You and your coworkers are the union at MHCD. You fight for better wages, benefits, and protections; you make it all happen.
Join together with your coworkers for our Union member meeting this Thursday, May 6th, from 11 am – 1 pm on Zoom.
Your coworkers are planning an event called the leadership summit. You might have gotten a call from a coworker about it. The summit will be a gathering of your coworkers to plan the future of your union at MHCD, not just the next bargaining session but the long-term plans for years to come. Ideally, your coworkers want to see one leader from every single worksite and more than one from larger sites. By doing that, we can get input from every single worksite.
Your coworkers and organizers will call, text, and email you to see if you or another coworker are the right person to attend. Please respond to the communications to let us know if you can attend or, if not, let us know who you think should go.
The summit will be Saturday, June 5th, from 11 am – 3 pm. There will be refreshments, and if you need to, please feel free to bring children or dependents in your care.
WHAT IS A STEWARD?
Many times we hear union members ask, “what is a steward?” Or “who do I go to when I need an advocate for myself at work?”
A steward is that person you can rely on. Currently, you have three stewards at MHCD. They are your coworkers Cassandra Garcia, Drake Louie, and Talia Sternberg. Stewards step up to learn the skills needed to defend their coworkers when they are accused of doing something wrong at work, when they need help talking to their supervisor, or when they have a disagreement with a coworker that negatively impacts work.
It’s your right to have a steward advocate for you in any meeting with a manager that you reasonably believe could result in discipline. Stewards defend people who are falsely accused of misconduct as well as people who did make honest mistakes. If your manager asks you questions that could lead to some form of discipline, you can tell them that you want to have a steward present and that you won’t answer questions until you can speak to a steward.
Manager – “Hi there Jane, I need to ask you, were you late to work the last few days?”
Jane the worker – “I appreciate your question however I think that this conversation could possibly be used to discipline me, so I would like to have a steward present with me before I answer any more questions. Can you give me a moment to contact a steward?”
Manager – “I don’t think you need to involve the union in this.”
Jane the worker – “It’s my right to have a steward present for any meeting that may result in discipline. So respectfully I’d like to answer your question after I speak to a steward.”
Manager – “Ok I will give you time to contact a steward and then the three of us can sit down to sort this out.”
If you ever do need to contact a steward follow this link to get their contact information visit www.seiu105.org/mhcd
WHAT IS A CAT?
A lot of folks wonder who the union leaders are at our workplace? Union leaders include your stewards who are nominated by coworkers to that role, your board members who are elected to that office by their coworkers, and also members of the communication and action team or CATs.
Unions are democratically run organizations, so that means that all the members in their union have a voice in electing, nominating, or voting on issues that affect everyone. Democracy requires the voters to have all the facts and information necessary to make good decisions. CATs are folks who stand up and say they will volunteer to be a point of contact in their worksite for their coworkers to get information and ask questions.
Ideally every single worksite at MHCD would have at least one CAT who the organizer can give information to and can then disseminate to all their coworkers. Do you know who your CAT is at your worksite? If not that likely means your worksite doesn’t yet have a CAT.
Anyone can become a CAT you can speak to your organizer about volunteering to be the CAT for your worksite or nominate another person to be the CAT. Feel free to reach out to your organizer Keith Ohler firstname.lastname@example.org