October 1, 2013
By President Brenda Scott
As I write this post, my heart is heavy. There are times in life when you need a helping hand, just to find out they are few in number. The union family of MASE/CWA would like to offer condolences to the family of Bro. Russell Johnson a true trade unionist. Russell has always been very meek, dependable, trustworthy, committed and honest whenever called upon to do anything.
Our heart goes out to his loving and devoted wife and family. As a supervisor with the city of Jackson, Russell really didn't have to be out front when it came to the union, but he was not only out front he was a true union steward. He took the fight wherever it led him. Above all he was a very respected and active Christain man, not only in his church, but in the community as a whole. May God grant his family the peace in knowing that his life was not in vain. God speed!!!
Russell B. Johnson's, funeral will be at: Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 2 pm 1109 Cooper Road Jackson, MS. 39212. The viewing will be at: Westhaven Memorial Funeral Home Friday, October 4, 2013 from 8:30 am-8 pm 3580 Robinson Road Jackson, MS. 39209
and his family
PAYRAISE 2014 CAMPAIGN!
continuing payraise fight:
President Brenda Scott wrote a letter to the Editor in the Sun Herald newspaper, still in the effort of getting payraises for state employees in the upcoming 2014 Legislative Session.
You can read Brenda's letter HERE
ANOTHER PAYRAISE 2014 UPDATE!
sEPTEMBER 11, 2013
VIEW THE VIDEO ABOVE!.....2014 PAY RAISE CAMPAIGN HAS BEGUN......ARE YOU IN?....WHY DON'T YOU STOP COMPLAINING, GET UP, GET INVOLVED AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!...CALL THE UNION OFFICE AND SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP! 601-352-4939
Please don't leave it to what you think you might know; make plans to come to the meeting in your area and find out the facts! The 2013 Legislative session was a hard fought one, with some wins and some losses. If we are to prevent the continuous attack on public workers, we must start NOW with a different attitude! To win on the issues of better pay, better benefits and workers' rights going forward, we MUST have the participation of workers in ALL 82 counties.
Check back here often for meetings planned in YOUR area and make sure to attend!
Currently, we are the largest public workers' union in Mississippi, representing over 3,000 state workers in such state agencies as: Dept. of Human Services, Health, Medicaid, Dept. of Transportation, Corrections, Mental Health, MS Industries for the Blind, MS Educational Television Authority, MS State Tax Commission, MS Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation, MS Public Service Commission and the Institutions for Higher Learning, which includes the University Medical Center, as well as all state universities. Additionally, there are over 800 members in separate branches of our union that include the City of Jackson employees and Headstart employees in 10 counties around Mississippi.
As a "right to work" state, Mississippi is tough to organize; but the courage and determination of our rank and file, elected leadership, and our staff of organizers have delivered us some real successes in the twenty years of our existence.
We are the largest and only Public Sector local in Mississippi under District 3 Communications Workers of America's Vice-President Judy Dennis.
MASE/CWA also receives the support and assistance of our Public Sector Vice-President Brooks Sunkett at the National Headquarters of the Communications Workers of America located in Washington, D.C. :
CWA members are employed in the telecommunications industry, printing and news media, public service, television, general manufacturing, sound and electronics, construction, as well as gas and electric utilities.
There are more than 1,250 CWA chartered local unions throughout the U.S. and Canada. CWA members live and work in more thatn 10,000 different communities.
As such, we are part of the larger family of labor, the AFL-CIO.
The AFL-CIO speaks for the whole labor movement before Congress and other branches of government and coordinates Labor's legislative agenda and lobbying efforts. They coordinate grass roots action such as boycotts, demonstrations, rallys, etc.
The AFL-CIO works to increase the public's awareness of unions and what they stand for through public relations including the series of TV and radio spots called UNION YES! They are the providers of the Union Privilege benefit programs.
Mississippi state workers are encouraged to join MASE/CWA; we're here for you! Whether a member or not, you've benefitted from our efforts over the years; but we could accomplish so much more if EVERY state worker was a union member. Our strength is in our numbers and in our level of activism. Contact us to learn more about how you can join or become more active!
As many of you know, I am an Independent when it comes to supporting candidates, however, after having to fight for the last eight years against legislation detrimental to state workers, this letter may give you the impression that I am a staunch Democrat. See it as you may, but I am going to be totally straightforward with you.
Because of the Republican control of the Governor’s office, the Lt. Governor’s position, and the Senate, it has been hard to get anything good passed, from pay raises for state workers, affordable health insurance and an ever present attempt to end your pension as you know it.
Under the Barbour/Lt Gov. Bryant’s administration, there has been a constant attack on public employees’ due process right which protects job security based upon years of services, job performance and veteran status. Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, is exactly right, when he said if elected to office it will be a smooth transition (more of the same) and that is what scares the hell out of our state employees.
We are tired of our elected politicians trying to pin the blame for the bad economic times on state workers and their pensions, falsely claiming they’re the reason the state is at risk of going broke.
Gov. Barbour has appointed a commission to study PERS made up of BUSINESS people, ELECTED officials and financials EXPERTS (lol) and led by Republican Mayor Schloegel of Gulfport. One of the main areas being looked into is what portion of the system is funded by taxpayers and what portion is funded by workers toward their own retirement? Remember what happened to your contribution in July 2010? Gov. Barbour is also asking them to examine the legality of changing the contribution for current and future state employees. He is moving forward with his attempt to make changes even though in the PERS report it states that:
"This announcement has stirred much concern among both our members and retirees. So, let me be clear about the financial state of our Retirement System. As I have said in the past, we are not as well funded as we should be; however, adjustments have been made and time should “right the ship.” For the year ended June 30, 2011, our investment return was 25.40 percent and our assets had grown to $20.8 billion, providing sufficient liquidity to pay retirement benefits for many years to come. PERS has been around for nearly 60 years, and we plan to be providing retirement security for public employees after their careers in public service for many more years."
The state retirement system board in recent years has recommended that MS put more money into the system, but lawmakers and Barbour have resisted doing so. Why? What do you think this commission will report considering the hostility of private-sector managament across the country? If we don't STICK TOGETHER, one-by-one for our issues, we will GO DOWN!
There is a 50/50 chance that the Republicans may take the House; if so there will be hell to pay for workers if they succeed. DON'T sit by and let this happen!
Brenda R. Scott
Brenda Rice Scott, a native of Adams County Mississippi and a graduate of Alcorn State University, is a former employee of the Mississippi Department of Health and the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
Through her role as a MASE/CWA activist, she was recruited to become the first state employee hired as an organizer in Mississippi on its staff in 1990.
Brenda was the recipient of the 2003 Southern Christian Leadership’s "Drum Major for Justice Award" and the 2003 Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s "Eye on the Prize Award" in organizing. In addition, Ms. Scott was presented with the CWA 2005-2006 Organizing President's Annual Award.
She was the first elected vice-president of MASE/CWA and after serving one term in that position, she was elected President of the local. Currently, she is serving in her sixth term in that position.