New Direction at work.

Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:31 am

As many of you know I am employed at the University of Ma in Amherst and have been there for 26 years. In that time 16 years have been spent as a steward for my union AFSCME, American Federation of State,County and Municipal Employees. This union represents classified employees, that is the trades, janitors, dining services employees. The working people of the university that are many times behind the scenes. The membership is at around 1200 permanent and about 500 temporary employees. As of yesterday I was elected and took over the office of vice president, I am excited yet nervous as I move into this office. Part of my work day will now be dedicated to these new duties, my hope is to get more people involved and strengthen the local.

Re: New Direction at work.

Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:57 am

Congratulations, Mr. Vice President, Sir! Have a donut from Atkins, to celebrate! I'll buy, just let me know what I owe you, when I see you, next. Ed

Re: New Direction at work.

Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:20 am

Congratulations! They could not have a better rep!

Re: New Direction at work.

Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:26 am

Joe, I do not know you personally, but congratulations on the step up, it is a job with lots of responsibilities , as well as lots of headaches. I do have one piece of advice, we once had a chief steward that if it did not affect him personally he had no interest in pursuing it. Do not let that happen to you. With that being said, I never held an official position with the union (CWA) other than being a member for 25 years, but I always kept up on the contracts, and had a reputation for being level headed to the point that a lot of the guys would talk to me about their problems before they contacted a steward, and even some of the supervisors would talk to me about how to handle a problem. We were a rural area, and pretty scattered out, with a steward frequently being several miles away, and the local stewards seemed to appreciate it because when a member did come to them with a complaint they already had a realistic expectation, and had time to stop and think it over rationally. I did always tell a member to read the contract and talk it over with our local steward, as well as their supervisor. We were lucky, in that once I got away from Wentzville we for the most part had reasonable supervisors you could talk to.

Re: New Direction at work.

Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:26 pm

Good stuff Joe, you have the level head for it,just be you.

Re: New Direction at work.

Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:29 pm

Thanks everybody. John the biggest factor that motivated me to run was the VP that I replaced had just over 5 years on campus and it appeared his number one concern was whatever served his needs the best. The present president is going to retire in about 2 years and he urged me to run. I am sure I can learn a great deal from him.

Re: New Direction at work.

Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:43 pm

Congrats :!: our union steward is not well respected by the fellow members the reason being is he is just too darn friendly when dealing with the company management, its a tough job being a shop steward .

Re: New Direction at work.

Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:53 pm

good deal, Joe. I was shop steward and then treasurer with our local in the paper mill where I worked. When I went into manage ment My crew said "well, they couldn't beat you so they bought you" but the company then put me in charge of the grievance committee and we had some real fine peaceful years. Just be yourself and it will be great.

Re: New Direction at work.

Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:30 pm

Congratulations Joe, in a job worthy of being done for the members and not self serving. Best of luck. Been there, done that, 34 years and I was totally worn out, retired Teamster.

Re: New Direction at work.

Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:36 pm

Congratulation Joe. I have no doubt you'll do fine in this new position. 8) If you get tired of working with the AFSCME, I know ALPA is in need of a good man or two. :lol: