capsfightingunioncaucus

Rank and File Scientists Demanding our Rights

2013 CAPS HEADED FOR DEFEAT UNLESS

As the current contract comes to a close we have to consider if the current leadership is capable of leading Unit 10 to win back what their failed policies have lost us already.

In order to win in the next contract negotiation we need self-organization of the membership. We need regular membership meetings to prepare our demands and our strategy to win. We will need to convene unit 10 rank and file membership meetings in each job place to build democratic input into the negotiating process. The Fighting Union Caucus asserts that the current leadership has no solutions, can not win what it has lost, that it refuses to fight for the membership and thus needs to be removed if we are to win a fair contract. 

We need to look at how CAPS is run, how come we don’t have our own offices, our own phones, our own meetings, how come there are supervisors in our union, how come we have not had a COLA that keeps our purchasing power equivalent to that of 12 years ago? We will ask who profits from our dues dollars? 

We have discovered that profiteering corporation which runs CAPS and PECGS Blanning and Baker LLC and their empire makes millions off of California public workers dues dollars and delivers nothing. 

We will look at the relationship of Blanning and Baker to the lobby firm and labor consultants Aaron Read & Associates and at Bruce Blanning’s daughter’s policial consulting firm, Gilliard Blanning and Associates which promotes Republican candidates. 

We will look at allegations that the Blanning and Baker empire has had a hand in privatizing government work both allowing and promoted in-sourcing (which is the same as contracting out.) 

We will consider the basis for Blanning and Bakers insistance at keeping non-rank and file supervisors in our organizations. We notice this allows the use of the supervisors (as adjunct CAPS members) to manage the contractors who do Unit 9 and Unit 10 members work. 

We assert that grievances between rank and file and their direct supervisors are not fairly grieved by our representatives at Blanning and Baker, because they favor the supervisors (who voluntarily contribute to the “union”) over the rank and file who are obliged to pay ‘fair-share’. 

We will ask the hard questions. How can the rank and file expect a profit taking firm to organize scientists and engineers to defend our wages and benefits while they promote in-sourcing and allow union members to manage them? 

We will ask hard questions like how come Blanning and Baker partners profited while we were put on furlough and our wages and benefits were rolled back and have stagnated? We will ask hard questions like what has Blanning and Baker done for you lately?

We will ask why have over 400 PECGS engineers left PECGS and why are they currently suing Blanning and Baker in Court?

We will ask why did Blanning and Baker get a 5% raise from PECGS and did CAPS give them a raise also in 2012?

We will ask how come current CAPS president David Miller promised to hold regular annual meetings two years ago when he ran for office and is yet to convene a single meeting?

We will ask what kind of union denies its members the right to meet each other in regular membership meetings for over 10 years? We will assert that this is not a workers organization, not a union but a profit center for Blanning and Baker LLC.

We will answer why CAPS candidate for VP in the last election was expelled twice in one year. We will explore how the PERB decision reinstating the expelled member proved the CAPS leaders and Blanning and Baker to be scofflaws who trample on the rights of members. 

We will promote the self organization of the membership and united action with members of Unit 10 with our co-workers in Unit 9 to expose the profit takers, drive them out of our organizations and rebuild democratic representation for our rank and file which can establish fighting unions to defend our interests.

We will use this face book post to unite our members to rebuild our unions. Join us on Facebook at CAPS Fighting Union Caucus

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January 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CAPS Leadership Ignored CAPS Rules

The following letter was sent to the board of CAPS on 09/14/12.

Open letter to the Board of CAPS,

Find attached and in the e-mail below a grievance filed by Charles Rachlis against David Miller and Patty Velez on January 9th 2012 for violation of California Corporate Code and denial of members rights to examine and copy the membership list (http://wp.me/p1OGRw-21.) To our knowledge the Membership Disciplinary Review Committee (MDRC) ignored and took no action to adjudicate this grievance, neither has the MDRC made any report to the membership on the submittal of this grievance, nor have they responded to the author of the grievance.

This lack of action on the part of the board and the MDRC stands in violation with the rules (bylaws and Policy & Procedures Manual) of the organization and thereby denies members just rights. This grievance was submitted prior to the illegal Kangaroo court which expelled Rachlis and suspended Cosentino. The leadership acting under the inept guidance of councel provided by Blanning and Baker LLC, Gerald James Esq. and Lisa Crevich Esq., decided to place this grievance in the circular file.

In the PERB adjudication of Charles Rachlis V. CAPS UPC# SF-CO-60-S PERB has recently found against CAPS and demanded that CAPS cease and desist from: “Unreasonably or refusing to apply internal disciplinary procedures to its members,” and from “Interfering with the protected rights of members to join and participate in the activities of CAPS by unreasonably or refusing to apply internal disciplinary procedures to its members.”

The PERB decision also demands that CAPS “Rescind the termination of Rachlis’ membership and reinstate him to active member status with all the rights and privileges thereof back to the effective date of the termination.”

Therefore Rachlis had and still has the right to have this grievance heard! The CAPS board and the MDRC must take action to address the violation of membership rules and the denial of the rights and privileges of rank and file member Rachlis to file and have the grievance submitted on January 9th,2012 (see attached) heard. We demand that the CAPS board take action to address the violation of membership rights by the decisions of the President (the sitting chair person of the MDRC.)

I demand that the CAPS board remove David Miller from the role as chair of the MDRC. I demand that the Board convene a meeting of a new MDRC to address the violation of memberships rights by the last seated MDRC which was convened to adjudicate the Miller/Brown v. Rachlis and Miller/Brown v. Cosentino grievances. I demand that the new MDRC address the violations of members rights carried out by the MDRC convened under the Chair of V.P. Patty Velez. This new MDRC must address the grievance (see attached) submitted on January 9th 2012. As that Charles Rachlis has had all rights of membership restored by the finding of illegal activity on the part of the MDRC/CAPS by PERB I demand the board assure those rights are respected and the grievance submitted on January 9th, 2012 be fairly adjudicated by an impartial MDRC without interference from the Blanning and Baker LLC, or any of the members who sat on the previous MDRC.

Charles Rachlis

From: Rachlis, Charles (CDPH-ADM-PSB-FMS)
Sent: Monday, January 09, 2012 12:02 PM
To: CAPS; capsfightingunioncaucus@gmail.com
Subject: CAPS: Rachlis grievance against Miller & Velez RE: violation of CCC as regards access to membership list

Date January 9, 2012

To: Membership Discipline Review Committees c/o CAPS Board

From: Charles Rachlis and Giorgio Cosentino

Subject: Charges against President David Miller, Vice President Patty Velez,

CAPS is organized as a mutual benefit non profit corporation which must abide California Corporate Code. CAPS must provide a venue for membership to convene a special meeting. That venue is provided pursuant to CCC and outlined Bylaws Article III Section 2(a); in which, a members’ right to petition the membership to hold a special meeting is enshrined. In order to reach the membership for the purpose of distributing the petition, a list of the members’ names addresses and voting rights must be made available with in ten days of demand. Due to the actions of President David Miller and Ex President Velez CAPS stands in violation of CCC 8330. Their reckless disregard for the law under which CAPS is mandated to function opens the organization to liabilities for denial of services, theft of dues, and denial of dues payers rights.

In order to accomplish the petitioning of the membership I requested from the CAPS board that they abide CCC and render a membership list for the stated use. See e-mail request to the board:

From: Charles Rachlis []
Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 6:19 PM
To: CAPS
Cc: Giorgio Cosentino; Subject: Petition for special membership meeting

To the CAPS board,

According to the by-laws I need 5% membership signatures to call for a special membership meeting. I would like to circulate a petition to call for a special membership meeting. To do so I will need the list of the membership including their e-mail addresses, home addresses and phone numbers as is my right according to California Corporate Code which governs Mutual Benefit Non Profit Corporations such as CAPS. Please submit the list to this email address or let me know when I can pick it up at the CAPS office in San Francisco. I can be at the office this Friday at 11:00 does this work for you?

Charles Rachlis

President David Miller responded on behalf of the current board and refused to comply with California Corporate code thereby making it impossible for me to reach the membership to gather a petition to hold a special membership meeting. See David Millers’ e-mail of December 29th, 2011.

From: David Miller
To: ‘Charles Rachlis’
Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2011 2:54 PM
Subject: RE: Petition for special membership meeting
Dear Mr. Rachlis,

You have requested that CAPS provide you a “list of the membership including their e-mail addresses, home addresses and phone numbers”.

I respectfully deny your request.

I have instructed CAPS staff provide no such list to you, or to anyone else.

The CAPS Board is aware of your request and my response.

Sincerely,

David Miller
CAPS President

In a follow up e-mail I asked how to go about petitioning the membership as is our right. No response has been received to date.

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Charles Rachlis
To: David Miller
Cc: Giorgio Cosentino ; “3risksys@gmail.com”
Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2011 4:56 PM
Subject: Re: Petition for special membership meeting
Dear David Miller,

Please explain how a member is to petition the membership to convene a special meeting of the organization without a way of knowing who the members are.

Charles Rachlis

“The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.”
IWW founding congress opening statement
________________________________________

Refusal to abide the CCC 8330 is violation of the law as enforced by the attorney general of the state of California. The Membership Disciplinary Review Committee may review the law below. For violation of members’ rights, for violation of the bylaws, and for violation of CCC in the name of CAPS we request that David Miller and Patty Velez’s membership in CAPS be terminated.

Submitted to the CAPS Board by Charles Rachlis on January 9, 2012

Submittal #1
CALIFORNIA CODES
CORPORATIONS CODE
SECTION 8330-8338
8330. (a) Subject to Sections 8331 and 8332, and unless the
corporation provides a reasonable alternative pursuant to subdivision
(c), a member may do either or both of the following as permitted by
subdivision (b):
(1) Inspect and copy the record of all the members’ names,
addresses and voting rights, at reasonable times, upon five business
days’ prior written demand upon the corporation which demand shall
state the purpose for which the inspection rights are requested; or
(2) Obtain from the secretary of the corporation, upon written
demand and tender of a reasonable charge, a list of the names,
addresses and voting rights of those members entitled to vote for the
election of directors, as of the most recent record date for which
it has been compiled or as of a date specified by the member
subsequent to the date of demand. The demand shall state the purpose
for which the list is requested. The membership list shall be made
available on or before the later of ten business days after the
demand is received or after the date specified therein as the date as
of which the list is to be compiled.
(b) The rights set forth in subdivision (a) may be exercised by:
(1) Any member, for a purpose reasonably related to such person’s
interest as a member. Where the corporation reasonably believes that
the information will be used for another purpose, or where it
provides a reasonable alternative pursuant to subdivision (c), it may
deny the member access to the list. In any subsequent action brought
by the member under Section 8336, the court shall enforce the rights
set forth in subdivision (a) unless the corporation proves that the
member will allow use of the information for purposes unrelated to
the person’s interest as a member or that the alternative method
offered reasonably achieves the proper purpose set forth in the
demand.
(2) The authorized number of members for a purpose reasonably
related to the members’ interest as members.
(c) The corporation may, within ten business days after receiving
a demand under subdivision (a), deliver to the person or persons
making the demand a written offer of an alternative method of
achieving the purpose identified in said demand without providing
access to or a copy of the membership list. An alternative method
which reasonably and in a timely manner accomplishes the proper
purpose set forth in a demand made under subdivision (a) shall be
deemed a reasonable alternative, unless within a reasonable time
after acceptance of the offer the corporation fails to do those
things which it offered to do. Any rejection of the offer shall be in
writing and shall indicate the reasons the alternative proposed by
the corporation does not meet the proper purpose of the demand made
pursuant to subdivision (a).

Charles Rachlis

September 14, 2012 Posted by | Grievance vs CAPS leadership, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CAPS AGENTS BLANNING AND BAKER LLC. EXPOSED ON RADIO AND AT PERB HEARING

Sisters and Brothers:
 
The Caps Fighting Union Caucus continues our fight for reinstatement. On July 27th  Charles Rachlis will argue that CAPS must reinstate the expelled members (both candidates in the last election) or continue to act as scofflaws.  These arguments will be heard  at the PERB hearing in Oakland at 1330 Broadway at 10 a.m.  Trade Unionists, Occupy labor solidarity activists, and other working class advocates are invited to attend this public hearing. 
 
In preparation for the PERB hearing  our spokesperson will be on Work Week Radio  KPFA  94.1 fm Monday July 23rd during the 8am hour.
 
It has been eight months since CAPS President David Miller advanced from board member to President. When he ran for office he promised to convene regular membership meetings.  To date there has not been a regular membership meeting for over 12 years(one where members can put items on the agenda, all the meetings held have been informational not the legally mandated regular membership meetings.) 
 
David Miller promised to fight for pay equity.  Yet last month, without a vote of the membership, he gave back 4.6% accepting his role in enforcing the austerity on the backs of his co-workers. 
 
We campaigned on a program that stated CAPS has a failed strategy and tactics for defending the membership and today they continue their failed methods.
 
In order to silence the opposition slate President Miller and Vice President Velez held an illegal kangaroo court to expel candidates Rachlis and Cosentino from the organization. 
 
They can expel the opposition but they can not resolve the crisis of leadership in CAPS and we continue to expose why and fight for Unit 10 and Unit 9 workers to throw off the yoke of the profit takers of Blanning and Baker LLC who run CAPS and PECG for the purpose of the enrichment of their partners: Bruce Blanning, Matt Austin & Chris Voight (there may be others.)  These partners make profit from the dues base of our memberships.  Ask Austin, Blanning or Voight what is their compensation for taking our dues dollars and pretending to represent us.  Guess what they don’t have to tell you!  
 
Ask yourself is it right that State workers dues are used for the enrichment of a private corporation which can not deliver a regular COLA to keep our wages abreast of inflation, who can not protect us from furloughs (despite the fact that large portions of our funding comes from outside the State general fund,) who can not win us pay parity with the counties, who can not win us geographic pay differentials, who lost us 2 holidays for two years, who refuse to abide the bylaws, the policy manual and California Corporate Code?
 
 
 
Below is the information we have provided the radio producer and will elaborate on during the interview.
 
 
1)    Democratic and Republican, politicians, servants of Wall Street and Finance Capital, have mounted a campaign to impose austerity on the working class.  To do this they attack the last bastion of unionized workers the public workers.  In CA there are 1.5 million of us close to 180,000 of us work for the state of California.  We are organized into unions that operate under the auspices of the Dills Act signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 1978. The Personal Employees Relations Board (PERB) oversees The enforcement of the Dills Act which grants  public workers unions their right to organize.
 
2)    In 2009 the state imposed three years of furloughs on state workers resulting in a 15% cut in pay for two years followed by a 4.6% cut in pay for one year including a shift of the pension costs an additional 3% off of the employer and onto the workers and an additional one year of 4.6% furlough starting this July  2012.  State workers wages have not kept up with inflation.  NO COLA means we have lost 18% of our purchasing power over the last 10 years!
 
3)      Our unions’ leaderships operate on behalf of the 1% lying to the membership: first by telling us that we should be willing to “share the pain”  then by telling us we can win a fair contract and defeat the furloughs by suing the government, then by telling us we can count on and should fund the very same Democratic and Republican politicians who are imposing the austerity on us.  The intention of these labor skates is to prevent independent labor action, the formation of a workers party, the building of labor solidarity and the spreading of a general strike movement.  Their job is to contain the frustrated masses of the labor movement in the safe electoral system; they work to demobilize the energized masses into endless repetition of a failed electoral strategy like they did in Wisconsin and keep labor loyal to the capitalist Democratic Party.  They tell the workers,  “don’t use your strike power, don’t fight Taft-Hartly don’t form your own party, don’t reorganize the economy in your own interest, ignore your class interests, keep giving your money and energy to the capitalist Democrats, count on the “good heartedness” of the “friends of labor.”  These lies keep the workers in the trap and prevent us from using our economic power!
 
4)    Our union is the worst type of union it is a corporate union.  It was not organized by the workers and the members have no say in the organization.  CAPS like PECGS before it were organized by a private corporation with the intent of using public workers dues dollars to amass their own personal fortunes…all legal of course.  Unlike thousands of other unions in the USA CAPS and PECGS are independent which means workers who find themselves in conflict with the corporation have no recourse higher than the executive board.  In unions with International affiliations workers with issues can take them to the District Council, the State Convention or the International convention.  In CAPS workers have no recourse and quickly find themselves either abandoned by  or sold out by staff.
 
5)    In real unions there are regular membership meetings.  CAPS has not had a regular membership meeting in 12 years.  This violates both the bylaws of the organization and the California Corporate Code (CCC) under which Mutual Benefit Non Profit Corporations (like CAPS and HOAs) function.  For lack of regular membership meetings alternative strategies and tactics for fighting the austerity can not be discussed by the membership.
 
6)    For lack of meetings we formed the CAPS Fighting Union Caucus to introduce a class struggle program to the membership.  We did this by running a slate of candidates on our program. www.capsfightingunioncaucus.wordpress.com
 
7)    When we ran for office we found out that our electoral statements were both limited in length and censored.  We requested email, phone or address membership lists or mailing labels (as per CCC) but were refused access.  At the union office I was blocked at the door and charged with harassment, a charge ultimately laughed out of SF Superior Court!
 
8)    We won 25% of the vote and were then charged with harassing the staff, calling for decertification and spamming the membership’s e-mails and two of the three of our slate were expelled from the union. 
 
9)    We go to the PERB hearing this week July 27th where we will show the class role of the PERB, we will show how they were created by the 1%’s politicians to give limited rights to workers organizations and to funnel our dues dollars to their campaigns coffers.  We will show how the corporation that profits off our dues and  the union leaders are in bed with the very politicians whom they sit across the negotiation table from. We will show the conflict of interest that prevents our union’s agents and leadership from representing the interests of the rank and file!  We are fighting to be reinstated into CAPS, we are mobilizing workers to declared null and void the prior election, to hold a new election, to assure uncensored statements be sent to the membership, to assure that membership lists be provided to candidates, and that the union severs its ties with the profit takers contracted as staff.  This can only be done by a functioning democratic union so we fight first and foremost for regular membership meetings! Only when we achieve basic democracy for Unit 10 and Unit 9 workers can we address the inadequacies of the current class collaborationist strategies and tactics.
 

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

CAPS LEADERS EXPOSED FOR UNDEMOCRATIC PRACTICES

California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) Fighting Union Caucus

Contact: Charles Rachlis FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cell Phone: 415-205-0359
Email: crachlis@yahoo.com

Press Conference to expose CAPS and Blanning and Baker:
Expose corporate control of the state scientists’ union. Members of CAPS have been expelled for trying to democratize their union.

CAPS’ leadership ordered to respond to charges. On May 15th 2012, the leadership of CAPS will be required to respond to the following charges at a hearing overseen by the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB):

1. Violation of 3515.5: Failing and/or refusing to apply reasonable membership rules
2. Violation of 3519.5 (d): Interference of employees’ rights per the dills act

CAPS is also ordered to answer to PERB for using unreasonable methods to expel members Charles Rachlis and Giorgio Cosentino for attempting to democratize and communicate with the membership during a recent CAPS election. Rachlis will be demanding, at the hearing, that both Cosentino and he be reinstated, that regular meetings be convened with web link up around the state, and that the last election be declared null and void and that a new election be held based on the rights in the CCC. Hearing date May 15, 2012, 10:00 a.m. Press conference immediately before at 9:15. San Francisco Regional PERB office, 1330 Broadway, Suite 1532, Oakland, CA. 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.

The CAPS Fighting Union Caucus members are angry at Blanning and Baker for taking CAPS money for years, all the while violating their rights, bylaws and corporation code sections 7510 (b), 7510 (e), 7512, and 8330. After two years of failed efforts to get Blanning and Baker to call a meeting of CAPS union members to discuss furloughs, pay cuts and other pertinent union business, disgruntled employees formed the CAPS Fighting Union Caucus to oust current CAPS board members and to cancel the union’s long term contract with Blanning and Baker. In response to this, Blanning and Baker changed the bylaws and have refused to convene meetings or give membership information to CAPS members who would like to call for a meeting via petition. Every attempt to reach the membership to explain the conditions of the Union relationship with Blanning and Baker has been blocked or prevented.

David Miller, current CAPS board member and President, stated in November 2010 at a DTSC CAPS informational meeting, “no one cares about the bylaws”. Charles Rachlis responded to this, “The 2500 members of CAPS care. We are paying our money to Blanning and Baker to follow the bylaws and respond to our needs. Not to hold our hands and whisper sweet nothings while secretly making concessionary deals behind our backs”.

The CAPS Fighting Union Caucus was formed in July 2011, when CAPS members discovered that Blanning and Baker had changed the bylaws related to member meetings and rights. If you would like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview Charles Rachlis, email c.rachlis@yahoo.com or phone (415) 205-0359. For more details: http://www.capsfightingunioncaucus.wordpress.com

-END-

May 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Velez must recuse self from MDRC in Miller grevience against Rachlis

To: Patty Velez, Chari , Membership Discipline Review Committee

In the hearing to be held on January 11th 2012 for the grievance filed by Miller/Chenoweth-Brown against Rachlis and Cosentino it is inappropriate for Patty Velez to sit on the Membership Discipline Review Committee. She must recuse herself or be removed for cause. Patty Velez is by definition bias in any case against her opponent in the previous election. With out ever being named directly all her policies and practices during her years as President and on the board have been under political attack from myself, the Inter-Union organizing committee and the CAPS Fighting Union Caucus.

Patty Velez has ignored request for assistance and acted in a prejudicial manner toward myself on more than one occasion:
1) When I reported to the board that at my visit to the CAPS office on August 26th that I was struck in the chest by Matt Austin at the door and assaulted with the threat “Listen buster you don’t know who you’re messing with.” She as President ignored my complaint about the CAPS agent, did nothing to protect the rank and file members from the thuggish actions of the Blanning and Baker CFO , she released no admonition against Matt Austin and she ultimately authorized use of CAPS funds for Austin to take Rachlis to court where his Harassment complaint was rejected by a superior court judge.
2) When I reported on Chris Voight’s elitist attitude toward other workers, which he expressed at the Berkeley DTSC meeting in 2010, and at which Ms.Cheoweth- Brown was at attendance, I demanded that CAPS agents (executive director Chris Voight) be set straight by the board, that there is no room for elitism in CAPS but Ms. Velez took no action.
3) When Matt Austin sent an e-mail to the board disparaging Mr. Cosentino for his disability and slandering me as if I were some nefarious force working in the shadows influencing the hapless victim of my silver tongue, Ms. Velez did nothing to admonish the Blanning and Baker CFO for displaying anti-rank and file attitudes in e-mails to the board.
4) As president of CAPS Patty Velez is responsible for the actions of the Staff during her tenure. It was during this period that Staff assaulted me, insulted disabled workers for their disability, and refused to distribute the Policy Manual upon which these grievances are based. She is therefore culpable and incapable of standing as a non-biased judge

These “non-actions” by ex-President Velez and the fact that I stood against her in the last election critiquing her entire method, platform, strategy and tactics as ineffectual and counter to the interests of the members creates an adversarial relationship between her and myself. By definition she is biased. She must recuse her self or be removed for cause.

Charles Rachlis
Associate Industrial Hygienist

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

You Tube action plan link

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