capsfightingunioncaucus

Rank and File Scientists Demanding our Rights

CAPS PRESIDENT DAVID MILLERS DECLARES MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS RIDICULOUS

CAPS PRESIDENT DAVID MILLERS DECLARES MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS RIDICULOUS

On January 9th, 2014,  during the hearing at PERB in case # SACO 4645, CAPS President David Miller was asked why the organization’s Bylaws and Policy Manual were changed in 2011 and why they had been disregarded for over a decade.  President Miller explained the changes were made to make the document clearer.  When pressed on what clarity the board was trying to arrive at, Miller explained that it was “ridiculous” to hold regular annual membership meetings.  He explained that member’s concerns could be freely addressed to the board at the quarterly executive board meetings in person, in writing, or via a district representative.

What Miller was not able to escape from is the fact that, ridiculous or not, the current leadership of CAPS in collusion with and under the advice of the executive director (Blanning and Baker LLC) and legal counsel (Gerald James) have, for years, denied the membership regular and annual meetings, which have been required by the CAPS Bylaw, the CAPS Policy Manual and the California Corporate Code (CCC).  In fact, a careful reading of the revised 2011 bylaws and policy manual reveals that regular membership meetings  are still required (which conforms with the CCC, although annual meetings were erased from the Bylaws and Policy Manual in February 2011.)   The requirement for regular membership meetings in the CCC indicates 15 months as the first of regular intervals for “regular membership meetings.”

Were it not for the long term inability of the CAPS leadership and CAPS agents to protect Unit 10 members’ salaries from the consequences of compounded inflation vs. years with no cost of living adjustments, members would hardly be concerned with how CAPS is run.  But today, two weeks before negotiations open, Unit 10 rank and file members are expressing their lack of confidence in the CAPS leadership and the CAPS agents and legal team. Workers, long denied regular membership meetings, are booking rooms and meeting on their own without the leadership.  Workers have initiated letter writing and petition campaigns: workers have openly discussed decertification, rescission, and severance as options.  Workers are no longer waiting for CAPS to act; they are beginning to act on their own.  This is a promising sign.  It will take the democratic participation of the rank and file to sweep away the dead wood and build an organization that can win the workers’ demands in negotiations.   If that organization will be CAPS or a new formation is truly in the hands of the current leadership.  As of now workers do not see CAPS as a worker’s organization.  Indeed, one 28-year CAPS member wrote us saying, “we need a union to protect us from the union!”

If the leadership continues to play footsie with the Democratic Party (and in cases with the Republicans), giving gobs of our dues dollars to the candidates, the lobbyists and the lawyers while neglecting to build rank and file organization and democracy, the consequent  defeat (in the upcoming negotiations) will drive Unit 10 members to seek alternatives and other organizational  affiliations.

To turn the situation around, CAPS must convene immediate emergency membership meetings at all campuses, form up action committees at each  section and unit where Unit 10 members work and prepare united job actions to impress on HR how serious our members are.   Without the serious threat of job actions by the membership our negotiators look like beggars with their hands out, rather than our true advocates convinced of the resolve of the membership and prepared to exert our collective strength.

January 9th the Governor released his proposed budget and there were no raises for the Unit 10 rank and file indicated.  Supervisors, on the other hand, found some indication that their pay parity concerns would be met.   For the rank and file to win it requires that we act now to assure that the CAPS negotiators do not come back to us with a Tentative Agreement equivalent to the SEIU 1000 concessionary contract that gained only 1.6% per year, and which does not cover the losses to pension and medical insurance premium increases, and will leave many workers with smaller checks than before the furloughs started 4 years ago.

Membership meetings are not ridiculous!  Membership meetings are where members chart their course, develop strategy and organize the membership for action.  What is ridiculous is the long-term failed strategy of the CAPS leadership, which has resulted in most Unit 10 members being 30% behind their peers in municipal employment and private industries.  What is ridiculous is to think that a board that sequesters itself out of sight of the membership for decades, which demobilizes the membership, denies the members their rights, and is oblivious to the fact that most members hate the organization, can win us our long overdue pay parity.

Rachlis went to PERB not only to get the second illegal expulsion expunged, but to learn from CAPS President David Miller the true belief of the current leadership-that worker’s democracy-that holding regular membership meetings is “ridiculous”!

But if history is a guide playing footsie with the politicians will not win our demands; it will take a rank and file upsurge to win!  Time is working against us but if CAPS acts now it could convene membership meetings at every job site next week and have informational pickets and press conferences across the state immediately in preparation for the negotiations.    For Unit 10 to win pay parity the rank and file must run the organization themselves!

January 11, 2014 Posted by | CAPS 2013 Contract negotiations | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CAPS LEADERSHIP HAS NO STRATEGY TO WIN BACK WHAT THEY LOST

BROWN DEMANDS A COST NEUTRAL BUDGET-READ WAGE FREEZE!

CAPS LEADERSHIP IS NOT PREPARED TO WIN BACK WHAT THEY LOST IN THE LAST TWO CONTRACTS…LET ALONE MAKE PROGRESS.

CAPS LEADERSHIP HAS NO WINNING STRATEGY.

ONLY YOU CAN ORGANIZE TO WIN A FAIR CONTRACT.

 

-CAPS LEADERSHIP’S TRACK RECORD:

  • GAVE AWAY 15% FOR TWO YEARS AND 5% FOR ONE YEAR TO FURLOUGHS
  • NO COLA, PUTTING US BACK 25% OVER 10 YEARS
  • LOST TWO HOLIDAYS FOR TWO YEARS
  • GAVE AWAY AN INCREASED PENSION CONTRIBUTION AND INCREASED MEDICAL CONTRIBUTION WITHOUT ANY COMPENSATORY WAGE INCREASE. AND THEN ACCEPTED ATWO TIER PENSION
  • THEY REFUSE TO ORGANIZE CONTRACT WORKERS
  • LOSING STRATEGY FOR PAY PARITY (IT BENEFITS LAWYERS, NOT US)
  • INCOMPETENT BACK-STABBING GRIEVENCE MEDIATORS
  • GIVE  $$ TO POLITICIANS WHO STAB US IN THE BACK
  • HISTORIC BLANNING & BAKER LOSING LEGAL STRATEGY EXPOSED https://capsfightingunioncaucus.wordpress.com/category/capspecg-lawsuits/

 

Their strategy is to depend on politicians, lawyers and judges instead of the rank and file. Their practice is to demobilize the membership, disassociate from the labor movement, to deny members their legal right to regular membership meetings and to illegally expel members who stand up for membership rights.

 

They bet your pay parity on a failing decade-long show trial for supervisors pay parity!

CAPS represent both management and labor in grievances!  Like in a fascist union.  How can CAPS grieve against your supervisor when your supervisors pay CAPS and are invested in CAPS winning pay parity?  How can a worker expect CAPS to protect them from management when the supervisors pay CAPS voluntarily while rank and file must pay (at least) fair share!

 

President Dennis Miller promised regular membership meetings in his 2011 campaign. Yet he continues to violate both California Corporate Code section 7510 and the CAPS 2007 Bylaws Article III Section 1 and the illegally updated 2011 Bylaws by refusing to convene regular membership (not just informational) meetings.  The only meetings CAPS holds are informational-not regular membership meetings!

 

PERB’s finding exposed CAPS leadership and Blanning and Baker LLC. to be scofflaws. The leadership illegally expelled Rachlis and illegally suspended Cosentino.  The expulsion and suspension were overturned by PERB.

 

CAPS LEADERSHIP THEN EXPELLED RACHLIS AGAIN!  TWO TIMES IN 2012 ON TRUMPED UP CHARGES!  REINSTATE RACHLIS! TURN OUT THE SCOFFLAWS!

WE NEED REGULAR MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS RUN BY THE MEMBERS!  WE NEED FAIR ELECTIONS WITHOUT CENSORSHIP!

WE NEED A NEW STRATEGY WHICH DOES NOT DEPEND ON POLITICIANS, LAWYERS OR JUDGES, BUT ON THE MOBILIZED RANK AND FILE UNITING WITH ALL PUBLIC WORKERS TAKING JOINT ACTION TO WIN!

TO WIN A DEMOCRATIC UNION AND A FAIR CONTRACT SCIENTISTS NEED TO INITATE UNIT TEN ACTION COMMITTEES AT EACH WORK PLACE!

TAKE ACTION: JOIN THE INTER-UNION ORGANIZING COMMITTEE AND PROTEST FOR A FAIR CONTRACT AT NOON, JUNE 5TH, AT THE FRONT GATE!

 

ASK: When was the last COLA

Answer:  2006 (but it was insufficient; it did not catch us up). Today your pay check buys only 3/4s of what it did in 2000!

ASK: Why were the Bylaws changed in February, 2011?

Answer:  To deny members rights enshrined in the 2007 Bylaws for annual membership meetings. Rachlis revealed in Nov., 2010 that this right was being knowingly violated by Blanning and Baker LLC., the CAPS board and Gerald James Esq., for over a decade.  Without the annual meetings the membership  has been denied any semblance of democracy.  The annual meeting was the only legal venue for installing officers and putting members concerns on the agenda or  for addressing the assembled membership.  Thus all officers elected for over 12 years now were not legally installed and all their actions have been illegal. This denial of regular meetings is a denial of CAPS contractual duty (based on the dues for bylaws exchange) to the membership and is thus the basis for the 15 million dollar theft of services charge against Blanning and Baker.

ASK: Why did the new Bylaws eliminate the annual membership meeting?

Answer: Because Rachlis exposed the leadership for not holding legally mandated (CCC & bylaws) annual meetings.

ASK: When was the last regular membership meeting?

Answer:  Over 12 years ago. Disregarding the Bylaws and CCC, members have been denied an annual regular membership meeting for over a decade.

ASK: Why are members not allowed to hold and run their own regular meetings?

Answer:  Because Blanning and Baker LLC. don’t want the membership to control their own organization. They like keeping their fingers on the purse strings.

ASK:  What is Blanning and Baker LLC. (the CAPS agents.)?

Answer: It is not a law firm as members have been led to believe.  It is a Labor Consultation firm.  Their project is not to make you money but to make money for their partnership!  Their method is schmoozing with politicians and keeping you under control.

ASK: Why do we need a profit making labor consultant to run our affairs?

Answer: Considering their track record, we don’t!

ASK: Can CAPS be reformed:

Answer: Only if a rank and file slate with a class struggle strategy and program runs for office and wins, removes Blanning and Baker LLC. as agent and charts a politically independent course of action based on a mobilized membership.

ASK: What can I do?

Answer: Form Unit 10 action committees, talk to other Unit 10 members and listen to their experiences with failed representation by Blanning and Baker LLC., and discuss the failed CAPS steward system. Run for office to replace the entrenched team, remove Blanning and Baker and reclaim CAPS for the rank and file of Unit 10.

 

Unit 10 Action Committee                              contact Charles Rachlis (415) 205-0359

Labor Donated                                                June 1, 2014

 

The Unit 10 Action Committee met on 5/21/13 and adopted the following principles and demands both on the State and on ourselves/our organization.

We will build the action committee at the CAPS informational meeting on June 4th.

We will build for inter-union solidarity action to win back what was taken from us in the last contract on June 5thduring lunch at the front gate of CDPH in conjunction with labor demonstrations in Sacramento.

PRINCIPLES OF UNITY FOR ACTION COMMITTEE
1) Turn CAPS into a union run by the democratically organized, mobilized and assembled rank and file.
2) For political independence of labor. Fund only labor candidate.
3) Unite with workers organizations (public & private), employed and unemployed, to defeat the austerity and win a fair contract.
4) Run candidates committed to political independence, to class struggle tactics, based on organizing, assembling and mobilizing the membership to develop and struggle for  their own program.

DEMANDS ON THE STATE
1) No Give Backs No Take Aways!  WE ALREADY “SHARED THE PAIN”
2) COLAS back 10 years 23%
3) Pay Parity, Geographical Pay
4) NO GIVE BACK OF HOLIDAYS!   Holidays were accepted years ago in exchange for wage demands not granted, PDD’s were granted after they stole 2 holidays.
5) Make up pay for increased worker contribution to medical and pensions.
6) State should make up for years it refused to pay into CALPERS (based on good market)
7) Overturn new retirement requirement. Pits new workers against old workers.  No two tier system.  Equal benefits for all!  No extended vestment periods.
8) Health and Safety protection, promotions, & PERS fiduciary responsibility

DEMANDS ON OURSELVES (CAPS)
1) Hold regular membership meetings, not informational meetings.
2) Regular meetings at every job site (monthly or quarterly, more often in lead up to contract talks), linked by web for broadest democratic discussion.
3) Initiate CAPS members e-forum for democratic discussion of the membership.
4) Build unity with the broader labor movement for actions against the austerity.
5) Organize the unorganized.  End contract labor.  Defend the contract workers. Demand equivalent service time and state jobs for regular contract workers.
6) Supervisors out of the union.
7) For an active steward system that communicates, mobilizes and defends the membership.
8) Elevate the strategy of membership mobilization and assembly over that of  lobbying and lawsuits.
9) Reverse the expulsion of Charles Rachlis

Adopted at the Unit 10 Action Committee meeting on May 21, 2013

 

 

June 3, 2013 Posted by | 2013 Contract | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CAPS: Kangaroo Court to Expel Rachlis Again-Rachlis responds to false charges

Response to the Budroe grievance against Rachlis to be heard by the MDRC on October 9th, 2012

 1)    The ossified self perpetuating CAPS board works obediently to maintain the subservience of CAPS to its agents (the labor profiteers at Blanning and Baker LLC,) Democratic and (on occasions) Republican Party politicians and ultimately the ruling class which profit by the demobilization of organized labor.

 2)    By denying members their right to annual/regular membership meetings, under California Corporate Code and under the 2007 CAPS Bylaws, for over ten years many members of the current board have participated in an ongoing theft of services.  The bylaws (literally second law) are a contract between the members and the organization; the members pay dues dollars and the organization is obliged to follow the bylaws.  Yet CAPS denied members their right to annual membership meetings for over 10 years and when I brought it to the attention of the board in a November 2010 letter, the board under the guidance of B&B wrote our right to an annual membership meeting out of the 2011Bylaws.  This may come as a surprise to CAPS but as far as I have been able to ascertain only corporate, fascist, and business unions deny their members the right to hold regular meetings where the members can discuss the business of the organization.

 3)    Adherence to the Bylaws and Policy Manual (PM) is not the practice of this leadership.  Had it been, CAPS would have held regular/annual membership meetings for the last twelve years (where members’ agenda points can be put before the entire membership,) Rachlis and Cosentino would not have been illegally thrown out and the CAPS leadership team would not have lost to Rachlis in the PERB decision # HO-U-1064-S which required CAPS to reinstate Rachlis retroactively to the date of his expulsion.  Playing fast and loose with the rules, are lawyer’s games and they may work to control and organization but they come  at the expense of worker’s democracy which is systematically denied.

 4)    The failure of the CAPS/B&B leadership team to deliver on the economic front and the ongoing denial of members rights has created a breech between the leadership team and the rank and file of CAPS.  By refusing to hold regular meetings CAPS leadership assured that the B&B method of filling the politicians campaign coffers with our dues dollars, and the filling of the partners of B&B’s retirement funds with millions from State Workers dues dollars would not be challenged by any attempt to mobilize the membership around a winning strategy and tactics similar to that which worked for the Chicago Teachers last month, and the Marikana miners last week.  Indeed the lack of workers’ democracy, the failure to take workers’ side in grievances with management, the multiple denials of legal counsel by B&B for workers attacked by management has left the rank and file with the feeling that CAPS/B&B work hand in hand with management instead of working for the members.  This is why an opposition slate running, of relatively unknowns, despite censored campaign statements and limited access to the ear of the membership won 25% in the last election by running on a class struggle-action program.  This type of rank and file response to such a campaign is unheard of in recent labor history.  Indeed the fact that the CAPS-Fighting Union Caucus (CAPS-FUC) won 25% in the last election has the ruling clique running scared and for that reason B&B’s stooges have launched a smear campaign to drive me out of the organization.  Miller/Chatsworth-Brown in their grievance of September 19, 2011accused us of running a campaign for the decertification of CAPS (which was not true then and is not true now) but consider the implication that if it were a campaign for decertification and 25% of the members voted for it B&B’s profit taking days and failed methods would clearly be numbered.

 5)    The current leadership team employs the so-called team concept of labor management relations assuring the supine obsequiousness of labor before management.  This method has left the membership with declining spending power for our shrinking dollar (uncompensated for by COLA’S), cuts in hours and wages due to two years of furloughs and two years of PLD’s, increased employee contribution to medical, to pensions, we lost holidays and have suffered increase of supervisory harassment, as well as racial, ethnic, age and gender discrimination expressed through arbitrary application of unreasonable work and reporting rules.  The membership, 2/3’s of which did not vote in the last election and of the remaining 1/3 who voted 25% voted for the opposition, is clearly not inspired by the leadership which reigns by the combination of inertia and denial of workers’ democracy.

 6)    Budroe bases his grievances on a ‘damning’ blog post at http://wp.me/p1OGRw-2Y published on August 25th (while Rachlis was still expelled) and claims it violated the PM’s rule against advocating for decertification.  The MDRC must reject this.

 7)    Budroe twists and misrepresents the meaning of the statements made in the ‘damning’ blog post. The following quote is lifted directly from the blog. We have highlighted key controversial phrases and will comment on their meaning further below.

 8)    “We also opposed launching a campaign to decertify CAPS without first testing the nature of the organization through assertion of membership rights as guaranteed by the bylaws, the Policy Manual, and the California Corporate Code.  Today we are convinced that CAPS can not be reformed without getting rid of B&B.  We have proved that CAPS makes contact between members a near impossibility thereby ensuring the perpetuation of the insider’s incumbency (Ms. Velez has been on the board for 17 years during 23 years as a member,) puts another weight on the scale of reform vs. decertification.  The combination of a self perpetuating board, the denial of regular membership meetings, and the vested interest of B&B’s partnership (they take between 800k-and 1.5million from unit 10 CAPS members annually and closer to 6 million annually from Unit 9 PECG members,) may require the formation of a new union and the decertification of CAPS and PECG.”

 9)    Budroe and the CAPS /B&B leadership team flummoxed from their defeat at PERB again overstretch the limits of logic as they try to fit a square peg in a round hole; the statement reproduced above is merely a statement of facts.  The facts are: there is no internal democracy in CAPS, the organization has illegally expelled me and illegally suspended Mr. Cosentino (thus establishing a track record as scofflaws) in turn it is reasonable for members of units 9 & 10 to consider that in order to establish democracy in our organizations B&B’s contract must be severed and to accomplish this objective necessity, internal remedy mechanisms may not be adequate.  May is used while expressing possibility as in “It may rain this afternoon.”  That it may not rain this afternoon is unstated yet implied by the very nature of possibility.  The statement from the blog reprinted above merely states a possibility, something scientists are often known to do; we call it stating a hypothesis.

 10) The recent denial of democratic procedure and other failures of the leadership indeed put new weights on the scale; commenting on this fact is not an indictable violation of the PM.  Indeed I am not alone at weighing the options before CAPS.  And there is no statute in the Bylaws or PM that denies members the right to talk about or write about weighing options.  Weighing options is not the same as choosing options.  Contrary to its own intention by expelling Rachlis twice in one year the CAPS board would be putting more weight on the scale that the membership is currently looking at.

 11) Budroe claims that our blog posting makes it clear that we do not advocate ‘reform from within’ and that rather we call for decertification.  Again the enmeshment between the entrenched and ossified leadership of CAPS can not disassociate itself from B&B.  The ‘damning’ blog stated “Today we are convinced that CAPS can not be reformed without getting rid of B&B”.  Without overstating the obvious we do not see the contract between CAPS and B&B as carved in stone-it must be renewed on a regular basis.  The CAPS relationship with B&B is based on a contract that the CAPS membership can, if it so chooses, not renew!  This would open the road to reform of CAPS and would shift the weight on the scale toward the possibility transforming CAPS into a fighting rank and file class-struggle organization.

 12) We’re not lawyer pussyfooters.  If we wanted to call for decertification there would be no question about the language.  It would be unambiguous and our whole record of the CAPS Fighting Union Caucus (CAPS-FUC) demonstrates this.

13) In his frantic quest to expel Rachlis twice in one year Budroe, makes additional attempts to falsify the content of the ‘damning’ blog.  For the CAPS-FUC the principle of not taking workers’ organizations to the bosses’ courts is inviolate and as such we have rejected the idea of taking CAPS to superior court to force compliance with California Corporate Code. However, as we explained in the blog, “…we can clearly see that CAPS is not a workers organization but a captive corporate run union fleecing the membership for the profits of B&B the working class principle of ‘labor cleaning its own house’ no longer applies.”  In his grievance, Budroe lifts the quote, “no longer applies,” out of context.  Budroe ascribes it to our arguments against decertification rather than to the clearly stated issue of using the courts to force some modicum of democracy (adherence to CCC-regular membership meeting, fair elections, the right to examine and copy the membership list, etc.)

14) It is time for CAPS to begin to function in a democratic manner and stop its illegal denial of membership rights and this witch hunt against members who demand our rights be respected.  If the MDRC reduces itself to the level of a kangaroo court dutifully and uncritically participating  in the Budroe witch hunt, a witch hunt which began with red baiting by Matt Austin in Superior Court, was followed up with addition red baiting by Budroe and Miller during the campaign last year and was reintroduced in the Miller/Brown grievance of September 19, 2011, then this august body will itself be soiled by its actions reducing its respectably in the world of adjudication one akin the McCarthyite House Un-American Activities Committee, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Moscow show trials which sentenced the best working class militants of the 20c to death.

15) In conclusion the MDRC has a choice. You can expel Rachlis on false charges and further expose the undemocratic nature of CAPS.  This action would confirm for many that CAPS is not Workers’ Organization but is truly a captive corporate controlled union reduced to being nothing more than a profit center for B&B and the dutiful enforcer of the capitalist austerity on the backs of the workers of unit. 10.  Or you can reject this witch hunt and open the road to workers democracy in our organization.

Charles Rachlis October 4, 2012

October 9, 2012 Posted by | CAPS WITCH HUNT | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CAPS ORDERED BY PERB TO RE-ADMIT RACHLIS! CAPS LEADERSHIP ACTS TO EXPEL RACHLIS AGAIN

Finding the January 2012 expulsion of Rachlis by the CAPS leadership, under the guidance of Blanning and Baker LLC. (B&B), to have been illegal, PERB ordered reinstatement of Rachlis retroactively to the date of his expulsion. On 9/11 CAPS rescinded Rachlis’ termination retroactively to 1/19/2012.

Continuing the practice of harassment and intimidation, executive board member John Budroe has filed a grievance against Rachlis calling for his expulsion again.   Budroe’s grievance falsely accuses Rachlis of:  “Advocating decertification of CAPS, supporting an effort to decertify CAPS as the exclusive bargaining agent for state bargaining Unit 10 or signing any document with the goal of decertifying CAPS.” (Language lifted from the Policy Manual (PM).)

But Rachlis is not the real target.  The real intention is to intimidate the Rank and File, to keep members from speaking out, from challenging B&B’s failures, their  wasting of our money,  their practice of throwing gobs of gold at lawyers and politicians while squirreling the rest into the  retirement coffers of the B&B partnership, which itself produces nothing for us. Rather they act in the interest  of the 1%  by keeping  the workers quiet, without a strike fund, without meetings, demobilized, disorganized and demoralized!

The leadership runs from these facts and does not want you to see that they have no winning strategy to defeat the austerity schemes.  Instead they turn their efforts to what they are good at–denying the membership any union democracy.  They can not produce a COLA (losing 23% to inflation over 12 years,) they can not win pay parity, geographic compensation, or secure funds for travel for conferences, training and intellectual development. They have lost every major lawsuit brought on our behalf: on the furloughs, pay parity and the stolen holidays. They tie hope for rank and file pay parity to the failed strategy of winning raises for our supervisors first (most of those working here when this case started will retire before they ever see a dime, not to mention how soon, if ever, this dream raise will reach the rank and file.) Even in the wake of the Chicago teachers strike which won a three years raise package  above of the rate of inflation, CAPS leadership has no clue how to even get us a catch up, instead they are signing side letters conceding to additional furloughs without membership discussion!  They give our dues money, which should build our strike fund, to the politicians, who after getting elected stab us in the back.  They support the regressive taxes in the Brown Proposition 30 tax hike, they shrug their shoulders when confronted by their failures, smile and say ‘look at what a good job were doing!’

Adherence to the Bylaws and Policy Manual (PM) is not the practice of this leadership.  Had it been, CAPS would have held regular/annual membership meetings for the last twelve years (where members’ agenda points can be put before the entire membership,) Rachlis and Cosentino would not have been thrown out and CAPS would not have lost to Rachlis in the PERB decision # HO-U-1064-S.

Budroe bases his grievances on a ‘damning’ blog post at http://wp.me/p1OGRw-2Y published on August 25th (while Rachlis was still expelled) and claims it violated the PM’s rule against advocating for decertification.

Budroe twists and misrepresents the meaning of the statements made in the ‘damning’ blog post. The following quote is lifted directly from the blog. We have bolded key controversial phrases and will comment on their meaning further below.

We also opposed launching a campaign to decertify CAPS without first testing the nature of the organization through assertion of membership rights as guaranteed by the bylaws, the Policy Manual, and the California Corporate Code.  Today we are convinced that CAPS can not be reformed without getting rid of B&B.  We have proved that CAPS makes contact between members a near impossibility thereby ensuring the perpetuation of the insider’s incumbency (Ms. Velez has been on the board for 17 years during 23 years as a member,) puts another weight on the scale of reform vs. decertification.    The combination of a self perpetuating board, the denial of regular membership meetings, and the vested interest of B&B’s partnership ( they take between 800k-and 1.5million from unit 10 CAPS members annually  and closer to 6 million annually from Unit 9 PECG members,) may require the formation of a new union and the decertification of CAPS and PECG.”

Budroe and his co-conspirators (Miller/Velez/Austin/Voight/B&B) flummoxed from their defeat at PERB again  overstretch the limits of logic as they try to fit a square peg in a round hole; the above statement is merely a statement of facts.  The facts are: there is no internal democracy in CAPS and that for democracy to be established, for members of units 9 & 10 internal remedy mechanisms may not be adequate.  The recent denial of democratic procedure and other failures of the leadership indeed put new weights on the scale; commenting on this fact is not an indictable violation of the PM.

Notice the use of the word may.  May, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, along with might “are basically alike in meaning, in the senses of possibility and permission….”  May is used while expressing possibility as in “It may rain this afternoon.”  That it may not rain this afternoon is unstated yet implied by the very nature of possibility.  The statement from the blog reprinted above merely states a possibility, something scientists are often known to do, we call it stating a hypothesis.

We’re not lawyer pussyfooters if we wanted to call for decertification there would be no question about the language.  It would be unambiguous and our whole record of the CAPS Fighting Union Caucus (CAPS-FUC) demonstrates this.  The action of the MRDC is nothing other than self-service by the members of the B&B clique.

Budroe makes additional attempts to falsify the content of the blog in his frantic quest to expel Rachlis twice in one year. Indeed the fact that the CAPS-FUC won 25% in the last election has the ruling clique running sacred.  For the CAPS-FUC the principle of not taking a workers organization to the bosses’ courts is inviolate and as such we have, in the past rejected the idea of taking CAPS to superior court to force compliance with California Corporate Code. However, as we explained in the blog, “…we can clearly see that CAPS is not a workers organization but a captive corporate run union fleecing the membership for the profits of B&B the working class principle of “labor cleaning its own house” no longer applies.” In his grievance, Budroe lifts the quote, “no longer applies,” out of context.  Budroe ascribes it to our arguments against decertification rather than to the clearly stated issue of using the courts to force some modicum of democracy (adherence to CCC-regular membership meeting, fair elections, the right to examine and copy the membership list, etc.)

Having experienced the MDRC inquisition once before, we know the process that is about to unfold. We understand that facts, as outlined above, do not matter to the Miller/Velez-Austin/Voight/Blanning clique.  Let’s preview what will transpire during the next expulsion hearing for Rachlis on October 9th, 2012.

The MDRC will convene (collecting their per diems and paying lawyers, like the last time, at the membership’s expense,) they will hear Budroe’s fabricated and false claims outlined above.  They will have read the objections outlined above and they will vote unanimously to recommend the board expel Rachlis again.  The board will then unanimously agree and Rachlis will be driven out of the organization twice in one year, in order to preserve the right of B&B to fleece the dues dollars of members of units 9 & 10, in order to enrich the partners of their corporation.  Only the organized membership can end this tyrannical reign of failure and profiteering.

SAVE CAPS RECLAIM YOUR UNION

Demand that Giorgio Cosentino, also illegally suspended, be immediately reinstated!  Demand that the MDRC reject the Budroe grievance against Rachlis.

The CAPS leadership and Blanning and Baker LLC.  have been exposed for their practices of illegal harassment of rank and file dues-payers, abuse of power, disregard for the rules of the organization  and the interests of the membership. The entire current leadership (which participated in and turned a blind eye to these abuses) must be removed from office and CAPS’ agents (B&B) must have their contract terminated, so that  CAPS can  become a democratic organization that relies upon the  self-organization and mobilization of its membership, rather than the good will of the  bosses’ Democratic or Republican politicians.

HOW TO TRANSFORM CAPS

1)    Ask your co-workers if they are happy with CAPS.  Unite with those who are not satisfied.  Form local committees at each work site.

2)    Contact the CAPS FIGHTING UNION CAUCUS to coordinate with groupings coming together across the state.

3)    Begin the three steps to achieve Workers Control of our union:  Educate Agitate and Organize!

4)    Educate yourself and your co-workers:  Get copies of the Bylaws and Policy Manual.  Ask the CAPS office for the old Bylaws and Policy Manual.  Ask for financial statements for the duration of your membership.  Review the CAPS legal failures  at http://wp.me/p1OGRw-y .

5)     Familiarize yourself with the California Corporate Codes under which Mutual Benefit Non-Profit Corporations like CAPS are obliged to operate.

6)    Educate your self and the membership on the various methods of trade unionism.  Ask yourself and your co-workers. “Is CAPS a workers’ organization?”  Is CAPS  a captive union, what is a business union, what is corporate unionism, what is syndicalism, what is class struggle trade unionism?  Ask what kind of program does CAPS need?  The CAPS Fighting Union Caucus offered its program of class independence and direct action at http://wp.me/p1OGRw-5 .

7)    Agitate: For your rights.  Demand your right to regular membership meetings. Not staged informational top-down meetings where “they” come to tell “us” how its going to be, but rather where workers’ democracy is applied and the agenda is open to the contributions by membership, where the entire membership is convened simultaneously, (by the magic of modern technology and democratic intention.)

8)    Agitate: For your livelihood: Demand CAPS puts its resources to organizing the membership into a fighting organization prepared to unite with all public workers in demanding retroactive COLA, for reimbursement of stolen holidays, for pay parity, for travel pay, for pensions that we can count on, for medical insurance fully funded by the employer, for adequate staffing, for professional development.

9)    Organize: Worksite action committees to prepare for the 2013 CAPS election and the Contract negotiations for the contract that expires just as we go into the CAPS election period.

10) Organize: A statewide petition for a Special meeting of the membership to discuss and decide upon the proposal to remove Blanning and Baker LLC.

11) Organize: A statewide petition for a Special meeting of the membership to discuss and decide upon the proposal to revoke the 2011 changes in the Bylaws and convene an open membership review of the Bylaws and Policy Manual.

12) Organize: a Fighting Union Caucus group at your work site to put up candidates and defeat the incumbents and turn CAPS into a democratic workers organization  which stands for the political independence of labor and for worker mobilizations to defeat the austerity schemes and win workers power.

September 28, 2012 Posted by | PERB Unfair Practice Charge | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

Radio Interview CAPS a profit center for Blanning and Baker

Radio Interview CAPS a profit center for Blanning and Baker

Interview begins at the 8:15 mark of the MP3

Our radio interview was not aired on July 23rd as originally planned.  It aired last Monday on Work Week radio hosted by Sabrina Jacobs.
http://archives.kpfa.org/data/20120820-Mon0800.mp3
The update on the PERB Unfair Practice Charge: Final arguments have been submitted and the Administrative Law Judge will make a decision in the next few weeks.  Either Rachlis (and by precedent Cosentino) will be ordered back into the organization or PERB will uphold the process by which the kangaroo court was held.
Organizing continues at work sites around the state.  Members and CAPS are talking to members of PECGS and finding the abuses by Blanning and Baker LLC that Unit 9 workers experience are the same or worse than those faced by Unit 10 workers.
Some workers advocate running for office again, as the opposition slate of relative unknowns received 25% of the vote on their first attempt,  and as only 600 members of a 2,300 members voted the current leadership knows they are vulnerable.  To unseat the current leadership in the next election we need only a few hundred more votes.
Some workers advocate using the Superior Court to enforce compliance with California Corporate Code (an issue we have reviewed in detail at the blog linked above).
Some workers advocate getting a new union to represent us.  Some say decertification is the only method which can get rid of the profit takers of Blanning and Baker LLC (B&B) and create an organization based on rank and file democracy.
I for one have always argued that fighting for leadership of the organization is the best way to create rank and file democracy.  I have argued against those who advocated use of the Court against the union and those who favored decertification.
However;  Whereas we have exhausted all internal remedies and; Whereas we have found out that the union was originally organized (the union signature cards were collected) by the profit taking corporation B&B as a profit center for their business and; Whereas we have witnessed members rights to uncensored elections violated and; Whereas we have seen members rights to membership meetings violated, and; Whereas we have seen members rights as guaranteed by California Corporate Code violated and; Whereas we have been physically battered by Matt Austin (profit taking partner at B&B) and; Whereas it has been reported to us from multiple sources that in handling  grievances Matt Austin, CAPS and PECG agents sided with management and abandoned members cases leading to members being dismissed, we are coming to new conclusions as to the nature of CAPS.
It is clear that CAPS is not a workers’ organization.  The only input workers have into the organization is our payment of dues and the ability to participate in fake elections.  If CAPS is not a workers organization what is it?   CAPS negotiates with the state for our contracts like a union but operates like a corporate profit center for B&B.  The partners of B&B have vested interest in keeping the rank and file from being organized and mobilized.  As CAPS is not a workers’ organization I have changed my viewpoint and no longer consider that the principle of not taking ones union to court no longer applies.
When workers are in a workers organization it would be unprincipled to take that organization to the bosses (the 1% ruling classes) courts.  We stand by our caucus position calling for workers to fight inside their unions for democracy not to use the bosses courts.  However as we can  clearly see that CAPS is not a workers organization but a captive corporate run union fleecing the membership for the profits of B&B the working class principle of “labor cleaning its own house” no longer applies.
We also opposed launching a campaign to decertify CAPS without first testing the nature of the organization through assertion of membership rights as guaranteed by the bylaws, the Policy Manual, and the California Corporate Code.  Today we are convinced that CAPS can not be reformed without getting rid of B&B.  We have proved that CAPS makes contact between members a near impossibility thereby ensuring the perpetuation of the insiders incumbency (Ms. Velez has been on the board for 17 years during 23 years as a member,)  puts another weight on the scale of reform vs. decertification.    The combination of a self perpetuating board, the denial of regular membership meetings, and the vested interest of B&B’s partnership ( they take between 800k-and 1.5million from unit 10 CAPS members annually  and closer to 6 million annually from Unit 9 PECG members,) may require the formation of a new union and the decertification of CAPS and PECG.
Ultimately the strategy chosen to build rank and file democracy in unit 10 and unit 9 can only be decided by the development of a network of core activists at all the major departments who find ways to self-organize, network and come together to hammer out a united strategy and tactics to build a union that can mobilize the membership in the fight against the austerity, to defend our pensions, to win our COLA, to protect our members, to oppose outside contracting, to united with all other public workers and build a movement which does not subordinate itself to the bosses politicians in the Democratic and Republican parties (whom our unions give our dues to and who stab us in the chest when they get into office.)
Are you ready to build a core of caucus activists at you job site?  Ready to network with other unit 9 & 10 members around the state?
Ready for union democracy?
If so contact us and we will join forces to put Blanning and Baker out of business, create union democracy and unite all public workers in action to defend our standard of living by fighting the imposition of  austerity with all workers and workers organizations!

August 25, 2012 Posted by | CAPS/PECG lawsuits | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HOW TO DEFEAT THE BROWN FURLOUGH & WHY CAN’T THE CAPS LEADERSHIP DELIVER?

 President David Miller promised, to convene regular worksite meetings (not regular membership meetings), to win pay equity, to fight hard for the working scientist but instead he and his team of self perpetuating incumbents, just like Unit 9’s PECG leadership are merely pawns on some one else’s chess board.   While scientists and engineers are finding their middle class expectations evaporating as quickly as the mirage that was the “American Dream,” the Blanning and Baker (B&B) team and the Miller regime have nothing to offer the membership except the heads of the rank and file oppositionists on a platter.  Meanwhile SEIU 1021 representing the SF City workers just won a no concessions contract after a strong strike authorization vote, blockading traffic and temporarily occupying city hall.  In the UK the IWW  defeated an attack on the wages and hours of janitors at St. Georges University of London.  Today the bosses and their two bit politicians are vulnerable and can be defeated by militant rank and file mobilizations and job actions but the CAPS/PECG leadership bound and gagged by B&B have nothing to offer our members but cuts in wages!  DO NOTHING AND WATCH YOUR WAGES GET CUT!  ORGANIZE FOR STRIKES NOT FURLOUGHS AND WE WIN!

 You may wonder why for years we have heard about CAPS bold legal strategies but  never that our lawsuits nearly always lose.  You may wonder what stroke of genius led to the failed strategy of relying on the courts and politicians rather than on the organized strength of the rank and file.  The CAPS/PECG strategy to rely on the courts, profits the lawyers whom B&B engages but does nothing for the membership as we outlined at our blog tracing their history of failure.  Their strategy is to give hundreds of thousands in each election cycle to the very politicians who represent the interests of the 1% has won us nothing but concessionary contracts, with more give backs to come.

Look at these two failing organizations (CAPS & PECG) and ask qui bono? Who has made a career of misrepresenting the Unit 10 scientists and Unit 9 engineers? Who ends up with all our dues money? Who is so afraid of the membership that they refused to hold a regular membership meeting for over ten years, who is so afraid of transparency that they refuse to inform the members when they revise the bylaws and policy manual?  That would be Blanning and Baker LLC (B&B). 

 This firm has taken our unions (CAPS & PECG), which are organized as Mutual Benefit Non-Profit Corporations, has held them captive and turned them into profit centers for their partners.  B&B have little interest in putting up a real fight for our interests, their goal is to funnel your dues dollars into their partners’ 401K’s not to assure your wages and conditions!   So far they have been successful accomplishing their goal at our expense!

 Hence we will not see President David Miller prepare the membership to win us pay equity, he will not organize the membership to win ten years back COLA, he will not win back pay from the stolen holidays, he will not prevent or even try to fight the impending Brown furlough.  Rather he will negotiate with Brown about how we are to be robbed, either via the brutally long 9.5 hour day or the re-imposition of the floating furlough day. THE BOSSES SAY CUT HOURS AND PAY CAPS SHOULD SAY SHARE THE WORK THIRTY HOURS WORK FOR FOURTY HOURS PAY-CREATE JOBS FOR ALL!

 Why won’t Miller organize a broad coalition with PECG, AFSCME, Local 39,  & SEIU 1000 to show some muscle and stand up to Gov. Brown (Arnie 2 or Meg in trousers)?  Not because he has no faith in the power of the rank and file; but rather, like the majority of the trade union leadership in this nation, Miller has rejected the strategy and tactics that built the unions in the first place.  While the 1% has declared war on working people and in particular public workers unions, B&B and the Miller regime scoff at class struggle methods and instead contain the membership by keeping them from meeting and organizing together. 

 The Miller/Velez regime, held their kangaroo court to get rid of Rachlis/Cosentino not only because they fought for democracy in CAPS but because the caucus offered a more appropriate method of struggle with which to respond to the class war launched by the 1%-the ruling class to impose the austerity on working and poor people.  But Miller/Velez are subservient to both the profit takers of B&B and the capitalists’ bought and paid for politicians in Sacramento (see April’s issue of the Capsule for the snapshots of CAPS leaders embracing the banksters’ political stooges.) They will help to impose the next phase of the bosses austerity on the membership by offering more concessions rather than organizing a united front of public workers to take collective job actions! 

 Not directly in word but definitively by deed, B&B and the CAPS Miller/Velez regime push the bosses’ lie, that there is no money in the state of California and that we, must help pay for the crisis that the failing structures of capitalism has created.  They ignore the fact that there are over 80 billionaires in the state of California and these hoarders of capital rely on the delusion that it is the political stalemate in Sacramento which prevents the people from liberating the funds from the billionaires and the mega corporations. 

 The fact is if Californians waits until tax reform is voted on in Sacramento or for proposition 13 to be revised we will all be dead and in our graves.  The electoral system has failed the working people, the elderly, the students, the unemployed, and specially oppressed.  The electoral system is controlled lock stock and barrel by the 1%.  This leaves workers with only one weapon with which we can exert our economic and social weight on the political stalemate.  To respond to their class war we need to stop the wheels of production.  We need to unite all public workers, students, and recipients of state services to launch an indefinite general strike.  After about a week shutting down the state the billionaires will be throwing money at the problem because they can not sustain their profit making without the state workers keeping the state functioning!  WE ARE THE POWER THAT ALLOWS CAPITAL TO PROFIT!  

 CAPS leadership and B&B’s inability to fight for our interests should come as no surprise to anyone who has had to fight a grievance with management.  In case after case CAPS and PECG members have reported that B&B (which is supposed to provide advocates on our behalf) have sent their partners Matt Austin or Chris Voight and these characters sided with management against the workers or arrived at hearings unprepared, or gave the member the impression that they were lawyers only to revel at the last moment that they are not lawyers.  In other cases they told rank and file they could not represent them or strung them out for so long that the members retained other counsel; only to find out that once you retain outside counsel CAPS or PECG are no longer obliged to represent you, thus letting B&B off the hook.

 CAPS leadership incapable of keeping its promises to the membership has instead expelled members who advocated alternate tactics of organizing to defend our interests.

After censoring the opposition’s campaign statements, denying candidates their right to access the membership and denying the membership the right to annual membership meetings, the leadership under the direction of the dues sucking leaches at Blanning and Baker chose to sell the membership out in order to keep their friendly relations with the politicians they cozy up to. 

 For the membership to defeat the Brown furlough and win what we deserve we need to take our union back.  Demand no concessions!  Demand and emergency statewide membership meeting! Demand a united front of all public workers to prepare for job actions now!  DON’T WAIT FOR THE UNION LEADERS ORGANIZE INTER-UNION ORGANIZING COMMITTEES IN EVERY WORK PLACE, PREPARE FOR GENERAL STRIKE!

June 4, 2012 Posted by | Brown's Furlough | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PERB ALLEGES VIOLATION OF CAPS MEMBERS RIGHTS BY CAPS!

 

CAPS will have to answer to the Office of the General Counsel of PERB  for terminating Rachlis and Suspending Cosentino

 To summarize the PERB letter of March 30th 2012, addressed to both Rachlis and CAPS executive director Mr. Voight  regarding Case No. SF-CO-60-S the General Counsel of PERB issues a COMPLAINT on behalf of PERB and ALLEGES Respondent (CAPS) acted contrary to its own policy manual and/or Government Code section 3515.5 in failing to investigate allegations of misconduct at the time they were presented to Respondent’s Membership Discipline Review Committee and failed to convene a hearing within thirty days thus violating Government Code section 3519.5(b) (failure to apply reasonable membership rules).  Violation of 3519.5(b) interfered with members rights guaranteed by the Ralph C Dills Act.  (It appears PERB is guided and informed by this previous decision http://www.perb.ca.gov/decisionbank/pdfs/1479-s.pdf)

 This means that PERB recognizes that CAPS violated its own Policy Manual.  When current President (then treasurer) David Miller filed his grievance against Rachlis & Cosentino with CAPS on September 19th 2011, the clock started ticking. CAPS then had 30 days within which to convene a hearing. That hearing was not held until January 11th 2012.   PERB did not buy the Blanning and Baker explanation that they (CAPS) did not have to abide their own Policy Manual because the organization was in an election period and was thus too busy to conduct both an election and oblige protocol and follow  the law at the same time.  So when the grievances against Rachlis and Cosentino were finally delivered to them on Christmas eve, grievances which would ultimately lead to the  expulsion of Rachlis & Cosentino from CAPS, it was already too late!  Thus as was contended at the hearing the hearings themselves were illegal.  

 The Blanning and Baker lawyers should have known this, hello- they wrote the Policy Manual!  Members are asking if CAPS executive director Chris Voight (informed by Blanning and Baker lawyers) knew the rules why did they skirt them?   

 CAPS and PECGS members concerned with transparency are asking what was Blanning and Baker’s intention?  Either the Blanning and Baker law team is incompetent, as its failure at superior court and the bad advice as per the hearing demonstrates, not to mention their track record of failures in the furlough cases and our back holiday pay, in which case they should be dismissed from serving CAPS for pure incompetence.  Or they were carrying out a campaign to harass and conduct retribution against Rachlis and Cosentino because we exposed Blanning and Baker’s role in denying the memberships its right to annual regular meetings for 10+ years, for draining our bank accounts, for selling us out in negotiations and passing our dues to the same politicians who oppose us in negotiations; in which case they should be dismissed for carrying out retribution against members and possibly opening the organization up to liability for those action!     

 CAPS members want full transparency, members need to see if  the Blanning and Baker staff are acting in our interests or if are they milking the cow to keep the billable hours flowing to Blanning and Baker’s accounts receivables.  Members wonder about this because every time Austin, Voight and the rest of the Blanning and Baker staff carry out these vindictive attacks against CAPS and PECGS members they write up their billable hours which are charge against the membership!   

 It appears that Blanning and Baker collect from CAPS and PECGS while they  neglect our members  grievances and when we call them on it they  and use our own money against us!  Members are allowed the financial records of CAPS but we are denied any information about the corporation (B&B)  which CAPS and PECGS sustain!  CAPS and PECGS members want to know the salaries of the Blanning and Baker partners who have made a career sharing in the profits drawn from PECGS,CAPS and other state workers organizations!  PECGS members want to know why their organization is paying Blanning and Baker a 5% increase this year.  CAPS members want to know if CAPS will also be strong-armed into paying more to be serviced by Blanning and Baker!

 The membership wonders how much of our money did Blanning and Baker waste when they unsuccessfully took Rachlis to court after  Matt Austin hit him in the union office?  The membership wants to know  how much money was  wasted when they convened a hearing, hired an outside contracted lawyer and paid them selves per diem’s to illegally hold the Kangaroo court expelling Cosentino and Rachlis!  The membership wants to know is it the regular practice of Blanning and Baker to intimidate and hound trade unionists out of the organizations they service?

 There is little doubt that Rachlis and Cosentino will be reinstated to membership in CAPS!   There is little doubt the membership of CAPS and PECGS will demand full transparency so we can assess the efficacy of Blanning and Baker LLC as regards our memberships concerns and affairs!

 

April 3, 2012 Posted by | PERB Unfair Practice Charge | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PERB COMPLAINT: supplemental information to UPC SF-CO-60-S

Supplemental information for the PERB complaint Unfair Practice Charge SF-CO-60-S

1)      We argued previously that the violation of the bylaws as regards annual membership meetings has harmed myself and the membership but we did not elaborate on how this violation harmed the membership in its relationship with our employer.  We assert that denial of the mechanisms of democracy assured in the Bylaws of the organization is not only a theft of services (as the Bylaws are a contract with the member-we pay dues and expect the process in the Bylaws to be adhered to) but results in the organization failing to fairly represent not only this employee but the entire membership for a period extending back over ten years.  We also assert that this organization has disciplined this member for asserting his rights guaranteed under California Corporate Code (CCC), for running a campaign against the entrench self perpetuating board and the corporation which acts as the organizations agent, for filing a PERB complaint and for exposing the crimes against the membership to as many members as he could reach.

To Elaborate:

It is our contention that the denial of the right to the annual membership meeting prevented the membership from discussing, among itself, all the possibilities, the strategies and tactics the union could employ to win a fair contract.  As CCC guaranteed regular membership meetings and the Bylaws guaranteed Annual membership meetings have been denied us for over a decade,  as we have no internal venue for intra-membership communication, as our job sites are spread across the entire state and as Unit 10 and CAPS members work for numerous Branches of the State Government we have no other venue than the annual or regular meetings, to have a democratic discussion of the strategy and tactics we collectively want to utilize in negotiations with our employer.  This denial of our right to participate in the negotiation process is a direct violation of our right to fair representation and makes it impossible for the organizations leading bodies or their agents to fairly represent the employees in dealing with our employer.

CAPS argues that this violation of CCC and the violations of the Bylaws are an internal matter.   We must ask who in CAPS is making this argument?  Are they legally installed officers of the organization or are they a self perpetuating board which has usurped power from the membership by allowing the agents to misrepresent themselves as a law firm and convince members they have no rights in the CCC or the Bylaws to which they are obliged to abide?

Our contention is that without convening regular membership meetings as guaranteed by CCC and without convening the Annual Meetings, as described in the old Bylaws and the current Policy Manual (PM), the cabal of self perpetuating board members, under undue influence of the Blanning and Baker LLC (B&B), operate outside both the letter of the law and the intent of the Bylaws and thus are not legal representatives of our Rank and File and have no right to negotiate on our behalf.  Thus those negotiating for the membership can not fairly represent the employees in dealing with our employer.  Ultimately every contract signed by this team since one year after the last convocation of an Annual membership meeting (over ten years ago) has been signed by officers not installed under the Bylaws of the organization and should be found to be null and void.  The negotiation of Unit 10 contract by a negotiating team which is not legitimately installed as per CAPS Bylaws has harmed my and the memberships conditions of employment by negating our right to input into our negotiations via the Annual Membership meeting or the regular meeting. 

2)      In the response to our UPC it was stated “that CAPS has always elected its Board of Directors by mail ballot, which is the same manner in which it conducts all its business.  In the past, CAPS held an annual meeting of the members in conjunction with its organizational meeting of the Board following each Board’s election. It has discontinued this practice for approximately the past ten years.”

Yet according to the CAPS policy Manual Feb 2011 Page 18 of 31 Section V. B.2. States that “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).

Despite the use of the term Annual Meeting in the 2011 PM that term “Annual Meeting” has been written out of, and no longer appears in the 2011 revision of the CAPS bylaws.

At the November 2010 (non-binding) informational meeting held without quorum the charging party informed both the leadership, the agents of CAPS  and the assembled Rank and File that our right to an Annual Membership Meeting had been denied for  ten years and that without this right there is no place (other than a special meeting) in the Bylaws where members can exert their rights according to the 2007 Bylaws Article III Section 1 ( c) and in such a meeting transact business other than installation of officers.  To be more concise the Annual Membership and the Special meeting are the only venue provided by the laws or Bylaws guiding the organization for a member to put items on the agenda before the assembled membership (either in a room or a digitally enhanced meeting or in a letter) in the presence of a quorum thus empowered to make decisions for the organization.   

As CAPS has already told us they ceased to hold the Annual Membership meeting over 10 years ago.  And in following up on my notice, of this violation, both of the Bylaws and California Corporate Code, the board met in February 2011 and wrote any mention of the Annual Membership meeting out of the Bylaws but left its mention in the PM which was revised at the same time (I presume by mistake) practice as they tried to hide the members’ rights from the Rank and File.  They subsequently refused to notice the membership of the changes, not posting or distributing the new Bylaws or PM and not even mentioning the changes in the monthly newsletter.  This change left only one venue open and that venue was the Special Meeting which requires a petition of the membership to convene.  Yet as stated in the  UPC (we submitted on 9/20/2011) the refusal to allow the access to the membership list (with names and addresses as is our right detailed in CCC) CAPS leadership prevents its membership from accessing each other and accumulating the signatures to petition for a Special Meeting.  Thus all means to address the membership on questions of fair representation have been denied or curtailed to the extent that all such attempts are impossible.  As the members have been denied all remedy to the board and our agents denial of our rights to annual, regular and special meetings the organization’s leading bodies  has insulated itself from ever having to abide the democratic discussion and decision making process of the membership and has thus failed to allow itself the exposure necessary to fairly represent the employees in dealing with our employer.

We therefor assert that without a democratic discussion among the membership the negotiating committee and the organizations agents in Blanning and Baker LLC (B&B) were free to conduct negotiations on our behalf, impacting the conditions of our employ without any oversight by the membership because there was never any annual, regular or special meeting to discuss the content of the tentative agreement or the course of the negotiations, rather the vote on the Tentative Agreement (TA) was held by ballot (which would not be a major violation of democracy had a regular meeting been convened to discuss the TA before the membership, prior to the mailing of the ballots).  This failure of process has extended for a decade calling into question every contract signed by CAPS for the duration.

Furthermore the negotiations were held between parties who acted on behalf of a Governor with whom the agents of CAPS have a special relationship.  The agents of CAPS represent a number of other labor organizations.  On behalf of CAPS and these other organizations, B&B have delivered hundreds of thousands of dues payer’s dollars to the campaigns of the legislators and the Governor, who are our employer. 

The cozy relationship, greased with buckets of cash, between the CAPS negotiating team, the agents of CAPS and the politicians to whom the CAPS negotiators faced across the negotiating table, though not technically illegal, can only be held in check by democracy in the organization.  When the negotiators for the membership have just given the employer (the Governors campaign) tens of thousands of dollars one would have to be blind and ignorant not to conclude that these negotiators are not capable of fairly representing the employees in dealing with the employer.

On might say, “well that’s how government works”, but if we look not only at the act but at the result we have to wonder who it works for?  If it were possible to give money to a politician and get your way (as Halliburton does for example) you would expect a quid pro quo, we CAPS members could expect that the politicians would look upon our contract negotiations in light of the fat envelopes we passed on to them, but that would be illegal (even though it worked for Halliburton and they got the Halliburton exemption which protects them from litigation in fracking water contamination cases).  So if  quid pro quo is illegal what is the purpose of the fat envelopes which passed from the CAPS agents to the politicians they would soon sit across the negotiating table from? 

B&B (the CAPS agents’) parade around Sacramento with envelopes full of checks which they dole out to the political campaigns.  It should also be noted that Matt Austin CFO of B&B ran for office in San Francisco in the same political party to which the majority of the checks were doled out to.  And David Miller (currently President of CAPS) received fifteen thousand dollars from CAPS for his failed attempt to win a seat on the CALPERS board.  Thus the insiders in B&B and members on the Board use our dues to further their own personal ends (as was Miller’s case with his run for the CALPERS board) and so B&B can cozy up with the political elite in SF (as was the case with Matt Austin’s run for party representative in his home Marina district in).  When all the politicians are arrayed against state workers interests and our agents have a personal interest in not burning those bridges it is impossible to say they can fairly represent me or the members in negotiations with those they are ultimately playing footsie with!

Again there was nothing illegal (as far as I know or am claiming) about either of their campaigns, nor was the fact that CAPS gave money to Miller’s campaign without being consulted a crime, but it sets up a pattern of behavior where we see the board and the agents of CAPS treating the organization and its resources as their own personal fiefdom which they can draw upon with the votes of a handful of illegally installed officers and do not have to answer to the membership as they pursue their own political careers at our expense (both in dollars and in political influence).  In short the board and B&B can not be an objective negotiator sitting across from the table from those who they hand out checks to every election cycle unless the membership has a democratic venue with which to rein them in.

Who can deny that the corporation B&B gains clout be being able to deliver stacks of checks to politicians?  And again while it is not illegal we must consider that in the real world no one give thousands of dollars to anyone without expecting something in return (except CAPS members who shell it all over to B&B).  As the B&B and CAPS board had no reason to expect anything in return, in the way of better terms, from the incumbents to whom they contributed our dues dollars (in particular because all the candidates ran on a program of austerity and making the workers not the billionaires pay for the crisis), these players acted to assure their clout would be enhanced for their future political aims.  As we all know brushing shoulders with politicians does not win favor, but greasing the palm does.  So as we (CAPS membership) got nothing for all the grease we must ask what is the Quid pro Quo.  What did the $500,000 distributed in the last election cycle buy the likes of Matt Austin, Chris Voight and David Miller?   Because it brought the membership of CAPS nothing but a rotten contract full of give backs and empty coffers.  Ultimately with democracy denied the negotiators and the agents of CAPS signed a TA with the Governor’s representative which was substantially the same as the one rejected by the membership in (non binding) straw polls conducted across the state in the summer of 2010.

We therefore assert that the CAPS leadership (illegally installed for lack of annual membership meetings) and the CAPS agents denied fair representation to the membership and negotiated in bad faith (they gave our money to the boss of the CAPS opponent across the negotiating table).  By putting more value in their relationship with the politicians, than in the rights of the members, whose dollars they liberally distributed to the politicians, we assert that these crooks and illegally seated board members harmed our conditions of employ accepting the conditions of those whom they helped put in office rather than fighting for the wishes of the membership.

Thus due to the theft of the membership’s right to meet annually for 10 years, due to the denial of the right to access the membership and convene a special meeting, and the subsequent censoring of candidates campaign statements the rank and file has been harmed in its relationship with our employer.   As demonstrated we collectively believed and demonstrated, in straw polls in 2010, that we could achieve a better deal than that which was finally agreed upon.   Without the right to internal discussion, without the annual meeting, without a venue to organize, under the pressure of ongoing furloughs (which our co-workers in SEIU had gotten out from under) the membership became demoralized, and accepted the recommendation of the negotiating team six months after the SEIU had signed their contract.

Due to the inability of CAPS members to chart our own course, we were not able to demand and fight for our rights and found ourselves on furlough for six months longer than the SEIU workers.  As has been argued by CAPS since the furloughs commenced much of our work is funded from outside sources and not the General Fund our placement on the furloughs was and remains illegal yet the leadership and B&B refuse to fight; rather they drained the memberships patience, drained by bank books with hopeless lawsuits and refused the members their right to convene a meeting an chart a new course.  And as CAPS did not accept or press to accept the SEIU master contract when it was reached in the summer of 2010 (due to our straw poll) the refusal to reimburse our lost time by the new Governor was both vindictive and grandstanding which did not save the tax payers of CA a single dime.  Thus the membership lost an additional 18 days of pay (beyond what SEIU workers lost) as our furloughs continued during the period we did not have a contract.  And as we ultimately accepted a contract with ongoing Personal Leave Days (in lieu of furlough) we lost another 12 days of pay.  Had we the freedom to hold our negotiating team in check, to conduct business at regular and annual membership meetings we could have organized the membership to take another course which may have lead to another outcome.  With that right denied we will never know if an alternate course would have been chosen or would have had alternate results but we would have had the opportunity to choose and that is what freedom and democracy is about.

3)      As it became apparent to me that the CAPS leadership and the B&B profiteers had locked democracy out of the organization I came to the conclusion that the only mechanism left to assert democracy was to run for office with the hope that the electoral process would allow us to address the membership as regards the strategic, tactical and organizational shortcomings of the organization. In our original UPC we outlined how our statements were censored by the election committee and how we were denied any reasonable access to the membership to explain our viewpoint.

Without free and fair elections the membership is denied its right to choose its own course of action as regards the upcoming negotiations in 2013.  The new board will serve as or pick the negotiating committee for the next round of negotiations and as such the only input the membership has into those negotiations are in choosing those who will serve as their representatives during the interim.  As the next negotiations will effect our terms of employ and as the election (last October) choose the team which will go into those negotiations and as that election was held in an undemocratic manner the members relationship with their employers is effected.  We do not have a team that was chosen democratically, nor do we have any venue to influence that team by asserting the collective voice of the membership.

4)      In an attempt to assert my rights (as outlined in the original UPC) and guaranteed by CCC,  I took action to gain access to the membership by requesting the membership list.  First I asked for it, then I noticed the CAPS staff that I would come to the office for it, then I went to the office only to be hit in the chest by Matt Austin when he unlocked the door to the union office and challenged with the question “what are you doing here”.  To which I stated I am here for the list.  Moments later Austin said oh Mr. Rachlis come in.  At which point I realized Matt Austin had hit at which point I shouted at him “Hey expletive you expletive hit me.”  After a series of back and forth Austin got up in my faces and sneered, “Listen Buster you don’t know who you’re messing with!”  Soon after I was escorted out of the office under threat of arrest still without access to the list.  And within a week I found Austin had placed a restraining order on me preventing me from coming to the union office.  His charge against me was harassment, and when he tried to have the restraining order extended for three years the judge in the superior court rejected his claim and all his assertions and testimony.  But before the ink was dry on the court decision. Candidate for President David Miller (and then board member) drew up charges against me and Giorgio Cosentino (my slate mate in our campaign) which would ultimately see me expelled from CAPS.

In a clear act of retribution, for exposing the current cabal running the organization, Miller used the very same testimony and charges which the San Francisco Superior Court judge rejected, to assert that I had hit Matt Austin and not visa versa.  The CAPS’ Membership Disciplinary Review Committee (MDRC) accepted Austin’s testimony ultimately giving the profit taking CFO of B&B LLC the benefit of a doubt over the testimony of a rank and file dues payer. 

It was further charged that I had undertaken a decertification effort against CAPS; which is, according to the PM against the CAPS rules.  I objected to these charges with six arguments:

 1) First I argued that no Just Cause existed to charge me with anything in the PM because the policy manual is not readily available to the membership and;

 2) that I requested the PM both on phone and in writing prior to and during the election campaign and that I was not given a copy of the PM until the date of the ballot count about a month after the charges against me were drawn up and two months prior to my notification of those charges, and;

3) that the document submitted into evidence (to prove I called for decertification) did not launch a campaign for or advocate decertification it merely asked the rhetorical question, in a general manner, “Is it time to decertify the State public workers unions?” The leaflet asserted that we needed to have one big union to stand strong in our fight for a fair contract.  No where could the accusers point to any statement calling on workers to decertify CAPS, to sign a petition to decertify CAPS, to join a committee to decertify CAPS, and:

4) I objected to the inclusion of the leaflet in the charges as it was over a year old and charges need to be brought within six weeks of the alleged violation as per the Policy Manual Section K. 6.a. and;

5) the charges against me were written and delivered to the MDRC in Mid September (the 19th  I believe) but the charges were not delivered to my address until December 24th a full three months after they were delivered to the committee.  This delaying tactic was in violation of PM K.6.f. which states: “This hearing shall be in person, or by conference call, or a combination of each, to begin within 30 days of the Committees receipt of charge(s).  The Committee, after hearing, shall make a determination whether the charges are valid and if so whether the charged party should be issued a written admonition, suspended from membership for a finite period of time or dismissed from membership.” When I objected to the delay of three months the MDRC cited the elections as reason for the delay although no statute of the PM points to reasons for such a delay.

6) I demanded that members of the MDRC , who were my opponents in the campaign (the ex-president now vice-president Patty Valez ) and who had been recipients of the April 2010 email from Matt Austin (and who did not admonish him at the time), recuse themselves or be challenged for cause.  Those members of the MDRC refused to recuse themselves and when I challenged them for cause as per PM K.6.e. the rest of the MDRC voted to retain them on the committee thus the die was caste and the accused were terminated.

They further cited a statement made and later withdrawn by another candidate,Mr. Cosentino, which was posted on our campaign blog which did call for decertification and based on its placement on our blog claimed that I was responsible for another person’s statement because we were on a slate together.  When asked why the third candidate on the slate was not charged as well (as his statement was also on the blog) the accusers claimed it was their choice who to expel and who not to expel.

This selective and prejudicial behavior goes directly to the point, made in the UPC  that the minds of the board had been poisoned against me and Mr. Cosentino by Matt Austin, where I cited (and delivered to PERB in the UPC) his e-mail  of April 2010 in which he claimed that I was  in the shadows manipulating Mr. Cosentino.  Members of the CAPS MDRC who adjudicated my expulsion were recipients of the Austin letter which poisoned my reputation and shows a pattern of collusion between the ex-president (now vice president who presided over the MDRC and other on the board) and their lack of objectivity that has been compromised over a long period of time during which they take the guidance of and accept the viewpoint of the profit takers of B&B over the testimony (submitted under penalty of perjury to the superior court)of this dues payers.

As I did not hit Matt Austin, as I did not launch a campaign to decertify CAPS, as the claim that my campaign statement appeared on a blog with the statement of another was prejudicially applied to me and not to our slates Presidential candidate, there can only be one reason why I was expelled from CAPS and why Giorgio Cosentino was suspended and that reason is we polled 25% of the voting membership as two unknowns running against a slate of recycled incumbents after being extremely vocal in exposing their crimes against the membership, their lack of a winning strategy and tactics and their inability to prepare the organization for the upcoming negotiations.

This expulsion puts me and the entire membership at a disadvantage in our relationship with our employer.  1) For me I have no venue for input into the direction of the upcoming negotiations.  2) I can not attend the (totally inadequate) informational meetings (which are rarely if ever held) and which are the only place one can count on meeting the interested Unit 10 members assembled.  I am therefore denied a way to prepare a united strategy and tactics with my co-workers to achieve a fair contract with my employer.  Without this right I am subject to the decisions reached without my input (as my right to speak to the membership and vote on the contract will be denied) and decisions that affect me will continue to be made without my participation.  3) As for the class of all CAPS members my expulsion and the suspension of Mr. Cosentino serves as a warning to all members to shut up, not to step out of line, not to run for office, not to demand ones rights under CCC or the Bylaws, not to oppose their cozy relationship with the politicians whom our dues flow to even while they negotiate against us.  .

If PERB exists to defend workers rights they will nullify the CAPS election, reinstate my membership and the membership of Mr. Cosentino, and assure that a fair election be held where-in the candidate have access to the membership as per CCC and their statements are not censored.

Charles Rachlis 2/27/2012

March 19, 2012 Posted by | PERB Unfair Practice Charge | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RACHLIS Response to Grievance against Charles Rachlis brought by Miller & Brown filed on September 19, 2011

We have shown in the previous post that the charges against us are being brought in violation of the Policy Manual pg.7 paragraph f.  As we do not expect the CAPS leadership (which guides and controls the Membership Discipline Review Committee) to abide the Policy Manual we present the following response to the membership for the record.   If the CAPS leadership has its way they will expel Rachlis and Cosentino in violation of the very rules they are sworn to uphold and will have diminished the rights of all CAPS members.

 

NO JUST CAUSE IN CHARGES AGAINST RACHLIS AND COSENTINO

 In considering the charges against Charles Rachlis and Giorgio Cosentino it must be established that Just Cause exists.  The high standards and principles established in the landmark Enterprise Wire arbitration case from 1966, which labor has traditionally applied to conflicts with employers must also guide and be applied to our own organizations.  http://www.utoledo.edu/depts/hr/hsc/pdf/just_cause.pdf 

 “The basic elements of just cause which different arbitrators have emphasized have been reduced to seven tests. These tests, in the form of questions, represent the most specifically articulated analysis of the just cause standard as an extremely practical approach. A “no” answer to one or more of the questions means that just cause either was not satisfied or at least was seriously weakened.”

“1) NOTICE: Did MCO give the employee forewarning or foreknowledge of the possible or probably disciplinary consequences of the employee’s conduct?

a. Forewarning/foreknowledge: orally by Management, in writing through typed or printed sheets or books of work rules &of penalties for violation thereof….

 Did Rachlis and Cosentino have means to be aware of, were they given the documents, printed sheets, or books of rules which would have made them aware of the policies, to which they are now being held accountable to abide?  The answer is an absolute no!  The allegations in the grievance are predicated upon the CAPS Policy Manual which both Cosentino and Rachlis had been requesting since before the election campaign.  Charles Rachlis did not receive it until the day of the ballot count in Sacramento, from David Miller himself and Giorgio Cosentino did not receive it until mid-October; long after the grievances Miller/Brown had penned against us were submitted.

Indeed the same lack of transparency which keeps the bylaws off of the CAPS website also keeps the policy manual off the web site away from prying eyes of the membership.  Despite repeated requests rank and file members were denied access to this document. Only a kangaroo court could find JUST CAUSE under these conditions therefore all these charges must be dismissed.

The CAPS leadership can not have it both ways.  You can not deny members access to the very book of rules from which you derive charges against them.  Not in any democratic organization.  Such practices are common however in Stalinist and Fascist dictatorships which kind of organization is CAPS?

What follows is the record that shows we have tried to get a copy of the Policy Manual for over a year and have been ignored, patronized and stonewalled by the very staff and leadership which is supposed to treat all members fairly and with respect

Consider the secretive practices of the board.  After we pointed out the failure of the board to adhere to the 2007 Bylaws at the November 2010 informational meetings, the board, without noticing the membership, without submitting the proposed bylaws and Policy Manual changes to the members for discussion, amended both those documents in February of 2011. 

The result was that the board wrote the memberships’ right to an annual membership meeting out of the 2011 revision.  The revised Bylaws & Policy Manual were never posted or universally distributed.  Few members even knew they had been changed or that the Policy Manual even existed at all.  This lack of transparency, denial of membership participation and lack of notification about the changes in the rules of the organization is designed to keep the membership uninformed and in turn has created conditions where members are being charged with violations of rules which they are not allowed to know of in a timely manner. In August of 2011 I had to inquire as to the changes that were enacted.

On 8/8/11 I wrote:

To the CAPS board and executive director,

There is rumor that the executive board has passed a new by-laws for the organization.  Is there truth to this scuttle-but? If so I request that you immediately send me a copy of the new by-laws, the old by-laws and the minutes from the meeting where the changes occurred. 

Thank you,

Charles Rachlis

Associate Industrial Hygienist

This policy document was finally delivered to both Rachlis and Cosentino after the charges crafted by Miller and Brown were submitted on September 19th despite the executive director’s claim that timely distribution of the document was forthcoming on July 5th 2011.

CONSIDER THE STONEWALLING:

From: Chris Voight [mailto:cvoight@capsscientists.org]
Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2011 10:30 AM
To: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Subject: RE: Bylaws and policy file on website?

Giorgio,

Feel free to ask any time.  You are a member and have a right to ask any question.  We will try to always respond promptly and on point.  In this case, the leadership has chosen not to post those particular documents on line, but rather to provide them to any member who requests them.  We do so promptly and so far have seen no pressing need to post them.  The concern here is that posting them, even in the minimally secure “member only” section on the web page, will make them accessible to individuals far beyond the membership. I will copy your request and my reply to the leadership in the event they may want to reconsider their position on this issue. 

Christopher J. Voight

Staff Director

“Important Work Deserves Fair Pay”

www.capsscientists.org

916-441-2629

So for Giorgio Cosentino  to “promptly” receive the policy manual it took  four months, from July 5th  when Chris Voight assured prompt delivery,  until mid October when it was finally mailed after Mr. Cosentino offered to visit the Sacramento office on October 13th.  This is only prompt in geologic terms not in internal union business terms.  This denial of access to the very document upon which the grievances are brought is why no just cause exists.

Consider the following e-mail from Barryett Enge, who has acted as a CAPS shop steward at Richmond campus on and off for years responded to Giorgio’s search for the Policy manual as early as January 27th 2010.

From: Enge, Barryett (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 1:57 PM
To: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Subject: message[secure]

Hello Giorgio,

I received your message. There seems to be some discrepancy, I am unaware of any CAPS people who have this document that you are seeking. As mentioned before, such has never been in my possession. In fact, Chris Voight stated that he had not seen it in years. The only document that I have regarding CAPS members is the booklet, our MOU which covers multiple topics.

Since you feel that you have not been well represented by Matt, do proceed with your plan.

Barryett Enge

Public Health Microbiologist II Virology
510 307 8530
 

This denial of access to the Policy Manual went on for over a year and a half See Giorgio’s requests in September 2011: 

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 12:37 PM
To: ‘caps@capsscientists.org’
Subject: Current Policy File?

Hi,

Is the current Policy File dated 11/3/2007?  Thank you for the clarification.

Giorgio

Giorgio Cosentino, PHM

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 3:28 PM
To: ‘caps@capsscientists.org’
Subject: RE: Current Policy File?

Hi,

Liz just answered my question.  I do have the new bylaws, but not the new policy file dated 2/12/2011.  Any chance of emailing or faxing to me as I could use today if possible?  Thanks.

FAX 510-307-8599

Giorgio

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 4:08 PM
To: Enge, Barryett (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Cc: ‘caps@capsscientists.org’
Subject: RE: Current Policy File?

Hi Barryett,

Do you have a copy of this on you that I can stop by and see?  Thanks.

Giorgio

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 1:29 PM
To: ‘CAPS’ (caps@capsscientists.org)
Subject: RE: Current Policy File?

Can I please have a copy of this?  Thank you.

Sincerely,

Giorgio Cosentino

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 3:12 PM
To: ”CAPS’ (caps@capsscientists.org)’
Subject: RE: Current Policy File?

Hi,

I was previously told the following.

“Giorgio,

We ALWAYS provide bylaws and policy promptly upon request of any member.”

I would like to receive a copy of the new Policy File before I leave work today at 5:00 as I need it for the weekend.  Thank you.

Giorgio

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 5:18 PM
To: ”CAPS’ (caps@capsscientists.org)’
Subject: Policy file not yet received 

Did I use the wrong email address for this request?  

Giorgio

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 8:44 AM
To: Kristen Haynie (kristenh@capsscientists.org)
Subject: Policy File not available to me?

Dear Kristen,

I have been requesting a copy of the new policy file which previously I was told was available “immediately upon request.”  I was told you are one of the contacts for this request, but you have not replied. 

Recently, I sent a communication to PERB, copying our President.  Anyone who viewed my candidate statement would know about my communication with PERB.  I am doing my best to follow the laws outlined by the Dills Act in order to address concerns I have as a member of CAPS and I understand it might not be pleasant for you and for that I apologize.  It is not personal.  To be honest, I do not like being in this situation at all. 

Can you please respond to my query for the policy file.  If you do not, then I will have to wonder if I am now being discriminated against as a result of exercising the rights I have per 3519.5 (b) of the Dills Act (please see below).  I hope that is not the case and that you have just been too busy.  Then please let me know when you can provide me with this document. 

Thanks, Kristen.

Respectfully,

Giorgio

Dills Act

3519.5. Unlawful actions by employee organizations

It shall be unlawful for an employee organization to:

(a) Cause or attempt to cause the state to violate Section 3519.

(b) Impose or threaten to impose reprisals on employees, to discriminate or threaten to discriminate against employees, or otherwise to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees because of their exercise of rights guaranteed by this chapter.

Giorgio Cosentino, PHM

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL) [mailto:Giorgio.Cosentino@cdph.ca.gov]
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2011 1:23 PM
To: caps@capsscientists.org; kristenh@capsscientists.org; cvoight@capsscientists.org
Cc: Enge, Barryett (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL); Rachlis, Charles (CDPH-ADM-PSB-FMS); Wright, Will (CDPH-ADM-PSB-FMS); pvelez@capsscientists.org
Subject: Requesting confirmation regarding October 13th office visit

Hi Kristen and Chris,

I am requesting confirmation that staff will be available in the Sacramento CAPS office on October 13th, allowing me to copy the current Policy File.  Thank you.

Giorgio

Giorgio Cosentino, PHM

 And when did we finally get the document?

From: Chris Voight [mailto:cvoight@capsscientists.org]
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 2:39 PM
To: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Subject: RE: Requesting confirmation regarding October 13th office visit

 A copy of the CAPS Policy and Practice Manual has been mailed to you today, per Patty Velez. 

 Christopher J. Voight

Staff Director

“Important Work Deserves Fair Pay”

www.capsscientists.org

916-441-2629

 Just prior to the opening of the election campaign period I (Charles Rachlis) called Sacramento and talked to a CAPS/B&B staffer (I think it was)Linda and asked for the current Policy Manual to be sent to me, I was told it would be sent the next day.  I did this because Giorgio insisted that such a document existed and that he had been e-mailing the staff for weeks asking for it to no avail.  As stated, the document upon which the allegations in the grievance were drawn up by President David Miller was not delivered to me until after the charges were penned.  President David Miller knows this as he is the person who delivered the Policy Manual to me, during the ballot count in October.  Hence there is no JUST CAUSE AND THE CHARGES AGAINST RACHLIS AND COSENTINO MUST BE DISMISSED. 

 Charles Rachlis

January 9, 2012

If the grievance committee is non-biased and impartial they can stop reading at this point and dismiss the charges for lack of JUST CAUSE.  However as we will show, and you (the MDRC) will prove to the membership by your pursuit of the case, these charges are a vindictive attempt to purge members from the organization who demanded democratic rights as union members and who have consistently exposed the violations of California Corporate Code and the organizations own by-laws by the incumbents under the direction of the executive director and the profit taking corporation B&B.  Therefore we expect the biased, partial and prejudicial team which makes up this kangaroo court to continue its inquiry, which would be proof enough, under any impartial review, by a reasonable person, that the sitting committee is a partial group of insiders executing a purge against the opposition.  In order to keep the CAPS dues dollars flowing to Blanning and Baker LLC., the lawyers and the Democratic and Republican party and to keep the rank and file from having free, fair and democratic discussion about the type of strategy and tactics needed to defend our working conditions in this period of economic collapse.

 2) DEMAND FOR RECUSAL OR CHALLENGE FOR CAUSE FOR MEMBERS OF MDRC.

 Patty Velez, M. Berbach, J. Budrow, S. Bauer, Y. Addassi, M. Commadoatore, and M. Gordus, must recuse themselves from any role in the MDRC as they have proven through their silent acquiescence to the prejudicial behavior and statements towards  rank and file members Charles Rachlis and Giorgio Cosentino as expressed by Matt Austin in an e-mail on April 5th, 2010 that they are biased toward Matt Austin and Chris Voight or at least that they refuse to defend the membership from slander and denial of members rights by Blanning and Baker staff..  This entire group of board members knew of and allowed prejudicial attitudes to persist and guide the direction of the organization even after the inappropriate nature of this communication was brought to their attention.  If they do not recuse themselves from being seated on the MDRC must be challenged for cause.

 Already by April 5th 2010 a year and  four months  prior to the battery committed by CFO of Blanning and Baker Matt Austin against Rank and File CAPS member Charles Rachlis then President Patty Velez, Chris Rogers (then local CAPS rep for Richmond), the rest of the board, B&B lawyer  Lisa Crvarich and Matt Austin  were all witness to Matt Austin’s prejudicial attitude against Charles Rachlis for his union activities and of Austin’s derogatory, biased, and  prejudice towards Giorgio Cosentino for his disability.  Neither the CAPS officers nor the lawyer for B&B saw anything wrong with Matt Austin’s prejudicial attitude and behavior towards dues paying members.  When this information was brought to the attention of the CAPS board no apology was offered and no admonitions were issued.  Therefore none of those then in positions of responsibility listed as recipients of these e-mails can sit as an impartial jury for those disparaged in the Austin communication of April 5th. See following two emails:

 From: Rachlis, Charles (CDPH-ADM-PSB-FMS)
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2011 8:36 AM
To: ‘pvelez@capsscientists.org’; ‘vbrown@capsscientists.org’; ‘mberbach@capsscientists.org’; ‘jbudroe@capsscientists.org’
Cc: ‘sbauer@capsscientists.org’; ‘yaddassi@capsscientists.org’; ‘mcommandatore@capsscientists.org’; ‘mgordus@capsscientists.org’; ‘dmiller@capsscientists.org’; Enge, Barryett (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL); Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL); Wright, Will (CDPH-ADM-PSB-FMS); ‘Charles Rachlis (crachlis@yahoo.com)’; ‘capsfightingunioncaucus@yahoo.com’
Subject: Austin’s record of targeting Rachlis

 Open letter to the CAPS board:

 An e-mail with prejudicial statements about Charles Rachlis and Giorgio Cosentino was left hanging at the end of a thread from Matt Austin to Chris Voight  and President Patty Valdez and copied to the board.   In this e-mail Matt is complaining about the request for assistance by Giorgio Cosentino to understand union and grievance procedures.   Blanning and Baker LCC are shown in their own words to be incapable of representing the membership impartially.  Reproduced below is the e-mail  from the end of the thread  that the membership, Giorgio and I were never meant to see.

 What this indicates is that long before Matt Austin’s violent, threatening and uncivilized outburst at the CAPS office on Friday which resulted in the SFPD calling my home and warning me of arrest if I appear at the CAPS office again, he was interfering in internal CAPS politics by prejudicially influencing the current president and the executive director  against me by labeling me as some  sort of nefarious behind the scenes operator  and that somehow I convinced the hapless Giorgio that great wrongs have been done to him.   

 This behind the scenes interference with the objectivity of the President of our organization  out of the  site of the membership is proof positive that Blanning and Baker are not objective agents serving the interests of the entire membership.  Rather they are political players doing everything they can to maintain control of CAPS and the other unions in which they most likely run the same type of power plays to control a dues base. 

 CAPS has lost its independence and is clearly a captive union under corporate control.  The board is under obligation to the membership to immediately convene a meeting of the membership to address the captive nature of the organization and immediately take action to regain its independence.

 Charles Rachlis

 —–Original Message—–

From: H. Mattson Austin [mailto:mattsona@pacbell.net]

Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 4:28 PM

To: Chris Voight; Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)

Cc: Rogers, Chris (CDPH-FDLB); Velez, Patty@DFG; Lisa Crvarich

Subject: Re: Accessibility of bylaws and policy file?

Ahh, Giorgio again. 

I’m not sure what he’s up to with “meeting with a few colleagues to discuss the representation processs”, but he has insinuated repeatedly that something is amiss and thinks that this general policy document contains the seeds of some great wrong that has been perpetrated upon him, or upon the membership.  I see the shadow of Charles Rachlis back there somewhere, fomenting that because Giorgio, through his disability, needs some special “manual” in order to deal with “his relationship” with CAPS, he is somehow being harmed greatly.

In fact, Giorgio’s constant repetition of wanting to discuss the manual went so far as to have Chris Rogers offer to sit down with him with the manual and go over anything he needed to see.  The manual is that innocent. 

He has, I believe, a deficit in being able to understand what is happening around him. 

-Matt

Note Matt Austin’s reference to Giorgio’s need for some special “manual” in order to deal with “his relationship” with CAPSINDEED THIS MANUAL, WHICH AUSTIN REFLECTS UPON, IS THE VERY POLICIY MANUAL FROM WHICH THE GRIEVANCES AGAINST RACHLIS AND COSENTINO ARE BEING DERIVED.  AGAIN THIS DISPLAYS DISSTAIN TOWARD DEMOCRATIC PROCESS, THIS CONDECENDING ATTITUDE ON THE PART OF CAPS AGENTS TOWARD RANK AND FILE, AND THIS DISREGARD OF THE  RIGHT TO ACCESS THE POLICY MANUAL IN A TIMELY MANNER PROVE BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT THAT NO JUST CAUSE EXISTS AND THAT THE CHARGES MUST BE DISMISSED!

That the previous board and the current chair of the MDRC knew of and did nothing about this proves their bias and inability to serve in a fair judicial review of these charges.

3) CAPS PRESIDENT ATTEMPTS PURGE IN TRADITION OF STALIN AND THE JESUITS

In the tradition of Stalin’s Moscow show trials and the Spanish Inquisition the CAPS leadership is running from the truth of its own crimes against the membership, by attacking the candidates who dared to expose them.   Kill the messenger and you can continue to sell out the membership!  For the crime of running for office and demanding democratic procedure be adhered to, candidates who ran on the CAPS Fighting Union Caucus are called to this show trial intended to lead to termination of membership to be judged by the very officers of the organization who they exposed in the last election (in which our caucus received 25% of the vote).  We denounce this kangaroo court and demand this grievance be dismissed.

Despite our appeal to reason, lack of JUST CAUSE and CONFLICT OF INTEREST we expect the purge/ show trial/ inquisition to continue.   So in the interest of informing the membership we record the following responses to the allegations put before us by the vindictive President of CAPS David Miller which are to be heard by his dutiful co-conspirator and Vice President Patty Velez who defeated me in the election for Vice President by 400+ votes to my 153 and who now sits on the committee (MDRC) formed to hear the charges.

Response to charges:

1)    The first charge referred to as conduct at the CAPS office is a total fabrication made up of lies of omission and of commission creating perjured testimony presented by Matt Austin who lied both in court and  in his court documents in order to, protect his fiefdom by  imposing a restraining order on me (Charles Rachlis) after physically battering me upon entry to the CAPS office and assaulting me with the statement “You don’t know who your messing with buster.”

The membership and the MDRC must take into account that the entire submittal and all the attachments on this charge were considered in a court  of law and  were dismissed by a judge who found Matt Austin’s claims  to be insubstantial.  Austin and Crvarich were then laughed out of court by a least a dozen trade-unionists who came to witness the attempt to impose a long-term restraining order on Rachlis.   

The link below is to the Charles Rachlis response to Lisa Crvarich and Matt Austin’s request from the court for a restraining order. After examining the Austin/Crvarich submittal and looking at the Rachlis submittal  the judge concluded that Matt Austin had no case.  The grievance committee should accept the finding of the superior court and reject the Miller/Austin/Cravich submittal. To do otherwise would be to take the word of a person we just showed by his own words to be prejudicial , a person with a track record of stalling and unethical behavior, over that of a rank and file member seeking the memberships democratic rights.

(See link to and attached documents Rachlis submitted to court in response to Austin charges.PDF and attachment #1 to hard copy)  https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B3YWBBvtz9L-ZjYwYjg0YTUtOTk4OS00NzY3LTk5ZTEtZmU2ZDE5NmVjZDc2  I stand 100% by my statement in the linked documents which were submitted to court and which formed the basis for the dismissal of the harassment charge by Austin against Rachlis.  I therefore demand that this charge be dismissed. 

2)    Advocating decertification.  As stated earlier without a copy of the policy manual being made available to me even after weeks of asking and waiting, and in the case of Mr. Cosentino months of asking and waiting, there is no way either of us  would have known the rules leading to such charges therefore there is no just cause for this charge. 

In any event I never advocated decertification of CAPS.  I asked the rhetorical question:  “Is it time to decertify the public unions and forge fighting unions”.   Those who do no understand the difference between asking a question and a statement should be sent back to school.  Consider the e-mail from Chris Voight to Giorgio  previously reproduced on page 2 of this document, dated July 5th 2011, Voight states: “You are a member and have a right to ask any question.”  Obviously this applies not only to Cosentino but to all members but now Rachlis is being purged for asking a question. You can’t have it both ways!  Either, you can ask questions or you can not!

The conclusion of that leaflet was to state that the separate unions are ineffective that to defend our rights all the unions need to fight as one and that a struggle to unite all the unions into one public workers union would better serve our interests.  This is not the call for a decertification campaign.   It is a suggestion for a strategy which could be carried out in any number of ways.  Uniting all the unions could be done via the convocation of membership meetings and democratic discussion about how to best defend our rights. In such a democratic discussion the question of creating ONE BIG UNION would be a legitimate discussion.  That the current leadership and I disagree on the road forward for labor is a given but calling for labor organizations to reconsider their organizational method and unite as one is not calling for, forming a campaign for, or  signing a document with the goal of decertifying of CAPS.   I demand that this charge be dismissed.

3)    Sending repeated unsolicited emails is listed as a charge.  Again the same objection applies without access to or being given a copy of the policy manual no JUST CAUSE exists. 

In any case we can consider the fallacy of this charge based on its merits in regard to the belatedly delivered policy manual.  Although in the CAPS policy manual this phrase refers to communications which are: “Harassing, abusing, defaming or threatening any other CAPS member for his or her exercise of union activities…”  Indeed our caucus did send a series of campaign bulletins to the membership.   However none of these communications harassed, abused, defamed or threatened any other CAPS member for his or her exercise of union activities.  All these communications were objective analysis, critique and proposals for solutions to the crisis of the illegal functioning of the CAPS organization under the current leadership and controlled by Blanning and Baker. All these communications are posted in the August, September and October archive tab at www.capsfightingunioncaucus.wordpress.com and are hereby submitted into evidence for the membership to consider.  Furthermore everyone who requested to have their e-mail addresses removed from further communications was removed.  This charge does not conform to the Policy Manual, nor is there JUST CAUSE  and it  is baseless therefore I demand that it be dismissed.

In the grievance against Rachlis an affidavit is presented by Chris Voight regarding my visit to the union offices on August 26th.  Our experience with Chris Voight is therefore relevant.  As we discovered at the November 2010 informational meeting at DTSC, Chris Voight (partner in B&B living off of the dues of Unit 10 dues and fair share payers), is an elitist who perpetuates anti-working class ideology inside of the CAPS organization.  Following that meeting we requested that the CAPS board admonish the contractor for his condescending viewpoints and elitist attitudes.  But the CAPS board did nothing thus again showing prejudicial favor to the Blanning and Baker partner whose testimony the MDRC is asked to consider over the request of a member to end elitism among CAPS agents.  His testimony, dismissed as rubbish in court, has as much place, in this hearing, as his elitist attitudes have in CAPS-NONE!  See our request to the board from that the elitism of staff members be addressed:

November 12, 2010

Please forward to the CAPS board. 

At the DTSC CAPS site meeting last week Chris Voight took time to explain to the assembled that CAPS members are professionals, that many members have advanced degrees and that we are not like those other workers; in particular he referred to janitors and administrative workers.  Presumably we do not act like them and we struggle for our rights in a more refined manner!

This is not the first time I have heard this line of reasoning from of CAPS staffers.  Members should take offense at this attempt by our staff to separate CAPS members from, create an air of rarified elitism over, and there-by prevent solidarity in word and deed with, our co-workers who are janitors, admin staff and the like; most of whom may not have had the opportunity for the elevated level of education that CAPS members had access to. 

Luckily this embarrassing derogatory attitude was not embraced by the CAPS VP (Valarie Brown) who told us that she started as an administrative person herself.  Kudos to Valarie Brown for speaking to the issue of worker equality and not bowing to the elitist viewpoint that Chris has adopted. 

There is no room in the trade union movement for this type class-ism and our board should admonish CAPS staff to change their attitude or keep it to themselves.  Ultimately this type of class-ism prevents us from uniting with our natural allies and puts us in the camp of the elite the very bosses, bankers and speculators who own the politicians we have to negotiate with for our contract.  This attitude, on the part of our staff, indicates that staff has internalized the dominant ideology which drives a wedge separating the middle class and the traditional working class and, in turn use that separation to impose the austerity on us all  with out a fight.

This commentary by Chris Voight was Blanning and Baker’s way of telling us that our options, of how to fight against the attack on our wages and benefits, are limited to reliance on the courts and the politicians (the two failed options they are masters of).  Those may be the only options Blanning and Baker are capable of envisioning but they are not the only options.  Only a few weeks ago the RNs at Children’s Hospital in Oakland (many with advanced degrees and commanding salaries which might make State Scientists feel like janitors and administrative persons) took strike action for three days.  It is not unheard of for workers in similarly “rarified positions” and with advanced degrees to show a little muscle.

Despite CAPS staffers claim that they won the furlough case, it was pointed out from the floor, that in actuality the loss of over 60 days pay so far and ongoing furloughs,  indicates that the abstract paper win in the courts has translated in to concrete hardship for our members.   While parity issues were addressed as the perpetual legal battle they have become, no one mentioned that we have lost close to 18% for lack of COLA’s over the last 10 years.  Of course parity would be nice (if it is ever won) but regular COLA’s are essential!

When one rank and file member suggested that we press Jerry Brown to end the furloughs on his first day in office, Chris and the assembled board members admonished us to not pressure Brown or expect much from him as he is already under the right wing gun and media scrutiny for supposedly being in the pocket of the unions.  Ending the furloughs, we were told, is going to take time, a long time.  And again we were assured the furloughs are, in our legal expert opinion, illegal.  One might then ask, if they are indeed illegal, what’s would be the problem of insisting that the new governor abide the law?

One might also ask why did CAPS give support to a politician who we can’t even ask to take our cause immediately.  But it is clear why.  The CAPS staff and apparently the board have distain for any type of independent economic or political job action by the rank and file  worker members of CAPS which might confront the cozy relation the lobbyists have developed in Sacramento or threaten to by-pass the court based solutions which keep CAPS funds flowing to Blanning and Baker and which just lost us 60 days and counting of pay already.   

There were plenty of opportunities to build joint action with other state workers during the period of the furloughs.  If the State Scientists and Engineers (also under the influence of Blanning and Baker) took to the streets and mobilized their members these highly educated and relatively well paid workers would have inspired others and could have changed the dynamics but when other state workers marched on Sacramento, held pickets at state buildings and highway overpasses, reached out to the communities of public services and education which were being cut the CAPS leadership and staff  did nothing.  This is proof positive that the current staff and leadership has no winning strategy. 

As for the view that professionals don’t take job actions like those other lowly janitors and administration workers, consider the Doctors in Luxembourg :

“Doctors in Luxembourg continue protest against health reforms

Thousands of health workers may strike indefinitely in Luxembourg later this month. They are seeking to pressure the government to abandon its health reform. Members of the Association of Doctors and Dentists in Luxembourg (AMMD) trade union have worked half their normal hours in recent weeks. Their action began on October 22.

Medical workers are concerned that the reform, which gives the state greater control, would mean an end to patients being able to choose which doctor to visit. There is also fear over a proposal to place the personal details of patients into a national database.

On Wednesday, AMMD General Secretary Claude Schummer said that the members of the union would continue to provide reduced services. Representatives of the union had “unanimously decided to carry on with the strike but would not enhance the measures taken so far”, she said.”  http://www.WSWS.org

 Charles Rachlis Associate Industrial Hygienist/ http://wp.me/p1OGRw-m

 For lack of regular or annual membership meetings the membership was disarmed in the fight for a fair contract.  Our struggle for a democratic discussion about the consequences of accepting the proposal of the negotiating team is reflected in this letter sent to the CAPS board on 3/24/11.  Democratic regular membership meetings were never held, alternate strategy and tactics are not allowed to be discussed by the membership.

 Had there been regular or annual membership meetings or an organizational e-forum where members could put issues on the agenda to be discussed before the membership, as is the practice in all democratic unions, then there would have been no need to, run for office in order to address the membership or to communicate with the membership to propose an alternate strategy.  However because of the illegal disregard for CCC on the part of the CAPS leadership and the Executive Director I had no choice but to go directly to the membership via e-mails.  Again the following letter shows that our campaign for democracy and an alternate strategy predate the time of the alleged incidents in the charges.

 3/24/11

OPEN LETTER to the CAPS board:

 Please explain what is the venue for membership-wide discussion of the TA among the membership prior to voting for the contract?

 Democracy requires that members have a method of communicating prior to voting on major decisions.

At the informational meetings, conducted a few months ago, the membership rejected the SEIU 1000 deal in straw polls across the Bay Area. Now the negotiating team has signed a TA which is just as bad as the SEIU 1000 deal.

 Under this contract we will work more and our real and relative take home pay will be less than during the furloughs! Contribution to the pension fund is a give back.  This will not increase our retirement pay, this is the worker paying for what was the employers responsibility. Ultimately we end up working for free for close to two days a month.  This is a slave deal!  

The deal does nothing about our COLA’s which are in the arrears to the amount of 18% over the last 10 years;  25% if you count the losses from the furloughs.  Moving directly to a vote without providing a venue for the membership to communicate would be a breach of maintenance of any semblance of democratic protocol. The deal negotiates a two tier retirement system which spits the new members from the old members destroying solidarity. 

 The negotiating team letter indicated that they fought hard to achieve this.  I did not see any fight.  The leadership did not mobilize the membership. The leadership did not build solidarity with other unions during the furloughs.  The leadership refused to take the fight to the streets!  The inter-union organizing committee was reaching out to build broader actions and this leadership stifled it. 

The executive board did not convene emergency membership meetings to develop a fighting strategy.  The strategy of dependence on the courts did not put one dime in our member’s pockets; but it kept the lawyers working while we were on furlough!  All this board has done is give our millions to the lobbyists and  lawyers….year after year and what do we have to show?  With your proposed TA every scientist is worse off than ten years ago.  This board depended on their coziness with the Democrats and support of Brown to help deliver a fair contract.  But when members argued that this was a decision the membership should discuss, because it is based on a failed strategy, the leadership refused to provide a democratic forum.  Indeed our membership is denied access to each other.  Ask yourself how many of the 3,000 CAPS members do you know and have access to?  This is not a democratic union this is a isolation ward run by pickpockets feeding the law firm.

 How do you evaluate a strategy after 10 years if you don’t even allow a discussion?  How do you keep paying a law firm that fails at its task for 10 years if the employers of that law firm (the membership) are never convened into the By-Laws mandated annual meeting!  This organization has been run in violation of the by-laws for 10 years taking our money and dispensing it illegally by a treasurer who has not been duly installed, as required by the by-laws, at an annual membership meeting.  Members rights and due process are being violated-that is how we end up with a rotten sell-out concessionary TA,

 I demand the by-laws be followed!

  • That an annual meeting be convened where the entire membership can communicate prior to voting on this TA. 
  • With modern technology the entire membership can be linked up in a democratic conference format.  If we do not have staff that accomplish can this then we don’t have the right people working for us.

 Charles Rachlis  March 24, 2011

Associate Industrial Hygienist

Charles.Rachlis@CDPH.CA.GOV Crachlis@yahoo.com  (415) 205-0359

On 3/29/11, long before we were made aware of the February 2011 changes in the bylaws affected by the leadership in a pathetic attempt to hide their long term criminal negligence and theft of the membership’s rights and funds, we wrote:

 VOTE NO ON THE  TENTATIVE AGREEMENT (TA)

 

At the informational meetings, conducted a few months ago, the membership rejected the SEIU 1000 deal in straw polls across the Bay Area. Now the negotiating team has signed a TA just as bad as the SEIU 1000 deal.  While bankers get bonuses our leaders capitulate.

 

Under this contract we will work more and our real and relative take home pay will be less than before the furloughs! Contribution to the pension fund is a give back.  This will not increase our retirement pay; this forces us to pay for what was the employer’s responsibility. The deal negotiates a two tier retirement system splitting future members from current members hindering potential solidarity.  Ultimately, between the give back on the pension and increasing medical premiums we end up working for free for close to two days a month.  This is a slave deal!  

 

The deal does nothing about our COLA’s which are in the arrears to the amount of 18% over the last 10 years; 25% if you count our losses from the furloughs.  Moving directly to a vote without providing a venue for the membership to discuss is be a breach of any semblance of democratic protocol.  Real unions hold mass membership meetings to discuss and debate contracts!

 

The negotiating team letter indicated that they fought hard to achieve this.  I did not see any fight.  The leadership did not mobilize the membership. The leadership did not build solidarity with other unions during the furloughs.  The leadership accepts the politicians lie that “there is no money” and has not organized to take the fight beyond the courts!  The inter-union organizing committee reached out building solidarity actions against the furloughs and this leadership stifled it. 

 

The executive board did not convene emergency membership meetings to develop a fighting strategy.  The strategy of dependence on the courts did not put one dime in our member’s pockets; but it kept the lawyers working while we were on furlough!   The board has given our millions to the lobbyists and lawyers….year after year and what do we have to show?   With this TA every scientist is worse off than ten years ago.   This board depended on coziness with the Democrats and support of Brown to help deliver a fair contract.   But when members argued that this is a failed strategy and that the membership needs a venue to discuss strategy, the board refused to provide a democratic forum.   Indeed our membership is denied access to itself.  Ask yourself how many of the 3,000 CAPS members do you know and have access to?   This is not a democratic union this is an isolation ward run by pickpockets feeding the law firm. A leadership incapable of defending previous gains is incapable of winning back from losses!

 

How do you evaluate a strategy after 10 years if you are not allowed a discussion?  How do you keep paying a law firm that fails at its task for 10 years, if the employers of that law firm (the membership) are never convened into the By-Laws mandated annual meeting!  By admission CAPS general counsel this organization has been run in violation of the bylaws for 10 years.  They have been taking our money, dispensing it illegally, by a treasurer who has not been duly installed, as required by the by-laws, at an annual membership meeting.  Members rights and due process are being violated-that is how we end up with a rotten sell-out concessionary TA. 

  • I demand the by-laws be followed!
  • That an annual meeting be convened where the entire membership can communicate prior to voting on this TA.  Demand only duly sworn officers run the election!
  • With modern technology the entire membership can be linked up in a democratic conference format.  If we do not have staff that can accomplish this then we don’t have the right people working for us.

 

Charles Rachlis crachlis@yahoo.com (415)205-0359

After I brought it to the attention of the Board that that the Executive Director and the Board have been criminally negligent for over a decade by ignoring the bylaws during the November 2010 informational meetings they raced into the February 2011 board meeting to do a mop up operation and wrote the right to an annual membership meeting out of the bylaws.  In place they put in the right to regular meetings at a time and place specified by the board.  To date the organization has yet to convene a regular or an annual meeting in over ten years placing the organization in violation of CCC.  Such meetings, if they are held, are they only place besides running for office  that a member can put their concerns in front of the assembled membership but the electoral avenues are closed due to censorship of the election statements.  And  by never convening the regular or annual meetings the membership is effectively denied the right and ability to ever confer with itself.  The entire legal foundation and citations for these arguments were presented to PERB and are hereby submitted to the membership to consider.  The MDRC (if it is possible to convene an impartial MDRC) must consider the content of this PERB  complaint at the following link. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QdpHKtkkWh4zhp98Hh45dOx6dCFutbLezhxqxBVBGmc/edit this document submitted as a complaint to PERB stands  as a record for the membership to consider the illegal fashion business has been conducted by CAPS over the years. 

The following e-mails display our long term concern and inquiry into the functioning of the CAPS organization.   It was in the process of asking these types of questions, attending the informational meetings that we discovered the illegal and undemocratic practices of the current leadership.


From: Rachlis, Charles (CDPH-ADM-PSBPH)
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2010 12:16 PM
To: ‘CAPS’; Rogers, Chris (CDPH-FDLB)
Cc: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL); Enge, Barryett (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL); Hodgkinson, Christina (CDPH-CFH-GDSP-PDEB); Ni, Frank (CDPH-CID-DCDC-MDL)
Subject: Request for information

To the CAPS board:

Please provide me with the following information:

1)    Treasurers report and budget for the duration of my membership. (about three years).

2)    Current membership list.

3)    Minutes of the last three Annual Meetings (2010,2009, 2008).

Thank you,

Charles Rachlis

Associate Industrial Hygienist/

email Charles.Rachlis@cdph.ca.gov

From: Rachlis, Charles (CDPH-ADM-PSBPH)
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 11:07 AM
To: ‘CAPS’
Cc: Enge, Barryett (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL); Rogers, Chris (CDPH-FDLB)
Subject: CAPS Board

Please forward to the CAPS board.

Please answer the following questions and provide the requested information.

1)    When will the member’s annual meeting for 2010, as mandated in the By-laws, be held?

2)    Please answer how can an officer who has not been duly installed as per the By-laws dispense organizations funds?

3)    Please provide a copy of the organizations Budget and Treasurers report for the three years during which I have been a member of CAPS.

4)    Please explain how are members expected to call for a special meeting of the organization which requires 30% of the organization to sign a petition for such a meeting, if the members are not given access to each other?

5)    Has the board addressed the issue of democratizing communications in the organization?

6)    Has the board addressed the elitist remarks of Chris Voight at the DTSC site meeting last month?

Charles Rachlis

Associate Industrial Hygienist/

email Charles.Rachlis@cdph.ca.gov

Following the recent election we concluded on 8/22/11 that:

CAPS is clearly a criminal outfit stealing members funds and neglecting members rights

 

It appears, from the lack of response to our inquires (scroll down), that CAPS legal team and board has dug itself into a hole from which they are afraid to emerge. 

 

They know that the by-laws are a covenant with the membership and that PERB’s allows CAPS to take money from all unit 10 members based on adherence to those by-laws.  They also know that they have not adhered to the by-laws requirement to hold an annual membership meeting (in at least 2008,  2009, or 2010) nor have they adhered to the requirement for a 20 day notice (which they did not do for the informational meetings because the board members and lawyers  claim those “informational meetings”  held in November were not covered in the by-laws).  They know as well as I do that for at least the three years I have been a member there has been no annual membership meeting, that is why they can not forward the minutes we have requested on more than one occasion.

 

They also know that regular board meetings are not membership meetings and that it would take a change of the by-laws to subsume the duties of the annual meeting into the board’s duties.  They also know that the by-laws calls for the annual membership meeting to have a quorum, which they cannot produce without holding united or electronically linked meetings.

 

They also know that the officers must be duly installed at the annual membership meeting.  They also know that without duly installed officers no one is authorized by the membership to distribute funds,  which means all fund distributions to our legal team and staff and what ever else they spend funds on have all been illegal since the last time an annual meeting was held and the union staff and leadership have knowingly neglected their fiduciary responsibility and furthermore  have exposed our organization to the potentiality of a law suit by any class of members who may choose to seek legal resolve to the ongoing theft and misuse of funds.  Indeed if this case went to court as a class action suit it may result in all funds distributed illegally being returned to the organization by those, who without being duly installed as officers of the organization, dispersed them.  It is a simple case of taking funds under false pretenses in other words if there are no duly installed officers no one can dispense funds, the board can not produce minutes of the annual membership meeting where the officers were installed because they did not happen, ergo illegal distribution of funds is an ongoing practice of this board. 

 

It is clear to me, as it should be to you, that taking our dues monthly out of our paychecks and ignoring the members rights as outlined in the by-laws is highly irregular and illegal.  I called the California AFL-CIO and asked them if they ever heard of such a thing and they were shocked.  It is no doubt this illegal operation known as CAPS has a rotten reputation in the labor community. A Sacramento Labor Council leader denounced CAPS as a SCAB union at the United Public Workers for Action conference I attended in Sacramento two years ago.  So not only does CAPS have a rotten reputation in the labor movement but they are operating as a criminal outfit with disregard for the rights of the members to annual meetings and distribution of our funds by persons who have not been installed as officers as per the by-laws.  This is indeed a criminal outfit. 

 

Scientists may not have much need or interest in their union but even a home-owner association must abide its by-laws under threat of legal consequences.  I for one am sick of paying $600.00 a year to an organization that denies me my rights. If members want their union to be run democratically we will need to take action or continue to be robbed by a useless bunch of lawyers who have no idea how to fight the furloughs or the austerity the Brown administration has promised will come.  We should hold a CAPS members meeting next week to discuss how to get our union back.

 

Charles Rachlis

The grievance claims Charles Rachlis harassed members by sending unwanted emails. 

As outlined in many of our statements we have shown that the CAPS leadership and Blanning and Baker denied members the legally required and bylaws mandated forum to address the business of the organization.  By replacing the mandated annual membership meeting (2007 Bylaws) with informational meetings and refusing to convene the regular membership meetings (violation of CCC) Blanning and Baker acting as agents for CAPS neglected their fiduciary responsibility toward the membership by not protecting our legal rights and neglecting to inform the board of the legal requirements which the organization was in violation of.  Because of these violations rank and file members who wanted to address the membership about the business of the organization had no recourse other than to run for office and reach out to the membership via a campaign.  Because the CAPS election committee limited and censored the statements of the opposition candidates they gave the candidates no choice but to seek alternate methods of reaching the membership to assure a democratic discussion.  The CAPS staff refused to produce a phone list, and address list as required by California Corporate Code (CCC) we had no choice but to construct our own e-mail list.  The list staff provided was not sufficient to meet the requirements of CCC .  The list was used to send campaign materials dedicated to reinvigorating CAPS with democratic practices and a fighting spirit.  These were in no way harassment all recipients who requested that their addresses be removed or used an opt out request were removed from subsequent communications (although a few requesters took a few days to remove from all the lists, ultimately, all who so requested, were removed).  Due to the censorship and violations of CCC and bylaws members and candidates have no way to initiate an open democratic discussion other than  to write to each other (via e-mail) about issues such as those outlined below and sent to our membership list on 09/12/11:

Thus as no harassment against members for engaging in union activities existed, as the policy manual from which this charge was derived was not made available, as the action of sending e-mails to the members is a protected union activity of a legitimate candidate this charge is baseless and must be dismissed.

I would like to take the time to thank President Miller and Valarie Chenoweth-Brown for timing their grievance procedure so accurately.  The grievance submitted was filed with the MDRC on September 19th 2011.  It then took three months for the MDRC to release which appears to have been intended to make for a Christmas tiding as the date of release was December 22nd, in turn, arriving in my mail on December 24th.   And a ho-ho-ho to you too!

And it further appears that a Christmas tiding it was indeed, as the three months the MDRC deliberated rather than calling the hearing within the mandated 30 days requires that the entire charge be commended to the circular file. 

This MDRC must dismiss all charges based on consideration of the Policy Manual page 7 Section K. 6.f.:

“Investigation and Decision.  The Committee shall conduct an investigation.  If the facts are not in dispute as determined by at least three of the five members of the Committee, and the recommendation is to reject the charges, no hearing is necessary.  Otherwise, the Committee shall hold a hearing.   This hearing shall be in person, or by conference call, or a combination of each, to begin within 30 days of the Committee’s receipt of the charge(s).  The Committee, after hearing, shall make a determination whether the charges are valid and if so, whether the charged party should be issued a written admonition, suspended from membership for a finite period of time or dismissed from membership.”

Pursuant to Policy Manual page 7 Section K. 6.f As the grievance was submitted to the MDRC on September 19th, 2011 and the hearing was mandated to be convened within 30 days but was not scheduled until January 12th 2012.   The MDRC had a thirty day window which opened on September 16th hence this hearing is out of order, is being convened in violation of the policy manual and the entire proceeding is a deliberate harassment of my winter holiday and a form of retribution against the opposition candidates and must be dismissed.  Oh yes and one wonders why they held out on giving us the policy manual for over a year!  Because they can’t abide it themselves! 

Last point…can I have the membership list now I want to petition the membership to hold a special meeting!

January 12, 2012 Posted by | CAPS MILLER vs. RACHLIS/COSENTINO | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment