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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Labor & Workers
CA State Scientists Union CAP Run By Blanning&Baker LLC Tries To Expel CAP's Member Twice
A for profit business Blanning and Baker LLC which runs the CA State Scientists union CAPS is trying for the second time to expel member Charles Rachlis. Blanning and Baker LLC run the union as a private dues funneling operations that prevents any democratic union processes including any regular meetings.
CA State Scientists Union CAP Run By Blanning and Baker LLC Tries To Expel CAP's Member Charles Rachlis For Second Time In One Year
CAPS ORDERED BY PERB TO RE-ADMIT RACHLIS!
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 On 9/11 CAPS rescinded Rachlis’ termination retroactively to 1/19/2012.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.
Blanning and Baker LLC runs the union as a dues revenue stream with no rights for members.
A Banning And Baker Lawyer attended the hearing to defend the expulsion of CAPS member Charles Rachlis.