capsfightingunioncaucus

Rank and File Scientists Demanding our Rights

CAPS expells opposition candidates!

The check is truly in the mail! I have received my CAPS dues returned for half of January and all of February. I am now so unwanted they will refuse to even take my “fair share” dues.

It appears the kangaroo court has accepted Matt Austin’s lies and used them to expel me. I was expelled for two reasons. 1) Harassment of Matt Austin by supposedly pushing my way into the CAPS office and yelling at him. 2) For advocating decertification of CAPS. And for my advocacy of ONE STATE WORKERS UNION in a leaflet entitled “Is it time to decertify the public union and forge fighting unions?” served as the coup de grace. Never mind that the Policy Manual which presumably makes such statements a crime against the organization was not made available to me until long after the purported indiscretions.

As everyone who followed the case knows Matt Austin’s accusation against me was thrown out of superior court when he tried to secure a restraining order against me. I claimed then and claim now that Matt Austin struck me in the chest with his forearm when I entered the CAPS office declaring to me “What are your doing here”, he later got up in my face and said.,”listen buster you don’t know who your dealing with”. This was all in an effort to prevent the opposition candidates from securing a mailing list to send campaign material to the membership.

As for the second charge. I never started a campaign to decertify CAPS, I never formed a committee calling for the decertification of CAPS, rather I advocated transforming our unions, currently run by labor hacks and tied to the Democratic and Republican politicians, into vehicles for workers’ power. I offered a number of scenarios as an answer to the rhetorical question “is it time to decertify the public workers unions and forge fighting unions?”. I suggested rank and file members need to remove, replace or rebuild our unions. The call for one State Workers Union does not necessarily indicate a decertification campaign. Rather, if we had a democratic union with real meetings and a forum for regular membership discussion that idea could be discussed among the membership. But alas CAPS does not have regular membership meetings in violation of its old bylaws and of the California Corporate Code, so no real discussion is possible in CAPS.

CAPS was organized by the corporation Blanning and Baker for the express purpose of making CAPS into a profit center for Blanning and Baker LLC. Today Blanning and Baker has manipulated the truth for the purpose of putting the opposition candidates (who received 25% in the last election) out of the organization because we exposed their inability to deliver. NO COLA, NO FIGHT AGAINST THE FURLOUGH, GIVE BACK ON PENSIONS, INCREASE IN MEDICAL INSURANCE, LOST HOLIDAYS, FAILED LEGAL STRATEGY, FAILED POLITICAL STRATEGY AND NO DEMOCRACY IN THE ORGANIZATION.

By exposing Blanning and Baker in front of the membership we have proved that this organization is not a workers’ organization. I invite members to try to attain their rights in this organization and they will find out for themselves that this organization exists not for your rights and welfare but for the partners of Blanning and Baker.
1) Request the old and new bylaws and compare the issue of membership meetings and you will find this organization has a 10 years history of violating members right to a regular annual meeting.
2) Request the Policy Manual.
3) Request a forum to speak to the rest of the membership.

Solidarity For a fighting workers union movement!

Charles Rachlis

January 22, 2012 Posted by | CAPS election 2011, CAPS MILLER vs. RACHLIS/COSENTINO | , , , | Leave a comment

CAPS BOARD INSTALLATION-IN VIOLATION OF P&P & CCC

From: Rachlis, Charles

Sent: Mon 10/31/2011 4:26 PM
To: CAPS
Subject: NOTICE: CAPS operating in violation of 2011 Policy Manual

NOTICE TO CAPS BOARD:

YOU ARE OPPERATING IN VIOLATION OF THE POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR CAPS.  THE BYLAWS CHANGE OF FEBRUARY 2011 WAS MADE ILLEGALLY AND THE CURRENT MOU WAS SIGNED BY OFFICERS NOT DULY INSTALLED AS PER BYLAWS AND CAPS CURRENT POLICY.  CONTINUATION OF THESE VIOLATIONS ARE CRIMES AGAINST THE MEMBERSHIP AND HAVE RESULTED IN THEFT OF SERVICES AND RACKETEERING.

I have discovered that the installation of officers planned for this Saturday will be done in violation of the 2011 Policy and Procedures for CAPS.

Page 18 of the CAPS Policy manual dated February 2011. Section V. MISCELLANEOUS, B.ELECTIONS 2. States:  “Elections are held in October of each odd numbered year, with new officers being installed at the corresponding Annual meeting to be held in November (Revised 01/10/04).

This is a continuation of the long term violation of the Bylaws  which  (until February 2011) required both an Annual Membership meeting and that the officers will be installed at that meeting.  This required Annual meeting has not been held in over 10 years.  When I brought this to the attention of the Board last November the board did not respond to me directly.  You seemingly ignored my complaint that the sitting board was sitting illegally but then you did go ahead and change the bylaws in February 2011 to abolish the Annual Membership meeting.

But the staff did not closely cross check the Policy Manual which supplements the bylaws and guides the organization.  If they had, they would have had to hide the evidence of past democratic practices by changing  Policy Manual Section V.B.2.  but they did not.  Therefore this planned installation meeting Saturday next will commit acts against the intention of the Policy Manual and in violation of the old bylaws.

In the same vain the new bylaws (passed in February 2011) were put in place by a board which was (as were the last 5 boards) illegally installed.  In fact the MOU itself is an illegal document because it was signed by officers who were installed illegally in violation of the bylaws.  This is the consequence of ignoring the bylaws and trying to hide the member’s rights from the membership.  The entire edifice upon which CAPS is governed collapses in a sea of violations of CAPS bylaws, and policies.  Even if CAPS’ overseers at B&B caught Policy V.B.2. and changed it the organization would still be in violation of California Corporate Code which requires that Regular Meetings be held at a set time and place, not at a time and place to be set by the board as is written the new 2011 (illegally drafted, passed and implemented) Bylaws.

Charles Rachlis

November 1, 2011 Posted by | CAPS BYLAWS ISSUES, CAPS election 2011, CAPS HISTORY | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

CAPS Rank and File Fighting Union Caucus Election Bulletin #5

August 30, 2011

CAPS Rank and File Fighting Union Caucus Election  Bulletin #5

BUILD RANK AND FILE DEMOCRACY

ELECT  WILL WRIGHT PRESIDENT, CHARLES RACHLIS VICE PRESIDENT & GIORGIO COSENTINO TREASURER

How CAPS leadership and Blanning and Baker LLC  have colluded to deprive members of their rights.

CAPS members rights are outlined in the organizations bylaws.  But even those bylaws do not exist in a vacuum they must conform to the Government Code which governs Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporations. http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general/homeowner_assn.php

Violation #1.

Failure to hold regular meeting of the members for 10 years California Codes Corporation Code Section  7510-7517 :

http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=corp&codebody=7511&hits=20

The old 2007 bylaws stated in ARTICLE III             Section 1 Annual Meeting of Members paragraph (a) An annual meeting of members shall be held. (b) The purpose of the annual meeting of the members shall be to install Officers and Directors.  (c) Association business other than the installation of Officers and Directors may be transacted.

When candidate for Vice President of CAPS, Charles Rachlis found out that there has not been a meeting in 10 years and brought it to the attention of the board that all their actions, including distribution of funds, signing of contracts etc. have been done by persons not duly installed as officers, and that denial of the members right to the bylaws mandated meeting was a breach of contract by the organization to the members and a breach of fiduciary responsibility of the agent (Blanning and Baker) to the members, the board decided to do something about it.  They decided to bury it.  So at the next board meeting in February 2011, after  I brought this to their attention, they amended the bylaws and as yet have not noticed the membership of the change nor have they  posted the bylaws at the web site.

The 2011 amendment to the bylaws wrote the right to an annual membership meeting out of the bylaws altogether in an attempt to codify their long term undemocratic and illegal denial of the memberships right to membership meetings.

The new bylaws passed by the current board reads:

ARTICLE III MEETINGS OF MEMBERS.  Section 1-Regular Meetings of Members

(a)   Regular meetings of the members may be held at times determined by the Board. (Revised 02/12/2011)

(b)  The purpose of the regular meeting of the members shall be to transact any business which may be brought before the meeting. (Revised  02/12/11)

So what they did here was make the regular membership meeting the prerogative of the board and they displaced the installation of the Officers and Directors to another section of the bylaws to end a ten year reign of uninstalled Officers and Directors conducting the members business. The only other place in the bylaws where the  task of installation of officers could possibly be construed as legitimate  is ARITICLE 6 POWERS OF THE BOARD  Section 2-General Authority of the Board paragraph (a) All Association powers shall be exercised by, or under the authority of the Board. The business and affairs of the Association shall be controlled by the board….

But what does the State of California have to say about this?   Corporation Code 7510(b) states: A regular meeting of members shall be held on a date and time, and with the frequency stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws, but in any event in each year in which directors are to be elected at that meeting for the purpose of conducting such election, and to transact any other proper business which may be brought before the meeting.

This clearly is in contradiction to the 2011 amendments.  The clearly stated intention of this clause is that a regular meeting shall be held, not as the amended clause states may be held  upon statement of time and place by the  of the board. No that meeting must be held with a stated frequency stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws.

  • CAPS BYLAWS TODAY STAND IN VIOLATION OF CORPORATE CODE AND MUST BE CHANGED.
  • CAPS HAS VIOLATED MEMBERS RIGHT TO ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING FOR 10 YEARS UNDER DIRECTION FROM BLANNING AND BAKER AT THE DETRIMENT TO THE MEMBERSHIP AND THE DAMAGES MUST BE ADDRESSED.

Violation #2  Failure to notice members of their right to convene a special meeting with demand by 5% or more of the members. Corp.Code. Section 7510(e) http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=corp&codebody=7511&hits=20

which states: “In addition, special meetings of members for any lawful purpose may be called by 5 percent or more of the members.” 

However in the old bylaws 2007 and prior, it states in ARTICLE III Section 2 paragraph(b) “Special meetings of the members for any purposes, may be called by the Board, or shall be held upon petition of thirty percent (30%) of the members.   So for decades as scientists looked at their bylaws and if they had considered petitioning for a special meeting they would have been dissuaded by the monumental nature of the task.  Considering the size and shape of CAPS collecting 30% of the members signatures is impossible without access to the membership list, a quorum membership meeting attended by a quorum, or the membership newsletter.  All of these venues have been denied to the members.   So now with the boards actions under scrutiny, during the February  2011 board meeting they amend this paragraph bylaws to conform with the law.  Better late than never but that change does nothing to address the damages incurred by decades of denial of membership meetings.

NOW WE ONLY NEED 5% OF THE MEMBERS SIGNATURES TO CONVENE A MEETING!  IF THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP CLIQUE REMAINS IN POWER, IT WILL BE NECESSRY TO ENVOKE THIS PROVISION.

TO EXPEDITE REGULAR MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS ELECT:

Will Wright President, Charles Rachlis Vice President, Giorgio Cosentino Treasurer

 

 

September 16, 2011 Posted by | CAPS election 2011 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Campaign Statement Charles Rachlis for Vice President of CAPS

CAPS Fighting Rank and File Union Caucus endorses the slate of Will Wright for President, Charles Rachlis for Vice President and Giorgio Cosentino for Treasurer

Charles Rachlis is the Associate Industrial Hygienist assigned to Richmond Campus laboratories; he serves as Richmond Campus     Health and Safety Officer, served at CDPH Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch for five years auditing for regulatory compliance, following a twenty year career in private industry and makes up for stolen furlough days as an adult educator. 

Based on their record alone the CAPS/Blanning & Baker LLC (B&B) leadership team has proven incapable of meeting the membership’s needs and expectations.  Consider the record: furlough case-lost, pay parity case-lost, stolen holidays-show me the money, lack of COLAs we are18% behind from 10 years ago, pension and medical insurance increases are proof the current strategy and tactics are not adequate to address the current economic crisis  of the hording of capital by the top 0.01%.  There are 84 billionaires in the state of California and their holdings of socially created wealth have increased as our wages, benefits and 401K’s tumble.  The wealth gap widens while workers are silent!  By organizing, social needs of working people can prevail over the dictates of private profits!

Without union democracy we all lose!  In violation of both the CAPS 2007 bylaws and California Corporate Code, CAPS with guidance from B&B has denied members our bylaws which is mandated each year and denied legally mandated regular membership meeting for over ten years!   Officers have not been legally installed and therefore all business conducted by the organization is in violation of corporate code and the bylaws.  And we’ve got lawyers watching our backs!

Ask any 100 CAPS members what B&B is and 80 will tell you it’s a law firm.  A founding member of CAPS told me. just last month. that when CAPS was founded we hired a law firm to run it.  Well surprise despite the airs put on by B&B staff they are not a law firm.  How it is so many scientists are confused on this point?  The truth is B&B is a labor consultation firm they farm out our law suits to real law firms to conduct. They won’t offer the information, as far as I know they do not lie directly but lead you to believe they are lawyers and they’ve got your back.  Rather, they are school trained labor negotiators and not very good ones at that! They are posers not lawyers and certainly not labor leaders!  B&B gets $850k from CAPS a year, CAPS gives $200k to the politicians, $117K to lobbyists and the current and perpetually recycled leadership team still can’t win! Check the CAPS/B&B legal record here: http://wp.me/p1OGRw-y

Two concepts of trade unionism stand opposed in this election.  Current vogue is a modern business unionism turned corporate, acting in the interest of corporate control, holding workers back from self organization and independent political action.  In CAPS corporate hucksters posing as labor leaders tell us, “your not workers-you’re middle class professionals” , “trust us we’re professionals too” ,“trust our lobbyists to pay off (I mean influence) politicians”, “our lawyers are fighting night and day for you”, “bylaws are just a formality”, “no one pays attention to them anyway”, “go back to sleep”, “forget your missing COLA & your dwindling paycheck” , “you don’t need to build solidarity unionism”, “keep paying your dues and by the way:  Thank you very much for your continued support!”

In opposition to the failed strategy of the current CAPS leadership, our slate promotes rank and file class struggle trade unionism, our method won the 8 hr. day, the week-end, sick pay, vacations, pensions, ended child labor, and forced the passage of social security, Medicare and OSHA.  This method of trade unionism organizes and mobilizes the membership, launches and promotes democratic debate in the organization, acts transparently, unites all workers organized and unorganized, employed and unemployed, it organizes the unorganized.  A real union would fight the lies that “there is no money” that “fat and lazy workers need a hair cut and belt tightening” that overcrowded classrooms, dilapidated infrastructure, failing medical resources, irresponsible use of resources and endless wars are acceptable as the norm need to be exposed. Organizing real solidarity through independent united front labor actions, to defend the rights of the entire labor movement is the only way forward for labor.  Our method of trade unionism identifies the class divide in society- states clearly our interests and those of the top 2% are diametrically opposed, we say it loudly the wealth of the top 0.01% multiplied, during the economic crisis, at our expense!  Only this type of trade unionism, unafraid of job actions, with no faith in the twin corporate sponsored political party’s politicians, media pundits, fake pollsters or lobbyists can chart a course forward for labor in general and CAPS in particular.

If elected, our slate will fight along these principles for CAPS specific changes and for the broader issues facing the labor movement and entire working class.  Due to the limitations of space (in this booklet) our program can not fit in the CAPS Ballot information booklet.  For that reason we are issuing CAPS Fighting Union Caucus Election Bulletins.  In Bulletin #1, we outline our CAPS specific program as well as the program of the Fighting Union Caucus of California State Workers www.capsfightingunioncaucus.wordpress.com.  There you can view all of our Election Bulletins.  Review the corporate code, the bylaws and judge the violations the CAPS/B&B leadership has been perpetrating for yourself. Read the record of our participation at CAPS meetings during the last two years, read the statement of former CAPS board members on their experience with this leadership and B&B, read our proposed bylaws changes, join in on our longstanding demand to hold the bylaws mandated regular membership meetings!

Our campaign is predicated on the objective necessity for change, to deal with the unending series of attacks on public workers in particular and all workers in general.  We know we cannot make this change alone. Real change will come when members step forward and take action. Visit our blog which outlines the nature of the crisis in CAPS and explain how to organize to defend our historic gains and the interest of the entire working class.  Then join in, roll up your sleeves and become active because elections alone will never change structural problems.  Do nothing and watch the second shoe fall this crisis is far from over and CAPS is captive in the hands of Blanning and Baker LLC!

E-Mail capsfightingunioncaucus@yahoo.com

 

 

 

September 9, 2011 Posted by | CAPS election 2011 | , , , | Leave a comment

Campaign Statement Will Wright for President of CAPS

October 5, 2011

SECOND STATEMENT BY WILL WRIGHT III PhD CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT OF CAPS

 I thank you and appreciate the time you are taking to read my candidacy statements for the President of CAPS.  I believe by now you have received information about me from a number of sources; however just a couple more elements on my background. I had a brief stent at the Revlon Bio Labs cancer research section, then a Cystic Fibrosis research fellow at Harvard Med Depart of microbiology and Molecular Genetics followed by an NIH genetics research scholar at UC La Jolla.  When you look at the bio for me as well as David you can see that we have both been here for some time, so for what or why are we in this election process. Well on our ways out may be we are just trying to leave some legacy of having contributed to the well being of our fellow scientist many of whom are beginners or not yet at the top of their class. I know David is trying to launch a career in politics and board siting since he ran for a PERS seat at the expense of CAPS and lost; needless to say he is back trying to dress up his resume for another run at something he can go  to after here, the PERS training activity cost CAPS $15,000.

Here is what we perceive from the membership perspective.   CAPS has effectively accomplished nothing but ineffectiveness over the past decade or so. Much of the membership has simply gone to the mandatory minimum dues in frustration and disappointment in the leadership. First and foremost on the minds of the average state scientist over that period has been the issue of comparable pay for comparable work. Like I tell my students when they ask for extra credit, how bout just doing the regular credit  Well how about pay for what state scientist really already do, not compared to an engineer nor to our corporate “counterparts” ,etc. and then isolate aspects of those to say we are deficient.  Here’s why.  First of all we do not do the same job as the others the personnel board wants to compare state scientists to.  The science products that we turn out are unique.

For instance we have to make decisions on science where the impact of the decision is many fold greater than that of a “comparable” other sector scientist.  We have a responsibility to see that the advances in research and industry are imposed on society in the most effective and efficient way to advance the causes of society and the quality of life.  So if someone believes we flip coins to get work done, take a second look.  it is clear that we produce orders of magnitude more science products than do our other sector associates and in many cases with a great deal more complexity.

The evidences of our science products are all around us.  This is in every element of health, safety and environment where basic scientists have a lead and or implementing and sustaining role, from the numbers of endangered species saved to the reductions in morbidity and mortality associated with stressors in the environment or products from industry or other health impacts. Our products reduce the looming potential costs to society through compliance programs that we maintain and compared to the other sector regulatory scientists who generally impact one or a few entities, and in every case earning more than we, our decisions and ongoing responsibilities are several fold greater.
When a chemist tests foods for chemical agents such as lead or a microbiologist tests a food item for the presence of E. coli O157H7 these are not just another routine test or run of the mill routine analysis, these are every bit as much science products as are similar activities in the other  sector. They save lives and generate fees.  When a research scientist develops a policy statement on a public health issue or conducts a study of a particular environment or public health concern, when an environmental scientist or wildlife scientist conducts an investigation, makes an assessment and determines the path forward, these are every bit as much science products as they would be considered so when conducted  by a state contractor or private company.  That is on the science side.
Look at all the revenues state science products bring in. Fees due to CDPH, DTSC, DFG or OEHHA etc. may appear to be simply invoices for doing business. These revenues are based on sound science products. I know because i was there during the early days of DTSC, OEHHA etc. I got the TTU program up and running state wide and wrote some of the first regulations, I got the med waste program for LA region up and running then our committee wrote the statewide emergency regulations. These are science products that bring in revenues. We produce plenty of science products and just because we support 2 to 4 positions with those products administration should not pretend they are collecting fees and we are simply their support.

Recently CAPS announced a success by the current board for what they call a pay adjustment for out of class work. Firstly there should be solid rules in place when the administration decides to shift duties as required to such an extent they agree to pay. Secondly the worst thing about that just in time decision is the change in class. Sounds good but it is not good in that the exact opposite can occur by removal or decrease or level of complexity changes to create or move staff to a lower class. The appropriate solution would have been to incorporate, I assume,  those few additional duties into the original class.  We must take science based approaches to constructing our grievances related to duty statements, pay and classification issues.

The personnel experts are fixated on classifying as much of the natural sciences as possible as physical sciences and in particular chemistry.  This is simply a carryover from the days when government essentially dealt in chemistry, engineering and clinical care.  Since that time the fields of molecular, microbiology and biology have literally exploded into something called biotechnology as a specific example yet the classification scheme and duty statements that i have seen do not adequately reflect this change in staff preparation knowledge, skills and abilities and yes pay status.
When these mis-staffing activities occur the programs suffer from a lack of depth. The synergy that is apparent in the evolution of the collaborations of modern sciences is lost. I will work to change this approach to staffing rather than continue with allowing many of the more interesting as well as important aspects of societies scientific questions be researched by business and academics.

The third and perhaps related to the first issue more so than it has in the past is retirement. I am referring to the latest change in the contributions to PERS for our retirement benefits. I like many of us who began our Wall Street careers in the mid to late 90’s are well aware of the forces of the financial and stock markets and it is precisely those forces that resulted in virtually a 100% increase in our monthly contributions to our retirement plans. Briefly this is what has transpired.  Twice during the 90’s/2000’s there were no matching contributions to the fund. I contacted personnel and was stated that there was no requirement to match contributions just to guarantee a defined benefit. Circa 2000 personnel announced a raise but only if the employee were in tier 1.  This requirement would bring in additional contributions from the tier 2 converters and there were gobs of them due to closure of tier 1 during the 80’s/90’s. Then came the lows of the dot com crash and 911.  Then in 2008 articles began to appear regarding PERS’ forays into the world of commodities and in particular gold. The articles spoke of their efforts to get agents trained in commodities and shortly there after this sector of the market crashed severely. Recently PERS was quoted in an article expressing the glee associated with finally becoming a member of the 20% club which would average to a meager 3% annual return over the past 5 years. That translates to some very negative years.  These negative years along with the lack of contributions during the boom days of the 90’s have lead to this latest request. We must become more involved in the activities of PERS and always resist the notion that traders and brokers can always come to us when the trading accounts have gotten so reduced that substantial gains or recovery can be achieved in a timely manner only by increasing contributions; but 100%, that’s like deja vu all over again.   In that article PERS spoke of it’s severe over staffing and the need to reduce substantially.  May be PERS is to big to succeed, may be we should think about working for the right to select our retirement system manager as a union group or some larger organization. This type of aggressive attachment of wages for PERS leaves many with no 401K or other avenue of meaningful investment. Making money is relatively easy, managing the money and the risk is where the skill and professionalism lay in successful investment and asset management firms and for individuals as well.

On Health and Safety David has the same stance as Patty has; AED’s in everybody’s pockets.  This is a glaring example of a lack of understanding of the science at hand and how to provide a health and safety service program.  This and other such related activities should be used to initiate a State Facilities Act to establish the program. This will cause administration to keep staff in a work environment that provides appropriate and adequate risk reduction and risk management programs. This and a few other workplace health and safety issues are currently for use by managers for pat on the back activities when they need one.

I also believe that there are enough talented and motivated scientists for the institution of term controls.  Presidents nor Vice Presidents should be allowed to run for any board seat until at least one election cycle has passed.  We do not need x-presidents and x-vice presidents pushing their agendas as board members. Nor should x-presidents be allowed to run for vice president until at least one election cycle has passes. Vice Presidents should be allowed to run for president only until at least one election cycle passes.

In the words of Churchill. Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.
Sincerely, Will Wright,III Ph.D.
Staff Toxicologist

Fighting Rank and File Union Caucus endorses the slate of Will Wright for President, Charles Rachlis for Vice President and Giorgio Cosentino for Treasurer

FIRST CAMPAIGN STATEMENT BY WILL WRIGHT III PhD for PRESIDENT OF CAPS  This is the uncensored version.  The censored version can be read in your ballot package.

Will Wright Ph.D. Is currently Staff Toxicologist and Health and Safety Officer located at the CDPH Richmond Campus Laboratories and currently teaching microbiology since 1994 at Chabot College and Merritt College . Background and qualifications include:
●    BS and MS microbiology Howard University; Ph.D. Purdue University Molecular and Microbiology

●    Los Angeles County Public Health as Disease Intervention Specialists; DTSC as Hazardous Material Specialists followed up at OEHHA as Associate Toxicologist and three years later, 1994, I took the Staff Toxicologist position with the Department of Health Services to establish statewide Environment and Occupational Toxicology, Health and Safety program for laboratories. As is evident I have broad experiences and I understand the issues confronting state scientists but more importantly I have a clear and thorough understanding of regulatory sciences, public health and environment programs.

I am a candidate for change. My agenda has several parts to it. First , to have a realistic opportunity for changing what amounts to a political culture that CAPS and the administration have covalently instituted we must remove all pertinent aspects of the current CAPS/Blanning and Baker LLC administration. There should be no recycling of any parts of this group.

So my first order of business as President instituting my change agenda. means policies need to be reworked, the carte blanch authorities the executive director and CAPS staff have must be reconsidered and reestablished in such a manner that they clearly reflect the views and position of the board and above all timely input from the membership perspectives through the holding of regular membership meetings. That means everything from salary and classification issues, to accommodations commensurate with work product expectations of management from staff, to adverse actions and upward mobility. Here to fore such issues have almost exclusively been handled by and from CAPS’ perspective. I can assure you Staff will work for our board and our board will work for state scientists. The current collaboration appears to be self-indulging and politically aspiring in its approach to the issues that concern state scientists most, with pay and quality science programs at the front of the list. They are learning the political process not negotiating.

My second change objective is directed at reclaiming the CAPS membership professional status. Among other actions, this would involve abolishing the lobbying program and the PAC as they currently exist. Those activities could be reworked to make more meaningful contributions to society, perhaps in the form of assistance at the local level to support grassroots efforts to implement our scientific mandates for public health and environment or even supporting staffing or pilot programs to advance the science agenda. This engenders good legislature awareness and a more meaningful influence on the legislative process.    Here are some of the latest examples of the lack of ability of this administration to handle science based activities appropriately. The AED issue at DTSC is a health sciences issue that is just hanging out there instead of part of a science based organized program to assess the need and institute a standardized statewide program for workplace safety involving a designated safety professional class. This administration appears to want to address this as a special consideration for a particular demographic. Another is this lack of staffing scientific questions appropriately, which is the hiring of chemists when the question clearly requires a biologist or any mismatch management so chooses. Appropriate interdisciplinary staffing is critical to professional development and program development and the advancement of the science products that state scientist generate. What has happened with the LPLW initiative for state scientists; well…”DPA administrative ruling that says certain state supervisors are entitled to salary increases that restore historic salary relationships with state engineers”. WHAT? Don’t state scientist supervisors have competencies of their own? This is a case of mixing and matching to our detriment. How can any self-respecting scientist believe, not to mention say it is progress towards competency based compensation which is the crux of the Human Resources Modernization Project….this should be a legislative mandate. Scientists and engineers do possess similar skill sets but professional skills applications are totally different and not substitutable. Equivocating them is an example of curriculum based duty classification. Virtually every negotiation this administration initiated failed and we got more bad news late and at a price.
My third change objective is to work to change the structure for contributions and benefits programs to reflect the realities of the investment markets. Californians for Fiscal Responsibility want to revise this yet again in the interest of reducing taxpayer contributions. Those contributions are still coming in in the form of taxes and simply end up being spent in other ways that don’t necessarily contribute to the states well being in future ways so to speak. Pension benefits are typically spent in the sate where earned. There must be a grater focus on the investment activities that PERS engages in, even though they “did not lose money in ENRON”, they just simply turned around and lost in in gold.    CAPS brought over a candidate it was pushing for the PERS board and he had the nerve to say “they” are trying to decide if during any market and particularly bad markets if relative or absolute performance is the standard. As I stated during the session, we need absolute performance because PERS has to pay people out of that.
MY fourth change objective is directed at supporting and enhancing the long standing effort to have supervisory and managerial positions clearly defined and substantiated with regard to their program objectives. Some of those are as follows:
●    Clearly defined plans to develop and enhance the science of the programs to involve state scientists more along the lines of federal programs with classes and specification that do more than describe a curriculum.
●    Prohibit farming out the larger portion of the real science to universities and others nongovernmental entities and reducing state activities in many programs to monitoring, supplying data and assessment. We could enhance these activities with collaborative programs that involve state scientist participation in a meaningful way. More involvement in federal grant opportunities; this would allow for greater opportunity to express competencies, serve as a source of revenues for pilot and other program support.

●    There would be a stop to cross boundary activities and a mandate to concentration on building the publicly mandated programs along the lines of federal and corporate models as wholly sufficient in their technical and operational necessities still forging cross- discipline collaborations.

●    Budget and power grab initiatives should not be addressed by always combining or eliminating or contracting.

●    Managers should exploit the science of the programs they manage maintaining its integrity instead of selling off parts to the
highest bidder for their upward mobility aspirations.

●    Institute committees that regularly meet with management, the private sector and academia to represent staff involvement
in the evolution of the role of state scientists. State scientists are key to regulatory science programs generated primarily by federal and state initiatives and interpretation of regulations and implemented by local agencies and we need a seat at the table!

http://www.capsfightingunioncaucus.wordpress.com

capsfightingunioncaucus@yahoo.com

 

September 9, 2011 Posted by | CAPS election 2011 | , , , | Leave a comment

CAPS Fighting Union Caucus Rank and File Election Bulletin #6

September 6, 2011

AUSTIN V RACHLIS

On labor day at 10 am CAPS Vice President Candidate Charles Rachlis was served with a temporary restraining order which will prevent him from attending to business at the CAPS office, from attending meetings where Blanning and Baker LLC (B&B) staffer Matt Austin and other named  individuals are present.  Matt Austin is seeking to make this restraining order permanent at a hearing this Friday September 9th at 9:00am  at San Francisco Superior Court 400 McAllister St  Rm 514.  Working class and union activists, members and nonmembers of CAPS are invited to come and show support for our struggle against the corporate control of our union and for union democracy.

Rachlis went to the union office August 29th in order to examine the membership list as per California law, only to be physically blocked/assaulted at the door by B&B staffer Matt Austin, despite having noticed CAPS  of my intent to on August 28th.  For years every attempt to reach the membership to explain the conditions of our union and pass on the material we have accumulated has been blocked.  Our struggle for our legal right to examine and copy  the membership list has now turned into an attack on my personal integrity and  rights in the guise of a restraining order.

This is part of an on going attempt to prevent our caucus from brining the violations of bylaws to the memberships attention.

The defense will address three issues. 1) Factual-the story concocted by Matt Austin has little to do with the reality of the situation and does not put the incident in a contextual setting.  2) Legal grounds-Under Code of Civil Procedure section 527.3, the court has no authority to issue injunctive relief against lawful free speech activity in connection with a labor dispute.  This includes a dispute between the members and the staff of the union.

3) Political grounds: the role of B&B is playing has included prejudicing the president of the organization against myself in e-mails we have entered into the public record. The violations of bylaws and California Corporate code by  Blanning and Baker’s staff as they are the executive director,  have deprived the membership of an opportunity to discuss the strategy and tactics of the organization as it faced the worse attacks in its history over the course of the current and deepening economic crisis.  Thus B&B act in the interest of the ruling 0.01% against the interests of state workers.

The CAPS union has been held captive by B&B, our membership has been denied our right to annual membership meetings for a decade, prevented  from finding our co-workers across the state and engaging in democratic discussion, while our funds are funneled into the coffers of B&B, its favored law firms, lobbyists and politicians.

Our slate asks for support from workers both inside and outside our union because of the long term denial of our rights has prevented us from knowing our other members, who they are, where they work or how to talk with them.

Elect Will Wright President, Charles Rachlis Vice President Giorgio Cosentino Treasurer

Capsfightingunioncaucus@yahoo.com

Please pass this information on to other members.

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

CAPS Rank and File fighting union caucus bulletin #4

(Following this exchange the list was finally delivered to Charles Rachlis via USPS on September 1st within the 5 days of demand.

August 28, 2011

Brother and Sister CAPS members,

Below find attached an open letter to President Patty Valdez in which I reported on my unsuccessful, yet not uneventful, visit to the CAPS office to inspect and copy the membership list.  Members will recall that we want the membership list because we have been denied the right to the bylaws mandated annual membership meeting for 10 years.  This practice prevents the membership from accessing each other and making democratic decisions.

While pursuing our democratic right to address the membership we have come to conclude that  Blanning and Baker LLC (B&B) have denied the membership their rights for 10 years as part of their business plan. Basically B&B have made CAPS into a profit center for their LLC to the detriment of the CAPS membership.  Yes, CAPS, though formally independent and owned by its membership is actually a captive union under corporate control and Blanning and Baker do not want the members to understand the real relationship so they have told the S.F. Police Dept. to arrest Charles Rachlis (candidate for CAPS VP) if he comes back to the #1 Sutter St CAPS office!

What we have discovered, in our attempt to democratically access the membership, is that B&B staff know well the laws under which they operate and in blatant disregard for those laws they have violated our rights and in so doing have fleeced the membership of millions of dollars which they have controled over the years.

On August 16th 2011 Chris Voight wrote to Giorgio Cosentino who was inquiring about how utilize the bylaws change of 2011 allowing the  membership to  petition the board to hold a membership meeting.  Chris stated: “CAPS has that language in its bylaws as a requirement of the California Corporations Code, on advice of counsel.  Every Mutual Benefit Non Profit Corporation (MBNPC), as CAPS is organized, should have it.  But that doesn’t mean the process is practical or that it would ever be used in an organization the size and shape of CAPS.”  This means that Chris fully understands that CAPS as an MBNPC must follow the corporate codes which govern them. So let us look at the Attorney Generals web site.  There we find that Non Profit Mutual Benefit Corporations are governed by laws which B&B  have violated year after year.

http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general/homeowner_assn.php

On that page you will find a list of links to corporate codes and the violations they are ascribed to.

The first one listed is failure to hold a regular meeting of the members. Corp.Code.Section 7510(b)

http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=corp&codebody=7511&hits=20

Other violations of members rights are outlined on this page.  For example: Failure to send member list of names and addresses of members upon written request. Corporate Code, Seciton 8330(2)  http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=corp&codebody=8330&hits=20

There are more violations which we have discovered and will outline in future communications.  We have also discovered that because of the lack of information given the members and the attitude and presentation given by Matt Austin and Chris Voight we were under the misperception that B&B is a law firm.  Rather we learned they are a contract outfit which acts as CAPS agent.  Does this change anything? Not really they are still in violation of the law and have violated their responsibility to the membership as our agent. At least when it all collapses around them they won’t have to answer ethics charges at the bar.

What can you do?  Call CAPS.  Ask for your copy of 2007 and 2011 bylaws. Ask when was the last bylaws mandated membership meeting held.  Ask for the right to access the membership via inspection and copying of the membership list. Demand that Charles Rachlis not be arrested for visiting the CAPS office.  Ask why your check is smaller, why your COLA has not kept your pay up with inflation, why they think you should continue to give B&B control of our 1.5 million a year in dues.

Now our struggle with CAPS began as a fight for a change of strategy and tactics because the existing direction has produced cuts in pay and benefits and promises more concessions.  B&B method links the union to the corporate political power structures, players and ultimately to a system which benefits the top 0.01% at the expense of the rest of us.

What we found was that CAPS is a captive union, its memberships power has been usurped by corporate raiders and their job is to keep workers from acting outside the corporate method which today means hold our hands and whisper sweet nothings while they conduct concessionary bargaining.

Below find the complaint I sent to the board following being assaulted and threatened with arrest by Matt Austin on Friday August 26th while attempting to examine the membership list.

Elect Will Wright PhD President, Charles Rachlis Vice President, Giorgio Cosentino Treasure

 Solidarity,

Charles Rachlis.

*****************************************

 Sent: Friday, August 26, 2011 4:58 PM

Subject: Matt Austin struck me today at the CAPS* Sutter street office. office

Hi Patty Valdez**,

Today I went to the SF CAPS office to inspect the membership list.  Based on the communication we received (in an e-mail to caucus member and CAPS candidate for Treasurer Giorgio Cosentino) from Chris Voight stating that members could go to either the San Francisco or the Sacramento office to inspect the records.  I (Charles Rachlis caucus member and candidate for Vice President of CAPS) took a few vacation hours to visit the CAPS office in SF and inspect the membership list, as is our right.

To prepare the office staff for my visit, I sent two emails to the CAPS staff  on August 25th and asked for information by COB on how to inspect the list.  In the second e-mail I noticed that I planned to go to the office and inspect the list.  Not getting a response from CAPS staff by 9:30 am today (in fact still none by now) I traveled to the city for the visit.

When I got to the office at #1 Sutter Street Suite 800 I found the door locked.  On the door there were plaques for Blanning and Baker, then CAPS, then PECGS, and one more organization.  I knocked on the door and after a few moments Matt Austin opened the door.  I stepped across the threshold with my left foot and much to my surprise Matt Austin struck me across the chest with his forearm in an attempt to block my entry and demanded in a belligerent tone “what are you doing here?”   I responded, I am here to inspect the list.  I referenced the emails with Chris Voight and my two unanswered emails and proceeded to enter.  Matt pointed to the chairs and I waited there.

Matt threatened me with security and I explained again that Chris already Okayed our right to see the list.  He then called Chris but could not get through.  Then obviously frustrated and not wanting to show me the list he came over to me and got right up in my face (about 2.5 inches from me) and said with a twisted up face, “listen buster you don’t know who your messing with.”   “You can see the list but you have to be civil.”   I responded, “what is the definition of civil? Is there a definition in the bylaws of civil?”  Of course I was thinking how can someone who hits you on the way into the room then gets up in your face complain that you’re not being civil?   Then the phone rang and Chris called back.   Matt answers and tells Chris that Charles is here and he is being a jerk.  Now that got my goat and so I over spoke Matt loudly just  so Chris could hear me and understand that members rights were being trampled.

Moments later Matt hangs up with Chris and calls security to run me out of the building.  I challenged his authority to kick me out of the CAPS office.  I noted that as a CAPS member I pay for the office and have a right to come there.  He then told me CAPS pays no rent here  and that I was not a tenant of the building and he would call the cops which he promptly did.   I demanded to know whose office it is because it says CAPS on the door.  Matt said it is his office,  and continued his call to the cops to have me arrested.  At which point I called my lawyer and asked what to do and we decided to leave under duress when the building security asked me to leave.

So CAPS has to answer:

1)      Is it CAPS policy to allow staffers to hit members?

2)      Is the office at Sutter Street a CAPS office or is it Matt Austin’s office?

3)      What is the proper procedure for inspecting the membership list?

4)      Who is Matt Austin I do not see him listed on the CAPS web site?

5)      Why is the Sutter Street address listed on the web site if it is not a CAPS office as Matt stated?

6)      Why is the plaque for CAPS on the door of Suite 800 if this is Matt Austin’s office and not a CAPS office?

7)      Why are CAPS materials and information stored in Matt Austin’s office which he claims is not a CAPS office?

8)      Why did Chris Voight tell us we could inspect the list at the CAPS office on Sutter Street if that is not the case?

9)      When, where and how can CAPS members inspect the membership list?

How long has this type of intimidation been going on?  Now I understand why members have been hesitant to stand up for their rights.  Blanning and Baker which holds CAPS captive will do everything it can to prevent members from looking into how they loot our organization.

Charles Rachlis

Associate Industrial Hygienist

Richmond Campus Health and Safety Officer

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