CAPS Fighting Union Caucus Election Bulletin #3

CAPS Fighting Union Caucus Election Bulletin #3
August 24, 2011
Brothers and Sister CAPS members,
We have stated before that CAPS is an undemocratic organization whose leadership does not believe in a role for the Rank and File other than trusting the lawyers with our 1.5 million dollars a year. We have stated that the leadership and the law firm that directs the board have colluded to make it impossible for members to assert our rights. Many of you may have thought we exaggerated because such a claim is down right nasty, but just this week the Executive Director stepped in it again. Below this introductory letter we present for your review a series of emails between CAPS Fighting Union Caucus Candidate for Treasurer Giorgio Cosentino and CAPS executive director Chris Voight.
In short, following our discovery that the 2007 bylaws were amended in February 2011 without notice to the membership, we learned that the changes took away our right to an annual membership meeting. Instead a membership meeting can now be convened if a petition is submitted with 5% of the membership signing. So Brother Giorgio wrote to Blanning and Baker employee CAPS Executive Director Chris Voight and asked, “I understand members should not be provided with the membership list, so what procedure does CAPS want-expect members to follow when a member wants to circulate a petition for signatures in accordance with the bylaws? Thanks for the clarification.”

If the new rule in the bylaws was genuine the answer would have read something like. “Attached is the PDF of the proper petition fill it out with 126 signatures and the staff will convene a membership meeting.” But no, instead we got this damning incitement of the lack of respect for bylaws by these hoodwinkers posing as labor consultants.

Chris responded to the request thusly:
“CAPS has that language in its bylaws as a requirement of the California Corporations Code, on advice of counsel. Every Mutual Benefit Non Profit Corporation (MBNPC), as CAPS is organized, should have it. But that doesn’t mean the process is practical or that it would ever be used in an organization the size and shape of CAPS.

MBNPCs take every shape and size. In CAPS case, a “meeting of the members,” would be difficult or impossible given the size and dispersion of the membership—and the quorum requirement (50%).”

This is gibberish. Scientists know the difference between difficult and impossible! Going to Mars difficult! Time travel impossible (given knowledge of physics today)! Holding a meeting of an organization under attack by the state, the politicians, the media pundits and the billionaires club may be difficult, especially if you have nothing to offer the membership but pathetic lawsuits, the same worn out politicians and shinny shoed lobbyists who can’t deliver, but it is surely not impossible if you offer members a winning strategy!

If CAPS did what every union does when it wants to win, in other words ORGANIZE by offering a real discussion on how to save our salary and benefits then the membership might wake up out of their Austin/Voight imposed slumber. To the fake labor leaders of CAPS organizing means send out last minute emails. But the members don’t come to the meetings because they see CAPS as little more than a dues collection agency picking our pockets. Voight and company then shrug their shoulders and blame the membership while shaking their heads claiming they did the best they could!

A real organization that wanted to organize its membership would put all its staffers on the phone and call each member to get a commitment, staffers/(I refrain from calling them organizers because they are not) would visit job sites to build participation they would visit every worker and build the organization! But that is not Blanning and Baker’s intention they want you to stay asleep and keep forking over the monthly dues. Maybe we are stupid but we just spoke with over 60 CAPS members in the Bay Area in the last week and nary one had a good word for CAPS leadership or Blanning and Baker. With this level of demoralization it is no surprise these fake labor leaders can’t organize a meeting!

Not to beat a dead horse (call P.E.T.A. if you must), Voight then explains, in his response to Cosentino, “… that doesn’t mean the process is practical or that it would ever be used in an organization the size and shape of CAPS.”

We know we have about 2500 members but what shape is he referring to prone? Well maybe, but actually he means top down. Top down organizations have no interest in the members finding a road to democratic participation. Law works via a concept of intention (recall all the right wing drivel about original intent as regard Constitutionality). Clearly the intention of this wording is that the membership have a means of convening a meeting. Voight tells us this wording is enshrined in our bylaws due to the law but then when a member tries to employ this right he gets shut down. This is clearly disregard for and suppression of members rights.

But this is no surprise, as we reported in CAPS Rank and File Election Bulletin #2’s attachment the record of the November 2010 meeting at DTSC reports that David Miller (board member) explained to us then that no one wants to know what’s in the bylaws. This is quite cute considering the bylaws are a contractual obligation between the membership and the organization. The phrase I was quoting from the bylaws during the November meeting stated, there “shall” be an annual membership meeting. This is what Miller told us that no one cares about. But many CAPS members work in a regulatory setting. We know what “shall” means. We enforce “shall” all the time. We are constrained by “shalls”! We develop means to work with the “shalls” Shall does not mean, “well if its difficult then we don’t have too”. No it means SHALL. Now Miller stands for election at CALPERS, one should wonder which of the regulations, that guide CALPERS, will Miller dismiss with such caviler disregard?

There is no doubt in our mind that the February 2011 change in the bylaws was instigated by Blanning and Baker because we caught them with their pants down and their fingers in the cookie jar. When we noticed them of their criminal neglect they hurried to the next board meeting to try to hide the evidence. CALL CAPS DEMAND YOUR OWN COPY OF THE 2007 AND 2011 BY LAWS. READ THEM SIDE-BY-SIDE!




Signed the Slate of the CAPS Fighting Union Caucus


Below and in reverse chronological order is Voight’s explanation that we will not be getting a meeting! Not while he is running the show!

About Mad Scientist

Member of California Association of Professional Scientists
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