WORDS OF WISDOM

by Vice President Carol Ann Santosusso, April 2014

This article is for all of our members who never attend meetings or get involved until it’s too late. Every month the same people show up for the meeting, mostly stewards and officers and a few members who care enough to come. I know it is not easy to get to all meetings, but not one, ever. Do you care what is going on and want to get involved, or are you content just working and complaining about everything and everybody not doing anything for you? The only time we hear from most members is when they are disgruntled about something or think they have a grievance. Some members don’t even contact us when they should be, because they haven’t a clue so this is for you members who haven’t got a clue. Did you know that Tri County either has a steward in every office or an officer assigned to an office so everyone can be represented as needed? If you think you have a grievance you should immediately call your steward/officer. If you don’t know who that is, call the union office (610-544-6415) or me and I will get the proper person in touch with you. The reason you need to call us quickly is we only have 14 days to file a grievance and we need to know what we are working with before the 14th day. You can’t call a steward/officer on the 14th day and expect miracles. Once you contact the union we will do our best for you. Plus since most of you never come to meetings I would also like you to know that your attendance is not the union’s problem or management’s problem, it is yours. If you don’t want to come to work, there is nothing either we can do for you or management can do for you. We will help you the best we can but attendance can only be controlled by you the member. Another thing we saw at meetings that most of you never hear is that there is a difference between a grievance and a gripe. Most gripes are not grievances. If your supervisor tells you to do something and you don’t feel like it or feel it is not your job, unless that supervisor is breaking the contract telling you to do that something, you probably don’t have a grievance but a gripe. After all, isn’t it a supervisor’s job to tell you what to do to get the job done? So, remember, next time you want to know something, contact your steward/officer first. If they can’t help you, they will go up the ladder to get you the answer. Please don’t wait until the last day. Plus because we are all so busy don’t assume that we know everything going on everywhere. Call, write, text, whatever, just get in touch so we can do our job. Finally, the last thing said at every meeting is you need to document. We cannot file a grievance without any documentation. If you don’t know what to document, again, call your steward/officer and we will tell you how and what. Finally, try to attend a meeting if you can. We meet the 4th Wednesday of every month in the conference room where our union office is in Swarthmore. We also meet twice a year in King of Prussia - once in May and once in September.

Hope to see you at the next meeting.

In union solidarity,

Carol Ann Santosusso
Vice President