WARNING TO CAPS BOARD: NO JUST CAUSE EXISTS IN WITCH HUNT AGAINST OPPOSITION CANDIDATES


OPEN LETTER TO THE CAPS BOARD,

AS THAT NO JUST CAUSE EXISTS IN THE GRIEVANCE AGAINST RACHLIS AND COSENTINO; THE HEARING OF THE MILLER/BROWN GRIEVANCE, PLANNED FOR JANUARY 11TH, PUTS THE ENTIRE ORGANIZATION IN DANGER. BY VIOLATING MEMBER’S RIGHTS AND THEN HARASSING THEM FOR DEMANDING THEIR RIGHTS, THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP ENDANGERS CAPS’ RIGHT TO EXIST AS THE LEGITIMATE REPRESENTATIVE OF UNIT 10. LIABILITY FOR DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT MAY ULTIMATELY DESTROY CAPS AND WILL HOPEFULLY LEAVE B&B DESTITUTE AS DAMAGES DUE TO THE MEMBERSHIP MAY FIGURE INTO THE MILLIONS. I RECOMMEND THAT THE BOARD TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO REIGN IN YOUR OUT OF CONTROL PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT AND THE THUGS OF BLANNING AND BAKER. DISMISS THE CHARGES BEFORE THIS McCARTHYITE WITCH HUNT DESTROYS THE ORGANIZATION! THE CHOISE IS YOURS ACT LIKE THUGS AND PROTECT THE FIEFDOM OR ACT LIKE TRADE UNIONISTS AND BUILD DEMOCRACY!

NO JUST CAUSE IN CHARGES AGAINST RACHLIS AND COSENTINO

In considering the charges against Charles Rachlis and Giorgio Cosentino it must be established that Just Cause exists. The high standards and principles established in the landmark Enterprise Wire arbitration case from 1966, which labor has traditionally applied to conflicts with employers must also guide and be applied to our own organizations. http://www.utoledo.edu/depts/hr/hsc/pdf/just_cause.pdf

“The basic elements of just cause which different arbitrators have emphasized have been reduced to seven tests. These tests, in the form of questions, represent the most specifically articulated analysis of the just cause standard as an extremely practical approach. A “no” answer to one or more of the questions means that just cause either was not satisfied or at least was seriously weakened.”
“1) NOTICE: Did MCO give the employee forewarning or foreknowledge of the possible or probably disciplinary consequences of the employee’s conduct?
a. Forewarning/foreknowledge: orally by Management, in writing through typed or printed sheets or books of work rules &of penalties for violation thereof….

Did Rachlis and Cosentino have means to be aware of, were they given the documents, printed sheets, or books of rules which would have made them aware of the policies, to which they are now being held accountable to abide? The answer is an absolute no! The allegations in the grievance are predicated upon the CAPS Policy Manual which both Cosentino and Rachlis had been requesting since before the election campaign. Charles Rachlis did not receive it until the day of the ballot count in Sacramento, from David Miller himself and Giorgio Cosentino did not receive it until mid-October; long after the grievances Miller/Brown had penned against us were submitted.

Indeed the same lack of transparency which keeps the bylaws off of the CAPS website also keeps the policy manual off the web site away from prying eyes of the membership. Despite repeated requests rank and file members were denied access to this document. Only a kangaroo court could find JUST CAUSE under these conditions therefore all these charges must be dismissed.

The CAPS leadership can not have it both ways. You can not deny members access to the very book of rules from which you derive charges against them. Not in any democratic organization. Such practices are common however in Stalinist and Fascist dictatorships which kind of organization is CAPS?

What follows is the record that shows we have tried to get a copy of the Policy Manual for over a year and have been ignored, patronized and stonewalled by the very staff and leadership which is supposed to treat all members fairly and with respect

Consider the secretive practices of the board. After we pointed out the failure of the board to adhere to the 2007 Bylaws at the November 2010 informational meetings, the board, without noticing the membership, without submitting the proposed bylaws and Policy Manual changes to the members for discussion, amended both those documents in February of 2011.

The result was that the board wrote the memberships’ right to an annual membership meeting out of the 2011 revision. The revised Bylaws & Policy Manual were never posted or universally distributed. Few members even knew they had been changed or that the Policy Manual even existed at all. This lack of transparency, denial of membership participation and lack of notification about the changes in the rules of the organization is designed to keep the membership uninformed and in turn has created conditions where members are being charged with violations of rules which they are not allowed to know of in a timely manner. In August of 2011 I had to inquire as to the changes that were enacted.

On 8/8/11 I wrote:
To the CAPS board and executive director,

There is rumor that the executive board has passed a new by-laws for the organization. Is there truth to this scuttle-but? If so I request that you immediately send me a copy of the new by-laws, the old by-laws and the minutes from the meeting where the changes occurred.

Thank you,
Charles Rachlis
Associate Industrial Hygienist

This policy document was finally delivered to both Rachlis and Cosentino after the charges crafted by Miller and Brown were submitted on September 19th despite the executive director’s claim that timely distribution of the document was forthcoming on July 5th 2011.

CONSIDER THE STONEWALLING:

From: Chris Voight [mailto:cvoight]
Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2011 10:30 AM
To: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Subject: RE: Bylaws and policy file on website?

Giorgio,

Feel free to ask any time. You are a member and have a right to ask any question. We will try to always respond promptly and on point. In this case, the leadership has chosen not to post those particular documents on line, but rather to provide them to any member who requests them. We do so promptly and so far have seen no pressing need to post them. The concern here is that posting them, even in the minimally secure “member only” section on the web page, will make them accessible to individuals far beyond the membership. I will copy your request and my reply to the leadership in the event they may want to reconsider their position on this issue.

Christopher J. Voight
Staff Director
“Important Work Deserves Fair Pay”
www.capsscientists.org
916-441-2629
So for Giorgio Cosentino to “promptly” receive the policy manual it took four months, from July 5th when Chris Voight assured prompt delivery, until mid October when it was finally mailed after Mr. Cosentino offered to visit the Sacramento office on October 13th. This is only prompt in geologic terms not in internal union business terms. This denial of access to the very document upon which the grievances are brought is why no just cause exists.

Consider the following e-mail from Barryett Enge, who has acted as a CAPS shop steward at Richmond campus on and off for years responded to Giorgio’s search for the Policy manual as early as January 27th 2010.

From: Enge, Barryett (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 1:57 PM
To: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Subject: message[secure]

Hello Giorgio,

I received your message. There seems to be some discrepancy, I am unaware of any CAPS people who have this document that you are seeking. As mentioned before, such has never been in my possession. In fact, Chris Voight stated that he had not seen it in years. The only document that I have regarding CAPS members is the booklet, our MOU which covers multiple topics.

Since you feel that you have not been well represented by Matt, do proceed with your plan.

Barryett Enge
Public Health Microbiologist II Virology
510 307 8530

This denial of access to the Policy Manual went on for over a year and a half See Giorgio’s requests in September 2011:

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 12:37 PM
To: ‘caps’
Subject: Current Policy File?

Hi,
Is the current Policy File dated 11/3/2007? Thank you for the clarification.
Giorgio
Giorgio Cosentino, PHM
From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 3:28 PM
To: ‘caps’
Subject: RE: Current Policy File?

Hi,
Liz just answered my question. I do have the new bylaws, but not the new policy file dated 2/12/2011. Any chance of emailing or faxing to me as I could use today if possible? Thanks.

Giorgio

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 4:08 PM
To: Enge, Barryett (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Cc: ‘caps’
Subject: RE: Current Policy File?

Hi Barryett,
Do you have a copy of this on you that I can stop by and see? Thanks.

Giorgio

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 1:29 PM
To: ‘CAPS’ (caps)
Subject: RE: Current Policy File?

Can I please have a copy of this? Thank you.

Sincerely,
Giorgio Cosentino

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 3:12 PM
To: ”CAPS’ (caps)’
Subject: RE: Current Policy File?

Hi,
I was previously told the following.
“Giorgio,
We ALWAYS provide bylaws and policy promptly upon request of any member.”
I would like to receive a copy of the new Policy File before I leave work today at 5:00 as I need it for the weekend. Thank you.

Giorgio

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 5:18 PM
To: ”CAPS’ (caps)’
Subject: Policy file not yet received

Did I use the wrong email address for this request?

Giorgio

From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 8:44 AM
To: Kristen Haynie (kristenh)
Subject: Policy File not available to me?

Dear Kristen,
I have been requesting a copy of the new policy file which previously I was told was available “immediately upon request.” I was told you are one of the contacts for this request, but you have not replied.

Recently, I sent a communication to PERB, copying our President. Anyone who viewed my candidate statement would know about my communication with PERB. I am doing my best to follow the laws outlined by the Dills Act in order to address concerns I have as a member of CAPS and I understand it might not be pleasant for you and for that I apologize. It is not personal. To be honest, I do not like being in this situation at all.

Can you please respond to my query for the policy file. If you do not, then I will have to wonder if I am now being discriminated against as a result of exercising the rights I have per 3519.5 (b) of the Dills Act (please see below). I hope that is not the case and that you have just been too busy. Then please let me know when you can provide me with this document.

Thanks, Kristen.

Respectfully,
Giorgio

Dills Act
3519.5. Unlawful actions by employee organizations
It shall be unlawful for an employee organization to:
(a) Cause or attempt to cause the state to violate Section 3519.
(b) Impose or threaten to impose reprisals on employees, to discriminate or threaten to discriminate against employees, or otherwise to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees because of their exercise of rights guaranteed by this chapter.
Giorgio Cosentino, PHM
From: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL) [mailto:Giorgio.Cosentino]
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2011 1:23 PM
To: caps; kristenh; cvoight
Cc: Enge, Barryett (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL); Rachlis, Charles (CDPH-ADM-PSB-FMS); Wright, Will (CDPH-ADM-PSB-FMS); pvelez
Subject: Requesting confirmation regarding October 13th office visit

Hi Kristen and Chris,
I am requesting confirmation that staff will be available in the Sacramento CAPS office on October 13th, allowing me to copy the current Policy File. Thank you.

Giorgio
Giorgio Cosentino, PHM

And when did we finally get the document?

From: Chris Voight [mailto:cvoight]
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 2:39 PM
To: Cosentino, Giorgio (CDPH-CID-DCDC-VRDL)
Subject: RE: Requesting confirmation regarding October 13th office visit

A copy of the CAPS Policy and Practice Manual has been mailed to you today, per Patty Velez.

Christopher J. Voight
Staff Director
“Important Work Deserves Fair Pay”
www.capsscientists.org
916-441-2629

Just prior to the opening of the election campaign period I (Charles Rachlis) called Sacramento and talked to a CAPS/B&B staffer (I think it was)Linda and asked for the current Policy Manual to be sent to me, I was told it would be sent the next day. I did this because Giorgio insisted that such a document existed and that he had been e-mailing the staff for weeks asking for it to no avail. As stated, the document upon which the allegations in the grievance were drawn up by President David Miller was not delivered to me until after the charges were penned. President David Miller knows this as he is the person who delivered the Policy Manual to me, during the ballot count in October. Hence there is no JUST CAUSE AND THE CHARGES AGAINST RACHLIS AND COSENTINO MUST BE DISMISSED.

Charles Rachlis
January 9, 2012

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About Mad Scientist

Member of California Association of Professional Scientists
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