WSP Letter to Members – 31 Jan 2015

Message to all dues paying members from the WSP Board January 2015

Hello and Happy New Year! We would like to thank you for sticking it out with WSP this past 4 plus years in spite of personal, political, union, and workplace changes.

Since 2010, WSP lost many of its leaders: two presidents, a vice-president, and other officers in these last 4 or so years. Many long-term members have chosen (for many different reasons, such as retirement and finances) to no longer continue to be members of WSP. While we understand that this last four years has been hard on us all, we can all find solace in the fact that we are not alone. The phrase “Wisconsin Works Because We Do” is an apt one. So thank you for all you do for all of us and thanks for continuing to support WSP.

We apologize for not writing more often. WSP is still here though, working together with members and leaders in other state public sector unions, in concerted action, to benefit each other and to protect our rights to the full extent possible. We have a vision of becoming more active in 2015 and telling more about the efforts that WSP is working on as well as things of interest to state employees.

While we must realize that we can’t do everything that we could in the past (we can’t bargain for salaries with the state as we are not recognized by them) we still have the ability to fix issues that come up in the workplace.

As you know, the political landscape is tough. While citizens all seem to want lower taxes, most citizens really do not understand how government works and the number of state employees is much lower than it has been in a long time. That means many, if not all of us are being asked to take on more duties, do our work faster, or stop doing work that we deeply care about. In spite of Act 10 and its chilling effect on unions, WSP is trying to find ways to help where we can. We often keep a fairly low profile on a lot of issues, because in part we try to be reasonable to work with, but also because most of us realize that we have to pick our battles strategically and we have less people and resources to work with.

In spite of which administration is in charge, it really should be about good public service with well trained , adequately compensated civil servants that have adequate tools to do their work in safe and fair working conditions with adequate protections afforded to them by civil service laws. Our concern about providing good governmental services is a constant in an ever changing political landscape.

Regardless of whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or a non-voter, I hope you all agree that good, efficient public service is important in order for government to succeed. WSP applauds improvements in efficiency and in finding better ways to accomplish the work of state government, but will continue to strive to make sure that the hours, wages, and working conditions are also improved as well.

WSP has done a few things that you should know about. We continue to help people with workplace issues such as discipline – supervisory meetings, investigatory & disciplinary hearings, and other matters related to behavior and/or performance. In general, we have been fairly successful in dealing with problems at agencies all across the state. In some agencies, like DNR, WSP has representatives on employee/management advisory groups. Most recently, we have been trying to help members and in some cases, agencies by providing information about salaries and to fix problems that agencies cause by hiring new employees at pay rates that are greater than what they pay more experienced employees. We continue to work with other state employee locals and pool our resources to work on projects of mutual interests. One such project of mutual cooperation is talking with AFT-WI and AFT – National (our state and national affiliates); to reduce dues for all our members as we no longer have the ability to negotiate for our contracts with the state. We are also evaluating our options for affiliation with other national or state unions or forming a new organization, possibly with other state employee locals or perhaps even on our own. Stay tuned to this issue as we are actively involved in consideration of the best way for WSP to go forward in the turbulent and uncertain times that we all face these days.

WSP is also involved with our communities and coordinating volunteering for our members. For example, in the past two years, WSP been participating in national public service recognition week (for 2015 this is the week of May 3-9th). In the past, WSP members have participated in local volunteering opportunities hosted by the United Way, local food pantries, Habitat for Humanity, and the National Letter Carriers Association (United States Postal Service Employees).

For those of you in the Dane County area, we are organizing a work crew for a day helping Habitat for Humanity to build a house in Sun Prairie on Friday May 8th, 2015 from 8 am – 3:30 pm in Sun Prairie.
Contact Jeff Myers, WSP President 

if you would like to help out.

Here is how to contact us:
members can register to obtain access to member’s only areas of the website

Jeff Myers, President –
John McCormick, Vice President –
Brooke Ludwig, Treasurer and Membership Secretary

WSP Treasurer

Members are encouraged to sign up to pay by check either through your bank’s bill pay option or by sending a check to the treasurer. Neither option results in processing fees for the union. Paying checks quarterly, semi-annually, or annually is recommended. If you set up bill pay at your bank, you can do automatic monthly payments without having to remember to send it each month.

Next WSP Board Meeting – all members are eligible to attend

Saturday, February 7, 2015 – 9am – 3pm
AFT-WI offices
6602 Normandy Ln
Madison, WI 53719