July 2013

Former Exec. Director of Local 205 Passes Away

Clyde Smith

Clyde Smith

Our union brother Clyde Smith, who worked at Metro Water Services, died after an extended illness on July 15 in Nashville. Clyde served as the Executive Director of Local 205 before there was an elected president and he also served as the employee representative of the Metro Employee Benefit Board.

Clyde was a knowledgeable and tireless advocate for workers rights and unionism for decades and our sympathies and prayers go out to Clyde’s family during this difficult time.

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Health Dept Workers Stand Up for Their Step Raises!

SEIU members working in the Health Dept. speak with Council Lady Edith Langster about their concerns.

SEIU members working in the Health Dept. speak with Council Lady Edith Langster about their concerns.

Thanks to consistent and strategic activism by members of SEIU Local 205, the Metro Nashville Board of Health voted to implement a new Pay Plan for FY-2014 that would give eligible employees in the Health Department a salary adjustment which is similar to the step increases that other Metro employees received this year.

This comes in the wake of a grassroots effort by SEIU members in the Health Department to ensure that MPHD staff were treated equitably once the Metro Council approved step raises for General Government employees.

Union members lobbied Metro Council members and the Mayor’s office, putting pressure on the Board of Health and the MPHD administration to implement a plan that calls for a one-time step increase for FY 2014 for all eligible employees of the Health Department.

“If it wasn’t for the Union, we would not be getting these raises,” said Christine Fouch, a public health nurse who attended the June BOH meeting and witnessed the turn of events. “Our presence and the Union’s persistence has convinced the Board to do the right thing for employees”.

The increase takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014 and is not tied to performance evaluations. All employees who are eligible for steps and are not “topped out” will receive them.

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Call to Convention!

In accordance with Article 18 of SEIU Local Union 205’s Constitution and Bylaws, this shall serve as the official call for the Local Convention to be held on November 2, 2013 at the Union Hall in Nashville.  We encourage all members to participate in this process and fill all Delegate plus Alternate slots allotted to your chapter.

Nominations for Delegates and Alternates are to be held during your chapter meetings in August (the schedule for these meetings is below) and elections, if needed, will be held at chapter meetings in September.  Additionally, each chapter will be expected to designate a Delegate to give their report at the Convention.

Up for election this year are the offices of President, Executive Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Executive Vice-President of Organizing, and three Trustee positions.

Nominations must be made at the Convention from the floor.

Here is the schedule for chapter meetings in which to nominate Delegates:

Chapter Nominations Election (if needed)
Chattanooga City Aug. 22 Sept. 26
Lincoln College (NADC) Aug. 12 Sept. 12
MDHA Aug. 20 Sept. 17
Medical Action Aug. 15 Sept. 19
Meharry Medical College Aug. 15 Sept. 19
Memphis City Schools Aug. 17 Sept. 21
Methodist Medical Center Aug. 13 Sept. 10
Metro 911/ECC Aug. 20 Sept. 10
Metro Action Commission Aug. 12 Sept. 9
Metro General Gov’t. Aug. 20 Sept. 17
Metro Nashville Public Schools Aug. 19 Sept. 9
Nashville Electric Service Aug. 22 Sept. 26
Nashville Hospital Authority Aug. 22 Sept. 26
Retirees Aug. 15 Sept. 19
St. Francis Hospital Aug. 14 Sept. 11

Check with your Union Steward for time & locations of the meetings or contact the Union Hall toll free at 800-447-1330.

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SEIU Members @ Downtown Library Campaign for Parking Relief!

Because of a complicated arrangement between Metro Government and several private entities, Nashville Public Library employees who work in the Main branch have to pay nearly $1300 a year to park at the building they work in. No other employees working for NPL face this expense.

The issue of parking in the Main branch was brought to NPL Library Director Kent Oliver by the Union as soon as he arrived in Nashville and he was immediately supportive. Mr. Oliver included employee parking in his budget memo to the Finance Dept. prior to the Mayor’s budget hearings in March.

During that budget hearing, NPL board member Margaret Ann Robinson spoke in favor of parking relief and several SEIU members in the Main branch wrote her a letter of thanks for her advocacy.

A Campaign Committee of SEIU members in the Main branch began a petition drive to get free or reduced parking, gathering signatures from 99% of the library staff in Main.

The petitions were presented at the May board meeting by Union members and the Board agreed to support efforts to give parking relief. In June, Mr. Oliver delivered the petitions to the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Finance.

Union members brought the issue of parking relief to the attention of the Metro Council at several lobbying events organized by SEIU and questions were asked by Metro Council members at the library department’s budget hearing in May. Unfortunately, parking relief was not addressed in the final budget that was passed by the Metro Council.

The Campaign Committee is investigating other options and welcomes input from employees on how best to proceed. A special thanks goes out to the Parking Campaign Committee members Bryan Jones, James McClanahan, Bridget Radford, Julie Burns, and James Staub for all the hard work they have done and to all NPL employees who have signed the petition and have lent us their support.

Stay tuned to www.seiu205.org for updates…

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