertification election is the currently existing unit, whether it is one created by the NLRB or one created or modified by the parties through collective bargaining. Decertification elections are also subject to the same rules concerning improper campaign conduct as elections initiated by a union.

Decertification can also occur if the employer received substantial evidence that the union no longer has the support of a majority of the bargaining unit. Typically, this is accomplished through giving a petition, signed by a majority of the bargaining unit, to a member of Management.

Anonymous said...

No Strike Clause Law & Legal Definition

A no-strike clause is a provision in a collective bargaining contract in which the union promises that during the life of the contract the employees will not engage in strikes, slowdowns, or other job actions. A union often agrees to such a clause in exchange for a grievance arbitration provision.

Athough the NLRA grants employees the right to strike, not all strikes are protected. If a collective bargaining agreement contains a no-strike clause (the union agrees not to go on strike while the contract is in effect), a strike during the life of the contract would not be protected. The strikers could be fired.




Anonymous said...

Luis campos walked right by me the other day and didn't even acknowledge me. I don't expect a cartwheel but acknowledge the hRdworking people you supposedly represent. For all he knew I was a constituent or as this Dmin likes to refer to us, "a stakeholder". Acknowledge the people in this county and the people who work for you. Are you ashamed of how you are treating us?

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:04, Are you referring to the union agents or the stewards? Part of the problem here is that there are 11 different unions, and some can strike, while others may not. Some can seek arbitration, while others may not. I have said before and still believe it is in everyone's interest (both County and employee) to reduce the number of bargaining units and streamline them. It also helps to make it more clear where employees can go with problems.

Could the union be better? Absolutely. I think they would agree themselves with that criticism. But if they were not there, and you had not contract protection, I fear things would be much worse. i say this as someone who formerly thought public sector unions were unnecessary. My thinking has changed over the past year, based on what i see happens to police officers who have no union protection. I have seen it in spades in this county, starting this year.

Anonymous said...

Did you attempt to say hello to him? When you point the finger at someone there are three pointing back at you. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

I agree that we'd be worse off without the union, but that negate the fact that we're paying dies and receiving sub par representation.

And I can tell you that practically NO ONE in the union I'm in and the office I'm in knows anything about the union. The only info we receive comes from the newspapers and this blog.

Anonymous said...

*doesn't negate

Anonymous said...

10:26. Search your unions national 1 800 number on Google and call and file a complaint. You pay dues for representation, if you feel you have none, be proactive, and do something about it. Everybody has a boss, even your local Union Rep.

Anonymous said...

First of all the idea that going on strike is not allowed under law is bizarre. Of course the government doesn't want you to go on strike. If they make up a law and you blindly follow that law shame on you.

However, as was previously mentioned, the law against striking probably only covers the corrections officers and sheriffs.

As for the no strike clauses in the contracts... I thought the problem was that there currently are no contracts. No contracts equals no clauses. No clause equals legal justification for a strike.

Anonymous said...

I believe the Union Reps were planning on talking to this councilman and were told to wait. See comment @ 9:52am. These people were also worried about their words being twisted by said party. To comment @ 10:26am you are willfully ignorant to what is going on. You are probably a member who doesn't attend meetings and doesn't involve yourself. The unions are only as strong as their weakest member. All the county workers need to stand together. This is a plan to drive a wedge through all the workers. Your Local Elected Union Reps are volunteers who devote immense amount of personal time to the positions. So support them. When they need you to show up & vote..Vote and get involved

Anonymous said...

Well said 3:21, Well said.

Anonymous said...

@3:21 Show up where? Vote for what? I'm telling you that I WANT to get involved, but I don't know how. And I know others in my situation as well. Please, if you can give me an email address or other contact info I'd appreciate it. If there a meeting coming up that I should attend, I'd like to know when and where?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I will make an effort to get contact information next week and post it here. There is an AFSCME bulletin board at the courthouse, but i do not know whether there are any in other facilities. But i will do my best to get all relevant information.

Anonymous said...

It was the voters choice to keep Gracedale. Now it needs to be funded. So don't pit it on norco employees to fund what the voters wanted. Raise taxes. Period.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Just heard the president of the sheriff's union was served with a complaint out of Philadelphia for a possible assault. Document is on file in the civil division. Any insight on this for your readers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1) Is the President Mike?

2) If this is an assault, why wouldn't it be filed as a criminal matter>

Bernie O'Hare said...

I will look into it next week. But it is common for sheriffs and corrections officers to get accused of things. I get accused of things, too.

Anonymous said...

The sheriff's name is George, and he has been the subject of several
excessive force complaints by the district attorney.
The administration has kept this hush hush because he has repeatedly sold out the members to their benefit.

Anonymous said...

The Gracedale goons are going to get Barron on the case he will deliver an arousing speech to the humble workers Boonie has come to champion in an effort to tarnish John Browns administration.

Anonymous said...

10:57, really! JB has tarnished his own administration! And i am sick of being called a gracedale goon or union thug! I was a hard working employee! I retired a few years ago,but gracedale residents and employees are in my heart! The staff works very hard and are extremely dedicated. They go the extra mile for the residents.. we gave back to help out and this is how you treat them! Shame, shame, shame!

Bernie O'Hare said...

The term "Gracedale Goon" is one that I coined, and does not refer to the employees. It is the term I use to describe a small group of extremely nasty people who once had family at Gracedale, in the Alzheimer's Unit. They call themselves the Coalition of Alzheimer families. I believe the commenter was referring to them.

I will say that, after the referendum was over, I was assigned to cover the annual Family Fest at Gracedale. It was a real eye opener. There were numerous employees there, on their own dime, taking care of the residents. It was clear to me then that I had done a disservice to the Gracedale worker. Although there are exceptions, the vast majority of you really do care about the residents and treat them like family. They proved it by offering $2.5 million in concessions, after winning on the referendum.

I was premature, and should have listened to some wise people like Jerry Seyfried, Rich Grucela and Ron Heckman. They all told me to give it a chance. I thought i knew better. I didn't.

Anonymous said...

That union is useless! There robbing the employees also and doing NOTHING to help the employees.

Anonymous said...

At least you have one the non union employees will be raped as always. You should get with your members and demand a meeting. The union is only as strong as its members.

Anonymous said...

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet midterms to men of understanding. Or as I put it on the eve of another Republican Party sweep, politics determines who has the power, not who has the truth. Still, it’s not often that a party that is so wrong about so much does as well as Republicans did on Tuesday.

Feeling Screwed said...

If you're a member of 1265, our meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of every month at the VFW in Palmer. No big secret. It's been that way for the last 8 years.

Anonymous said...

Will Sparticus be welcomed back in SEIU by his union brothers, and sisters? His latest LTE to the FP is filled with bitterness and words ofanger, perhaps the leadership should be doing more to help him with the transition back into power. A man who guided John Browns candidacy into office via UNITY PAC should not be marginalized, also don't forget he endorsed Seth Vaughn.

Time for the healing to begin, has Kathleen Kelly kept his cubicle clean?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I just saw it. His "righteous anger" is aimed mostly at me. Apparently, the Lord is going to wave his hand and "strike down" those responsible for his incarceration. That would be him, so he apparently is predicting that the Lord is getting ready to strike him down, though he is attempting to intimidate me. Not too smart on his part to send letters like that from state prison. Even dumber for his "friend", Mezzacappa, to publish them.

He also claims that Judge Zito got some sort of senor judge job for chopping off Gregory's head.

He is one sick person, who may very well remain there for three years at the current rate.

Anonymous said...

@11:00 I'm in the court-appointed professionals union. No idea what number we are??

Anonymous said...

Christ O'Hare were to start? He did pose an interesting question, why are you so fat and ugly? He appears to be comparing himself to Christ. That is always smart. Apparently he feels you got him incarcerated. Your evil power is limitless.

I would not want to be anyone who knows him when he gets out. His "rigteous anger" at everyone will comer out. God only knows what that whack job will do.

I do believe the judges who sentenced him need to see those letters.
Stating you are innocent and standing by that is one thing. Acting crazy and inferring retribution on others is something totally different. I spoke to some folks who have known Spartacus and they have been surprised by all of this. They all claim he is known to be crazy at times but they never saw him as violent or this crazy. You better be ready for "righteous anger".
Oh by the way Bernie, since you got the BPD to take his computer with the pictures of his girlfriend on it, could you get some copies for us. Please. a bunch of us at the club are dying to see them. Maybe Morganelli will let you look at his collection. And to twink, yes there are pictures of the Mediterranean manslab as well.

Norco Twink said...

Meet the original "SPartan" wonder if him and Greggy keep in touch?

https://www.facebook.com/ray.davenport.71?fref=ts

No wonder Jim spoke so highly of him...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hey, I always thought I was pretty. I've been crying in my pillow since I saw his condemnation. I was completely unaware that I had such power with the police that they would seize all these things at my direction. I'm sorry to disappoint you and the boys, but I have none of these tapes or pictures. No wonder the Lord is going to strike me down.

His rant is creepy enough to forward to the DA. By publishing this, Mezzacappa continues to make him look bad. She's mentally ill, too, and does not seem to grasp that these letters are over the top.

Anonymous said...

So what are you O'Hare? A Pharisee or a Sadducee??

Do you feel threatened by Jesus Jm?

Feeling Screwed said...

Your local is 1040. Your officers have pretty much stayed the same since day 1. Ask your more veteran coworkers. They'll know.

Anonymous said...

The rant of Gregory's is bizarre. He's unhinged. Why would Mezzacappa post it? She's obviously off the reservation as well. These two are a match made in heaven.

Why is Gregory obsessed with you? We know why Mezzacappa is, and the only reason she would post it is that it echoes her hatred of Bernie. Pretty pathetic.

Gregory is right - I could give a shit that he is sleeping on a rat-eaten matress and his pillow is a joke. Maybe he is sleeping in rodent urine. I was thinking he was in a Hilton. I'm glad it is more like a Motel 6, and he's wondering if he'll wind up beaten to death like others before him.

Anonymous said...

@feeling screwed, the last I knew one can't attend a meeting if they are only fair share. I changed to fair share when they became useless!!! I heard about last months meeting and suggestions that were brought up they were shot down by mr. James.

Anonymous said...

I have always had O'Hare pegged as a Pharisee. So what is it Bernie?

I think we need an entry on Biblical references based on thh latest Gregory Epistle.

Repent O'Hare, repent!

Anonymous said...

@feeling screwed I've been in my position for 9 years and because of the high turnover in my department, I am one of the more senior workers in my position. I wouldn't know where to direct a curious employee searching for info about the current issues, other than to this blog. Perhaps it's because I'm only fair-share, which I've been since I started on the advice of several more veteran employees, all of whom were of the opinion that the union is ineffective. Hell, when the last contract was handed down we found out not from our representative, but a day later from the ET. It seems as though union/county info is kept from us fair-share members to punish us for not being full-dues paying members. So, fine if your goal is to piss off your co-workers and potential future members by seemingly withholding information. Not so much if you'd rather entice more people to join your ranks and stand in solidarity as you fight for a common goal. But whatevs.

Seriously though, can someone tell me if 1040 has a meeting coming up? Am I allowed to go if I'm just fair-share? Who would I contact if I wanted to actually join?

Anonymous said...

Way too many unions at the county level. AFSCME should be leading the parade here but they are not lead by a local person who knows the LV and the issues. James has to drive over an hour to get here. That union needs to appoint a LV representative..not some guy from Doylestown. Wise up and give the Valley their own rep.

Feeling Screwed said...

You cannot attend as fair share. It's one if the benefits of full membership. You can switch by filling out a green card and sending it to AFSCME. The reason there are so many unions is you are assigned to a bargaining unit based on your office and job duties. Since we're so varied from office to office, we're all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. Perhaps the union could hold a one-time open meeting. It would give them a chance to reach out to the fair-share people and explain the other benefits of full membership. Personally, I'd need to believe that the information, direction and support provided to members by the union were worth the extra money that would be deducted from my already dwindling paycheck before I made that decision.

How does the union keep it's members updated anyway? Is there a newsletter? Would I become a part of some e-mail group? Can members get copies of minutes for missed meetings?

Feeling Screwed said...

I don't know what your local does. Ours has meeting notes and a FB page anyone can follow. As a Court Appointed employee, the union can only assist/bargain economic issues as you are an at-will employee

Anonymous said...


Bernie, I understand it is just semantics, but technically, the employee's salaries are paid by taxpayers, so their dues are "technically", at least arguably, taxpayer funds, indirectly obviously.


So taxpayers are funding porn, strip clubs, alcoholism, Jesus, or whatever a private citizen decides to spend their money on? That's rich, Gomer.

Anonymous said...

Tell it like it is Matt! These guys wrote their own bad check when they supported seven years of bad budgets and rudderless government.

In other words, 7 years without a tax increase and now trying to justify not increasing taxes again. These guys are not very strong at math. Must have went to city schools.

Anonymous said...

Nice rant. What you fail to realize is that Gracedale is on pace to run a $9 million deficit this year and more counties continue to get out of the business. The pension and health benefits you receive from the government far exceed those of private and nonprofit nursing homes. It's convenient to direct your venom at the County Executive and Council but they aren't the issue. What you need to do is confront your state reps and senators to change the reimbursement formula in the welfare code back to what it was in 2006.

Hey, I have a great idea! Let's privatize the home and hire cut rate workers to offer substandard service to our destitute elderly. Fuck them, right, Gomer?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"These guys are not very strong at math. Must have went to city schools."

Your confusion of the past tense with the past participle indicates that you must have gone to tea party high school, where there is a constitutional right to use poor grammar.

Anonymous said...

The poster wad correct regarding reimbursment rates. County homes get less than private homes which makes keeping county run homes difficult.

Anonymous said...

Wow 100 responses, you must be proud of your mental ability Matt to get such a response from your cerebral acuity