Wednesday, August 31, 2005

About rights

Fear of retribution?
If you cannot exercise a right without fear of retribution, it is not a right. Over and over I have seen instances at this university where, in my opinion, employees have been retributed against for exercising their rights under the collective bargaining agreement and the law. In my opinion every one of the officers I know of our union, myself included, has suffered reprisals for doing things like filing grievances, rebutting performance evaluations and complaining about working conditions. In the book the Art of War, by Sun Tzu, it is said that you do not have to defeat your enemy, you only have to defeat your enemy's will to engage. In my opinion, the enemy of some San Jose State University managers is the rights of the employees they supervise. It is some managers tactic to defeat the willingness of employees to engage their rights through acts of retribution and intimidation.

A right without a remedy?
Bill Clinton said, "a right without a remedy is not a right." Without a strong collective bargaining agreement, and a union willing to back it up through the grievance process and the willingness to file charges through avenues such as filing unfair labor practices, employees do not have real rights. You do not get rights through lame vision plans and mission statements that are not enforceable. Only through strong and able representation is a union able to protect the rights of the folks we represent.

A right denied one is a right denied all!
Every union represented employee has to have his or her rights protected by the union. Sometimes a worker may think that a certain other employee may deserve to be mistreated. It is a unions job to protect the rights of every employee by defending the rights of each employee. Equal protection under the law is a basic principle of American law. Only through vigorous defense of employee rights, each and every time rights are violated, can their availability be assured.

That's my opinion anyway.

~Steve Sloan, CSUEU Union Steward

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