It’s very appropriate to say….

31 Jul

That AFSCME Local 3299′s management and current board of directors are inept and power hungry idiots hell bent to be right.  Yet all their actions thus far show they don’t know what they are doing.  They’ve negotiated themselves into a corner with the UC and don’t have an easy solution to getting the contract they’ve convinced their members it will get.  With no real experience, imagine current management as all the bullies on the playground that had no sense to hit the books and learn something instead of leaching off their classmates to cheat off of.  They’ve come to get the exact power they wanted and yet have no idea what to do now that they have it.

Unfortunately, the real folks that will pay the price are the members.  At the end of the day, they will end up with a shitty contract because of inept management.

Remember the saying, “an injury to one is an injury to all.”  That was not true in my case.  My union, Union Organizers Union-The Newspaper Guild threw me under the bus and gave me no protection whatsoever.  When the stress hit my stomach and I could feel the ulcer coming, I said fuck this.  No belief in the fantasy that AFSCME Local 3299 stood by the original edict of the labor movement’s belief in a fair workplace was worth trying to stay around and fix it.  On top of that, the members would not do enough to find the truth for themselves and push change of the guard to fix what these douchbags had already done.

My rants here and fact posts(most still stemming from email leaked from Liz Perlman’s inbox) will continue until I’m able to share all that I witnessed.  The point is that I have something to say.  I wouldn’t hold as much a grudge if I didn’t have to live with the scars received under the hands of this inept management group and board of directors.  They can try and come at me and say I’m bitter and tell me to get over it.  And yet none of them is handing me a check for the medical damage I’ve suffered.  None can answer the questions about why Liz Perlman wasn’t fired for breaking work policy stating she couldn’t be involved in a board election.  No one will comment why AFSCME International President Lee Saunders won’t answer calls or questions about why this administration was given a pass for involvement in a corrupt election and allowed to treat its own employees like slaves or unwanted intrusions.  3299 is the darkest skidmark on the labor movement today.

So for those that want to tell me to get over it, deliver me a check and I’ll start taking that advice.  Allowing injury againgst one of your own is not acceptable.  By any means necessary doesn’t mean throwing anyone indescriminantly into the fire.  If you don’t get this, don’t come back to this blog.  You are too dense to get basic arithmetic and won’t understand the hypocrisy of your own opinion.

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And then I hit a baseline…

16 Jun

Over the last few years, I’ve been forced to deal with a slew of medical problems by no coincidence started while I was working at AFSCME Local 3299 as an Administrative Assistant.  I’ve had some time to gain my sanity back and still full believe and have evidence that it was all caused by the hostile working environment known as AFSCME Local 3299.

It’s all rehash but I had to walk from that job because no lawyer, no fellow staff union member, no co-worker, and no state or federal agency could help me.  Yet my health was declining and documented by my doctors.  I had already been diagnosed with panic attacks early on, and yet I could get no help when I was diagnosed with Diabetes.  It was not only a breakdown of a formerly successful prestigious 3299, the ideal workplace overnight became a hostile, negative environment where no one was respected.  Liz Perlman, known by fellow staff as being incompetent and lazy, went from lead organizer to Executive Director once the election had been called.  Maricruz Manzanares would comment that Liz would not contribute much in the effort to represent LBNL and UCB 3299 members.  Maricruz Manzanares took majority credit for organizing and support those members.

I say all of these things because I don’t think the level of corruption that I witnessed and comment on here should go unpunished.  I don’t think my sliding heath and income being taken away from me for doing my job.  I don’t think those sworn to work in the interest of hard working UC employees should behave in the ways the call UC management on.  It’s a simple disconnect that no AFSCME Local 3299 dues paying member should put up with.  There are plenty of emails from Liz Perlman showing she embezzled union dues by working on a union member campaign.  She showed disrespect back then when she called UCSF VP Timothy Thrush by calling him a quitter, a call back to when Tim quit serving on the Executive Board because of what he called an inappropriate relationship.

You could call me bitter and scorn but I do have to bear the punishment for doing my job, something that oddly should be expected if I didn’t have a union representing me, UOU / CWA / The Newspapers Guild.  I can safely and assuredly say that I would have been better off without a union.  They took my dues and did nothing when I asked for help.  In fact when I pointed out that those same emails that Liz Perlman had leaked showing their organizing to weaken the power of UOU, the staff union did nothing.  Even AFSCME International President Lee Saunders and Flo Walker ignored calls to investigate illegal behavior and documented wrongdoing.

On top of all of this, my co-workers were all fired or pushed out, flushing all of the diversity in the union with it.  The staff primarily went female and predominantly white.  Those fired were at minimum given healthy severance checks and I was left to fend for myself.  I’d like to say I have the energy to pursue them in court but I don’t.  I’d rather write what happened so those who decide to surround these dark souls know what to expect when they are stabbed in the back and disposed of like trash.  They are exactly what is wrong with the labor movement and be pushed out of power by those who pay their salaries, the dues paying union members.

The corruption flows throughout the organization.  Even Finance Director Eva Shaw would comment inappropriately that the union was running better under all female management.  An assertation that was discriminatory in nature and hurtful to those staff members left behind and treated like trash or ghosts of an era passed, disrespected on a daily basis and treated like broken furniture.

Expect my rants to continue unless I get paid off for my damages or get a book deal.  But until then I will keep on writing.

What christmas has been like since AFSCME Local 3299 entered my life

18 Dec

I was reminded this morning that my personal experience of christmas differs greatly from most. The last few I’ve been left numb, unable to feel much for the holiday, positive nor negative. Over my career at 3299, I had worked heavily before and been completely exhausted. AFSCME Local 3299 had fucked with my head quite a bit with the tactics they had used to silence staff.

I didn’t have a lot of family, except for friends.  My guard was often up and it made me skeptical of the fake hugs, handshakes, and smiles of staff and elected union officers.  In the end, everyone has a turn on the soapbox no matter how stupid they may be.   Some I could look in the eye and trust their intentions. Most I could not.  When Members First took over, I could only trust three people.

Many in the organization doubted my knowing true solidarity. The funny thing was I never fully witnessed it at AFSCME Local 3299. It was like any other organization with cliques and individuals who were a waste of space and resources. They didn’t care that their union brothers and sisters dues were padding their jet set lifestyle. And you would think they could show up to a meeting and be productive.

That was much too much to ask of the Members First thugs. Staff would make sure to provide food for these meetings, often receiving complaints about it by Members First thugs like Angie Mendoza and Jessica Agost. Talk about premadonnas!  Officers would come to near blows in our office about the most inane issues.  MAT Members would complain about physical indimidation by Members First members/now Executive Board Officers.  And I saw Liz Perlman call an on-again off-again on-again Executive Board VP Tim Thrush a quiter, uncalled for by someone who presently works very closely with him and the board.

I went numb about Christmas because in only a few years time, I witnessed the ugliest in humanity, like 3299 Executive Director Liz Perlman, who would harrass employees days before the holiday. An incompetent megalomaniac on a bend that has destroyed the union’s once strong organizing power. Liz Perlman fired a majority of staff, many of whom are minorities, within weeks of taking office. Those she hired to replace them were primarily white. I saw incompetent, white co-workers promoted while i was reduced to a data entry clerk and treated like old furniture.

This was all during the holiday. It’s been rough on me now a year after leaving. AFSCME Local 3299 owes me money! They killed the holiday for me, ruined my health, left me destitute with no severance, no unemployment, and acted like this was all part of normal operating procedure.

Fuck that! And that is why I write. Because those that decide to follow 3299 should know the truth for themselves before they do.

“You know we’re crazy, right?”

5 Dec

It was a phrase that my supervisor and several staff members had said. A co-worker referred to the union as the new mafia. All i knew was they were willing to pay a living wage so I was willing to do the work at the time. The first year was gruelling, but satisfying. I fell in love with the movement and rattling wall street with major organizing around banks like Wells Fargo.

Members of the admin team, like myself, were a rare breed. Going well beyond the call of duty on a hourly basis.  I’d easily work 18 hour days during our convention, most of the team would. Well, except for Raleigh Klein. She would always conveniently find ways out of projects or long hours. It shocked after the board election that they would promote her to admin director. She often found simple data entry challenging and had the bedside manner of a skunk. No well-functioning company or organization would keep her on staff for very long. She is also the definition of the crazy that my boss had talked about.

Most employers would fire insubordinant employee. Most would fire someone who couldn’t follow directions. Most would repremand someone who talked balk. And yet this bitch got the promotion. It’s definitly not a fair or healthy environment. It’s about who you know or sleep with at AFSCME Local 3299.

Once you have entered the inner circle, you must prep yourself for the inevitability that you will get stabbed in the back.

Where things went south…

22 Nov

Back at the end of October, 2011, I was assigned by AFSCME Local 3299 to aid in setting up polling sites for the latest executive board election at the UCSD campus.  It was also a given that I was there to observe and take notes unofficially and off the books.  I would learn over the next few months that this was a dirty election which would end in literal strong-arming, ballot box stuffing, slander, several breakdowns in office security, leaks of membership data.

In the months earlier, my supervisor would regularly warn us of the bad deeds that the Members First slate was doing.  I wouldn’t be given specifics, a method meant to keep staff objective and protect them from I was warned regularly to watch my back and to use CYA protocol every minute of the day.  They feared their job and a week after the election that fear would be made a reality.

When I arrived in San Diego, I expected the worst but still managed a smile.  A job needed to be done and I was eager to prove with my own eyes that the ill deeds of staff and officers like Kathryn Lybarger, Jessica Agost, Ruben Santos, Liz Perlman, Octavio Velarde, Cody Potter, Carl Hall, and many others.  I was skeptical of my supervisor, thinking she was overly paranoid.  The staff in San Diego was very pro-Members First slate supporters.  Union policy laid out months before the election prohibited Employees to get involved in campaigning of any form.  It became immediately obvious that the rules didn’t apply near the Mexican border.

My co-worker and I were sent to polling sites that received late notice to set up.  In my case, we didn’t even set up at one site.  Few to none votes cast and given the run around, this was the way the day started and it was feeling like someone was diverting our attention.

That day for me began optimistically and ended about 20 hours later at the ballot count.  The ballot count operating procedures made little to no sense.  Local San Diego staff spent more money than any other campus offices to administer their polling places, using plexiglass ballot boxes in only a handful of places, getting staff involved in the count, creating confusing directions that make Florida elections look easy, picking on what staff would comment as being incompetent ballot counting staff, having little to no witnesses from the opposing slate, allowing the majority of ballot counters to go home before the count was done.

It would be reported by eyewitness account by rank-and-file members that Members First physically led voters to the ballot, handed out slates and forcibly told members how to vote, poll worker union employees wore stickers with the slate printed on them, and physically intimidated supporters of the opposing slate, and campaigning next to or within illegal distance of polling places, tossing/shredding ballots .  This was all documented for AFSCME International with an expected overturning of the election.  Unfortunately, President Lee Saunders would turn his back to the brothers and sisters that paved the way to get him in office.

Over the years, I saw the internal politics unfolding.  The theft of HR files, purposely sending the books into the red to further one officer’s slate.  It was ugly.  If AFSCME Local 3299 members knew what happened behind the scene, they might not pick those unions to speak for them.  And if AFSCME International had heard the calls of staffers, there would have been no question that trusteeship was the right answer rather than pandering to incompetents so Lee Sauders could be elected International President.

Who am I to out all this dirt? I’ll tell you exactly who I am.

15 Oct

I don’t expect to make friends with this blog and I don’t care either.  The hell that I was put through for over a year gave me the gift of panic attacks and depression.  I gained weight and complicated my health to where I was diagnosed with diabetes.  I carry a grudge because I was forced to leave if I wanted to stay healthy and was left without income, health insurance, severance, or prospects for  income.  Fighting dogs get treated better than I did.

Was it because I was a lazy fuck up?  My resume says otherwise.  I’ve been a Gardner, Bus Boy, Waiter, Prep Cook, Sous Chef, Barista, Administrative Assistant, Event Planner Communication Director, & Executive Assistant and I did all those jobs with 110 percent of my abilities.  I don’t have a lazy bone in my body.

All that experience didn’t matter to the Members First slate.  Their new administration decided because I had worked with the previous that I should only be included in low level tasks and talked down to on a daily basis.  I was also ignored when I asked about emails showing unethical behavior by staff during the election.  With the majority of employees now on the Members First platform, I was left out in the cold with only a few others.

This current staff never keyed me into how the union operated, when my job had been to keep the Executives days running by the last staff and administration.  All I ever want to do is a great job at a decent wage with dignity and respect.  When these assholes took over, it was as though I went from Personal Assistant to Fry Cook overnight.

Long story, short?  I have my reasons to hold a grudge.  And it’s all documented.

Being treated like furniture is the worst feeling in the world

9 Oct

I started with AFSCME Local 3299 a little over three years ago.  My career before had been spent mostly at for profit businesses and I had no intention to join the labor rebellion.  At the time, I didn’t think it suited me.  At my core, I do believe in equality and fairness for all but the extremes of the unions wasn’t a part of my lexicon.

I had a friend who made an introduction to my eventual boss.  The job I was at wasn’t going anywhere and big green seemed like a good place to be.  Good benefits, appreciation for staff, great pay.  Dream job, right?  It was until you the election.

Almost exactly a year ago, I witnessed an election that was dirtier than any event in history I knew.  A slate of slack-jawed assholes stole an election by literal strong arming, intimidation, and ballot box stuffing.  To add insult to injury, AFSCME International President Lee Saunders would later ignore the facts and allow them to serve their stolen positions.

The day the election was called was the day my health started to fail.  I tried to work with the new administration for nearly a year after, well knowing that they had no morals and proof came out later in the form of emails.  At my core, I believe in what is right.  When I witnessed wrongdoing and then later read about it in detail in the emails, I started to get sick.  The following year became hell as I worked with these fools and saw them make mistake after mistake.  It got even worse as day after day I was treated less like a valuable team member and more like a rug.

Let me make it clear that now Director Liz Perlman is an incompetent bitch who should be run away from the labor movement.  Her former workmates in the labor movement see her as a waste of space.  Her former officemate and now Executive Board Member Maricruz Manzanares sees her as lazy and unskilled.  And yet Liz was rewarded with the top dog position at 3299.  Very interesting don’t you think?

I will provide more of this gossip as time permits.  It has been personally very hard to deal with this all.  I’m hoping that sharing this information will help the members that are being screwed over by this idiotic administration.

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