Local 1576

Message from the President

Community Transit Negotiations Up Next

Getting the Union members involved in Union activities and keeping them engaged is one of the most difficult things the Union Officers have to do. And it’s one of the most important.

During our most recent negotiations with Senior Services and First Transit, I decided to approach our communication with the membership different than what had ever been done in the past. In an effort to seek the involvement and input of the membership and maintain that participation, I held a special membership meeting before we opened contract negotiations and continued to hold various membership meetings during our negotiations. This was a huge success since it gave the members an opportunity to hear first hand from me and the negotiating team what was really happening in negotiations and it gave us the chance to hear from the members what they really wanted. The members really appreciated having these meetings and for us, it helped maintain our membership involvement in the negotiations process, which as you know, is vitally important.

Next month we open contract negotiations with Community Transit and I held the same pre-negotiations membership meeting last month. The history of negotiating contract between Community Transit and the Union over the last 30 years hasn’t fared well but we remain optimistic that history won’t repeat itself this time. Nonetheless, this is the time for Community Transit members to be involved and at a time when we need the membership’s input and participation most.

Union meetings of any kind, whether at a monthly Charter meeting or a contract meeting, are an important way of maintaining two-way communication with the members. These meetings educate our members and replaces rumors with fact while more importantly, it helps our union members to be part of the solution. It’s very difficult to have an open conversation with our members while at the base wondering who’s lurking around the corner. Everywhere you turn someone who shouldn’t be, is trying to listen in on a union discussion.

The Union’s success at the bargaining table is directly proportionate to the active support of the Union members for the issues being negotiated. I want you to hear that again; The Union’s success at the bargaining table is directly proportionate to the active support of the Union members for the issues being negotiated. We all want everything to change and we want everything to stay the same. But I can’t stress enough, nothing can change and nothing can stay the same when the Union is doing it alone. That old saying, “strength in numbers” is a powerful and true statement. If there’s anything we have to remember it’s that we all must know that power and understand the power that we have as organized labor.

I once heard someone say, “If you are not an active involved member, then you cannot expect to attain those things you want and need.”

Regards to All, Be Safe

Kathleen M. Custer

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