It is with great sadness that I inform you all that as of today, June 21, 2017, after 13 consecutive years of being a loyal Union Representative I am resigning as Chairperson of the Delegate Body and also as a Delegate of the BFSA. Due to recent events I feel that I am being targeted unjustly by our Employer 1199SEIU Benefit & Pension Fund. The actions being taken are not limited to myself as many members are either currently experiencing the weight of unreasonable Labor Practices or being set on the same path as I. Working in good faith must be questioned at this time because past practices are being done away with unfairly here in the Fund.
Yesterday I was informed that I will be handed a 3 day suspension as a Disciplinary action for not being able to comply with the Production Standards. Which I might add is currently being investigated with BFSA Legal counsel and the Fund. Due to this action I feel it is best to disconnect myself as a Delegate from the BFSA and allow myself to be represented as a Member in order to address this issue to the fullest. Including but not limited to BFSA Grievance Procedures, Arbitration and the involvement of the United States Department of Labor.
To put this decision into perspective all of my BFSA production hours worked as a dedicated Delegate were always considered until now. In fact they have been taken into account For the past 4 years since Human Resources has allowed my time to be calculated by my management team in the now defunct Dental Department. This of course will affect any ones production. As of April 1st,2017 all dental staff members have been realigned to other job positions in other departments throughout the fund. There are currently 3 QCR’s, 2 Clerks, and 3 Processors that are left in the department that are still being held accountable for strict production standards. The workflow has changed but the Funds intention to enforce standards have been strengthened. This is simply unreasonable.
So upon being notified that I will be suspended due to allegedly failing Production Standards I requested my work to be further examined. It was identified by my manager that she incorrectly calculated my BFSA time and that my production was sufficient. This was communicated to Human Resources and it is at that time that the decision was made that for the past 4 years my management team has been calculating all of my BFSA hours wrong and that her findings will not be considered in reversing the Disciplinary Action. This proves that I am being targeted because now that the information does not fall in line with their desire to suspend me then of course the rules must instantly change to fit their needs. This is unacceptable and completely disrespectful to me as an employee and to the BFSA Union as a whole.
Since I began my PIP journey in 2013 a directive given to my department heads by HR representative of labor relations. It was decided that when I leave the floor to go represent someone or take care of Union business I was to email management when I was leaving the floor and again upon my return. Again this was so my BFSA union business hours will be deducted from my production. Now all of a sudden because I am once again being targeted this is now not the protocol and procedure.
This is just another example of the unfair and unjust treatment we the BFSA staff members have to endure. We are not treated with respect nor are we treated as if we are a Union within a Union. Rules are always being changed as the game is being played. Our cries fall upon deaf ears as we are slowly being stripped of our power. No longer are we being acknowledged as a strong Union. Past actions of the previous administrations such as being exposed for stealing Union dues monies should not be used against us. This is a new era and we should be given the opportunity to empower ourselves.
It is my feeling that since the BFSA has begun taking Legal Actions against the Fund they are attempting to remove those who will stand against them. If our stance as a Union that only seeks what is best for its membership continues to be met with avoidance, standstills and complete disregard then I WILL Stand against them!!! This clear retaliation will be met with the full power of our Union and the Laws that Protects Us from such Unfair Labor Practices and conditions.
We are a Union! It is time we start behaving as ONE!
In solidarity ,
Marguerita Escobar Dental Processor II