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November 2014Vol 2, Issue 5
Your Voice 
Your Choice 
OPEIU Local 39 Newsletter

Fall is well and truly here: the weather has turned cold, snow has fallen, we've seen the end of Daylight Saving Time, and a record low number of Americans voted for legislators at the federal and state level that will pursue policies that most Americans don't seem to want.

There's a number of events coming up soon, and Thanksgiving is only one of them! Read on for several articles on events and information important to you and your Union.
In This Issue
New Location for the Union Office: December 1st
Beginning December 1st, the Union office will be in a new location. The new offices will be located at 701 Watson Avenue, Suite 102, Madison, WI 53713.
In an effort to reduce costs, in addition to different office space, we're also selling off excess office storage and even a mini-fridge!

  • Desk / Crafting table 60 x 80 - $20
  • Meilink Safe (Fireproof) 19 x 23 - $100
  • Kenmore Refrigerator (dorm size) - $50
  • Steelcase 5 Drawer File Cabinet (there are two for sale) - $30 each
  • Steelcase 4 Drawer File Cabinet - $25
  • Large 7ft. Utility Cabinet - $50
  • Steelcase 3 Drawer File Cabinet (there are four for sale) - $40 each
  • Steelcase Sliding Locking Door Shelve Cabinet (there are two for sale) - $30
  • 2 Drawer File Cabinet (there are two for sale) - $20 each
  • Cubicle 8 x 8 - $75
  • Desk Chairs (there are three for sale) - $10 
Please contact Kathryn at the Union Office at 608.257.4764 or her cell at 608.443.7304

Election Results: Challenges ahead for Unions
The election results in Wisconsin and most of the country swept Republicans into control of all branches of Wisconsin's government as well as both legislative houses of Congress. Although turnout was higher in Wisconsin this year than in 2010, across the country a record low turnout voted in these changes that will effect all of us for years to come.

From a Union standpoint, there are already plans to  "reform" the NLRB into something that would be locked into permanent partisan gridlock, further crippling an institution that is too weak already. In Wisconsin, Republicans again have complete control of the state government, just as they did in 2010. That was the year we saw Republicans attacking state workers and stripping them of their bargaining rights and slashing their pay, damaging the economy in Wisconsin ever since. We can only speculate what their plans for workers will be this time, but with Governor Walker looking to boost his conservative credentials in advance of a purported run for President, we need to be ready.

What is confusing is that, while Republicans were sweeping in to control huge numbers of State legislatures and governorships, at the same time referenda passed in several states raising the minimum wage, legalizing marijuana, and banning fracking. As one writer put it:

When given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat candidate the majority of voters chose the Republican. When given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat position on an issue they chose the Democrat position.

 It will be a challenging few years ahead.
When to Ask for a Steward: A Review of Weingarten Rights

Every contract negotiated for the various Bargaining Units has provisions for how to handle situations such as worker discipline, whether for conduct on the job or, more likely, for job performance issues. These provisions outline your rights and describe the process that the company must follow to be sure that the results are fair and just.


Do you know what that process is? It varies between contract to contract and not every Bargaining Unit has reached the same set of agreements. One thing you should know: the company is under NO obligation to help you understand their particular approach to discipline. Worse, we've heard from several members (usually too late) that, when faced with the discipline process, they were afraid that calling in the union would "make it worse." So they got no help at all as they were forced through a legal process they didn't understand right up to termination.


Calling the Union is your right. It's expected. The company will not be any less aggressive in their investigations against you if you try to navigate the discipline process on your own. A well-run company wants to take advantage of every opportunity to make sure that discipline is fair and just. Every Bargaining Unit has a steward or access to our business agent to help handle discipline issues and it is your right to call in a steward if you think you're about to face discipline for job performance or workplace conduct.


Two things you should know about your Weingarten rights:

  1. The company is under NO obligation to remind you that you have a right to union representation in a discipline investigation. You must request the presence of a union rep, and then sit tight until one is provided to you.
  2. Once you request a steward the company MUST do one of three things:

(I) it can stop questioning until the representative arrives.

(2) it can call off the interview, or

(3) it can tell the employee that it will call off the interview unless the employee voluntarily gives up his/her rights to a union representative (an option the employee should always refuse.)


Discipline is just one time you may want to contact a steward, although it may be one of the most important. But if you have questions on provisions of the contract, or issues with other union members or certain issues with your manager, or just want to see how you can help the union in your Bargaining Unit, seek out your local steward (or contact the Business Agent if your unit is too small to have stewards) and have a conversation. That's one of the things stewards are for!



Karen Maund, Chief Steward, [email protected]

Laura Lowry, [email protected]

Phil Miller, [email protected]

Nancy Dietzman-Mills, [email protected]

Susan Werner, [email protected]

Richard Oberle, [email protected]




Cliff Murray - Chief Steward, [email protected]

Nick Petrykowski, [email protected]

Rachel Rome, [email protected]

Jillian Fowler, [email protected]

Debi Stolts-Meier, [email protected]

Monica Neumaier, [email protected]


North Central State Regional Council of Carpenters (NCSRCC)

Heather Hoemke, [email protected]


World Council of Credit Union (WOCCU)

open position



Shawn San Roman - Chief Steward, [email protected]



Debi Eveland - Local 39 Business Agent, [email protected] 

I didn't get it? But I had an Interview!
The process for seeking a new position within your company -- applying and interviewing -- isn't much different than doing the same thing in a new company. Nothing, no step, can be taken for granted.

However, there have been some issues lately where people have gone into the interview thinking that it was a lock and then got an unpleasant surprise later. Managers are still very much in the process of winnowing out candidates for any position at the time of the interview. The are confirming your qualifications, your ability to communicate, your interpersonal and problem solving skills: in short, everything!

If you discover after the interview that you didn't get the position, contact the interviewing manage and ask questions such as: What were they looking for? What could you have done differently? What ideas might the manager might have for the future? You may not be in the running for that position, but using the experience to learn can set you up better for any future opportunities.
Quarterly Membership Meeting
P.S. - OPEIU Local 39 Membership Meeting
November 19th, 2014

All union members invited and encouraged to attend

437 S. Yellowstone Drive
Vantage II Building, 2nd Floor Conference Room
  • Election UpdateLogo
  • Unit Updates
  • Financial Update
  • Your Questions 
Upcoming Membership Meetings
Unions = Gym Membership
Membership meetings are held the third Wednesday of the second month of the quarter, at 5:30 PM at the Local office. What does that actually mean?


November 19th, 2014
February 18th, 2015
May 20th, 2015
August 19th, 2015 

This is your Union. Your participation gives us the tools we need to face the continued opposition of both companies and politicians. We strive to make the meetings relevant and to the point. Please stop by and participate in the democracy that is your Union.
Election season is over (we have our TVs back) and holiday season is ahead. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the beginning of the holidays.
In Solidarity,
OPEIU Local 39
Copyright OPEIU Local 39. Content written and/or edited by David O. Engelstad
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