capsfightingunioncaucus

Rank and File Scientists Demanding our Rights

Last day to get your ballot in the mail

Brothers and Sisters,

We carried out a strong campaign to expose the nature of CAPS.  We intend to characterize CAPS as the worst sort of company union.  While CAPS poses as independent it is nothing of the sort.  The members of CAPS have no real input into the direction of the organization.  The organization has been under captive control of the labor consultation firm Blanning and Baker LLC since its birth.   We learned in court from H. Mattson Austin’s testimony that it was a profit making firm Blanning and Baker LLC which originally got unit 10 members to sign union cards.  This is highly irregular.  Most bargaining units are organized by their own members or by an international union.  But ours was organized for the expressed interest of a profit taking corporation which has run CAPS since its incorporation.  Our campaign started because we found the current leadership incapable of understanding the current economic conditions and incapable of developing a strategy and tactics to defend and advance the interests of the members.  But trying to advance a fighting strategy for labor we found out our union is run by a corporation for a corporation and at the expense of the membership.

What we learned about CAPS during this process.

1) CAPS will take money from Liberty Mutual insurance company and give them access to members home mail addresses but will not allow rank and file members the right to write to  the membership, even during a campaign, with uncensored statements or campaign material.

2) Blanning and Baker LLc. will do everything they can to prevent rank and file members, even when they are candidates, from having uncensored access to the membership. We witnessed H. Mattson Austin assault a CAPS  member and perjure himself in court to keep the candidate from having access to a membership list. These thugs will even slap a law suit on a rank and file candidate member which they know will get laughed out of court as was the case of Austin vs. Rachlis.

3) CAPS has no staff.  Blanning and Baker LLC. is the employeer of a non-union staff.  In other words our union is run by  a scab shop.

4) CAPS has no office. CAPS  is run out of the offices of Blanning and Baker LLc.

5) CAPS gave Presidential candidate David Miller $15,000.00 for his failed run for a position on the CALPERS board.

6) Blanning and Baker strut their stuff by passing CAPS PAC money around to politicians who take vote against our interests, impose the austerity on our backs while letting the major corporations and California’s 84 billionaires off scott free!

7) CAPS under the direction of Blanning and Baker LLc.  censor rank and file candidates statements but allow the incumbents the right to disparage and make insinuating statements against the fighting union caucus candidates.

8) CAPS under the direction of Blanning and Baker LLc. uses the CAPSULE and the CAP e-mail to write puff stories on the incumbents “magnificent” contributions even giving Candidat Valez a one page good-by letter during the last week of the campaign with no offer of equal space to the opposing candidates.

9) Blanning and Baker LLc. has directed its staff not to respond to requests from  opposition candidates for Policy and Procedure documents and has not produced an independent audit of CAPS finances to the opposition candidates.

10) That CAPS has not held the by-laws mandated annual membership meeting in over 10 years in violation of both the By-laws and the California Corporate Code.

11) That PERB has no provision to protect a union members rights from its union’s disregard for the law or lack of democracy.

12) That CAPS is organized as a Mutual Benefit Non-Profit Corporation and is therefore subject to California Corporate Code with mandates both regular membership meetings (with technological accommodation for organizations separated by geography), and demands that members be given access to a membership list including addresses and phone numbers.  This is to assure candidates have the ability to reach the membership with their positions, and that rank and file members have the right to bring a petition to the entire membership of the organization.

13) CAPS contract requires rank and file members with grievances to bring them to their direct supervisor who may also be a CAPS member.  This creates a conflict of interest when a CAPS representative (Blanning and Baker LLC non-union scab staffers) come in to settle the grievance.   Indeed we have heard numerous cases where H. Mattson Austin came in for a grievance and sided with management against the rank and file.

14) CAPS is not an independent union.  It is a profit making center for the bullies and thugs at Blanning and Baker LLc.

 

POST YOU BALLOT IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY! FRIDAY IS THE DROP DEAD DATE TO GET IT IN THE MAIL!

VOTE FOR WILL WRIGHT FOR PRESIDENT,  CHARLES RACHLIS FOR VICE PRESIDENT, AND GORGIO COSENTINO FOR TREASURER

http://www.capsfightingunioncaucus.wordpress.com

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October 21, 2011 Posted by | CAPS election 2011, CAPS HISTORY | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CAPS INCUMBENT SLATE BURIES THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND

 ELECT WILL WRIGHT PRESIDENT, CHARLES RACHLIS VP AND GIORGIO COSENTINO TREASURER

 The incumbent slate of the CAPS leadership has their collective heads  buried in the sand so far that they can not see the world changing in front of them.   The fighting union caucus slate has been admonished for addressing issues beyond the presumed limited interest of state scientists.  We are told by the incumbents that CAPS’only interest is our pay, wages and benefits.  This would be laudable if indeed the incumbents methodology was able to deliver.  But it is not.  If it was their method would have worked by now.  So all they have to offer is more of the same.  Give our money to the politicians who are in the pockets of the billionaires, refuse to link up with the rest of organized labor and the working class who are in the same boat as us,  use the power of the board to deny members democratic rights, and keep the money flowing to Blanning and Baker LLc.

Theirs is a formula for failure.  They claim the fighting union caucus wants to launch the class struggle.  No, we do not have the forces to launch it rather, we recognize it as  reality! As  billionaire Warren Buffet said over two years ago, “we are in a class war and my side is winning….although it should not be.”  The current leadership does not see the fact that the class struggle has been launched against us and they are ignoring it.

 Look across America and the world today,  tens of thousands of working people and their unions have joined the # Occupy Wall Street# movement.  SEIU 1000 president endorsed #Occupy Sacramento#.  Of course she did nothing to mobilize the SEIU membership but we do not expect anything from her except platitudes.  The question is why has SEIU 1199 (NY hospital workers), the NY Transit workers union (TWU) and  across the county local unions are endorsing these actions?  Because the rank and file are fed up and are demanding action.  The trade union leaders are playing catch up like they did in Wisconsin.  Business and corporate unionism has a job they do for the bosses  and that job is to keep the cork in the bottle and put it back in when ever it pops.  To defuse the uprising in Wisconsin the sell out trade union leaders fought back the call for General Strike coming from the rank and file and corralled the movement back into petition campaigns to unseat Republicans and replace them with Democrats.  It worked in Wisconsin and they hope to do it again.  Move-On.org, Van Jones, and Yvonne Walker all have signed on to the #Occupy everywhere# movement with the hope of preparing for the 2012 election by defusing the movement into the Obama campaign which will be starved for troops because he turned his back on the workers after being elected facing and embracing the bankers instead.

 The incumbent slate in CAPS does not see that our fight must link the CAPS scientists struggle for a fair contract to the struggle of all working people.  In NYC on Wednesday the Doctors and Nurses joined the massive demonstration and called for “Free health care for all”.  The front line practitioners of medical science unabashedly call for Single payer and universal health care but the Scientists of CAPS are told by the incumbents this is not an issue for CAPS members.  Millions have lost their homes and almost all mortgages today are held by or backed by the US government but CAPS leaders tell us foreclosures are not a CAPS members issue.  Woman’s right to abortion and child care, jobs for all, free quality education, are issues that the bankers political parties have been attacking but CAPS gives these political parties money!  By giving them money you are taking a political position.  So when incumbents tell you these are not CAPS issues we have to ask they why do you fund politicians who act on them!  These politicians act against the interest of the working class and labor just a quickly as they take the CAPS  donation, pocket it and ignore us!  

THE CURRENT CAPS LEADERSHIP FAVORS A BANKERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNMENT.  THE OPPOSTION SEES THE FUTURE OF CAPS SCIENTISTS AS OPPOSING THE RULE OF THE BANKERS!

 THE CAPS FIGHTING UNION CAUCUS ENDORSES THE #OCCUPY WALL ST# MOVEMENT AS A FIRST STEP IN ELEVATING WORKERS TO POWER! 

WE WILL NOT HOLD OUR BREATHS WAITING FOR THE INCUMBANTS TO SUPPORT THE PEOPLE IN THE STREETS THEY HAVE ALREADY TAKEN SIDES!  THEY SIDE WITH THE BOSSES THE CORPORATIONS AND THEIR  POLITICAL PARTIES!  THEY ARE DOING THE BOSSES JOB IN THE UNION BY DEMOBILIZING, DEMORALIZING AND SELLING OUT THE MEMBERSHIP!

Occupy Oakland begins Monday at 4pm.  Occupy Portland, Washington D.C., SF and LA are already underway!  The ruling class is starting to freak out as EGYPT comes to AMERICA!  CAPS leaders can bury their heads in the sand but that is not leadership!

An injury to one is an injury to all!

Charles Rachlis

For the CAPS FIGHTING UNION CAUCUS

 VP CANDIDATE CHARLES RACHLIS YOU TUBE CAMPAIGN VIDEOS:  Two methods of trade unionism face off in the CAPS election United Public Workers for Action forum Sept 22, 2011 Sacramento.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnublujbnaA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNy15otVMO8  CRITIQUE OF UNDEMOCRATIC PROCEDURES IN CAPS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwvwdDftJsk    Further elaboration of undemocratic experiences in CAPS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCoxF5hO2bQ&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL  Beginning of elaboration  of Action plan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyosiw38ISw   Follow up on Action Plan Blanning and Baker Thug H. Mattson Austin Laughed out of court in case against CAPS member Charels Rachlis   http://wp.me/p1OGRw-1h Indy Media coverage of Austin vs. Rachlis http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/09/27/18691496.phpBlanning and Baker’s court strategy fails again: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A127292.PDFCAPS and PECG appeared as “friends of the court” in this furlough-related appeal by the prison guards union. The union won in the trial court (the trial court ruling was issued before the Cal. Supremes torpedoed most of the anti-furlough arguments), but lost on appeal – before three of the judges with the most “liberal” reputation in the First District.All our posts are at www.capsfightingunioncaucus.wordpress.com

October 7, 2011 Posted by | CAPS election 2011 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-CAPS Board member Lauren Wold view on Blanning & Baker

WE MOVE LAURENS’ LETTER TO THE TOP OF THE BLOG BECAUSE WHAT SHE WARNED US OF LAST NOVEMBER WE HAVE COME TO DISCOVER IN OUR ONGOING CAMPAIGN FOR DEMOCRACY IN CAPS

—–Original Message—–
From: Wold, Lauren
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 10:26 AM
To: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Subject: FW: Regarding CAPS

Hi Giorgio,

My experience with CAPS lead me to believe that it was a money making venture on the part of Blanning and Baker for Blanning and Baker rather than a true representative organization working on behalf of the State Scientists. I came to this conclusion when it became evident to me that
Chris Voit and Matt Austin (I forget the correct spelling of their names) held a tight reign on the communications between the Board Members and the Board Members’ constituents. With the exception of my PHM co-workers at the State Lab, I was prevented from directly contacting the people whom I was representing. Many of the CAPS members I represented were employed somewhere other than 850 Marina Bay Parkway. Blanning and Baker had CAPS Members’ contact information but would not share this with me. I was told that if there was something I wanted to ask or say to the people in the district I represented I needed to go through the CAPS office or discuss it with the “Inner Circle” (my term for Matt A. and Chris V.).

When I did bring up issues at the Board Meetings I was told condescendingly and in no uncertain terms “you are new here” and “we will deal with this”. But these issues that I knew and thought to be issues of concern, at least with PHMs at the State Lab were subsequently ignored and dropped. Also, when I brought up issues such as pay parity, safety at the workplace, reinstating the shuttle bus from the State Lab to BART there was never any discussion at the Board Meetings. All the other Board Members would simultaneously turn to look at Chris V. to hear what he would say which would usually be a vague response and dismissive . Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed with the other Board Members for not wanting to discuss what might be serious options or impediments to moving ahead with issues on concern. Pay and safety are everybody’s concern. The shuttle bus may have been unique to the State Lab employees but the employees elsewhere may benefit in the future with a similar situation. (We did get the shuttle back but it was not because of Blanning and Baker’s input. There were State employees, not even CAPS members, who were very hard working and effective in reinstating the shuttle.)

In my opinion Blanning and Baker ran CAPS in the manner of an oligarchy rather than a democracy where the Board Members and the monthly board  meetings gave the impression of a dynamic, interactive participatory organization. But, again, in my opinion, the “Inner Circle” called the shots and the Board Members were mere impotent figureheads either because they were satisfied enough just to be “in the club” or they were
intimidated by the “Inner Circle”.

Another thing that bothered me was how Blanning and Baker used our lobbyist. Lobbyist get paid big money. Our lobbyist got paid big money.  The amount is voted on by the Board Members “guided” by guess who… I felt that the general membership should be in on understanding what the lobbyist did, does and can do.  The few times the lobbyist came to speak to the Board Members he spent most of the time essentially gossiping about who in Sacramento eats at which restaurant, who is vacationing with whom, who has what kind of boat! I’m not joking! We need to hold him accountable and show us what he is doing on our behalf and prove that he is effective in the job we hired him to do.

Good luck, Giorgio.

Lauren

October 5, 2011 Posted by | CAPS HISTORY | , , , , | Leave a comment

You Tube action plan link

October 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blanning and Baker Thug H. Mattson Austin Laughed out of Court

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/10/04/18692116.php 

California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) members want to know was CAPS money used by H. Mattson Austin in his unsuccessful attempt to slap a three year restraining order on CAPS member and candidate for Vice President Charles Rachlis?

After assaulting and threatening Charles Rachlis, H. Mattson Austin with the help of his Blanning and Baker (B&B) corporate lawyer Lisa Crvarich failed to convince the judge that the Rachlis attempt to examine and copy the membership list was either stalking or civil harassment. The Judge was not amused by H. Matttson Austin’s pathetic attempt at red-baiting by quoting a blog discussion out of context.  When corporate union thugs red-bait you, you can bet they are trying to hide their dirty under clothing!   Co-workers, CAPS members, solidarity trade unionists and community activists who attended the proceeding to support union democracy and to stand against the targeting of Rachlis laughed the B&B team out of court!

But the euphoria of this victory must be  short and circumspect.  Because B&B has successfully eliminated democracy from the CAPS election process by censoring the CAPS Fighting Union Caucus candidates campaign statements. This, on top of the erasure of the members right to an annual membership meeting, as per the 2011 February amendments to the bylaws has destroyed any vestige of democracy in CAPS.

Members should receive our caucuses censored statements in the ballot booklets in the mail on October 3rd or 4th.   The combination of censorship and denying the caucus access to/or even use of labels from the membership list (as is our right as per California Corporate Code 8330) has prevented our caucus from reaching the entire membership with our critique, program and action plan.  DEMOCRACY DENIED!

By slapping the temporary restraining order on Rachlis, B&B showed that they lie about and then use the courts against members.  Any half wit lawyer could have told them their case was baseless but they proceeded.  This was an attempt to drain Rachlis and the fighting union caucus of energy and trick us into foolishly wasting money on a lawyer.  Rachlis and others lost work pay to attend to and fight this baseless charge.

Yes we beat Lisa Crvarich and H. Mattson Austin without a lawyer because we had truth and labor solidarity on our side.  This abuse of the court system and attack on CAPS members for pursuing our rights is a sign that B&B don’t want the membership to know that  for them CAPS is merely a corporate profit center adding to their bottom line.

HOW CAN YOU HELP

Our caucus supporters helped construct an e-mail list of CAPS members and that allowed us to reach some members. But then someone intervened and got the State to bounce many of our e-mails.  So if you find this information useful please share these posts with other CAPS members as you may be the only person in your unit, branch or department getting access to the uncensored statements posted at our blog.

In these closing days of the campaign our attempt will be direct members to our blog www.capsfightingunioncaucus.wordpress.com

And to our You Tube presentations.  The first two outline the problems of democracy in CAPS while the third opens a discussion of our action plan.  Planned future posts will explain our action plan and program (found in Election Bulletin #1 on the blog) further.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNy15otVMO8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwvwdDftJsk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCoxF5hO2bQ&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

In closing:

One of our co-workers asked what would you have done differently than the current leadership.

With union democracy and regular membership meetings we would have initiated a discussion among the members of the various strategy and tactics that labor can apply.   As described in reports posted at the fighting union caucus blog we proposed alternate methods of organizing when Blanning and Baker were informing us of their, soon to fail, strategy of relying on the courts and politicians.

We argued against wasting money on the politicians and law suits which were dead end bets.  At the DTSC meeting two years ago we predicted that they would lose in court. Rather we advocated for and built solidarity unionism because we know the crisis is bigger than just our bargaining units.  At CDPH we built the  inter union organizing committee because CAPS, SEIU, and the other unions’ leaderships did nothing to organize the membership.

CAPS missed many opportunities to build local and statewide solidarity during the fight against the furloughs and later they ignored the support of the Wisconsin public workers.  When the ILWU 10 took it on the chin for standing up for public workers, answering the AFL-CIO call for No Business and Usual ILWU 10 shut the port!  But the CAPS board  refused to defend ILWU 10 with even a solidarity letter! CAPS/B&B joint leadership takes job actions off the table –strictly verboten!  A union which is unwilling to withhold labor power has no power!  This corporate unionism is totally incapable of mobilizing the workers to win. But they easily funnel our dues to B&B’s partners (Blanning, Austin & Voight’s) pocket books.  Even while failing the state workers B&B partners make bank!

So the question is do we face the crisis and put the blame squarely on the billionaires and their failed control of the economy or do we buy the lie that workers cause the crisis with our over bloated pensions, holidays and benefits? Working people have already paid for this crisis with declining wages, unemployment, and foreclosures!  Today we hear that the TWU (the most important union in NYC) has joined the Wall Street occupation movement, there is a rumbling in the labor movement.   Will CAPS join and take a lead in the growing movement of labor and working people who say “enough is enough”!  Do we stand by and ignore the 46 million American driven into poverty, while those who administered the crisis make off like bandits?  Or do we fight for our children and our future by uniting with labor, black and brown, with students and teachers with unemployed, unorganized, undocumented and marginalized workers in a united march toward workers power!  We say: Labor must play hard ball to win!

CAPS under the current leadership will continue on its course and it negotiating team sign more give back contracts or we can change course build a strident negotiating team that bases it strength in a united workers movement.  We can get organized and build a united strong labor movement to create solutions developed and initiated by and for workers!  The choice is ultimately yours.

If the membership thinks it can send PAC money to the politicians, to B&B, to the lobbyists and lawyers and regain all they have lost with that strategy then we are deluding ourselves.  Resignation, demoralization and defeatism follow this course and inertia kicks in.  This is what keeps B&B’s profits flowing. Instead the CAPS fighting union caucus suggests we get organized and change the very world we live in! We’re scientists damn it not sheep!

October 2, 2011 Posted by | CAPS election 2011 | , , , , , | Leave a comment