Stockton set to become largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S.

While Stockton is far away from Hollywood, Municipal Bankruptcy is still something to pay close attention to.

This article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune is reporting some of the problems the City of Stockton is facing in their filing of Chapter 9 Bankruptcy protections.

One of the interesting lines in the article:

Multi-year labor contracts for city workers carrying escalating costs and generous retirement plans added to the burden.

A phrase that is appearing more and more often about Municipal Workers across the country….. Generous Retirement Plans. They make it sound like we Municipal Workers don’t work for and earn those retirement benefits.  And just who, exactly, is deciding what is ‘normal’ and what is ‘generous?’

 

via Stockton: City set to become largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. – SGVTribune.com.

Important Information for the Membership

ATTENTION MEMBERS!

 This communication serves to notify the Members of Local 2432 of additional changes within Local 2432.

Ralph Dierks has tendered his resignation as President of Local 2432. The Executive Board accepted his resignation, and by mutual agreement, his resignation is effective immediately.

Pursuant to AFSCME Local 2432 Constitution, the 1st Vice President will assume the role of Local President for the rest of the term and the 2nd Vice President will assume the role of 1st Vice President. As a result of these actions, the Local Constitution states that any other vacancies are appointed by the Executive Board. The Board made nominations for replacements and are as follows for the remainder of the term; the new appointees are in italics:

President, Christopher Cassidy,

1st Vice President, Robert “Bob” Strauss

2nd Vice President, Troy Porter

Secretary/Treasurer, Rafael A. Quintero

E-Board General, Alan Corriveau

E-Board General, Marleen Pierson

E-Board Professional, James Rusnak

E-Board Supervisory, Jose Vazquez

E-Board At Large, Bernadette Roelofs

Trustee, Dennis Harrington

Trustee,Victor Swackhammer

Trustee, Charles “CK” Kerr

Further, an agreement was reached for full-time legal representation with Local 2432  with Attorney Barbara R. Duffy. Mrs. Duffy will represent our Membership in all legal matters.

Over the past several months, the Board has made a number of fiscal changes that has saved approximately $6,000 per month. The hiring of a full-time attorney will not cause a negative impact on the Local treasury in any way and in fact, will be more cost-effective, as fees are set, regardless of the amount of time required for legal issues.
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Membership Update Information

ATTENTION MEMBERS!

 This communication serves to notify the Members of Local 2432 of recent changes within the Local.

Attorney George Tucker has submitted his letter of resignation, effective immediately.

The Local 2432 Executive Board has been actively seeking a qualified full-time attorney. The full-time Attorney will work as an independent contractor.   The Executive Board is close to reaching an agreement with the new Attorney in the immediate future.

Details will follow upon completion. It is in the best interest of the membership, to have in-house legal counsel dedicated solely to this Local, Monday through Friday during business hours. Considering the battles we have ahead, now is the time to move forward with positive change.

Additionally, in order to keep the lines of communication open with all members, please visit the new and improved website http://local2432.com/. It is an interactive site, which includes a message board and links to other relevant information. While it is under construction, feel free to browse around, and add your comments & suggestions.

As another form of open communication, a Facebook Group has been approved by the Executive Board. Please request to be added to the group page Hollywood Municipal Employees, Local 2432.

All members are invited and encouraged to get involved and participate in the General Membership meetings which are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.
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What is this “Unfunded Liability” we keep hearing about?

We keep hearing a lot from our City Leaders about the ‘Huge Unfunded Liability’ in the Pension Plan. They make it sound like a group of pensioners are sitting on the front steps of City Hall demanding some insanely huge pile of money RIGHT NOW!

No. They aren’t.

No. Pensions don’t work that way.

Yes. There is an Unfunded Liability in the current Pension Plan. There always has been. And unless or until the Market starts returning very high double-digit returns there always will be an Unfunded Liability in the Pension Plan.

Don’t believe us? Read this little explanation from the Public Pensions Online website.

Two of the highlights from the linked article:

Florida local retirement plans covering police, firefighters and general employees are not
underfunded. They do have an unfunded liability. There is nothing intrinsically wrong
with having an unfunded liability.

and

Local government plan sponsors do not have to take drastic and immediate actions to
reduce or pay off the plan’s unfunded actuarial liability….

That last one kind of goes against the message the Commissioners were using last year with the Special Referendum, doesn’t it?

Read through the article. Get the word out. Share the link with anyone and everyone and let them see for themselves. It is a Pension, not rocket science. Don’t let them spin the message to their own ends because it is our ends that have worked for those very same Pension benefits.
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Congratulations

From the AFSCME website:

Congratulations Muskogee City Employees!

AFSCME members in Muskogee, Okla., and their uniformed sisters and brothers in the fire and police departments are cheering the return of collective bargaining rights to the city’s non-uniform employees.

The city council’s ordinance restoring the rights takes effect July 15. On that day, workers who make up AFSCME Local 2465 will file a petition to qualify for a union recognition election – recognition that was stripped away after an anti-worker state law repealed their rights last spring.

Local 2465 members are the men and women who keep Muskogee’s streets, parks and water safe and clean every day. Winning back their bargaining rights came after members got involved in the spring city council elections, securing the victory of three pro-worker candidates.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Congratulations to AFSCME Local 2465! Keep fighting the good fight!

Bring Jobs Home!

The AFL-CIO is running a petition (as of right now over 29,000 signatures) to be delivered to President Obama encouraging him to ‘Bring Jobs Home!’

From their site:

Sign our petition to President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to demand they negotiate trade agreements that support creating good jobs in the United States and protect workers’ rights here and abroad. We will deliver the petition on July 8 at the next round of negotiations in San Diego.

And you can add your name to the petition here

$4 Million Saved in Jacksonville

First Coast News in Jacksonville is reporting the deal the Local AFSCME Union worked out with City Officials that will save just shy of $4 Million dollars over the next three years.

Why share this from Jacksonville?

To show what can be done when everyone works together. Management, Union, and Residents working together to find a solution to the problem.

Yes, that is a hint to the Management within the City of Hollywood…. we could accomplish so much more if we all worked together.

Job Descriptions

Let me take this opportunity to share with you my thoughts on why Job Descriptions are so important. each employees written job description.

Each employee hired by the City of Hollywood through the Civil Service System for a position in the classified service and has an approved job classification title and an approved job description. This job description lists the classifications, characteristics, examples of essential functions, training and experience requirements, knowledge, abilities, and skill requirements.

Every employee has the responsibility to know what their job classification title is and how their job description is written.

Knowing your specific job description is an asset and necessity for each employee, especially as management has the tendency to ask employees to work out of their job classifications due to the decrease in the numbers of employees to perform the City’s operational needs. Even more so during the hiring freezes that occur every year.

So be smart – know your JOB!

Each one of us was hired to perform ONE job.

Each one of us is paid for ONE job only.

…republished from an earlier Local 2432 Newsletter

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