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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Henry Beasley on Lobbyists


Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In prior correspondences and meetings, we have discussed the need of a lobbyist and political contributions to persons and parties that may not have “unions” as a part of their platform.  Some of these platforms only have support for public transportation in part, but do we need to sacrifice resources on high stakes gambling?  

 
Since one of the big issues in this month’s charter was a proposal adapting a change in the election bylaws called 50+1 amendment.  One of the fear mongering had to do with the cost associated with a runoff (not a separate elections, that was thrown around as a scare tactic) ranging upwards of $25,000 - $30,000.  In the hand out that was passed around to the membership stated, “Adding a second election will add an estimated $25,000 - $30,000 to our annual budget just for the added election.”  “These funds will have to be subtracted from other lines in our budget in order to balance the budget.”  A couple of things wrong in this statement:
1.       The correct term that should have been used, is “run-off” not another “election.”  After the first pass and a candidate do not receive the required 50+1 majority of the majority, it then goes to a run-off.  A run-off only entails extraction of the names not in the top 2 vote getters and then a re-mailing of ballots.
2.       The use of the word “annual” in the sentence meaning, “occurring once every year.” In the context that it was misused meant that we would have to budget (in addition to funds allocated for an election) $25,000 - $30,000 totaling up to $90,000 (=$30,000 X 3 years).  If done properly to get to the $30,000 mark it would be $10,000 a year for the next 3 Years and $833.30 per month in a rough estimate by the next election cycle (if that, please refer to #1).  This statement using the term “annually” is simply not true and used to scare members for voting for the amendment.
In the current Labor Press our paid representative printed a response to our questioning the need for a lobbyist.  He had stated, “This month I would like to focus on political issues we face across Oregon and Washington.”  “As many of you may know, ATU Local 757 has a full time lobbyist.”  “This is a list of House and Senate bills that we are watching (see the attachment for full break-downs for Oregon.  Washington is just too long):”  “these bills all pertain to transportation and labor unions.”  “We will keep you informed as things develop, and as they narrow down.”  “We will put together a list of the ones we support and oppose and post it on the ATU 757 website.”  “This is our future and our membership needs to be aware of the issues that we face.”
In the Oregon section a couple of things stood out: 
1.       2544HB:  Requires issue subject to collective bargaining during term of collective bargaining agreement that is not resolved through negotiation or mediation to be resolved through binding arbitration. 
2.       2783HB:  Provides that employee of public employer is liable to employer for wages paid to employee during period of administrative leave if employee was placed on leave as result of allegation that employee engaged in criminal conduct and if employee is thereafter convicted of crime by reason of conduct.
For those looking to the return of the “Right to strike” or changing to a “baseball style,” it’s simply not there for voters.  Plus, there has been nothing about changing the laws to make it a felony to attack bus operators (either in transit, school bus or paratransit).  In Oregon, these are the things that affect us every day.
The point is do we need the expense of a lobbyist (when we cannot afford fair elections)?  Do we need to budget XXXXX annually, not including expenses?  Spending XXXXXX yearly to have someone snuggling with elected officials, who are seeking a handout from unions to fund their campaigns with nothing given back to the union other than empty words of union support?  Even though there are 4 Bills (246, 270, 2236 and 2287) currently supporting legislation to support public transportation; but do we need a dedicated person to tell us this?  With that being said “what is the alternative,” we should be in support of all public transportation and work hand in hand with the companies that we are contracted with; (such as in this article - http://www.cdta.org/news/transit-funding-rally/11097 ). In the cited article it stated, “Capital District Legislators, labor, business groups, and transportation advocates—is calling on the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo to support critically-needed transit systems.” Which, we don’t do in Portland.  Another possibility is to support through petition drives such like Standup4transportation.org which is trying to get Congress to pass legislation to provide long-term investments in Americas transportation network this April 9th 2015; those Districts involved in this action are:  Trimet, Lane Transit and Salem-Kaiser transit.  All of these things we can do ourselves, we just have to get members involved in their local areas keeping on top of legislative items that will affect our union as a whole.  Empowering members is the key.
Henry Beasley
Your brother on the front lines.
Union strong 
 
Oregon Bills from the House/Senate:

2005: Requires all employers to implement paid sick time for employees.
2464:  Authorizes issuance of lottery bonds for transportation projects funded from Multimodal Transportation Fund in 2015-2017 biennium
2740:  Changes name of Multimodal Transportation Fund to Connect Oregon Fund
130:  Repeals state preemption of charter and statutory authority of local governments to set minimum wage requirements
2478:  Makes statutory changes to achieve gender neutral language with respect to legally recognized marriages
2748:  Establishes Infrastructure Innovation Oregon as public advisory agency responsible for developing policy and programs in area of performance-based public infrastructure projects and providing consultation and services to units of government with respect to public infrastructure projects.
137:  Changes definition of public works for purpose of applying prevailing rate of wage to include project that uses funds of private entity and $750,000 or more of funds of public agency for constructing, reconstructing, painting or performing major renovation on road, highway, building, structure or improvement of any type
2007:  Makes imposition of disciplinary action against employee that inquires about or discloses wage information unlawful employment practice
2530:  Requires safety belts on school buses and school activity vehicles bought new after certain date
2757:  Requires law enforcement agency to establish policy for using cameras worn upon police officer's body to record officer's interactions with members of public
142:  Subjects vehicles owned or operated by transportation districts to laws regulating motor carriers
2008:  Increases Oregon minimum wage rate in graduated steps through 2017
2540:  Modifies definition of "public works." Classifies exemption from ad valorem property taxation as funds of public agency for purpose of requiring payment of prevailing rate of wage.
2764:  Modifies circumstances under which attorney fees may be awarded and amount of attorney fees awarded in workers' compensation claims
159:  Revises procedures for preparation of Governor's budget
2009:  Increases Oregon minimum wage rate in graduated steps to $15 per hour by 2018
2542:  Includes accrued paid vacation and personal business leave in definition of "compensation" for purposes of wage claims
2783:  Provides that employee of public employer is liable to employer for wages paid to employee during period of administrative leave if employee was placed on leave as result of allegation that employee engaged in criminal conduct and if employee is thereafter convicted of crime by reason of conduct
270:  Reallocates moneys for transportation projects listed in Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009
2010:  Authorizes employee of certain employers to request flexible, predictable or stable work schedule
2544:  Requires issue subject to collective bargaining during term of collective bargaining agreement that is not resolved through negotiation or mediation to be resolved through binding arbitration
2791:  Includes false statements made to legislative committee by certain persons in crime of unsworn falsification
290:  Directs Oregon Department of Administrative Services to establish program that certifies that prospective bidder or proposer understands pay equity provisions in laws of this state
2032:  Prohibits employer or insurer from requiring injured worker to obtain nonemergency medical services from specific provider
2550:  Increases fuel tax and motor carrier taxes
2828:  Extends, for two years, sunset of provisions requiring Oregon Health Authority to study and make recommendations to Legislative Assembly on best option for financing health care in this state
327:  Increases Oregon minimum wage rate in graduated steps through 2017
2043:  Requires employer to verify legal status of employee to be employed in United States through federal E-Verify program prior to deducting expenses related to worker's employment from Oregon taxable income
2553:  Creates Task Force on Extending the Westside Express Service Commuter Line to Salem
2858:  Includes transit pass costs as approved transportation costs for purpose of State School Fund distributions
332:  Repeals state preemption of charter and statutory authority of local governments to set minimum wage requirements
2212:  Authorizes imposition of civil penalty against employer that fails to pay wages owing to employee on regular payday
2571:  Requires law enforcement agency to establish policies and procedures for retaining recordings from cameras worn upon police officer's person to record officer's interactions with members of public
2894:  Authorizes district to approve or veto land division within or adjacent to boundaries of district based on whether land division interferes with operations of district
380:  Makes certain actions based on complaints filed with Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries discretionary on part of commissioner
2215:  Modifies definition of "public employee" for purposes of collective bargaining.  Specifies that only appropriate bargaining unit for supervisory employees of public employer is unit that consists only of supervisory employees and excludes managerial or confidential employees
2600:  Requires continuation of group health insurance coverage for employee on family leave on same terms as when employee is not on leave
2914: Permits employee of contracting agency that conducts cost analysis or determines feasibility of procurement, or exclusive representative of employee's bargaining unit, to seek judicial review of cost analysis or determination.  Specifies conditions under which review may occur. Requires contracting agency to estimate prospective contractor's profit in cost analysis. Prohibits contracting agency from considering proceeds of sale of, or costs of replacing, long-term assets in cost analysis. Becomes operative January 1, 2016. Declares emergency, effective on passage.
396:  Requires providers of ignition interlock devices to notify court that required device to be installed of any negative reports downloaded from ignition interlock device.  Permits court to order installation of ignition interlock device equipped with camera or similar technology if court does not terminate diversion agreement following negative report. Reorganizes laws related to ignition interlock devices
2223:  Establishes task force to study worker misclassification and to make recommendations for legislation related to worker misclassification
2606:  Includes siblings among family members for whom eligible employee may take family leave
2917:  Directs Department of Consumer and Business Services to study impacts of paycheck discounting and report to Legislative Assembly on or before September 15, 2015
414:  Permits employee of contracting agency that conducts cost analysis or determines feasibility of procurement, or exclusive representative of employee's bargaining unit, to seek judicial review of cost analysis or determination
2236:  Directs moneys to city transit agencies from state agency assessments used to provide public transportation services.  Applies to wages paid to state agency employees during calendar quarters beginning on or after effective date of Act. Takes effect on 91st day following adjournment sine die
2607:  Reduces minimum average hours worked required for eligibility for family leave from 25 to 24
2921:  Authorizes Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries to expend certain moneys in Wage Security Fund to administer and enforce provisions of wage and hour and minimum wage law.
437:  Allows governing body of local government to withdraw all or part of territory under its jurisdiction from boundaries of Tri-Met.  Prohibits increase in payroll tax solely to compensate for lost revenue due to loss of territory. Takes effect on 91st day following adjournment sine die
2255:  Modifies law requiring state agencies to attain 11 to 1 ratio of non-supervisory employees to supervisory employees
2612:  Requires mass transit districts to resolve through binding arbitration certain disputes about fault
2922:  Establishes task force to study employment practices in Oregon and to make recommendations for legislation regarding employment practices in this state
455:  Deregulates oversight of for-hire carriers of persons
2274:  Changes name of Multimodal Transportation Fund to Connect Oregon Fund
2621:  Authorizes City of Portland to operate photo radar on urban high crash corridors
2923:  Establishes task force to study employee compensation in Oregon and to make recommendations for legislation regarding employee compensation in this state
468:  Authorizes Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries to issue warrants for collection of certain debts owed to bureau
2275:  Changes name of Multimodal Transportation Fund to Connect Oregon Fund
2639:   Funds free transit passes for secondary school students residing in service area of Lane Transit District
2956:  Repeals state preemption of charter and statutory authority of local governments to set minimum wage requirements
492:  Authorizes use of accrued sick leave or personal business leave by certain employees who are victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking
2287:  Authorizes issuance of lottery bonds for transportation projects funded from Multimodal Transportation Fund
2646:  Makes failure of employer to grant employee unpaid parental leave to attend certain school-related activities unlawful employment practice
5040:  Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Department of Transportation for biennial expenses
552:  Establishes certain workplace protections for domestic workers
2386:  Authorizes Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries to issue temporary cease and desist order under certain circumstances
2654:  Requires certain public employers that are subject to civil service system or public collective bargaining law or that employ law enforcement officers to implement employment examination for applicants that demonstrates actual proficiency in required areas
70:  Clarifies meaning of "district" in ORS 255.125 to 255.205
5508:  Limits biennial expenditures from fees, moneys or other revenues, including Miscellaneous Receipts and certain federal funds, but excluding lottery funds and other federal funds, collected or received by Employment Department
2387:  Authorizes Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries to administratively compel provision of bond by certain employers
2685:  Prohibits discrimination in employment on basis of familial status of employee
75:  Sets limits on amounts that may be contributed to political candidates and political committees
5509:  Creates subtraction from federal taxable income for up to $300 in cash dividends paid by employer to employee for participation in workplace wellness program
2390:  Creates subtraction from federal taxable income for up to $300 in cash dividends paid by employer to employee for participation in workplace wellness program
2695:  Requires Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries to disclose data and information commissioner uses to determine prevailing rate of wage
104:  Requires state agencies to use federal E-Verify employment verification system to verify employment eligibility of job applicants
5517:   Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Bureau of Labor and Industries for biennial expenses
2427:  Expands definition of "emergency vehicle" in Oregon Vehicle Code to include vehicles operated by certain government agencies providing emergency services
2703:  Requires law enforcement officers who are on duty and on patrol to operate video cameras mounted upon officer's person to record officer's interactions with members of public
107:  Allows conviction for certain traffic violations to be set aside
2438:  Transfers Office of Administrative Hearings from Employment Department to Oregon Department of Administrative Services
2737:  Modifies limit on issuance of infrastructure lottery bonds
118:  Requires law enforcement agency to establish policies and procedures for retaining recordings from cameras worn upon police officer's person to record officer's interactions with members of public
 

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