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JOSE RIVERA COMMEMORATIVE COIN

POINT OF INFORMATION

Prison Price Set, But Payday for Illinois Not Soon Enough

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn and President Barack Obama’s administration might have struck a deal on a price for the empty Thomson prison, but Illinois shouldn't expect a check anytime soon. 

The agreed upon price of $165 million for the Thomson Correctional Center in the northern corner of the state is less than its appraised value of $220 million, state lawmakers confirmed Wednesday.

However, Rich Carter, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, R-16th District, said the Illinois congressman has not heard anything about a sale.

"The federal government doesn't have any money," Carter said. "There may be an agreement, but there cannot be a sale without any money to buy the prison."

State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, said Illinois needs the money sooner, rather than later.

“Maybe we won’t have to cut some kid’s program, because right now we are in the process of cutting $2.4 billion out of our budget,” Jacobs said. “… And maybe this will save a few programs that we won’t have to cut out.”

State Rep. Patrick Verschoore, D-Milan, said he was disappointed in the price, but "there is no sense in having something in that good of shape sitting there empty.”

In 2001, former Gov. George Ryan built Thomson to ease state prison overcrowding. But the prison has sat empty for nearly a decade, because of state budget cuts and politics.

State Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Pecatonica, said the price is actually more than the cost to build the prison.

"Let’s get it open. Let’s put people to work," Sacia said. "Let’s bring the financial economic impact to our community.”

State Rep. Richard Morthland, R-Cordova, said the prison will provide thousands of new jobs to his district, which runs from just north of Thomson and Savanna to the middle of the Quad Cities.

Morthland said the governor reached the agreement almost two weeks ago, but the state will need approval from Congress to sell the prison to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Lawmakers were told to keep it under wraps until funding and an opening date were set. 

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is working with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to reprogram federal funding to turn Thomson into a federal maximum security prison.

“He hopes this can be done as soon as possible so that the purchase can move forward and bring with it the jobs and economic development so important to the region’s future,” Durbin's spokeswoman Christina Mulka said in an email.  

Thomson would not house terror suspects from the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, Mulka said. Prospects of bringing terrorists to the Land of Lincoln weren't received warmly by people living near the prison.

Grant Klinzman, the governor's press secretary, said Quinn is moving forward with the sale.  

“We are continuing to work with the federal government regarding the sale of Thomson Correctional Center. We hope to complete the sale as soon as possible,” Klinzman said in an email.

LAST CHANCE AGREEMENT

The following article was taken off Cyberfeds, and it addresses some of the issues that Mike Rule was talking about during caucus, concerning a last chance agreement.

Although an employee may be faced with the unpleasant choice between signing a last chance agreement or being removed from his position, that does not mean his choice is coerced.

It is well-settled that an employee can waive his right to appeal in a last chance settlement agreement so long as he understands the terms of it and signs the agreement without reservation, duress or coercion on the part of anyone.

Last chance agreements can provide a great opportunity to give an employee a last chance to succeed. By making sure an employee waives his appeal rights when signing the agreement, you are putting him on notice that he has one more strike and he's out.

A recent case illustrates these principles. A letter carrier entered into a last chance settlement agreement with the U.S. Postal Service in exchange for the modification of a proposed removal. The employee agreed to waive any rights relative to the removal and abide by the terms of the agreement. He was required to adhere to agency rules and regulations while conducting himself in a professional and proper manner. A failure to abide by the agreement within a two-year period was just cause for removal. Ramos v. U.S. Postal Service.

One year after signing the agreement, the employee was questioned by a supervisor about certain deliveries on his route. The employee yelled at his manager and used inappropriate and profane language to express his displeasure.

The agency found his inappropriate language and failure to follow an order violated his last chance agreement. The employee argued that he was forced to sign the last chance agreement and only signed it under protest. He argued that the agreement should be void. The MSPB dismissed the claim for lack of jurisdiction. The court upheld that decision.

The court pointed out that the employee was represented by a union official before he signed the agreement and had a chance to discuss its terms. He acknowledged that he understood the agreement without reservation, duress or coercion on the part of anyone. Although the employee may have faced the unpleasant choice between signing the agreement and being removed from his position, that did not render his choice coerced.

COMPELLING NEEDS

A. PROCEDURE

Agencies issue lots of regulations. That may be their principal business. Often the regulations affect their own employees. If regulations had the full effect of law and could override negotiated agreements, an agency could avoid bargaining through rulemaking. The law governing the effect of regulations of the employing agency is stated at 5 USC 7117:

(a)(2) The duty to bargain in good faith shall, to the extent not inconsistent with Federal law or any Government-wide rule or regulation, extend to matters which are the subject of any agency rule or regulation referred to in paragraph (3) of this subsection only if the Authority has determined under subsection (b) of this section that no compelling need (as determined under regulations prescribed by the Authority) exists for the rule or regulation.

(3) Paragraph (2) of the subsection applies to any rule or regulation issued by any agency or issued by any primary national subdivision of such agency, unless an exclusive representative represents an appropriate unit including not less than a majority of the employees in the issuing agency or primary national subdivision, as the case may be, to whom the rule or regulation is applicable.

(b)(1) In any case of collective bargaining in which an exclusive representative alleges that no compelling need exists for any rule or regulation referred to in subsection (a)(3) of this section which is then in effect and which governs any matter at issue in such collective bargaining, the Authority shall determine under paragraph (2) of this subsection, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Authority, whether such a compelling need exists.

(2) For the purpose of this section, a compelling need shall be determined not to exist for any rule or regulation only if--

(A) the agency, or primary national subdivision, as the case may be, which issued the rule or regulation informs the Authority in writing that a compelling need for the rule or regulation does not exist; or

(B) the Authority determines that a compelling need for a rule or regulation does not exist.

(3) A hearing may be held, in the discretion of the Authority, before a determination is made under this subsection. If a hearing is held, it shall be expedited to the extent practicable and shall not include the General Counsel as a party.

(4) The agency, or primary national subdivision, as the case may be, which issued the rule or regulation shall be a necessary party at any hearing under this subsection.

Compelling need regulations are found at 5 CFR 2424.50 (2009):

A compelling need exists for an agency rule or regulation concerning any condition of employment when the agency demonstrates that the rule or regulation meets one or more of the following illustrative criteria:

(a) The rule or regulation is essential, as distinguished from helpful or desirable, to the accomplishment of the mission or the execution of functions of the agency or primary national subdivision in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of an effective and efficient government.

(b) The rule or regulation is necessary to ensure the maintenance of basic merit principles.

(c) The rule or regulation implements a mandate to the agency or primary national subdivision under law or other outside authority, which implementation is essentially nondiscretionary in nature.

The general rule, as restated in Dept. of Air Force, Seymour Johnson AFB and NAGE Local R5-188, 55 FLRA 163, 165 (1999), is that "collective bargaining agreements, rather than agency-wide regulations, govern the disposition of matters to which they both apply." The compelling need exemption goes to the negotiability of a proposal before it is accepted into an agreement.

The compelling need provision of the Statute was explained in AFGE Local 2953 v. FLRA, 730 F.2d 1534, 1538-39 (D.C. Cir. 1984):

The agency-employer need not bargain over matters relating to political activities, some aspects of position classification, and other subjects specifically exempted by federal statute. 5 U.S.C. 7103(a)(14). Thus the duty to bargain may not be used as a bootstrap to overcome explicit limitations established by Congress to protect the prerogatives of the federal government as an employer. The Act clearly provides that the duty to bargain does not extend to agency-wide rules for which a "compelling need" exists as determined by FLRA regulations. 5 U.S.C. 7117(a)(2). This limit on the duty of an agency to bargain recognizes that within every agency there exists a governmental mission which may not be compromised or negotiated away, in whole or in part, at the bargaining table . . . .

The FLRA provided further explanation of compelling need in AFGE Local 1928 and Dept. of Navy, Naval Air Dev. Ctr., Warminster, 2 FLRA 451, 454 (1980):

The duty to bargain in good faith under section 7117 of the Statute extends in general to matters which are the subject of agency rules and regulations which are not Government-wide rules and regulations, to the extent they are not inconsistent with federal law. When there is a "compelling need," however, for particular internal agency rules and regulations to prevail vis a vis particular conflicting union bargaining proposals, such rules and regulations will stand as bars to negotiation on such proposals. Therefore, internal agency rules and regulations . . . may bar negotiations on conflicting collective bargaining proposals when, under the Statute, a compelling need for such a result is determined to exist by the Authority pursuant to subpart B of its rules.

For a regulation to bar negotiations, it must be issued at the level of the agency or primary national subdivision, and there must be a compelling need for it. Marshals Serv. and AFGE Int'l Council of Marshals Serv. Locals, 12 FLRA 650, 652-53 (1983). There must be a specific regulation of the agency related to a specific proposal before a compelling need determination can be made. AFGE Local 3656 and FTC, Boston Reg'l Office, 4 FLRA 702, 703 (1980).

Generalized and conclusory reasoning is not enough to support a finding of compelling need. The FLRA is not in a position to independently determine the purposes that agency regulations are designed to achieve or the importance the agency attaches to those regulations. Unless the agency provides the Authority with facts and arguments bearing on those issues, it cannot judge the validity of the agency contentions. AFGE Local 3804 and FDIC, Madison Region, 21 FLRA 870, 887 (1986); see NFFE, Council of VA Locals and VA, 31 FLRA 360, 361-62 (1988) ("It is well established that the parties bear the burden of creating a record upon which the Authority can make a negotiability determination. . . . A party failing to meet this burden acts at its peril. In those instances where the Agency has raised no other grounds on which to base a finding that particular language is outside the duty to bargain, we will find such language to be nonnegotiable only where the record otherwise indicates that the language is inconsistent with law, rule or regulation, including the Statute"). More specifically, the Authority held as to the agency's burden, in AFGE Local 1897 and Dept. of Air Force, Eglin AFB, 24 FLRA 377, 387 (1986), involving the negotiability of a proposal securing a certain rate of employer contributions to health care insurance of NAF employees:

To establish a compelling need for an agency-wide regulation, an agency must (1) identify a specific agency-wide regulation; (2) show that there is a conflict between its regulation and the proposal; and (3) demonstrate that its regulation is supported by a compelling need with reference to the Authority's standards set forth in section 2424.11 of its regulations. Generalized and conclusory reasoning is not enough. . . . Here, the Agency has not even demonstrated that the proposal actually conflicts with a specific agency-wide regulation. The excerpts of regulations which it has submitted generally set forth policies, organization, and practices for the administration and management of NAFIs and their employees. Among other things, the regulations place responsibility for policy direction of all Air Force NAFIs with the Air Force Welfare Board and provide for an Agency-sponsored insurance plan. However, nowhere do the excerpted portions of the regulations submitted prescribe what percentage of the premium will be paid by the employer or even that the percentage should be uniform throughout the Agency NAFI system. Moreover, we do not view local negotiations over the level of employer contribution to the premium as inherently inconsistent with the general concept of providing central management and policy direction in the NAFI system or a uniform program of health insurance benefits . . . .

The Supreme Court made mention and provided some explanation of the compelling need analysis in Ft. Stewart Sch. v. FLRA, 110 S. Ct. 2043 (1990), but its explanation was closely tied to the facts of the case (involving negotiability of salaries of military school teachers). The Supreme Court decision described the distinctions between, and interrelationships among, the various sections of 5 CFR 2424.50 (2009). In DHHS v. FLRA, 920 F.2d 45 (D.C. Cir. 1990), the court enforced an FLRA negotiability order directing HHS to bargain over a smoking policy. The significance of the holding was that it was FLRA and not the respondent, who received deference as to what constitutes a compelling need. The court explained, id. at 47-49:

In light of the government-wide GSA regulation, which permits smoking in designated areas in government buildings (and which also recognizes the collective bargaining obligations of government agencies on the question), HHS's position is of necessity focused on its unique governmental role as an advocate for policies throughout the country that the government itself has not yet accepted. It is primarily on this basis that HHS sought to establish the "compelling need" to ban smoking completely which under 7117(a)(2) would permit it to avoid collective bargaining on the issue. HHS argues to us, as it did before the FLRA, that it cannot perform its governmental mission (as properly understood) without a total smoking ban. As the FLRA, however, found that HHS could perform its mission without such a ban and that no "compelling need" therefore existed, the burden of HHS's argument in this court is that HHS, not the FLRA, is the expert on the articulation and performance of HHS's mission, and that it is consequently to HHS, and not to the FLRA, that this court should defer as to the nature and degree of the need for the regulation.

The difficulty with this argument is that it proves too much. If the FLRA and this court must defer to an agency's reasons for asserting a "compelling need" for a regulation that preempts collective bargaining, the subject matter reserved to collective bargaining would rather quickly shrink. [1] It is perfectly clear that Congress, by delegating to the FLRA (the adjudicatory neutral in the collective bargaining framework) the responsibility to determine when an agency's need was "compelling," understood that point full well. We therefore have repeatedly held that we must defer to the FLRA's interpretation of its own statute as against competing executive branch interpretations. . . . Although the FLRA's expertise in labor relations is part of the basis for that deference, the more important consideration is that it is to the FLRA that the Congress delegated the mixed legal-policy function of applying the statute. "Because of the need for expertise and judgment, the drawing of the lines between negotiable and non-negotiable union proposals is ultimately within the jurisdiction of the FLRA . . . whose decision must be sustained absent arbitrary action." . . . Indeed, Congress actually directed the FLRA to issue a regulation defining "compelling need"; there thus can be no doubt as to which agency's "expertise" Congress was relying on. It follows, then, that the FLRA, not HHS, is entitled to judicial deference as to its interpretation and application of the phrase "compelling need."

[1] 5 U.S.C. 7117(a)(1) permits the executive branch to preempt collective bargaining on a subject by issuing a government-wide regulation without a showing of compelling need. But Congress surely assumed that such a regulation--requiring as a practical matter presidential authorization--would not often be issued.

Once it is determined to whom deference is owed, there is not a good deal left to this case, because the term "compelling need" is not susceptible to precise measurement and we must therefore defer to any reasonable interpretation or application of it. The FLRA's regulation defines a need that is compelling as one that is to be distinguished from a need that is only "helpful" or "desirable." . . . Petitioner challenges that definition of compelling as too restrictive, but its challenge is lacking both analytical and legal support. The FLRA properly drew on the legislative history of the Act in determining that Congress meant "compelling need" to be a narrow exception to an agency's duty to bargain. . . . But even aside from the legislative history, we do not take seriously the notion that the FLRA's distinction between helpful or desirable and compelling can be thought to be an unreasonable interpretation of the statute. . . . Of course, what might be thought compelling (reasonably) to one person could be thought only helpful or desirable (reasonably) to another, but that is exactly why which agency gets deference is so important.

HHS further argues (as best we understand the argument) that even if the FLRA's regulation defining compelling need is reasonable, its application of that definition in this case is arbitrary . . . .

. . .

Still, petitioner, pointing to the testimony of Surgeon General Koop that HHS simply cannot act as an effective advocate for a smoke-free workplace in the nation unless it creates such an environment within its own facilities, argues that the FLRA unjustifiably described its claimed "compelling need" as speculative. The testimony in question, however, is not a factual assertion; it is an opinion which the FLRA was not obliged to credit.

A compelling need determination is made if there is a conflict between a proposal and an agency regulation. If FLRA determines that no conflict exists, no compelling need determination is required. See NAGE Local R4-1 and Dept. of Defense, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, 56 FLRA 214, 216 (2000).

2011 NCR AGENDA

The North Central Regional Caucus will be held April 18-22, 2011. The 18th and 22nd will be considered travel days. The Caucus will be held at the Embassy Suites Chicago Lombard/ Oak Brook. When you call in to make your reservations please use the Group Name Council of Prison Locals North Central. The Group Code is CPL. Please adjust your schedule to accommodate these dates. I am excited and I believe the training will be very resourceful to your local membership.

Embassy Suites Chicago Lombard/ Oak Brook

707 East Butterfield Rd

Lombard, IL 60148

Tel: 630-969-7500

Group Name: Council of Prison Locals North Central

Group Code: CPL

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS FOR THE NCR CAUCUS!!!

President’s

Mike Rule will be on annual leave on Nov 29- Dec 12, 2010. Dave Gardner will be the acting North Central Regional Vice President for these two weeks. If your local has any issues to occur please contact Dave. Mike will be off of annual leave on Dec 13, 2010. I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving Holiday!

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE NCR CAUCUS 2010 VIDEO

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NORTH CENTRAL LOCAL PRESIDENTS I would like to thank everyone that was able to attend the Labor Management Relations Partnership training that was conducted at the North Central Regional Office in Kansas City Kansas. The purpose of the training was to have the Local Wardens and Local Union Presidents establish a cooperative and productive form of labor Management Relations throughout the North Central Region. In my perspective the training was non adversarial the topics discussed during the training allowed both Management and the Union to collaborate in how to continue to deliver the highest quality of services for the best interest of the staff that we represent. The training was sponsored by the Federal Management Institute. Our instructor was Attorney Jeffrey Letts. Mr. Letts has over 30 years of experience working with Federal Government Human Resources Field. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the Bucknell University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington School of Law. He is also currently a member of the Washington State Bar Association. Hats off to Jeffery Letts for doing an outstanding job. I believe the training was very beneficial to the both parties the Union and Management . CORE TOPICS DISCUSSED AT THE PARTNERSHIP TRAINING: Basic Rights and Responsibilities Under the Law

Employees Rights

Union Rights

Managements Rights Communicating With Represented Employees

Investigative Discussion

Formal Discussion Dealing With Change Situations Spotting Impact Bargaining Situations Workshops on Past Practices Free Speech Unfair Labor Practices Purpose and Function of the ULP Process Common Management ULP's Avoiding and Responding to ULP Charges De 'minimus

I kept hearing the term De'minimus. It was implied by one of the Wardens that if they felt that the issue raised by the Union had very minimum impact in relations to a change in working conditions this term could be used as a deterrent or excuse not to bargain over the change. I absolutely do not agree with management's exertion of the rule. I think its very interesting this Warden kept using the term De'minimus over and over again. What she failed to acknowledge was that the Master Agreement stipulates a requirement that Management notify the Union of any changes relating to policy, practices, or procedures in writing. The contract permits the Union to negotiate any change, in other words remember the other term we heard on last week "covered by". It is the opinion of the Union that there is no such thing as De'minimus any change is covered by our collective bargaining agreement. Memorandum

We hear this everyday give me a memo, in fact in most instances the Supervisor will order the employee to provide a memo before they leave the facility. I like what we discussed regarding the agency assuring the employee will be waived criminal prosecution prior to submitting the memo. We need to ask the Supervisor and/or Management official requesting the memo for a form (B). Excessive interference

Excessive interference has been used by the Agency on numerous occasions. A simple explanation for the term is infringing on Managements right to assign and/or a (B1) subject to subsection (b) of this section, nothing in this chapter shall affect the authority of any management officials of any agency.

(1) to determine the mission, budget, organization, number of employees, and internal security practices of the agency; and

(2) in accordance with applicable laws-

(A) to hire, assign, direct, layoff, and retain employees in the agency, or to suspend ,remove, reduce in grade or pay , or take other disciplinary action against such employees:

(B) to assign work, to make determinations with respect to contracting out, and to determine the personnel by which agency operations shall be conducted.

(C) with respect to filling positions, to make selections for appointments from

(i) among properly ranked and certified candidates for promotion: or

( ii ) any other appropriate source; and

(D) to take whatever actions may be necessary to carry out the agency mission during emergencies. We must never take lightly our (B2) Rights

(b) Nothing in this section shall prelude any agency and any labor organization fron negoiating-

(1) at the election of the agency, on the numbers, types, and grades of employees or positions assigned to any organizational subdivision, work project, or tour of duty, or on the technology, methods, and means of performing work;

(2) procedures which management officials of the agency will be observed in exercise any authority under this section; or

(3) appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected by the exercise of any authority under this section by such management officials.

The training in my perspective allowed us to see Management at there very best. It can be beneficial if we adhere to the provision outlined in the Master Agreement as well as applicable rule and regulations to include statutory law, lets continue to communicate with each other and keep each other informed with information that had be helpful to the Union at large in the field. In closing I would like to extend to everyone a very wonderful Holiday Season. Spend as much quality time with your family as possible. I look forward to conducting our next conference call sometime in the next couple of weeks.

" Thank you again for your support, Have a Wonderful Holiday Season ".

MICHAEL RULE

NORTH CENTRAL REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT

melur@sbcglobal.net

1 708 205 9392

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I would like to thank every member that attended the 2010 CPL-33 National Convention in Las Vegas, NV. I also hope every person had a safe trip home.

*NOTE*

During the week of October 25, 2010, there will be a joint training with the Wardens in Kansas City, MO. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

Thanks,

Mike Rule

NCR LOCAL PRESIDENTS

Our Regional Caucus will be at the Embassy Suites in Peoria Illinois . The dates will be the week of April 12, 2010 through April 16, 2010. Please adjust your schedule to accommodate these dates. I am excited and I believe the training will be very resourceful to your local membership.

EMBASSY SUITES HOTEL

100 Conference Center Drive

East Peoria Illinois 61611

Phone : 309 694 0200

Fax: 309 694 0201

Reservations: 1 800 EMBASSY

www.embassysuites.com

Reservations should be made on or before March 21 2010 room rates are as follows:

Single Rate $79.00

 Double Rate $79.00


 

NCR CAUCUS AGENDA APRIL 12- 16, 2010

 

Monday April 12, 2010- Travel Day

12:00p.m.- 5:00 p.m.- Registration

Tuesday April 13, 2010

Mike Rule- Welcome/ Opening Statement

8:00 a.m.- 10:00 a.m.- Bryan Lowry- Council President

10:00 a.m.- 11:00a.m.- Phil Glover- Legislative Coordinator

11:00a.m.- 11:30 a.m.- Tim Synder- PAC and Benefit Architects

11:30a.m.- 12:30 p.m.- Lunch

12:30p.m.- 1:30 p.m.- Mike Nalley- NCR Director

1:30p.m.- 4:00p.m.- Contract Interpretation

12:30p.m.- 4:00p.m.- Michael Castelle- EEO Training (break-out)

(I encourage each local to send their Fair Practice Coordinator to this training.)

4:00p.m.- 4:15p.m.- Break

4:15p.m.- 6:15p.m.- District Breakouts

(6th- Arnold Scott, 7th- Dorothy James, 8th Jane Nygaard, 9th Michael Kelly, and 11th Gerald Swankee)

8:00p.m- 10:00p.m.-  Hospitality- Sponsored by Benefit Architect

Wednesday April 14, 2010

8:00a.m.- 11:30a.m.- Eric Young and Dwayne Person

Session 1 Grievance Procedures/ Arbitration

11:30a.m.- 12:30p.m.- Lunch

12:30p.m.- 4:00p.m.- Session 2 Grievance Procedures/ Arbitration

12:30p.m.- 4:00p.m- Joe Mansour- Worker’s Comp Training

4:00p.m.- 4:15p.m.- Break

4:15p.m.- 6:15p.m.- Mike Rule- Local President Training

(Credentialing- Bill Gillette, budgets, expenditures, local supplements, and negotiations.)

8:00p.m.- 10:00p.m-  Hospitality- Sponsored by Colonial Life

Thursday April 15, 2010

8:00a.m.- 11:30a.m.- Eric Young and Dwayne Person

Session 3 Grievance Procedures/ Arbitration

11:30a.m.- 12:30p.m.- Lunch

12:30p.m.- 4:00p.m.- Session 4 Grievance Procedures/ Arbitration

12:30p.m.- 4:00p.m.- Roger Payne- Secretary/ Treasurer Training

4:00p.m.- 4:15p.m- Break

4:15p.m.- 6:15p.m.- Close- Out (Includes awards and acknowledgments)

8:00p.m.- 10:00p.m.-  Hospitality- Sponsored by Benefit Specialist of America

Friday April 16, 2010- Travel Day

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***ATTENTION LOCALS*****
If any of you have written notice from your Wardens concerning the relief post of the Correctional Service Roster and adding sick and annual in exchange, please notify Bryan Lowry- Council President at the Council Office and please carbon copy it to me.
 
Also, if you have written notice from Captains/ Wardens, etc stating they are going to enforce the 3 year Rotation, we need that as well.
 
I will tell you that I have spoke to Regional Office concerning the position of the 3 year rotation and I have been told that if Management can not provide schedules that will be fair and equitable to all bargaining unit staff to rotation then Management will not enforce it. So please get this info to us ASAP!!

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***NOTE: IMPORTANT DIRECTORY UPDATE***

 I encourage each Local President to contact the Warden and request that the Local President and Union office number be noted on the directory for each Institution.

In Unity,

Mike Rule

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**** PERSONAL NOTE****
I encourage each of my Local Presidents to please contact me, your RVP before you seek assistance from any National Board Member. There are many instances that I can help you without asking the National Board Members to step in, thus saving each of us time. My contact information is listed above.
 
In Unity,
Mike Rule

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IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VIEW THE LOCAL PRESIDENTS' CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE NORTH CENTRAL REGION, PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW.

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Local Presidents :
 
The Mini Legislative event that was held in Washington, DC  was outstanding . There was approximately 120 Local Union Leaders that  traveled throughout the country to participate in this event. The purpose of this event was to offset our annual legislative conference sponsored by A.F.G.E. It was an assertive effort of lobbying our member's of Congress and the Senate to voice our concerns within the Bureau of Prisons .  The increase of violence and assaults on Staff  by violent Inmates, Staff Shortages,  The need to hire 3,000 more staff ,  to discuss our Budgetary concerns and the lack of maintenance and repairs of BOP facilities, Gun Lockers, authorization to carry on duty of  less then lethal munitions i.e. pepper spray as option of self protection, Equal Pay and Health care reform.  
 
We also participated in an Informational Picket on the doorsteps of the Capital Building in the front of the Office window of the Speaker of the House we also marched pass the Central Office and Harley Lap pins Office.  I was proud to see other Brothers and Sisters from neighboring  Governmental Agencies standing right beside us supporting our drive.  It  was very powerful to show a collective powerful force of con solidarity. I felt proud as a Federal Worker , standing on the steps of the Capital chanting "we will be back " . We knocked on the doors of Congress demanding that they listen to our issues of concern . We made our presence known , the labor force was tremendous.. I am very proud to be a "Unionist".  I want to extend a special thanks to our Council Prudent Bryan Lowery and our Legislative Coordinator Phil Glover for planning such a wonderful event.
 
"Hats off to the Prison Council Locals 33 and our entire membership  at large".
 
 
On Tuesday, evening our Council and AFGE put together a Congressional Reception at the Rayburn Building inviting our Political Leaders and there staff to socialize and network with members of our Union Leadership.This was the highlight of the conference it was outstanding.  
 
In closing, I want to thank every local from the North Central Region for supporting this event, especially those that participated . I thought the event was very successful . Unfortunately a number of the locals could not participate because of the limited time restraints. I know this type of event requires prior approval from your memberships to fund the expense of the event.  Hopefully we will be scheduling another Mini Legislative Conference independent from  A.F.G.E Leg conference in February.
 
 
             "THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT"
                                  
Please take a look at the following YOU TUBE presentations by our National Union on the BOP issues you will be surprised. CUT and Paste the e-mail address to get the link below. You will also need a speaker's with your PC to hear this information sent to you via You Tube. So, if sent to a BOP address you need to foreword this e-mail to your home -mail to view and listen.
 
 
 
2.  AFGE Bureau of Prisons Hearings and Candlelight Vigil

 
 
 Mike Rule
 North Central Regional Vice President

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Attorney Request

 Local Presidents of the North Central Region
 
 
I am requesting that each local President establish a grievance committee . The responsible of the committee will be to review all grievances filed by the local , and to determine whether or not the issues raised in the grievance warrants invoking arbitration. The grievance committees recommendation should be discussed by the E-board and/or presented to the membership at your regular scheduled meetings. A determination should me made by the local , to either adopt the grievance committees recommendation or reject the grievance committees recommendation. It is very crutial that the greivance committee must be privileged to the entire case file or any documentation related to the issue of the grievance for consideration.
 
                                               Note  
 
Any grievances forwarded to my attention requesting an attorney should include the grievance committees notes and e-board notes to the file . I will review the materials contained in the file, my recommendation to the Council will be carbon copied to the local Presidents attention. Once the case has been reffered to an attorney it will be the responsibility of the local President to track the status of the case file . If any Presidents have issue or concerns of the services provided by the attorney refer all and any concerns to my attention. I will be the liaison between the local President and the attorney assigned by the Council.  

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Local Presidents,

If you have anything pending (issues, cases, FLSA, etc) with Mike Coyle and need me to follow up on it, please notify me as soon as possible so we can resolve the problems.

 

Thank You

Mike Rule

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Presidents

If you are planning to attend this years legislative Conference , please contact the council office and speak to Kay or Ashley for information on room blocks that have been reserved for the event.

I am encouraging you to reserve your rooms as soon possible. The council office can also assist the new Presidents that will be attending the " Presidents Training" sponsored by the council. The New Presidents training will be funded by the council to including lodging, per diem and air flight.

Mike Castelle will be conducting training for the Regional Fair Practice Coordinators , this training will be funded by the council for the Regional Fair Practice Coordinators. Everyone is welcomed to attend . However with the exception of the regional coordinators , you will be responsible for your lodging , air flight and per diem. The EEO training will be held in conjunction with the legislative Conference. The details of the training is listed on the councils web page.

We are rapidly approaching the events I am strongly encouraging all locals that are planning on attending to contact the council office as soon as possible. If you need my assistance I am on travel in Pekin . I can be contacted by cell phone or e-mail.

Mike Rule

melur@sbcglobal.net

1-708-205-9392

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January 05 2010

                                                                                                                       Weekly Update

 

Presidents I would like to wish everyone a very "Blessed New Year". I am on travel this week visiting Dave Gardner at Terre Haute. If anyone needs my assistance I am available by cell phone  1 708 205 9392. I am also available by email after 6:00 PM.

 

I need to know what Presidents are planning on attending the Presidents training in Washington D.C.  I would encourage all newly elected Presidents to attend. Hope to see you there. If you need assistance with room accommodations contact our National Secretary/ Treasurer Roger Payne.

 

I will be visiting Greg Warren in Greenville on next week. I am looking forward to visiting the local and offering any assistance that I can during my visit.

 

If there are any Presidents whose contact information is not updated on the Web page, Please contact the Council secretary Kay or Ashley with your current contact information.

 

 We have several newly elected Union Officials in our Region. I am offering training to any locals that need training or an advance stewards training class.  Please let me know if you are interested.  I can you set the training up as well as the hours needed by the local to participate in the training.   

 

 I am very pleased with information I am receiving from the various Presidents within our Region.  Thank you very much. However please forward a courtesy copy to the Council Office so that the information can be entered into our tracking system maintain by the Council Office.  Thank you in advance for your assistance.

“Have a Blessed New Year"  

                                                                                                                 Mike Rule

                                                                                                                   NCRVP

 

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  Happy Holidays
 
 I want to personally wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season. It's so important to always keep smiling regardless; there is so much to be thankful for. Take time out of your busy schedules and spend quality time with your families. Joy and Happiness is something we should all be grateful for. This is the season to reflect on the love we have for each other. Have a safe and Joyous Holiday Season.
 
                                                                 Sincerely
                                                                 "The Rule Family" 
 
                                            
     ATTENTION     ATTENTION      ATTENTION       ATTENTION            

Note : Our Regional Caucus will be at the Embassy Suites in Peoria Illinois . The dates will be the week of April 12, 2010  through April 16, 2010.  Please adjust your schedule to accommodate these dates. I am currently working on an agenda that will be forwarded to the Presidents for review. I am excited and I believe the training will be very resourceful to your local membership.  
 
 
EMBASSY SUITES HOTEL
 
100 Conference Center Drive
 East Peoria Illinois  61611
 Phone : 309 694 0200
 Fax: 309 694 0201
 Reservations: 1 800 EMBASSY
 
Reservations should be made on or before March 21 2010  room rates are as follows
Single Rate  $79.00
Double Rate  $79.00 

                          
                        Request for Official Time

The Master Agreement is very clear regarding the Unions right to be
afforded Official time for our representational duties of the membership
at large. The Local Presidents should be requesting Official time as
needed. Your request per the Master Agreement will be approved.

The Regional Offices has been notified that there are local Presidents
that are having difficulty getting official time. If the request is
consistent with article 11 section (c) your request should be approved. In instances whereas the official time can not be approved the Agency
must either deny the official time in writing to the Union or reschedule
the official time.

If your request is denied, I need to be contacted immediately. Always
attempt informal resolution with your Warden prior to referring the
issue to my attention. It is Unions position that official time will be
approved provided the request is consistent with the Master Agreement
and 5USC section 7103 and 7131 (c).



                            SICK LEAVE LETTERS

The letters are beginning to surface all throughout the region.
Presidents are requesting guidance on sick leave letters. Management has
been using this tactic for ages.  My opinion is that the letters are not
worth the paper they are written on.  When Management determines that an individual is abusing sick leave a letter is issued to the employee. The
Council
has made it clear that sick leave is a right of the employee.
The employees are encourage to use it as needed appropriately. The
Master Agreement stipulates employees will accrue and be granted sick
leave
in accordance with applicable regulations. Sick leave is not
exclusive to  the employee's personal health issues. The contract is
specific as it relates to article 20 section a which stipulates "sick
leave may be used when an employee receives medical, dental,or optical
examinations or treatment; is incapacitated for the performance of
duties by sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement; is required to give care and attendance to a member of his/her immediate family who is afflicted with a contagious disease (as defined by applicable regulations); or would jeopardize the health of others by his/her presence at his/her post of duty because of exposure to a contagious disease.

Additionally, if appropriate sick leave request will be handled in
accordance with the provisions of the Family Friendly Leave Act, and the
employee may elect leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act".

The issue of concern is section (b) it states in cases of questionable
sick leave usage of any Length, the employee will be given advanced
notice, in writing, that all future absences due to  sickness must be
substantiated by a medical certificate. This requirement will be
reviewed every three (3) months by the Employer and the determination of
whether to continue will be forwarded to the employee in writing.

                                        Question
What should you do if Management issues a letter to an employee
advising them that for all future sick leave requests, they will be
required to bring in a medical certificate prior to returning to work?

                                        Answer
The employee should call his/her supervisor prior to returning to work
and request for administrative leave to go to the doctor to get a
medical certificate.  If you are charged a co payment  you should submit
the medical certificate and the co payment to your supervisor for
reimbursement when you return to work.  If Management denies the request attempt informal resolution and file a grievance against the agency.  If you need assistance filing the grievance contact me.

                                            Question
 
          If you are asked what is the nature of your illness ?

                                            Answer
You are only required to request the sick leave. The employers
questions should only be limited to determine the category of sick leave
you are requesting. For example I am requesting sick leave due a
personal illness, or I am taking care of a sibling or family member.

The employee can also request up to (12) weeks of leave under the
family friendly sick leave for personal reasons or for a family members
related illness.


I am encouraging every local president to request the following data
from your Warden. A sanitized copy of every employee that has been
approved or denied  to be (LWOP) or approved advance sick leave. The
need for the data is to determine if the Warden is being fair and
equitable when the request are approved or denied.


Presidents we need to forward any sick leave letters that are issued in
your facilities to each President in the region. I think the grievance
should be filed regionally.

                                    Medical Certification


A employee receives a notice from Management indicating that in the
future the employee will be required to submit a medical certification
prior to returning back to work. In most cases the doctor will subscribe
medication by phone and will not require you to see you personally. I
would ask the doctor to fax a release to return to work, that should be
sufficient. If Management insist that you be seen by your doctor prior
to returning to work, request in writing administrative leave.  It is
the position of the Union that any bargaining unit employee's  should
be forced to incur cost or to use leave due to an agency mandate. If the
Agency incurs cost to the employee or usage of leave due to this
requirement "file a grievance".

 

            " Business for the good of the Region"

I'm sure by now you have seen the agencies urgency to hire more staff
in our facilities However my concern is, what are we going to do with
the additional staff? Are we really concerned about the security within
the prisons or are we primarily concerned about the overtime cost?

I want you to challenge your Wardens. You should inquire about the
correctional post that were taken off the roster as a result of mission
critical. Ask the Warden do you intend to replace the vacant post?

Request for a copy of the staffing report. It identifies what
positions are currently being held vacant for cost savings. 

Tell your Wardens if they are genuinely concerned about staff safety,
what changes are being made to enhance the security within your facilities.

Tell your Wardens the only realistic way to prevent overtime is to
fill the vacancies and hire additional staff.

If Management initiates any correspondence that suggest using the extra
staff to prevent overtime cost to the agency. We need to notify our
State legislators of how the agency is misleading them and our tax
payers. 

     
                                    Common Courtesy


I am a firm believer that any correspondence or referrals of services
requested from the Region or the Council must come from the Local
President. I have asked the Council to refer any issues that are raised
by Local Presidents in the North Central Region to refer the request to
my attention. If any one other than the Local President contacts me I
will refer the issue back to the Local. I will always acknowledge the
Local President as the Chief Executive of the local.                   
                           

             
                                  Complexes

The Council President Mr. Bryan Lowry and I met with the (3) three local Presidents and the executive boards to discuss the possibility of consolidating into (1) one large local. It was very clear the position of the Council is that this is Internal Union Business". This must be resolved between the (3) three locals involved. The Council will not encourage nor discourage the locals to consolidate into one local. That decision will be made by the locals involved.  The purpose of the meeting was to determine what assistance the council could be to the local presidents. A majority of the issues raised during our discussion was concerning Managements continued efforts to consolidate services throughout the complex as shared services from one facility to another within the complex,specifically related to article 5 of the contract the  assignment of work throughout the complex. The presidents expressed there right to
"autonomy" and there acknowledgement of the agreements that are currently being established within the various locals throughout the complex. The primary issue of concern is not what the council wants?  I really don"t think its really about a "plan". The problem is acknowledging the locals right to 'autonomy" and a result of locals doing different things that work for there membership within the facility and keeping each other informed of changes as they occur through communications. A suggestion was made to start consolidating information and establishing a data
base that will create a forum that every complex can use as a resource
to use as a guide to use prior to entering into formal discussions or
negotiation. 
 
The Council's position is to protect our right to negotiate over changes and to protect the contract and become liaisons when the Field requests our assistance on a case by case basis.
Presidents needing any assistance regarding consolidated services or
Management's intent to change an agreed upon (MOU) Please forward your issues to my attention immediately.
 
Thank you Jeff Johnson Jennifer Wilson and Mike Michaud. I am sure we will be successful if we continue to respect each others right to "autonomy" and continue to communicate on a daily basis.



                               Weekly  Meetings


Have a great week. I will be in Washington DC for the entire week.
If you need my assistance just send me a e-mail or contact me on my
cell.


Mike Rule
Ncrvp
melur@sbcglobal.net
708-275-4270

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*** I will be on annual leave starting Monday, December 21, 2009. I will be on leave for 2 weeks. Gary Mills from Chicago will be acting for me while I am away. Please forward all calls and concerns to him during this time.
 
Thank you all and I wish you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
 
Mike Rule

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Note:
 
I will be in the regional office this week (Dec 15-18, 2009). I will be available by cell phone if anyone needs me please feel free to contact me on my cell.
 
Thanks,
Mike Rule

10-28-09

 

 

Presidents,

 

This is just a friendly reminder about the conference call that is scheduled tomorrow, October 29, 2009. This will be taking place at 10:30 a.m. central time. All you have to do is call 1-800-391-1709 and there will be an automatic recording to pick up and ask you for the bridge code. The bridge code is 347520. Once again call 1-800-391-1709 then punch in 347520. If you have any questions please contact Mike Rule at your earliest convenience.

 

Thanks,

Mike Rule

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Weekly Update

                                       October 25 2009

 

 

 

Note: Presidents I would like to have a teleconference on Thursday October 29 2009 at 10:30 am Central time. Please try to participate if the time conflicts with your schedule let me know as soon as possible.

 

                         

I am soliciting issues of concerns that you would like to be addressed during my weekly LMR meeting with the Regional Office. The only premises are that you attempt to informally resolve the issues with your Wardens prior to referring the issue to my attention.  I have established a meeting every Wednesday at 10:30 am central time. If there are issues that you would like me to address with the region, forward the issues to my concern no later than (24) twenty four hours prior to the meeting. I believe this extended effort to informal resolve issues within our Region will be very beneficial.

 

                        Request for Official Time

 

The Master Agreement is very clear regarding the Union right to be afforded Official time.

 

Official time is defined as paid duty time used for various labor relations and representational obligations in accordance with laws, rules regulations, and the Master Agreement.

 

The Local Presidents should be requesting Official time as needed. Your request per the Master Agreement will be approved.

 

I have expressed to the Regional Director, that there are local Presidents who are having difficulty getting official time approved. If the request is consistent with article 11 section (c) your request should be approved. In instances whereas the official time cannot be approved, written notice should be provided to the local president acknowledging why the request  is being denied.  

 

Your request must either deny or approved. In some cases the approval may be rescheduled within a reasonable time of the request.

 

However If your request is denied, I need to be contacted immediately. Always attempt informal resolution with your Warden prior to referring the issue to my attention. It is the "Union" position that official time will be approved provided the request is consistent with the Master Agreement and 5USC.

 

 

 

                            SICK LEAVE LETTERS

 

The letters are beginning to surface all throughout the region. Presidents are requesting guidance on sick leave letters. Management has been using this tactic for ages.  My opinion is that the letters are not worth the paper they are written on.  When Management determines that an individual is abusing sick leave a letter is issued to the employee. The Council has made it clear that sick leave is a right of the employee.  The employees are encouraged to use it as needed appropriately. The Master Agreement stipulates employees will accrue and be granted sick leave in accordance with applicable regulations. Sick leave is not exclusive to the employee's personal health issues. The contract is specific as it relates to article 20 section at which stipulates "sick leave may be used when an employee receives medical, dental, or optical examinations or treatment; is incapacitated for the performance of duties by sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement; is required to give care and attendance to a member of his/her immediate family who is afflicted with a contagious disease (as defined by applicable regulations); or would jeopardize the health of others by his/her presence at his/her post of duty because of exposure to a contagious disease;

 

Additionally, if appropriate sick leave request will be handled in accordance with the provisions of the Family Friendly Leave Act and the employee may elect leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act".

 

The issue of concern is section (b) it states in cases of questionable sick leave usage of any Length, the employee will be given advanced notice, in writing, that all future absences due to sickness must be substantiated by a medical certificate. This requirement will be reviewed every three (3) months by the Employer and the determination of whether to continue will be forwarded to the employee in writing.

 

                                         Question 

What should you do if Management issues a letter to an employee advising them that for all future sick leave requests, they will be required to bring in a medical certificate prior to returning to work?

 

                                         Answer 

The employee should call his/her supervisor prior to returning to work and request for administrative leave to go to the doctor to get a medical certificate.  If you are charged a co payment you should submit the medical certificate and the co payment to your supervisor for reimbursement when you return to work.  If Management denies the request attempt informal resolution and file a grievance against the agency.  If you need assistance filing the grievances contact me.

 

                                            Question 

            If you are asked, what is the nature of your illness?

 

                                             Answer 

You are only required to request the sick leave. The employers’ questions should only be limited to determine the category of sick leave you are requesting.  For example I am requesting sick leave due a personal illness, or I am taking care of a sibling or family member. 

 

The employee can also request up to (12) weeks of leave under the family friendly sick leave for personal reasons or for a family members related illness.

 

 

I am encouraging every local president to request the following data from your Warden. A sanitized copy of every employee that has been approved or denied to be (LWOP) or approved advance sick leave. The need for the data is to determine if the Warden is being fair and equitable when the request are approved or denied. 

 

 

Presidents we need to forward any sick leave letters that are issued in your facilities to each President in the region. I think the grievance should be filed regionally.

 

                                    Medical Certification

 

 

 An employee receives a notice from Management indicating that in the future the employee will be required to submit a medical certification prior to returning back to work. In most cases the doctor will subscribe medication by phone and will not require you to see you personally. I would ask the doctor to fax a release to return to work that should be sufficient. If Management insists that you be seen by your doctor prior to returning to work, request in writing administrative leave.  It is the position of the Union that any bargaining unit employee’s, should be forced to incur cost or to use leave due to an agency mandate. If the Agency incurs cost to the employee or usage of leave due to this requirement "file a grievance"

 

   

 

            ”Business for the good of the Region"

 

 I’m sure by now you have seen the agencies urgency to hire more staff in our facilities however my concern is, what are we going to do with the additional staff? Are we really concerned about the security within the Prisons or are we primarily concerned about the overtime cost?

 

I want you to challenge your Wardens. You should inquire about the correctional post that was taken off the roster as a result of mission critical. Ask the Warden do you intend to replace the vacant post?

 

Request for a copy of the strength reports, It identifies what positions are currently being held vacant for cost savings.  

 

Tell your Wardens if they are genuinely concerned about staff safety, we to enhance our security.

 

Tell your Wardens, the only realistic way to prevent overtime is to fill the vacancies and hire additional staff.

 

If Management initiates any correspondences that suggest using the extra staff to prevent overtime cost to the agency. We need to notify our State legislators of how the agency is misleading them and our tax payers.  

 

      

                                    Common Courtesy 

 

 

I am a firm believer that any correspondence or referrals of services requested from the Region or the Council must come from the Local President. I have asked the Council to refer any issues that are raised by Local Presidents in the North Central Region to refer the request to my attention. If anyone other than the Local President contacts me I will refer the issue back to the Local. I will always acknowledge the Local President as the Chief Executive of the local.                                                  

 

              

                                   Complexes

 

It has been brought to my attention that the locals in Florence Colorado are considering consolidating into (1) one local.  I want to make it very clear the position of the Council is that this is Internal Union Business". This must be resolved between the (3) three locals involved. The Council will not encourage nor discourage the locals to consolidate into one local. That decision will be made by the locals involved.

 

            Consolidated Services within a complex

 

In our Convention in Reno the Council met with all the local Presidents that work in complexes. The purpose of the meeting was to determine what assistance the council could be to the complexes. A majority of the issues raised during our discussion was concerning the agencies intent consolidate services throughout the complexes, specifically related to article 5 of the contract the assignment of work throughout the complexes. There are a number of complexes that expressed their right to "autonomy" and agreements that are currently being established within the various complexes throughout the bureau. The primary issue of concern is not what the council wants?  I really don’t think it’s really about a "plan”. The problem is acknowledging the locals right to 'autonomy" and a result of locals doing different things that work for their membership within the councils. A suggestion was made to start consolidating information and establishing a data base that will create a forum that every complex can use as a resource to use as a guide to use prior to entering into formal discussions or negotiation.  The Council's position is to protect our right to negotiate over changes and to protect the contract and become liaisons when the Field requests our assistance on a case by case basis. Presidents needing any assistance regarding consolidated services or Management's intent to change an agreed upon (MOU) Please forward your issues to my attention immediately

 

                                      Work groups

 

My philosophy on work groups is that once you are selected to participate on a work group, I will allow you to remain on the work group until the sessions of the work group is completed. However I do reserve my right to move you off a work group if it is necessary. I am soliciting a list of individuals that are interested in working on work groups and policy teams. If any local Presidents have people that they would like to recommend for a work group, please forward their names and contact information and the department they work from to my attention.

 

I recently expressed to the Council that there should be fair and equitable representation from each region participating on the work groups. It is my opinion that there should never be a work group or policy group with more than one representative from a particular region as members on the group.  

 

 

 

The next policy is correspondence I am soliciting individuals within the region with a case management background or a correctional counselor to be placed on the correspondence policy team from the north central region. If you are interested please forward your request to include your experience to my attention through your local President for consideration.

 

                                Weekly Meetings

 

 

 

Have a great week. I will be in the Office most of the week assisting Chicago on some internal issues within the local.

If you need my assistance just send me an e-mail or contact me on my cell

 

 

Mike Rule

Ncrvp

melur@sbcglobal.net

708-275-4270

 

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  Local Presidents
 
                                 
                            SICK LEAVE LETTERS
 
There have been a number of Presidents asking for guidance on sick leave letters. Management has been using this tactic for ages.  My opinion is that the letters are not worth the paper they are written on.  When Management determines that an individual is abusing sick leave a letter is issued to the employee. The council has made it clear that sick leave is a right of the employee.  The employees are encourage to use it as needed appropriately. The Master Agreement stipulates employees will accrue and be granted sick leave in accordance with applicable regulations. Sick leave is not exclusive to  the employee's personal health issues. The contract is specific as it relates to article 20 section a which stipulates "sick leave may be used when an employee receives medical, dental,or optical examinations or treatment; is incapacitated for the performance of duties by sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement; is required to give care and attendance to a member of his/her immediate family who is afflicted with a contagious disease (as defined by applicable regulations); or would jeopardize the health of others by his/her presence at his/her post of duty because of exposure to a contagious disease;
 
Additionally, if appropriate sick leave request will be handled in accordance with the provisions of the Family Friendly Leave Act, and the employee may elect leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act".
 
The issue of concern is section (b)  it states in cases of questionable sick leave usage of any Length, the employee will be given advanced notice, in writing, that all future absences due to  sickness must be substantiated by a medical certificate. This requirement will be reviewed every three (3) months by the Employer and the determination of whether to continue will be forwarded to the employee in writing.
 
                                                 QUESTION
 
What should you do if Management issues a letter to an employee advising them that for all future sick leave requests, they will be required to bring in a medical certificate prior to returning to work?
 
                                                 ANSWER
 
The employee should call his/her supervisor prior to returning to work and request for administrative leave to go to the doctor to get a medical certificate.  If you are charged a co payment  you should submit the medical certificate and the co payment to your supervisor for reimbursement when you return to work.  If Management denies the request attempt informal resolution and file a grievance against the agency.  If you need assistance filing the grievance contact me.
 
                                            Question
What should you if you are ask , what is the nature of your illness ?
 
                                             Answer
Your answer should be very direct to determine the category of sick leave you are requesting . Sick leave for a personal illness , or to take care of a sibling or family member. 
 
                       Legislative Mini Conference
 
I am very excited about upcoming legislative conference scheduled in Washington D.C. this upcoming week . I would like each President who will be attending this event to contact our Regional Legislative Coordinator Wayne Pulford , He is equally excited about this event as well. I anticipate having a great time . This event will be very beneficial to the Council and our membership throughout the region.  "Hats off" to  our Council President  Bryan Lowery and the Legislative Coordinator of the Council Phil Glover for organizing this grand event. We have several local President that will be participating . I want to thank every local President  in advance for expressing your interest and support that was not able to participate.. It's good to know that we all have the best interest of our membership at heart.  We must continue to work together utilizing our resources collectively for the common cause of " labor" in unity. Thank you very much for your support.
 
 
                Business for the good of the Region
 
 I would like to start by focusing on our organization structure.  I notice while viewing the various institution directories through the sally port  the union is not acknowledged.  Our collective bargaining agreement acknowledges both parties, the Union and Agency.  I am asking every Local president to request in writing to your Wardens to be included on the directory page.  I think at minimum the Local president and the number to the Union office should be inserted on the institution directory. If there any locals in our regions that are denied this request, please contact me immediately. I do not anticipate requesting to be acknowledge on your institutions directory should be  a problem.
 
Second initiative is to concentrate on contacting each Local president to identify who the local legislative coordinators are as well as the fair practice coordinators, I want their contact information posted on the North Central web page.
  
Third initiative is to establish a plan and the direction our region will be.  We want to take our legislative and fair practice force. Currently we are doing well  within the states our facilities are located.  I think we can become a greater force if we pull our resources together.  I have asked our Council Fair Practice Coordinator, Mike Castelle and our council legislative coordinator Phil Glover to provide training exclusively for our regional fair practice and legislative to include the local coordinator also. I think the training will be very beneficial to our region and the local presidents.
 
Note: Our Regional Fair Practice Coordinator, Barb Batulis has requested names and contact information of your local coordinators.
 
Our Regional Legislative Coordinator Wayne Pulford is requesting the names of your legislative coordinator as well.
 
Please contact Barb and Wayne as soon as possible. 
  
What do we mean when we say our force will be disseminated by zones throughout the region?
 
 
I need volunteers within each zone to assist our Legislative Coordinator in establishing (1) one individual from each state represented in our region to contact the district offices located in your state. Our local legislative Coordinators and our Fair practice Coordinators should be in contact with district offices and national reps throughout AFGE. 
 
 
 This is a breakdown of the district and the facilities in the our region.
 
6Th District AFGE VP        (Arnold Scott) contact information is 1-307-542-0428 
 
States                                                    Facilities       
Indiana                                                 Terre  Haute
Ohio
Kentucky
 
7Th District AFGE VP         (Dorothy James) contact number is 1-312-421-4265
 
States                                                    Facilities
Illinois                                                  Mcc Chicago                
Michigan                                             Pekin
Milwaukee                                          Green ville
                                                              Marion
                                                              Milan
                                                              Oxford
 
 
 
8Th district ( Jane Nygaard)     contact number 1-952-854-3216
 
States                                                             Facilities
Iowa                                                                Waseka            
Nebraska                                                       Yankton                                                                                      
North and South Dakota                           Duluth
Minnesota                                                     Rochester
                                                                        Sandstone
 
9Th  DISTRICT     Michael Kelly contact number 1-405-670-2656
 
States                                                   Facility                                                  
Arkansas                                          Leavenworth
Kansas
Missouri
Oklahoma
 
11Th District   AFGE VP ( Gerald Swankee) contact number is 1-306-253-2616 
 
States                                                           Facilities
Alaska                                                          Englewood
Idaho                                                            Florence Complex
Montana
Oregon
Wyoming
Colorado
Utah
Washington State   
 
We need to service the locals by the State and location of the facilities within the appropriate district. My plan is to visit each district office with the local presidents and eboards that we represent in our region. The purpose of these meetings is to establish a relationship with district staff and reps. We need to personally inform AFGE what our expectations are. This will very resourceful to each local. I was very surprise to learn that there are a number of locals within our region that have never visited there district offices.
 
 We will contact and meet the representatives and in the offices in your states from the AFL/CIO. .     
 
                      Case Tracking on our regional web page
 
 
I personally think this is a great idea that was introduce to the Council by the (ADX) in Florence Colorado. Our Regional Communications Tech  Mike Schnobric is eager to get started. We will develop a tracking system for Grievances from the opening to the closing statement , ULP's, EEO complaints , MSPB complaints etc.  The objective is to track the status of each  individual case filed in our region to include the data related to the case on our regional web page.   Local Presidents will have a resource which will allow them to retrieve information from this system that will assist them in filing similar cases. This resource will be very beneficial.
 
 
                                      Common Courtesy 
 
 
I am a firm believer that any correspondence or referrals of services requested from the Region or the Council must come from the Local President. I have asked the Council to refer any issues that are raised by Local Presidents in the north central region to refer the request to my attention. If any one other than the Local President contacts me I will refer the issue back to the Local . I will always acknowledge the Local President as the Chief Executive Officer of the  local.                                                
 
              
 
                                         Complexes
 
It has been brought to my attention that the locals in Florence Colorado is considering consolidating into (1) one local.  I want to make it very clear the position of the Council is that this is Internal Union Business". This must be resolved between the (3) three locals involved. The Council will not encourage nor discourage the locals to consolidate into one local. That decision will be made by the locals involved.
 
                  Consolidated Services within a complex
 
In our Convention in Reno the Council met with all the local Presidents that work in complexes. The purpose of the meeting was to determine what assistance the council could be to the complexes. A majority of the issues raised during our discussion was concerning the agencies intent consolidate services throughout the complexes, specifically related to article 5 of the contract the  assignment of work throughout the complexes. There are a number of complexes that expressed there right to "autonomy" and agreements that are currently being established within the various complexes throughout the bureau. The primary issue of concern is not what the council wants?  I really don"t think its really about a "plan" . The problem is acknowledging the locals right to 'autonomy" and a result of locals doing different things that work for there membership within the councils. A suggestion was made to start consolidating information and establishing a data base that will create a forum that every complex can use as a resource to use as a guide to use prior to entering into formal discussions or  negotiation.  The Council's position is to protect our right to negotiate over changes and to protect the contract and become liaisons when the Field requests our assistance on a case by case basis. Presidents needing any assistance regarding consolidated services or Management's intent to change an agreed upon (mou) Please forward your issues to my attention immediately
 
                                      Work groups
 
My philosophy on work groups is that once you are selected to participate on a work group, I will allow you to remain on the work group until the sessions of the work group is completed. However I do reserve my right to move you off a work group if it is necessary. I am soliciting a list of individuals that are interested in working on work groups and policy teams. If any local Presidents have people that they would like to recommend for a work group, Please forward there names and contact information and the department they work from to my attention .
 
I recently expressed to the Council that there should be fair and equitable representation from each region participating on the work groups. It is my opinion that there should never be a work group or policy group with more that one representative from  a particular region as members on the group.  
 
                                                  Weekly  Meetings
 
I have arranged a weekly (LMR) with the regional office if there are issues you have attempted to res solve with your Wardens unsuccessfully . I will address the issue with regional office. Our meeting are tentatively scheduled for every Wednesday 10:00 a.m. central time.  I'm encouraging the local President to attempt informal resolution with your Wardens prior to requesting my intervention on the issue.  Please forward any issues you would like to be addressed in the weekly (LMR) meeting to my attention no later than Tuesday by 8:00 p.m. close of bossiness.
 
 
 
I want to thank  "Xvaier" and Wayne Pulford from Sandstone , Marv Anderson from Rochester and Cris Zawakowski from Oxford for a very pleasant visit into their facilities. I was very impressed with the local membership . I met with each President and the local eboards to discuss internal issues of concerns as well as a review of any grievances or administrative support I could assist them with. My tours throughout each facility was very interesting and the staff was very professional and had very valid issues of concern . My meetings with the Warden at each institution was very successful in most cases we were able to resolve the issues raised during our meetings. I believe the locals were pleased with the assistance I was able to offer them.
 
I also want to thank Sandstone and Rochester for inviting me to the local meetings. Thank you Xavier, Marv and Chris for your outstanding service you provide to your membership on a daily basis. I'm sure your members appreciate you as well. ,
 
 
 
Have a great week . I will be on the road this week  in Washinton D.C at the Mini Legislative Conference. If you need my assistance just send me a e-mail or contact me on my cell phone.
                                                                                      Mike Rule
                                                                                        NCRVP

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September 27 2009
 
 
                                            Weekly Update
 
 
                                Englewood  Stewards Training
 
 I want to thank Rob Neal and his entire eboard and membership for a very successful stewards training at the Englewood Training Center. The training was outstanding, the participants asked very good questionS and pledged to perform the duties as Union advocates and to exercise their authority to the fullest extent of the law.  I believe these individuals are equipped with the fundamental tools and resources needed to perform a sufficient service to the membership they serve.  I met with the Warden to discuss several issues of importance raised by the local.  The meeting was very successful, we were able to resolve the issues discussed during our meeting. On Friday, I was escorted by the Local on a tour throughout the facility, I spoke to several of the department heads throughout the institution.  Again thanks Rob for a very pleasant visit, I  am looking forward to teaching an advanced stewards class for your local in the near future.
 
                                     Scott Michaud
 
I want to thank Scott Michaud and the entire eboard of Local 1301 USP-Florence.  I was privileged to meet with them in a private meeting in the community of Florence to discuss some issues within the eboard. The meeting was very informative, we were able to immediate a successful resolution to the issues raised in the meeting.  I want to thank everyone that attended the meeting for their cooperation and efforts to move forward with the business and best interest of the membership at large.  Thanks again Scott for your generosity you and your eboard displayed to me during our visit.
 
I did get to meet with the Complex Warden, Blake Davis.  During our meeting we discussed issues related to the Complex operation to include the (M.O.Us) that have been established.  My primary concern was to address the agency's intent to consolidate services within the Complex. Warden Davis advised me that currently Management has no intention to consolidate services at the Florence Complex.  However, we discussed that any changes in working conditions will be provided to the Union in writing prior to implementation.  The Union intends to exercise our right to invoke negotiations over any changes regarding consolidating services throughout the Bureau.  The Presidents at the Florence complex have been instructed to invoke negotiations and notify the Council immediately if this occurs.  I want to thank Local 1301 for escorting me throughout the facility for a tour, during my visit. 
 
Unfortunately because of time constraints, I was unable to meet with Jeff Johnson, President at the ADX or Mike Wollard, President of the FCI .  However, I spoke to Jeff Johnson regarding a combined training exclusively for the Local Presidents and the eboards sometime in November at the Florence Complex.  I am looking forward to meeting with the Florence Local in November.
  
 
 
                                    Legislative Event
 
The Council will be sponsoring a Legislative Mini Conference in Washington D.C. On Tuesday, October 13, 2009 through Wednesday, October 14, 2009. The travel days will be Monday, October 12, 2009 and travel out on Thursday, November 15, 2009.  Our Council President is encouraging every local to send at least one individual to this event.  If you need assistance regarding request for Official time please contact me as soon as possible. The official time request should be in accordance with the Master Agreement article11 section (c) paragraph 6.
 
 
                                      Weekly Schedule
 
 
I will be  dedicating this week towards a location for our 2010 Regional Caucus. I anticipate having an decision no later than November 08, 2009.
 
I will be attending the Local picnic in Marion,  Illinois on Saturday, October 03, 2009. 
 
If  you need my assistance please do not hesitate to give me a call.
 
 
 
 
                                      Point of Information
 
There are Presidents in our region who are not receiving my emails. Please review your information on the North Central section of the Councils web page if your information is not current please forward your request to the Council secretary carbon copied to my attention for corrections.  It is very important to me that our Presidents receive any and all correspondence that I forward to your attention for review.  Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.
 
 
                               
                                 Just a friendly reminder
 
 I have asked the Council President and the Executive Board to refer any calls from presidents within the North Central Region to my attention.  I believe the primary responsibility of the Regional Vice President is to service the local within their perspective regions. Our Council President is very busy and his focus should not be targeted to the various regions throughout the council. " That's the Regional Vice Presidents Job". I am asking the Local presidents to refer any questions, concerns relating to legislative issues to a member of the Legislative Team.  If the inquiry is related to any discriminatory violations, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, infringement on religion, etc.., or you think it may be an EEO  complaint to contact Barb Batulis.  I am confident that you will receive adequate assistance.  
 
 
 
      Your Brother in Unity
              Mike Rule
               NCRVP
 
   mobile    708-275-4270
   home      708-748-0607
       fax       708-748-3871

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Weekly Update
 
                                       September 20 2009
 
 
                      Assault on staff at Leavenworth Kansas
 
The local President Randy Gilliam informed me that on Saturday evening an officer was breaking up a loud card game when an inmate began to assault the officer. The officer was hit numerous times to the head. The officer was able to get away and call for assistance . The inmate was restrained by reporting staff,  During the interview with SIS the inmate stated he had a shank on him and he was going to stab the Officer. The inmate has been transferred to another institution.  The officer was medically assessed by the on duty medical staff and he was seen by a local doctor , he was not seriously injured he is at home doing fine. The Council President was also notified of the incident.
 
 
                                          SICK LEAVE LETTERS
 
There have been a number of Presidents asking for guidance on sick leave letters. Management has been using this tactic for ages.  My opinion is that the letters are not worth the paper they are written on.  When Management determines that an individual is abusing sick leave a letter is issued to the employee. The council has made it clear that sick leave is a right of the employee.  The employees are encourage to use it as needed appropriately. The Master Agreement stipulates employees will accrue and be granted sick leave in accordance with applicable regulations. Sick leave is not exclusive to  the employee's personal health issues. The contract is specific as it relates to article 20 section a which stipulates "sick leave may be used when an employee receives medical, dental,or optical examinations or treatment; is incapacitated for the performance of duties by sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement; is required to give care and attendance to a member of his/her immediate family who is afflicted with a contagious disease (as defined by applicable regulations); or would jeopardize the health of others by his/her presence at his/her post of duty because of exposure to a contagious disease;
 
Additionally, if appropriate sick leave request will be handled in accordance with the provisions of the Family Friendly Leave Act, and the employee may elect leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act".
 
The issue of concern is section (b)  it states in cases of questionable sick leave usage of any Length, the employee will be given advanced notice, in writing, that all future absences due to  sickness must be substantiated by a medical certificate. This requirement will be reviewed every three (3) months by the Employer and the determination of whether to continue will be forwarded to the employee in writing.
 
                                              QUESTION
 
What should you do if Management issues a letter to an employee advising them that for all future sick leave requests, they will be required to bring in a medical certificate prior to returning to work?
 
                                             ANSWER
 
The employee should call his/her supervisor prior to returning to work and request for administrative leave to go to the doctor to get a medical certificate.  If you are charged a co payment  you should submit the medical certificate and the co payment to your supervisor for reimbursement when you return to work.  If Management denies the request attempt informal resolution and file a grievance against the agency.  If you need assistance filing the grievance contact me.
  
 
                             
Note: Our Regional Fair Practice Coordinator, Barb Batulis has requested names and contact information of your local coordinators.
 
Our Regional Legislative Coordinator Wayne Pulford is requesting the names of your legislative coordinator as well.
 
Please contact Barb and Wayne as soon as possible. 
  
                         
                                           Protocol  
 
 
I am a firm believer that any correspondence or referrals of services requested from the region or the Council must come from the Local President. I have asked the Council to refer any issues that are raised by Local Presidents in the north central region to refer the request to my attention. If any one other than the Local President contacts me I will refer the issue back to the Local President.
 
 
                                 
                                        Work groups
 
My philosophy on work groups is that once you are selected to participate on a work group, I will allow you to remain on the work group until the sessions of the work group is completed. However I do reserve my right to move you off a work group if it is necessary. I am soliciting a list of individuals that are interested in working on work groups and policy teams. If any local Presidents have people that they would like to recommend for a work group, please forward there names and contact information and the department they work from to my attention .
 
                            Something New Weekly LMR
 
 
I have arranged a weekly LMR with the regional office if there are issues you have attempted to res solve with your Wardens unsuccessfully . I will address the issue with regional office. Our meeting are tentatively scheduled for every Wednesday 10:00 a.m. central time.  I'm encouraging the local President to attempt informal resolution with your Wardens prior to requesting my intervention on the issue.  Please forward any issues you would like to be addressed to my attention no later than Tuesday by 8:00 p.m. close of bossiness.
 
Have a great week . I will be on the road this week in Denver Colorado assisting Rob Neal and local 709 in the stewards training . I'm hoping I will get an opportunity to meet with the Local Presidents at the complex in Florence sometime during the week as well. I anticipate the training will be very beneficial to everyone that will be participating. If you need my assistance just send me a e-mail or contact me on my cell phone.
                          
                                            Mike Rule 
                                               NCRVP

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September 13 2009
 
                                          SICK LEAVE LETTERS
 
There have been a number of Presidents asking for guidance on sick leave letters. Management has been using this tactic for ages.  My opinion is that the letters are not worth the paper they are written on.  When Management determines that an individual is abusing sick leave a letter is issued to the employee. The council has made it clear that sick leave is a right of the employee.  The employees are encourage to use it as needed appropriately. The Master Agreement stipulates employees will accrue and be granted sick leave in accordance with applicable regulations. Sick leave is not exclusive to  the employee's personal health issues. The contract is specific as it relates to article 20 section a which stipulates "sick leave may be used when an employee receives medical, dental,or optical examinations or treatment; is incapacitated for the performance of duties by sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement; is required to give care and attendance to a member of his/her immediate family who is afflicted with a contagious disease (as defined by applicable regulations); or would jeopardize the health of others by his/her presence at his/her post of duty because of exposure to a contagious disease;
 
Additionally, if appropriate sick leave request will be handled in accordance with the provisions of the Family Friendly Leave Act, and the employee may elect leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act".
 
The issue of concern is section (b)  it states in cases of questionable sick leave usage of any Length, the employee will be given advanced notice, in writing, that all future absences duw to  sickness must be substantiated by a medical certificate. This requirement will be reviewed every three (3) months by the Employer and the determination of whether to continue will be forwarded to the employee in writing.
 
                                                 QUESTION
 
What should you do if Management issues a letter to an employee advising them that for all future sick leave requests, they will be required to bring in a medical certificate prior to returning to work?
 
                                                 ANSWER
 
The employee should call his/her supervisor prior to returning to work and request for administrative leave to go to the doctor to get a medical certificate.  If you are charged a copayment  you should submit the medical certificate and the copayment to your supervisor for reimbursement when you return to work.  If Management denies the request attempt informal resolution and file a grievance against the agency.  If you need assistance filing the grievance contact me.
  
 
                            Legislative and Fair Practice Coordinators
 
I am excited about the individuals that are working on our legislative team with our coordinator and equally excited about our newly elected Fair Practice Coordinator as well as our Communications Tech/Web Master.  I know these individuals will bring a tremendous level of expertise and knowledge to our region.  I am looking forward to working with them.  I think we all have the best interest of our membership at heart.  We will work together and utilize our resources collectively for the common cause of " labor" in unity.  I would like to start by focusing on our organization structure.  I notice while viewing the various institution directories through the sally port  the union is not acknowledged.  Our collective bargaining agreement acknowledges both parties, the Union and Agency.  I am asking every Local president to request in writing to your Wardens to be included on the directory page.  I think at minimum the Local president and the number to the Union office should be inserted on the institution directory. If there any locals in our regions that are denied this request, please contact me immediately. I do not anticipate requesting to be acknowledge on your institutions directory should be  a problem.
 
Second initiative is to concentrate on contacting each Local president to identify who the local legislative coordinators are as well as the fair practice coordinators, I want their contact information posted on the North Central web page.
  
Third initiative is to establish a plan and the direction our region will be.  We want to take our legislative and fair practice force. Currently we are doing well  within the states our facilities are located.  I think we can become a greater force if we pull our resources together.  I have asked our Council Fair Practice Coordinator, Mike Castelle and our council legislative coordinator Phil Glover to provide training exclusively for our regional fair practice and legislative to include the local coordinator also. I think the training will be very beneficial to our region and the local presidents.
 
Note: Our Regional Fair Practice Coordinator, Barb Batulis has requested names and contact information of your local coordinators.
 
Our Regional Legislative Coordinator Wayne Pulford is requesting the names of your legislative coordinator as well.
 
Please contact Barb and Wayne as soon as possible. 
  
What do we mean when we say our force will be disseminated by zones throughout the region?
 
 
We need to break each zone by districts in line with national reps throughout AFGE. My suggestion is  we have the following districts in our region
 
 This is a breakdown of the district and the facilities in the our region.
 
6Th District AFGE VP        (Arnold Scott) contact information is 1-307-542-0428 
 
States                                                    Facilities       
Indiana                                                   Terre  Haute
Ohio
Kentucky
 
7Th District AFGE VP         (Dorothy James) contact number is 1-312-421-4265
 
States                                                    Facilities
Illinois                                                  Mcc Chicago                
Michigan                                              Pekin
Milwaukee                                            Green ville
                                                            Marion
                                                            Milan
                                                            Oxford
 
 
 
8Th district ( Jane Nygaard)     contact number 1-952-854-3216
 
States                                                             Facilities
Iowa                                                                 Waseka            
Nebraska                                                           Yankton ton                                                                                      
North and South Dakota                                       Duluth
Minnesota                                                      Rochester
                                                                      Sandstone
 
9Th  DISTRICT     Michael Kelly contact number 1-405-670-2656
 
States                                              Facilities                                           
Arkansas                                          Leavenworth
Kansas
Missouri
Oklahoma
 
11Th District   AFGE VP ( Gerald Swankee) contact number is 1-306-253-2616 
 
States                                                           Facilities
Alaska                                                           Englewood
Idaho                                                              Florence Complex
Montana
Oregon
Wyoming
Colorado
Utah
Washington State   
 
We need to service the locals by the State and location of the facilities within the appropriate district. My plan is to visit each district office with the local presidents and eboards that we represent in our region. The purpose of these meetings is to establish a relationship with district staff and reps. We need to personally inform AFGE what our expectations are. This will very resourceful to each local. I was very surprise to learn that there are a number of locals within our region that have never visited there district offices.
 
 We will contact and meet the representatives and in the offices in your states from the AFL/CIO. .     
 
                      Case Tracking on our regional web page
 
 
I personally think this is a great idea that was introduce to the Council by the (ADX) in Florence Colorado. Our Regional Communications Teh  Mike Schnobric is eager to get started. We will develop a tracking system for Grievances from the opening to the closing statement , ULP's, EEO complaints , MSPB complaints etc.  The objective is to track the status of each  individual case filed in our region to include the data related to the case on our regional web page.   Local Presidents will have a resource which will allow them to retrieve information from this system that will assist them in filing similar cases. This resource will be very beneficial.
 
 
                                                Protocol  
 
 
I am a firm believer that any correspondence or referrals of services requested from the region or the Council must come from the Local President. I have asked the Council to refer any issues that are raised by Local Presidents in the north central region to refer the request to my attention. If any one other than the Local President contacts me I will refer the issue back to the Local President.
 
                                                     NOTE 
 
The local President is the Chief Executive Officer of the local the local officers fall under his authority.                                            
 
                                                        Complexes
 
In Reno the Council met with all the local Presidents that work in complexes. The purpose of the meeting was to determine what assistance the council could be to the complexes. A majority of the issues raised during our discussion was concerning the agencies intent consolidate services throughout the complexes, specifically related to article 5 of the contract the  assignment of work throughout the complexes. There are a number of complexes that expressed there right to "autonomy" and agreements that are currently being established within the various complexes throughout the bureau. The primary issue of concern is not what the council wants?  I really don"t think its really about a "plan" . The problem is acknowledging the locals right to 'autonomy" and a result of locals doing different things that work for there membership within the councils. A suggestion was made to start consolidating information and establishing a data base that will create a forum that every complex can use as a resource to use as a guide to use prior to entering into formal discussions or  negotiation.  The Council's position is to protect our right to negotiate over changes and to protect the contract and become liaisons when the Field requests our assistance on a case by case basis. Presidents needing any assistance regarding consolidated services or Management's intent to change an agreed upon (mou) Please forward your issues to my attention immediatel
 
                                                    Work groups
 
My philosophy on work groups is that once you are selected to participate on a work group, I will allow you to remain on the work group until the sessions of the work group is completed. However I do reserve my right to move you off a work group if it is necessary. I am soliciting a list of individuals that are interested in working on work groups and policy teams. If any local Presidents have people that they would like to recommend for a work group, please forward there names and contact information and the department they work from to my attention .
 
                                                  Weekly  Meetings
 
I have arranged a weekly LMR with the regional office if there are issues you have attempted to res solve with your Wardens unsuccessfully . I will address the issue with regional office. Our meeting are tentatively scheduled for every Wednesday 10:00 a.m. central time.  I'm encouraging the local President to attempt informal resolution with your Wardens prior to requesting my intervention on the issue.  Please forward any issues you would like to be addressed to my attention no later than Tuesday by 8:00 p.m. close of bossiness.
 
Have a great week . I will be on the road this week  in Forrest City at the Council Office in Training. If you need my assistance just send me a e-mail or contact me on my cell phone.
                                              Mike Rule
                                               NCRVP

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Weekly Update
 
September 06 2009
 
    I must admit this was a very busy week.  It started with assisting the new local president of Chicago Gary Mills in his transition to the local President. Gary is going to do an out standing job. Congratulations "Mr. Mills".
  
I want to extend a special thanks to Angela Konz and the entire e-board and membership at Pekin for such a pleasant visit.  Special thanks to Denis Shea and Randy Martin for escorting me throughout the facility.  I hope my visit was beneficial to the local membership and the Local President. We also toured the Embassy Suites in Peoria Illinois for a possible location of our regional caucus in the spring of 2010.
 
 
                                   Regional appointments
 
    
Please join me in congratulating our newly appointed Legislative Team for our region.  Our legislative force will be disseminated by zoned areas throughout our region.
 
Wayne Pulford (Oxford) Legislative Coordinator
 
Mark Swope (Leavenworth Kansas)
 
Mike Schnobrick (Florence ADX)
 
 
 
                                                 Training
 
Rob Neal, the entire e-board and the membership of Engelwood is sponsoring Steward Training.  I strongly suggest that if there are any Presidents who have individuals in your local that are in need of steward training to participate.  The details for the training are posted on the Council web page under North Central Region
 
If you need to request official time for training from the national bank, please forward your request to my attention and I will forward your request to the attention of the National
President.  The master agreement article 11 section (h) stipulates the procedures for requesting official time for training within the local level. If you need any assistance don't hesitate to give me a call.
 
                                                     Training
 
The National Secretary Treasurer, Roger Payne will be conducting training at the Council office in Forrest City, Arkansas.  The details for the training are on the Council web page.  Again I encourage any presidents who have individuals in their locals that need secretary treasurer training to contact Mr. Payne and reserve space.  If your are requesting hours from the National bank please forward your request to my attention and I will make sure the request is forwarded to the Council President. 
 
 
                                            Resignation 
 
I am regretful to announce that the Local President of FCI Florence (John Moselina) has resigned.  I spoke to John concerning his resignation to see if I could persuade him to reconsider his decision, my efforts were unsuccessful. However I was  assured by John, that he will continue to assist the local and work closely with the Local President and the E-Board.  Mike Woolard (Vice President) will become the Local President. I contacted Mike Woolard to emphasize on the fact that he had the Councils support as well as the Regions support.  I believe Mike is gong to do a good job.  I'm sure he will appreciate any assistance we can offer him.  Give Mike a call and let him know he has the Presidents in the North Central Regions support.  
 
Mike Woolard
mobile:  719-429-7767
home:   719-483-0951
 
 
                                           "JOHN MOSELINA"
 
John Moselina was the recipient of the North Central Vice President award this year. He has done a tremendous job and provided exemplary service during his tenor as the Local President FCI Florence.  His service will never be forgotten and on behalf of the Council President, the Executive Board (CPL33) and the entire membership at large, wWe thank you for your outstanding service.
 
                                       Point of Information
 
I have asked the Council President and the Executive Board to refer any calls from presidents within the North Central Region to my attention.  I believe the primary responsibility of the Regional Vice President is to service the local within there perspective regions. Our Council President is very busy and his focus should not be targeted to the various regions throughout the council. " That's the Regional Vice Presidents Job". I am asking the Local presidents to refer any questions of concerns or technical assistance to me.  If your issues are related to legislative, contact Wayne Pulford or any member of the Legislative Team.  If the inquiry is related to any discriminatory violations, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, infringement on religion, etc., or you think it may be a possible EEO complaint contact Barb Battles.  I am confident that you will receive adaquate assistance.  
 
In closing please refer your concerns to my attention or the appropriate resource within the Region before you attempt to contact sources outside of our Region.  I will be working out of the office in Chicago. If you need my assistance please do not hesitate to give me a call.
  
    Michael Rule
       NCRVP
 
mobile 708-275-4270
home   708-748-0607
fax       708-748-3871

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I would like to personally congratulate Barb Batulis in her recent election to the position of our North Central Regional Fair Practice Coordinator. Congratulation Barb I’m sure you will be very successful in your new position.

 

I am also honored and privileged in being elected as your North Central Vice President.  “Thank You” for your kind words of encouragement and generosity shown toward me during the election. I believe my character and personality played a significant role in your decision to elect me into this position.  I have dedicated over (20) years of my life as an advocate for labor for this federation . . .  I served  as a Local President at the Metropolitan Correctional Center Chicago for the last five (5) years and Vice President for nine (9) years. Thank you local 3652 Chicago and I want to extend my personal congratulations to Gary Mills local President. I have also been honored to work as your Fair Practice Coordinator for the last five (5) years.  My career has been wonderful, enlightening, and sometimes challenging. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed my tenor as a Labor leader for the Union in the Bureau of Prison. 

 

I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to Mike Coyle. He did a tremendous job   during the time he served as our (NCRVP).  Being an advocate for labor is a thankless job that requires a lot of your personal time and you are also on the road traveling almost every week. It is appropriate to say thank-you for your generosity that you have displayed to the locals within this region. You have shown genuine love and compassion for the membership and the Local presidents under your leadership.   I will always treasure the years we worked together.  Our friendship will continue and you can count on me as a friend if you need me.

 

My primary goal as your North Central Regional Vice President is to share the wealth by providing information and Knowledge to our presidents on a regular basis.”I believe knowledge is very Powerful.” I want to focus on ways of enhancing all aspects of our labor force internally and externally.  I will be asking for the Local Presidents take more ownership and responsibility within the region than ever before. For example, more volunteers, more suggestions, more input, and more subject matter experts to participate in every area of our operation specifically policy negotiations.  Whether it’s calling on your local members of congress through our Legislative coordinators, or reading program statement changes, or submitting proposals for negotiations in your areas through our National Labor Management Relations (LMR), we need each other.  Remember that ownership breeds pride, and pride is what every member should feel about our locals throughout this region.  

 

 

 I can assure you that there will never be a situation that a President of this region will be deprived of their right to act as the liaison or exclusive voice for labor and I will hold the Agency accountable to the fullest extent of the law. I will provide training in the following areas. How to utilize sources such as in “Cyberfeds,” to perform legal research using both casebooks  and citation services as well as legal databases such as “West law” pertaining to federal sector labor and employment law matters.  I have experience in interviewing witnesses in preparation for hearings as well as conducting direct and cross examination of witnesses at hearings.  The training will also include having knowledge of government-wide personnel management regulations promulgated by the Office of Personnel Management as well as orders and policies of the Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons. I will assisted the Presidents on matters involving employee discipline, grievances, unfair labor practices, equal employment commission, and the interpretation and application of regulations and applicable labor contract provisions.   

 

I want to analyze problem situations and develop and recommended developmental training courses which will meet the needs of each local within our region on an individual basis. We need to be Knowledgeable with agency regulations and internal policies; we should have the ability to advocate instructions and guidance in compliance with controlling statutes, regulations, policies and contractual requirements. Our Presidents need to participated in national negotiation and provide assistance to field facilities in negotiation of supplemental contracts.

 

 I am your liaison and technical assistance prior to and during third parties arbitrations. I will assist you in issues involving administrative judges of the Merit Systems Protection Board.

 

 Our roles as advocates of “Labors Unions” are to provide adequately representation at administrative hearings through examination of witnesses and presentation of documentary evidence. By taking on the responsibility of reviewing, preparing any and all  pleadings from initial motions through closing briefs and post-decision administrative appeals within the North-central Regional.

 

Please join me in Congratulating our newly appointed “Legislative Team” for our Regional. Our Legislative force will be disseminated by zoned areas throughout our Region.

 

Wayne Pulford (Oxford) Legislative Coordinator

 

Mark Swope (Leavenworth Kansas)

 

Mike Schnobrick    (Florence ADX)

 

  

In closing I want to personally thank the entire council of executive officers as well as the president of the North Central Regional for your support. I am looking forward to serving this Region as your Regional Vice President.

 

 

           Our Region can only be as strong as the membership we represent”

AFGE LOCAL 709 BASIC STEWARD TRAINING
September 24-25, 2009
 
Guest Instructors: Mike Rule-CPL 33 NCRVP and Tiffany Malin-Labor Attorney
 
**DAY 1**
 
0730-0800~ Introduction and Outline of Training
 
0800-0830~ Stewards Function
 
0830-1030~ Grievance and Adverse Actions
*What is an Adverse Action?
*What is the purpose of the grievance and appeals procedure?
*What is a Grievance?
*Contract Violation*
*Violation of Law
*Management Responsibility
*Violation of Agency Regulations
*Violation of past practices
*When a complaint becomes a grievance
*Borderline grievance
*Unjustified Complaint- Not a Grievance
*Dispute between union members
 
1030-1130~ The Discipline Process
*Who can authorize an investigation
*Classification of Offense
*What must be referred to OIA/OIG
 
1130-1230~ Lunch
 
1230-230~ Investigating a Grievance
* Things to Consider*
*Investigating the Facts
*Check motives for the conduct
*Check the Facts
*Measuring information
*Clarifying the information
*Years of service
*Unclear information
*Sources of information
 
Evidence                
*Types of evidence*
*Evidence evaluation
*Relevance
*Shifting the Burden of Proof
*Precedents: use and value
*Past practice
*TESTIMONY
**direct
**indirect
**incidental
230-430~ Writing a Grievance
* the six w's
*keeping records
*distribution of the grievance
*grievance filing
*timeliness
 
 
**DAY 2**
 
0730-0900~ Communications
*Dealing with the Grievant*
**grievance of non members Title VII, Section 7114
*Dealing with the Supervisor*
**relationship with management Section 7116
**informal resolution
**failure to reach an agreement
 
0900-1130~ Effective Representation in the disciplinary System
*Master Agreement
*Garrity Rights
*Weingarten Rights
*Miranda Rights
*Arbitration vs EEO or MSPB
*Douglas Factors
 
1130-1230~ Lunch
 
 
1230-430~ Arbitration Process
*Invoking
*Selection
*Case preparation
*Hearing