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We’re RECERTIFIED! Now roll-up your sleeves…

P7020169[from Jay]

First, congratulations to us all on a very successful recertification election! We sent a resoundingly strong message by voting 194-6 in favor of recertification. Thank you for your efforts! –97% of those who voted said “YES!” to a collective voice and strong workers’ rights!

As we all know, our work does not stop there, however! We have our base wage bargaining upcoming (date to be set) and we continue to advocate for positive changes in all aspects of our work environment.

Specifically, it is the time to nominate members for GTEA officers and representatives for the 2015-2016 academic year. Below, you will find our annual list of positions that require an election.

As we all know, our union is our voice–and our union works best when we’re all doing our part and being heard. I have personally been motivated and inspired by the efforts of many of our members to ensure our Recertification Election was a success. I am also reminded why I choose to give my time: for the benefit of my colleagues, our students, and our community.

I encourage all of you to think of serving in some way. One of these ways can be through being an officer or representative for GTEA.

Positions may be self-nominated or you may nominate someone else. Please submit nominations to: Jay Johnson Johnsonj@gtc.edu or jaypjohnson@gmail.com, by the end of the day on Monday, 27 April 2015.  

CHANGES TO INSURANCE LOOMING…

GTC is proposing further changes to your health insurance plan.  Your union, GTEA, wants to be a player and offer input and suggestions, based on the needs of our members.  To do that, we need to start by obtaining more information. As a union,  we need to move on this NOW – decisions will be made yet this spring.

The Council of Reps are forming a group that will take on this task, and   Jason Gerber (one of the COR members) has volunteered to spearhead this.

The PURPOSE of the COR’s first  meeting will be to obtain info and suggestions from our former rep from the WEA Insurance Trust, Eugene Dunk, about your current plan, and the consequences on usage and rates of various plan design changes.   Then we will determine next steps.

ARE YOU INTERESTED in giving feedback?  Willing?

Please involve yourself in this process in some way. Members can begin by talking to a GTEA COR member.

Members may also actively participate in the process.

A small group of GTEA leaders are meeting THIS WEDNESDAY, April 1, 12:00 -1:30 p.m. to learn more about your options for your GTC health insurance plan.

 

We are meeting on the Racine Campus, Lincoln Building, Room 208.

 

Jason, Raquel, Fawn and Mike DuPrey are attending.  The rest of you are still welcome to come if you are able.

 

If anyone would like to join via phone, please let me know ASAP so we can get it set up.

Unity,

DISPELLING MYTHS ABOUT CBA NEGOTIATIONS POST ACT-10

[from Jay Johnson, GTEA President]

Dear Colleagues-
We are sending this email to you because we believe yesterday’s email sent by John Frost was misleading regarding the role of GTEA in determining yearly wage increases for Gateway’s bargaining unit employees. After fielding several emails from members of our unit, we believe it is best to address our response to the entire campus community so we can all be on the same page.

Under Act 10, GTEA (and all public sector unions in the state of Wisconsin) are prohibited from engaging in collective bargaining negotiations on wage-related issues except as they pertain to a basic increase in yearly cost of living adjustments.  Each year, GTEA approaches the bargaining table with the legal authority to negotiate a cost of living increase.  This year, the maximum CPI adjustment will be 1.62%.  Last year, the maximum CPI adjustment was 1.46%.

In no way does GTEA have the legal authority to negotiate for (or reject) other salary-related increases potentially offered to members of the bargaining unit.  In other words, a CPI-based cost of living adjustment is legally distinct from any other type of salary increase, such as:

  • Merit pay
  • Bonuses
  • Overtime
  • Performance Pay
  • Supplemental Pay
  • Pay Schedules
  • Automatic Pay Progression (“Steps”)

These continue to be salary-related measures that Gateway may elect to provide its employees irrespective of the negotiated cost of living increase.

Last spring’s recertification of GTEA in no way limited compensation increases to the CPI limit of 1.46% for Gateway employees who voted for GESP and GTEA recertification for 2014-15.  Any attempt to suggest otherwise is an improper attempt to influence the outcome of an election that maintains our collective rights as employees.  Gateway was FREE to unilaterally pay other compensation beyond the negotiated “base wage” CPI increase of 1.46%.  The same holds true for this upcoming academic year.

It is critically important to understand the difference between “base wage increases” (GTEA-negotiated cost of living adjustments) and other types of salary increases (non-negotiated wage issues).  There is no legal limit to supplement/other pay beyond the “base wage” limits, and there is no legal preclusion of providing such supplemental/other pay to employees belonging to a certified union.   If GTEA is not certified, there would be NO base wage negotiations, and Gateway could establish whatever pay it wanted to, including a 0% increase to some employees.

In recent weeks, we have heard from several members of our bargaining unit–GTEA members and non-members alike–that there is a great deal of confusion on the “merit pay” issue.  We have received multiple reports from members of our bargaining unit of HR alleging to them that GTEA rejected merit pay, which is untrue and non-consequential.  GTEA and Gateway Technical College do not possess the legal authority to engage in negotiations regarding merit pay or any other non-base wage salary increases.   Such non-base wage salary increases remain at the sole discretion of Gateway Technical College to provide – or not provide – at will.

Here is a link to language legally outlining the issues discussed. http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/111/IV/70/4/mb/1

 

If you have any outstanding questions or concerns regarding this issue, please do not hesitate to ask questions of your local campus representatives or GTEA President Jay Johnson.

Thank You,
Jay Johnson
GTEA President

CONGRATULATIONS GTEA SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS!

Due to inclement weather, Gateway Foundation Scholarship Awards Ceremony and Foundation Donor Reception has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 21, 2015, at 12:30 pm. A light lunch will be served. Let Ellen know if you will attend. 

On Thursday evening (this week – January 8) at the Gateway Foundation Scholarships Ceremony, Ellen Pedraza will be presenting the 2015 GTEA Scholarships to:

  • Silver N. Platt, daughter of GTEA member Alicia Ruiz
  • Rosalva Lima, daughter of GTEA member Rosalva Santana.

Please contact Ellen if you would like to join in at the ceremony (begins at 6:30pm in Madrigrano Auditorium on the Kenosha Campus and will end at about 8 pm.)

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