Because the CAPS leadership and the lawyers have made it impossible for CAPS members to contact each other we have to air our dirty laundry in public. We would prefer to keep internal union issues internal however the way this union operates members have no means of contacting each other or even knowing who their co-members are.
Sister and Brother CAPS members,
CAPS bylaws were illegally changed in February 2011 to take away your right to an annual membership meeting. This was done by a board which contained not one single duly installed officer. According to the old bylaws officers and directors shall be installed at the annual membership meeting. This meeting has not been held for the last ten years.
CAPS only hold informational meetings and have denied the members their right to the bylaws mandated annual membership meeting (which must be attended by a quorum) for the last ten years. Therefore all the officers and directors, though elected, were never duly installed by the members. This may seem a technicality, one which the board over looked, ignored and explained away as unimportant because they install the officers at a board meeting.
But it is not insignificant because by not holding this meeting on an annual basis the organization has been in breach of its contract (the bylaws) with its members and has denied us the right to set agenda items before the membership,(the second part of the passage in the 2007 bylaws referring to annual membership meetings), the original intent of the annual meeting. If you look at the old bylaws you will see that the annual meeting is the only place a member can put an issue before the membership. That right has been denied for 10 years. Since I explained this at the last informational meetings held at CDPH (Richmond), DTSC(Berkeley), and Cal/OSHA (Oakland) the board has changed the bylaws to take away the members right to an annual meeting and to bring issues of interest before the membership.
The CAPS board election approaches. In my view, CAPS as it exists is undemocratic, has operated illegally for years, does not meet the needs of its members, perpetuates an outdated myth that Scientists are “professionals” and not workers and therefore should engage only in “professional“ forms of struggle (lawsuits, lobbying and elections) and do not work to build solidarity actions with the broader labor movement. Funny despite our professional status I know longshoremen that make more money than we do! CAPS had a failed strategy (along with the other unions) on how to fight the furloughs. CAPS had a failed strategy on how to keep our pay equal to inflation (no COLA puts us about 18% behind where we were 10 years ago + loss from furloughs). CAPS has a failed strategy on getting pay parity for members.
CAPS lawsuits are designed to keep our dues money flowing to the lawyers, with nothing to show for it. An analysis of their track record will show waste and hoodwinking of the membership with their tag line on every capsule “Thank you for your continued support!”
It is time to run a slate for CAPS board positions to fight for a democratic union that elevates State Scientists Power to the same potential power that Longshoremen have. When Longshoremen take job actions the wheels of industry come to a halt.
Our work affects many important aspects of industry, health and safety, food inspection, air and water quality standards. Where I come from picket lines mean don’t cross! When scientists are prepared to fight for their rights they can exert the power of the picket and will be honored by facilities workers and others who come from the same working class and civil rights traditions our parents taught us to honor and join picket lines not cross them. When we have a union membership and board willing to exert the power we have, only then will we win our rights. If we had a fighting leadership in our unions we would not have suffered the furloughs we would have brought the Schwarzenegger regime down by powerful united job actions of 1.5 million public workers in the State/counties and municipalities acting together. Instead look at you paycheck and weep. DON’T BY THE LIE THERE IS NO MONEY THERE ARE 84 BILLIONAIRS IN CALIFORNIA!
I will run on a program being developed by a caucus of public workers inside and outside of CAPS because our struggle is not only in CAPS but is a Statewide and nationwide issue. I invite others who are willing to fight to join me to run a full slate in the upcoming election. Contact me if you want to run on a slate and discussion program we will choose which individuals will run for which position on the slate on Monday by noon so we can start collecting the signature. If you want to participate in any way without being a candidate feel free to contact me.
WRITTEN LATER THAT DAY…WHEN WE RECEIVED NEWS THAT CAPS FAILED TO WIN AGAIN IN COURT.
Again proof CAPS leadership under control of lawyers has no winning strategy for pay parity.
It is time to consider job actions designed to force the state to treat scientists with respect.
By any reasonable standard we do not have a legal and binding contract and I did not sign a “no strike pledge”. The negotiation team was not duly authorized; there were no duly installed officers to approve a negotiating team or to certify the results of the contract vote.
How can that be? Because there have not been legally installed officers for over 10 years therefore nothing done in the name of CAPS during that period has been legal. Every negotiation made on our behalf and every check written has been illegal. Why? Because in violation of the old 2007 bylaws the mandated annual membership meeting where officers and directors are to be installed was not held. Therefore every action taken by the board for over 10 years, since the last by-laws mandated annual membership meeting was held has been in violation of our rights, has been illegal and we the membership are due damages for illegal collection and use of funds by inappropriately installed officers and directors.
In addition whoever signed the contract with the state did so without being legally installed as officers and directors at non-existent annual membership meetings. This means, we do not have a legal contract with the state. Rather we have the state making agreements with officers and directors who are not our duly installed representatives. This is collusion between the union leadership and the state to prevent the membership from exerting their right to annual meetings. The officers and directors for the last ten years have been illegally, in violation of the bylaws, installed by the self-same board members (or their predecessors)who fill the positions.
I am not making this up they CAPS representatives had to admit it when I asked for minutes of the last three bylaws mandated annual meetings. Those minutes do not exist, because the bylaws mandated meetings have not been held for 10 years. Banning and Baker (B&B) have the responsibility as the Executive Director to keep the board following the bylaws, but they have not. So they (B&B) have acted against the legal interests of the membership and in violation of the bylaws, which they helped to write and re-write this February in order to take your right to an annual meeting away. In business one would say they neglected nay violated their fiduciary responsibility to their clients (us). Request your own copy of the 2007 and 2011 bylaws and read them yourself. B&B are robbing us with their phony lawsuits which are not designed to win they are designed to use up our dues funds and prevent us for preparing for job actions.