LAST UPDATED 11/24/12
PAC REBATES: You have until to 12/1/12 to request your PAC money back. And you should because SCAME is engaging in extortion from members in good standing by mandating PAC contributions in order to hold any office or position within the labor organization. Here's the letter you can download to request your PAC money back. Our Union Bylaws are in violation of federal law in their definition of a member in good standing, and in holding office contingent on PAC money. Modify the letter to your liking. Twice this year I have been told directly by the union that I am not a member in good standing because I requested my PAC money back last year - despite paying full dues for over 14 years - and was denied opportunities to hold office. The simple act of choosing to be a union member, and your dues being automatically deducted by the county comptroller from your paycheck - makes everyone a member in good standing that has been in the union for one to two years. It used to be one year in SCAME, now it's three years. The union will send you a form letter asking you to agree to sign their statement that basically says you are a bad union member. All you need to do is put a big X through their statement that they want you to agree to and write, "I need only request my PAC money back, not agree with what you have written," or better yet, "Mr. Farrell and Board of Directors whom agree: You are violating the rights of all members, and your resignations are in order. Dr. Germano and union attornies, you should do the same."
OFF THE PATH, BUT RELEVANT TO THE MAJORITY: Senate Bill will give law enforcement agencies warrantless access to Americans' emails and digital files. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57552225-38/senate-bill-rewrite-lets-feds-read-your-e-mail-without-warrants/ The Senate Judiciary Committee votes on it 11/29/12. The phone & fax numbers for the committee are linked to the article if you want to correspond your objections to it.
LABOR IN THE NEWS: Hostess declares bankruptcy blaming organized labor but gives CEO 300% raise as well as raises to other executives. While newspapers are reporting that the union involved is refusing to make concessions (they have in the past), here's what they're not reporting: http://www.moveon.org/share/72bb22/four-short-sentences-explain-who-killed-the?rc=share-3459b8. The CEO gave himself a 300% raise (amongst other things), which leads to another fact: The more corporations pay their CEO's the less they pay in federal taxes (http://www.ips-dc.org/reports/executive_excess_2012).
This Thursday, 10/18/12, AME Joint Unit Membership Meeting for the Security Guards, JJFSNF, & Patent Care Units. Regarding the sale of JJFSNF, the privatization of the Health Centers, & Security Guard Update. 6pm @ union headquarters. Forward your questions/concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org if you're unable to attend.
- County has made a deal to sell 4 of the health centers - waiving the RFP process again - to Hudson River. Direct from Heath Services Administration is that the other health centers operated by the hospitals will be sold following the RFP process. The County follows the law when they feel like it, and bypasses the law when they feel like it. There's never been any news or announcements by county administration that the health centers are operating at a loss, or aren't providing the public with great care, they just want to privatize. The contract to sell the health centers has not been put before the Legislature to vote on yet. There's a public hearing on 10/25/12 (click here) if you'd like to attend, and written testimony can be submitted until 11/15/12 to : Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Attn. Grace Kelly-McGovern, 3500 Sunrise Highway, Suite 124, PO Box 9006, Great River, NY 11739-9006. Download and distribute the notice, as well as the Spanish language version (click here).
- The County legislature voted to sell JJFSNF and Union President Farrell said at the 9/20/12 general membership meeting that the union would sue if that was the case.
- Security Guard issue is before arbitration, it was ruled the grievance was filed on time.
Our membership dues are being used to support candidates for federal office - supposedly not the PAC money because the union's PAC is not registered as a federal PAC and therefore the PAC money can not go directly to any federal candidates for office. You have a right to weigh-in on the union's endorsements since your dues are being used for political purposes in mailings to the membership, and pay for the union's website which is making political postings.
1st Congressional District Candidate Randy Altschuler (R) made comments at the 9/4/12 public hearing for JJFSNF in support against the current deal to sell the facility, and in support of the residents and employees (so have other people consistently since 2010, notably certain legislators, employees, residents, and concerned citizens). Here's the link to the minutes for that date as well as the other public hearing on 9/7/12: http://legis.suffolkcountyny.gov/clerk/cmeet/jjf/jjf_ph12.html. I'll stick to the sole issue of workers' and organized labors' rights since that's the union's purpose (every voter is going to vote on the issue they feel is most important to them whether it be the economy, jobs, the middle class, abortion, health care, medicare, the wars, or they always vote for their party, etc). First, everyone should be skeptical of politicians' acts and claims that occur before an election, no matter what party they're from. So what do you do? Look at the candidates' records on the issues of employee and labor rights. My concern with Mr. Altschuler is what he's going to do at the federal level in the position he's running for. He has no capacity to effect the JJFSNF matter as a US Congressman or directly at the county level (but as a private citizen he can bring a lawsuit against the SC Legislature for violating the law to sell to the highest, most responsible bidder, which is what the county is supposed to do via the RFP process, and which they waived in order to sell JJFSNF - I'm waiting for that). Being a Republican, I fear he'll follow his Republican party at the federal level on labor issues, especially since he'll be a freshman and will defer to the party's leadership (I haven't seen anything in writing to the contrary). The Republican controlled Congress just passed an anti-labor law this past February, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act (H R 658). Here's the description of the law: "An Act to amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the Federal Aviation Administration for fiscal years 2011 through 2014, to streamline programs, create efficiencies, reduce waste, and improve aviation safety and capacity, to provide stable funding for the national aviation system, and for other purposes." Based on that description which is on page 1 of the law, you wouldn't think that bill had anything to do with weakening organized labors' rights, would you? It had everything to do with weakening employees' and labors' rights and SCAME's-endorsed 3rd (not 2nd as SCAME posted on their website) Congressional District Congressman Peter King (R) voted for it, while the record shows 1st and 2nd Congressional District Congressmen, Tim Bishop (D) and Steve Israel (D), respectively, voted against it. Here's the full article from The Hill: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/labor/211471-why-obama-should-have-vetoed-faa-reauthorization-act. "There’s also no question that the legislation demonstrates the GOP’s determination to destroy unions...The labor provisions make it harder for airline and railroad workers to form unions in several respects: They place limits on National Mediation Board rule-making, increase the threshold for unions to petition for elections [raised from 35% to 50% now], make it more difficult for unions to win run-off elections, increase the likelihood of litigation, strengthen employers’ ability to delay organizing and bargaining, and make union authorization cards subject to discovery, thereby making it less likely that employees will sign them in the first place." If you intend to vote Republican because of another issue or you like what Mr. Altschuler did - that's your right - but get the facts straight on who supports employees' and organized labors' rights at the federal level, and who doesn't, since our union dues are paying for it.
What can you do to get the money out of politics and bring back fair and democratic elections? There's a national movement called Move to Amend (https://movetoamend.org/ny-brookhaven) to pass a 28th Amendment that corporations are not people, and money is not speech and can be regulated. It is a nonpartisan association that believes that there is too much money in politics. This issue is common ground for all Americans, and directly a labor issue, since Unions' PACs are being outspent by corporations, and special interests through anonymous, unlimited donations to SuperPacs and Social Welfare Groups, which in turn, run ads in favor of their anti-labor candidates or negative ads against pro-workers' rights-candidates. This is Part 1 of a 3-part series how Americans can take back their government. 8 states have passed resolutions supporting a 28th Amendment and more states have it on their agendas.
Intentional or oversight? Where's the Change? The false judicial decisions published by Cheryl Felice and paid for with membership dues are still up on the union's website, here's the link: http://www.scame.org/ame-happenings-view.php?NYS-Supreme-Court-Rejects-Lawsuit-34. The false judicial decisions were supported by the Old Board which is now the New Board, including my ex-running mate John J. Sarno. John was at the BOD meetings when I talked about the 5/12/09 minutes never being published in violation of the Union's Bylaws (the 2 different sets of minutes still have not been published), and he was there when I notified the BOD of the scam Joe Congedo (who is still on the Judicial Board), Frank Casiglia, and Felice pulled in burying the charges I filed to expel Felice, - John and the BOD were made aware of the facts, and he and them, said and did absolutely nothing about it. They went along with everything and the membership being lied to. He lost his seat as President of the Labor Unit, but is on the Union PAC Committee.
9/2012 Highlights of AME's General Membership meeting 9/20/12
It started at 6 pm but I got there about 6:45 pm. When I asked what I missed, people next to me told me I only missed candidates running for office. It was a sort of meet the candidates night for the candidates that the union is endorsing, and I got there on the last one speaking. The union is telling us who to vote for, but they're not giving us the PAC's financial disclosure reports filed with the NYS Board of Elections. They want your PAC money but they don't want to tell you what they're doing with it. Publish the same financial disclosure reports in the VOICE - the members have a right to know, not just the people you appoint to the PAC Committee. And if the union won't give you the same reports filed with the state, you should ask for your PAC money back. And its a way of getting your leaders to listen to you if you feel dissatisfied with the union by requesting your PAC money back. I've said before take that money, put your name on it, and donate it to the candidate of your choice. The Legislators who voted for layoffs, went along with privatizing the security guards, the patronage job for Felice, and the illegitimate sale of JJFSNF all got union PAC money (or their political party did - the union didn't have a crystal ball either).
Then a segment followed on public relations and educating the public on what public employees are about, do, and the benefits we have. Ads to run in newspapers. We're not getting inflated, high pensions. The newspapers highlight the abuses of a few or the few exceptions, not the dignity or facts of the majority. The union is going to start highlighting a member of the month, they want you to nominate your coworkers.
After that there was a segment on the union's website being revamped and relaunched. There will be a general page available to the public, and then members will have to create a login ID with password in order to access information for member's eyes only. Launch date pending.
Union President Dan Farrell discussed issues and took questions/comments from the members in attendance. Alot of questions about the college and their contract issue, the JJFSNF sale, and the Security Guard privatization. I sat in the back and didn't hear everything that everyone said, and at the time I wasn't intent on reporting about the meeting so I didn't write down all of questions/comments and Dan's responses: (If I'm wrong on anything please correct me).
- Re: College - Vera, Steve, and Terry from the Selden campus had questions/comments about the college and contact them directly for what was actually asked & answered. It was an honor for me to meet Vera - she was the college employee that stood up to the union for violating her rights and prevailed with CSEA's & PERB's help.
- Re: JJFSNF - Final public hearing tomorrow at the H. Lee Dennison Building, get info/flier at union website. Legal action to be pursued if sale continues. Apart from the meeting, Legislator John Kennedy issued a media release that outlines all the things that were wrong with the sale of JJFSNF, click here. Also alot of valid information provided by Attorney Lawrence Gray, a former NYS ADA with experience in the sale of public nursing homes and author of law books for the Bar Association. I need time to condense and upload all the information he provided.
- Re: Security Guard Privatization - the security guards are training their replacements from the private company (Dream Land Security) hired by Bellone while the IP charge is before an arbitrator who is first deciding if the IP charge was filed on time (Bellone's team raised the issue & I think it was stated that Felice filed it). I know that one of the security guards that spoke is also a volunteer with the SC CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) so not only are they professional people that do their job well and take pride in what they do, they volunteer and give back to the community, like what's already been stated by the union. That same security guard and CERT volunteer also helped me after a meeting one evening we both attended and it was after 9pm at night, and I was locked out of my car in a dark parking light (unbeknownst to me the remote slipped off the ring in my driveway after unlocking the car and I had starter kill without the remote). Even though I told him my husband was on his way with the remote, he insisted on staying for my safety until my husband got there. Thank you again Kevin. Shout out to the 3 security guards at the Riverhead County Center - Sean, Tim, & Joe. Always professional & always there when you need them, and the nicest guys.
-Re: Sick Leave Policy - one woman spoke on repealing the sick leave policy which is arbitrarily applied between the different departments, and she got alot of support from the audience. Farrell said it could be brought up at the next contract negotiations.
Notable quote from our Union President Dan Farrell: "300 employees were laid off who had an average salary of $40,000 and Bellone hired 150 people at an average salary of $80,000 to $140,000 (patronage jobs), so there were no savings to the suffolk county taxpayer."
GOOD things happening:
- Everyone who wanted to speak was allowed to speak and was given time and the union president responded to all questions & concerns and conveyed the intent to follow up on those questions & issues. Members were allowed to speak as long as they wanted, and everyone was cognizant of people waiting to speak after them so no one abused the time. Remember the days when Josephine Passantino used to go around with the mike and could selectivley choose who asked questions/comments and could pull the mike away at any second? I do.
- GREAT THING: Union convention to be held locally at the Hyatt in Hauppauge and to quote Mr. Farrell, "the convention is not just for the delegates, it's for the members too." So if anyone wants to put in for the time off from work and speak at the public portion you don't have to travel all the way to Montauk. Cutting costs - no stay overs in the hotel at member expense, it's a day thing.
- Union is standing up for the security guards and JJFSNF residents and employees. I was at the legislative hearing on 9/4/12 and the new union attorney Lee Snead noted specific irregularities/illegalities on the process of the sale that the county executive and legislature has taken. Another speaker identified as an attorney also spoke to the illegality of the sale. Those minutes for that meeting and all the public hearings will be available on the legislature's website. And then there's Leg. Kennedy's press release noted above, as well as the Gray documents.
- Union President receptive to the idea of making audiotape or videotape of board meetings available through the new website or at general meetings for members who can't attend during the day. Working towards transparency. And getting the VOICE out on time.
NOT-SO-GOOD thing happened:
- The Union President didn't like what one of the members said at the podium and resorted to bullying in my opinion. He got loud, talked over the person, and made an insulting, demeaning remark and supporters of the union president joined in in verbally attacking the speaker. Sound familiar? Like old times?
BUT A GOOD thing happened after that:
- that response from the union president made me want to get up and speak on behalf of the member who spoke who was a complete stranger to me (I later found out who she was). After Mr. Farrell realized I came in peace, (he made a comment to bait and tackle me but that wasn't what I was there for- careful Dan - this is the time and place) he was receptive to my comments and suggestions about the way he responded and I think awareness took hold. Bullying is not going to win people over and will alienate them and reduces your credibility. 48% of the votes cast were for Felice, and one can only guess how many people voted for Dan because they wanted Felice out more than they wanted Dan. Dan, it's not a dig or a jab, just a statistical fact that you have to appeal to the 48% that didn't vote for you, and convince the people who voted for you that they should do it the next time around - not because they want the other guy not to win - but because you are the better candidate.
ANOTHER NOT-SO-GOOD thing happened:
- profanity at the membership meeting by the union president (it wasn't directed at any member). Leave the profanity for personal conversations, not in the office and not at the meetings. Don't say anything to the staff or your members that you wouldn't say to the legislators. I attended the public hearings for the Sabosto v. Felice/SCAME case at the NYS Division of Human Rights. Believe it or not, hours of testimony by the defendents were devoted to testifying about Sabosto's profanity up at union hall. Sabosto's lawyer got the defendents to admit they themselves also used profanity or other staff members did as well and they weren't complaining about their own profanity or that of others. I imagined what Margaret Jackson, the administrative law judge was thinking, "I went to law school and became a judge to listen to this?" More on that case to follow.
In summary, I haven't been in that union hall in over 2 years. The values of truth, justice, honor, and integrity died in that union hall. I used to go there with a sense of purpose and pride. I never received one apology or act of contrition on anyone's part (and don't expect it), and I saw alot of bad apples still there, but I saw alot of good people too. BUT, I recognize that the same people who were part of the corruption under Felice are trying to change things now. If you, me, and them want change then it's possible. What? You thought when I said I wanted a clean slate too it meant I would get amnesia and bygones are bygones? It meant I would recognize the good things that this leadership is doing, and I will give credit if it's due and tell you where you need improvements if warranted. I even changed my banner up top.
Final Note: Go see HEIST: Who Stole the American Dream (http://www.heist-themovie.com/). It's about what both political parties did over the last 30 years to cause the economic crisis/outsourcing of jobs, and how they're making the poor and middle classes, and organized labor, be the scapegoats. I have a thesis for anyone going for their Master's or PhD in labor studies: Giving up, or being forbidden, the right to strike by public employees, has it reduced or strengthened public employees bargaining power? All the significant benefits obtained by labor, including collective bargaining, were the result of striking. Now, in my opinion, public employees are boxed in, we're faced with layoffs, concessions, wage freezes, contributing to our health insurance premiums when historically public salaries are lower than private sector salaries, departments being closed, etc. It's illegal for public employees to strike, if they do they lose a day's pay for each day they strike - they don't get thrown in jail. Public employees are striking in the UK, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, and now in Chicago. Investigate, question, reach.......300 employees laid off for 150 patronage jobs and no savings to the taxpayers. There's other things we can do: 1) support a 28th Amendment to overturn Citizens United and restore fair and equal elections (7 states have passed resolutions calling for the passage & ratification of this - not NY not yet - write your state & federal representatives), 2) support public financing of elections (write your state & federal legislators again), 3) don't give your vote to the politicians balancing the budgets on the poor and middle classes while giving tax breaks and loopholes, or sweet deals, to the wealthy, corporations and nursing home owners, and 4) spread the word and consider demonstrations. There's also the issue of political party fusion, but another time.
1/2012 AME's 2012 General Election Already Corrupted
Cheryl Felice has misused association funds this election, just like she did in the last election.
VOICE (VOLUME 28, NUMBER A): Post Special Convention Issue (Page 3). Came in the mail 1/21/2012.
"Since 2004, more than $500,000 has been spent on defending frivolous lawsuits filed against AME...and viscious decertification attempts which cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend; and they (the people who are responsible for those things) are gearing up for the ultimate prize next spring: the AME General Election."
In one stroke, again, Felice has libeled everyone running for office against her with her false allegations of causing the membership $500,000 in frivolous lawsuits, and illegitimate decertification attempts.
Misuse of employee association funds for her campaign purposes and committing libel. Union money and resources are only to be used for official union business, not campaigning, not libel (written falsehoods). Union officials are to use their union positions for official union business, not slander (spoken falsehoods).
Felice should be required to retract those statements in the next edition of the VOICE prior to the election (on the inside, Page 3). She should be required to personally reimburse the union the cost of both that VOICE edition and the next VOICE to come out with the retraction. The Board of Directors should bring charges against her for libel and remove her from office.
To anyone running for office send a certified, return-receipt letter addressed to the Election Committee Chair, Margaret Furey and cc it to the Judicial Board Review Panel.
Bring it up at the General Membership meeting on 1/30/12.
There are already other election violations:
- Anyone who doesn't pay PAC is not allowed to run. AME made PAC mandatory in order to run for office or hold any type of position in the union. Violation of state and federal laws.
- Retirees can run for office, but can't vote. What if there's a tie? Another lawsuit waiting to happen. And there's other reasons retirees should have the right to vote (think the US Constitution & Bill of Rights), but I'll get into that another time.
- AME is now holding the membership mailing list hostage, and requiring anyone running for office to have to go to AME to have AME's staff label and mail campaign materials. Incumbents full-time at AME have an advantage over non-incumbents. Non-Incumbents have to wait on AME staff to be available, use their own gas and personal time (from work) to travel to AME, causing a delay in the mailing of their campaign materials, which is a violation of the Union's Constitution to a fair and democratic election. The election is on a time clock. If someone picks up their campaign fliers from their printer on the way home from work on a Friday night, and wants to address and drop those fliers in the post office box 1/4 of a mile away from their home the same Friday night, then they should be able to do that - not have to wait until the following week being subjected to AME's convenience, and the non-incumbent's inconvenience.
- the opt-out list for people who don't want campaign materials. Did SC or NYS Board of Elections ever send anyone a notice you could opt-out of receiving campaign materials from candidates? No. If you get it and you don't want it, you throw it out simply. The opt-out list actually goes against a fair and democratic election. Anyone who is running for office has a right to send their campaign material to all the registered voters and a registered voter is entitled to any election materials by any candidate. Supporting an opt-out list, which is only applied to direct marketers and telemarketers trying to sell goods and services, is actually equating elections to junk mail. People on the Opt-Out List will only get the VOICE/union mailings, and Felice's campaigning in the VOICE/union mailings attacking her opponents, just like the one that just came. Using Union money and materials for her campaigning - and preventing opposing candidates to mailing the truth to the ones on the Opt-out List. The Opt-Out List ensures members on it only get campaign materials from Felice.
One thing is true - $500,000 in lawsuits since 2004 - since Cheryl Felice took office. She's trampling the Union's Constitution & Bylaws, and violating members' rights resulting in all these lawsuits. And lying to everyone about it through all the union mailings, and all her speeches - and libeling and slandering all the people who had legitimate causes of action, and libeling and slandering everyone, collectively, that runs against her in this year's election.
1/2012 The Libel & Slander Has to End.
I'm tired of the libel and slander. The newest edition of the VOICE contains more libel.
Cheryl Felice and the Board of Directors do not have the right to libel and slander people in this union, and destroy good people's reputations. This is not a game. You don't have the right to destroy good people's names and reputations.
I'm going to start publicly naming all the Board of Directors individually that have participated in the racketeering in this union and their names with that information will be available on the internet for all to see.
I registered a new domain: www.badlawyers.us
It's not up and running yet but the morally bankrupt Gary Silverman, Helen Wrobel, and Brian O'Dwyer will be first on the list with all the evidence.
Followed by a close second with my former attorney Arthur Z. Schwartz, who was not competent in Not-For-Profit Corporation Law and caused my case to be dismissed, but feels entitled to keep the money I paid him. Court records don't lie.
Try to sue me, I'm looking forward to showing a judge the false judicial decisions published by Felice which the entire Board of Directors reinforced to this membership, and that the attorneys had full knowledge of.
Take me to court and just know CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and others will be invited to come cover the proceedings.
Shame on you:
Anne Marie Leonardo-Traci
Peter Meringolo (Yes I will expose the moral bankruptcy in the NYS PEC too) NYS PEC's BOD buried charges of corruption in their association just like AME'S BOD buried the charges I submitted and never discussed them.
Dr. Thomas Germano (I expected you to speak up, not remain silent, I sent you proof of everything).
More to be named on a monthly basis
You'd better call on Cheryl Felice to resign and take responsibility for failing to do your jobs as elected Board of Directors, because I'm not going away and I'll do everything in my power to bring more attention to the corruption and racketeering in this union.
I can't make anyone do anything they don't want to do. I can't convince people they should be moral and ethical. The only thing I can do is expose these horrible people for the entire internet and world to see.
CC: CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, The Daily Show with John Stewart, Countdown with Keith Olberman, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Michael Moore
11/2011 Click Here for the letter I sent to Governor Cuomo asking for an independent investigator to audit the SCAME's books. Governor Cuomo has not responded yet. Felice announced at a union meeting on 11/3/11 that Governor Cuomo did conduct an investigation and found no proof of corruption or racketeering. But Felice didn't offer any documentation to prove her claim, and no one asked for any proof like usual.
If you send in the letter requesting a PAC refund (click here), you'll get back a form from the union asking you to sign a pre-printed statement that ends with, "......I choose to maintain my opposition to assisting in that combined union effort." You need only request your PAC money back, you don't have to agree with anything the union asks you to sign. This is how I answered it, and you should do the same, click here. Remember to cc it to the NYS Board of Elections Enforcement Counsel.
The 2011 Bylaw Proposals are not good, click here to see the letter I sent my Unit President asking him to vote NO on all of them.
I attended the Public Hearing on 11/7/11 at the NYS Division of Human Rights involving the Sabosto vs. SCAME/Felice case. Randi Delirod was there and when asked by the Administrative Law Judge who she was, Gary Silverman, attorney for the union's firm O'Dwyer & Bernstein, answered for her that "She's a person who assisted me with this case." That's it. Delirod has gotten 4 incomes from this union that was kept hidden from the membership - we knew she was Chief of Staff & Public Relations Director, but were never told she was the Lobbyist of the Union's Lobbyist, and PAC money recipient for "radio". Plus she found time to be a law student. A law student who's assisting a lawyer on a legal case - fits the definition of a law intern for me. How much more money is Delirod getting from SCAME that we don't know about? And who's paying for her legal education? The SCAME members or the Suffolk County Taxpayers through the SC Tuition Reimbursement Program? At the public hearing it was disclosed that Delirod is no longer the SCAME Chief of Staff, that position is held by Sandra Palmer-Randall now. The DHR case continues. Delirod's salary as SCAME's Public Relations Director is not included in the listing of SCAME's staff positions and salaries. Why not? Her salary should be disclosed like all the other staff positions. This and all the other hidden incomes of Randi Delirod is why an outside audit needs to be done.
The cat's out of the bag - Suffolk County taxpayers are paying for the labor-related education and college degrees of the union leaders, through the Suffolk County Tuition Reimbursement Program, unrelated to the civil service position/title all these people were hired for by the county . The Suffolk County taxpayers don't know it yet, because it hasn't been reported or advertised. I've asked the SC Comptroller to do an audit of the county tuition reimbursement program and haven't heard back from him yet. So county brass has approved the county tuition reimbursement program to pay for the labor leaders' education. Conflict of interest anyone? Quid-pro-quo? YES, the 4/23/2009 MOA is proof of that, no disclosure by the union that that MOA existed until the County sent out an All-Employee Memorandum in 10/2011, 2 1/2 years after Felice signed it. It's the Union's responsibility, not the employer's, to include, apprise, and inform the employees of their benefits and changes to them. Felice inked a deal behind closed doors with Labor Relations altering the eligibility for health insurance benefits at retirement and separation from employment, which negatively impacts all employees, and then she hid it, and then she lied about it. But this is also telling on the county's part - the county has always issued AEM's relating to benefits in a timely fasion, either when they sought to unilaterally change them before it was approved by the union, or shortly thereafter any MOAs were approved. This one took them 2 1/2 years as well. Makes you wonder what else we don't know about?
The most recent VOICE (Volume 27, Number F), contains a phony Stipulation of Agreement. The Stipulation of Agreement (SOA) published is not the real SOA that the SCAME membership and the Suffolk County Legislature approved. The real one contained language it was contingent upon the sale of JJFSNF. Yes, union leadership urged the membership to press their legislators to sell JJFSNF and terminate those county positions and employees, and the majority of the membership went for it (and never mind all the other reasons published earlier on this website, and all the testimony from patients of JJFSNF, their families, employees, and advocates for keeping JJFSNF a publicly owned facility). Prior to the SOA, layoffs started early this year, as Levy pressed forward with down-sizing the facility's staff and 13 or 16 employees were terminated, and others moved to other locations, until the JJFSNF lawsuit put the brakes on Levy's actions, and stopped the county from laying off more. Those employees got rehired to their original positions and anyone transfered went back as well in a quid-pro-quo for the Legislators agreeing to sell the facility. They were not guaranteed jobs with the new owners, only preference and a severance package which was added in by the Legislature. Some of my fellow coworkers just got their 5th pending layoff letter in a year.
10/2011 Another Proposed Dues increase - here's some facts for you: most of the lawsuits and both decert attempts were a result of the corruption and racketeering in AME by Felice and her cohorts. O'Dwyer & Bernstien get $270,000 per year just to sit at the BOD meetings. All litigation - Supreme Court, PERB, Division of Human Rights, etc. - they get paid extra for on top of the $270,000. They get $12,000 a month for "contract negotiations". So what are they doing at the BOD meetings to justify earning that $270,000 a year if they get paid separately for the lawsuits? I've written about this extensively in the past, and you can peruse this site to see the older postings about this matter. O'Dwyer & Bernstein are quite happy looking the other way when Felice and Board violate the laws, because it means more $$$$$ for them.
GET YOUR PAC MONEY BACK. I wrote the letter for you requesting your PAC money back, download it here. Just fill in your personal address, the date, your signature, printed name, and name of your unit. Make sure you keep a copy and send a copy to the NYS Board of Elections Enforcement Counsel. You have to send this in before 12/1/11. Felice and company are always pushing you to pay PAC money, which federal law deems voluntary not mandatory. Yet Felice and company will never provide you with documentation where your PAC money goes. You have to get that from the NYS Board of Elections. Even the BOD doesn't get the same reports that are given to the NYS BOE. If AME won't give you the same PAC financial disclosure reports it gives to the state, then why should you give it? Your PAC money is not benefitting you, it's only benefitting Felice with perks and a political appointment by Cuomo - who now knows all about the corruption and racketeering in AME. Governor Cuomo has taken thousands in Union PAC money and in return is threatening to issue pink slips if his state workers don't agree to concessions that he wants, and earlier threatened to suspend the Taylor Law and/or Triborough Doctrine. Concessions and pink slips for the members - but perks, political appointments, and patronage jobs for the union leaders. Take that PAC money and donate it directly to a candidate you support with identifying yourself as a public employee and union member. When Andrew Cuomo was Attorney General he gave a pass on prosecution to Wall Street in his own front yard - he started out doing an investigation and issued subpoenas, but then dropped it at the behest of Timothy Geithner, now the US Treasury Secretary. Cuomo did nothing about the Wall Street crimes when it was his job, and is after his state public employees (who didn't commit any crimes) to make up for the economic losses caused by Wall Street, and all the tax cuts, tax loopholes, and tax havens given to the wealthy and corporations. Levy and the 2 political parties he came from are doing the same thing - balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and middle classes, while they all keep their patronage jobs. Some of your fellow coworkers have gotten their 4th pending layoff letter in less than a year. PAC monies to all these people and parties isn't doing anything for anyone except Felice, Delirod, Meringolo, O'Dwyer & Bernstien, et al. At least your name is on it if you give it directly to the candidate or party of your choice.
If Civil Service posted a job opening for a supervisory position, and a condition of getting that position was mandatory PAC contributions to the Suffolk County Democrats and/or Republicans what would you think would happen? There'd be an outcry and it would be all over the news (well maybe not in Suffolk County where the political party fusion/cross-endorsement of the major parties has gone unreported and uninvestigated and is illegal in 42 other states). Can you imagine Civil Service or any employer putting it in writing the job is dependent on PAC contributions? That is what your union, AME, has done. Their seeking to change the Bylaws that now you have had to pay PAC money since your date of hire (currently it's 12 consecutive months of PAC money) in order to run for office in AME or hold any type of appointment in AME. If it's illegal for Civil Service and any other employer to do this, then how could it be legal for an employee organization to do this? AME is registered with the State as a not-for-profit corporation, not as a not-for-profit political organization. I posted the links to election and civil service law earlier this year, click here.
Fundraiser for Legislator Kate Browning this Wednesday, 10/26/11, 7pm to 10pm at the Mastic Beach Property Owner's Association, 31 Neighborhood Road, Mastic Beach. https://www.facebook.com/messages/#!/pages/Legislator-Kate-Browning/111586872257078 - that's the link to her facebook page with more information.
Browning has grounds seeking an injunction in court to suspend the election in her district until the Board Of Elections investigates and dismisses the false allegations against her by the Suffolk GOP/Republicans. Everyone is entitled to a fair and democratic election, and the damaging allegations against Browning from the GOP will negatively impact her at the polls.
Don't fall for the accusations by the Suffolk County GOP and their political allies about Leg. Browning using official county legislature letterhead or resources for her campaign. They have her confused with Cheryl Felice. Someone took an official, legitimate letter on county leg. letterhead dealing with a legislative issue signed by Leg. Browning and is claiming that a campaign aide of Browning's distributed it as campaign literature. They're hoping that accusations are enough to convict Browning in the court of public opinion. Sound familiar? Can anyone say AME? And Felice proves her lack of ethics and integrity once again with her "No Endorsement" of Legislators Browning and Kennedy in the VOICE Election Endorsement issue. Browning & Kennedy fought for JJFSNF when Felice sold it out in our labor contract, and violated her Duty to Fair Representation not seeking judicial intervention when she repeatedly asserted the law had been violated and it directly impacted the JJFSNF employees. Felice is being honored by St. Joseph's College next month - all the outside groups that are honoring her don't know anything about the corruption and racketeering in AME under her, most of the political parties and politicians know. If you know anyone at St. Joseph's College pass along my website.
Did you get the All Employee Memorandum from the county dated 10/5/11 regarding the eligibility for health insurance benefits at retirement and separation from employment? Felice signed the MOA for this 4/23/09, only days after the 2009 General Election and never told anyone. Click here for the MOA. When one of her own on the Board of Directors brought up the rumor about it at the April 2010 BOD meeting, she denied the rumors (it's in the VOICE). She kept it a secret, and then she lied about it when asked directly about it. First, it's her responsibility to discuss any changes in benefits with the membership, and if the majority of the membership agrees to the changes, then it's her responsibility to notify the membership of the changes in benefits. How could she do this? The BOD and delegates at the Convention in 2008 gave her the power to be the sole signatory on all MOAs on all matters not contained in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. So anything that's not in the CBA, like health insurance and eligibility for health insurance needs only be signed off by her and her alone.
Suffolk County General Election 11/8/11
Elections are here, and one legislator that has consistently worked and advocated on her constituents' behalves, and merits reelection, is Kate Browning of the Third Suffolk County Legislative District.
Legislator Browning has consistently fought for the John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility, and its residents and employees (AME members). She has sponsored resolutions to create a public-private partnership so that the JJFSNF can survive as a county facility, increase services available at the facility to generate more revenue for the county, and continued funding. She supported the JJFSNF lawsuit and attended all the fundraisers, and Chairs the Health & Human Services Committee and is on the JJFSNF Oversight Committee along with one of JJFSNF's best assets, Chris Destio. Legislator Browning has consistently fought against the sale and closure of JJFSNF, and is fighting for the county health centers and the valuable services those county clinics provide to the residents of Suffolk County. Legislator Browning was a Union Bus Driver and a Shop Steward for her union members and she has experience fighting for workers' rights.
The facts came out about the deal Levy struck with the designated JJFSNF buyer, Rozenberg; the defective contract of sale for the JJFSNF between the county and Rozenberg which didn't protect the Suffolk County taxpayers (as analyzed by an expert in the field, click here), and the investigative report done by the SC Comptroller at Legislator's Browning behest, which detailed how the County Executive's office decided to change the RFP from a lease of the facility, to a sale of the facility instead, and how Rozenberg was chosen to be the buyer (and which is only available to download from my website, it's not even on the Comptroller's website, click here).
***Never forget - Our Union President Cheryl Felice and Board got on board with the County Executive in advocating selling the JJFSNF which has accepted patients that other facilities wouldn't accept, eliminating county positions and union positions, endorsing the defective contract of sale that failed to protect Suffolk County taxpayers and making our labor contract contingent upon it, and violated the Union's Duty to Fair Representation under the Taylor Law when she repeatedly asserted and published the County Executive and Legislature violated the Mary Hibberd Law, but sought no judicial intervention on behalf of her members effected by the violations. The Union represents the employees of the Health Services Department and was invisible when the County Executive sought to close 2 county health centers eliminating valuable services for the poor and underinsured, and again invisible with the funding cuts to the clinics across the board, and decrease in patient services to the poor and underinsured.***
If you live in the Third Suffolk County Legislative District, please vote for Kate Browning in the general election on 11/8/11.
Get the facts from the minutes of the SC Legislature available online, not from Cheryl Felice or the VOICE.
I am not receiving anything for my endorsement of Legislator Browning, and she is not connected in anyway to my website. I merely observed her actions and feel she is a genuine person, and backs up her words with actions. Everything on this website and its subject content is a result of my own hand and no one else's. I do cite my references and sources when appropriate to do so.
Coming soon, I FOIL'ed 2 more Improper Practice Charges against the union and Dottie Kerrigan, Executive Board officer, and Anne-Marie Leonardi Tracy, SCCC White Unit President.
Check out the Economic Policy Institute's website: www.epi.org. Download Debunking the Myth of the Over-compensated Public Employee, For public-sector workers, a wage penalty, and Setting the record straight on public employee wages and unions. Forward the reports to your Suffolk County Legislator with your own comments.
8/2011 Food for Thought - I recognize the irony of things:
*** Felice and the Union's BOD are guilty as charged in the DHR complaint filed by Sabosto, and the PERB case filed by the SCCC employee/AME member. Yet Felice gets to make settlements with the caveat that there is "no admission of guilt" on her part and/or that of SCAME's, and they're allowed to remain in office. Why? Because they lie to you about the facts. Have to videotape those board meetings, you're not getting the truth out of their mouths or in the VOICE. To all county employees and SCAME members - if your employer (the county) comes after you and files charges against you to get you demoted or fired from your civil service position - tell the union attorneys you want the same deals they got for Felice and the Board. If they can do it for our corrupt leaders then they can do it for the members they're supposed to represent, and who pay their salary. Don't believe it if they tell you it's comparing apples to oranges. You're entitled to the same standard of legal representation as our corrupt union leaders. And FOIL the settlement agreements from PERB and the DHR which will give you the specifics. And even though the BOD didn't approve the settlement agreement between Felice and DHR involving Sabosto - your'e still legally entitled to the specifics of that deal because Delirod's presence in the room violated secrecy. But don't wait for this little tidbit to be published in the VOICE, or given voluntarily by O'Dwyer & Bernstein and Felice.
7/2011 I've spoken about the fact that there's no checks and balances in our union. There's a term for this - Racketeering.
Obstruction of justice by an organization is one form of racketeering. A judicial process exists only on paper, not in reality, in our union. Felice, the current Judicial Board Chair, the BOD, the union attorneys all act in concert to obstruct justice for the members. All the cases with various charges I've submitted have never been heard and voted on by the BOD. The 5/12/09 BOD meeting minutes are still nowhere to be found. It's not only a violation of our Bylaws, it's also a violation of NYS Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (Article 6: Section 621: Books and records; right of inspection; prima facie evidence). Felice gave 2 different versions of the minutes to the BOD, and they accepted both versions, but neither one has been published. Everything on this website is what the union attorneys won't tell you and what you won't learn in the labor-management training classes taught by Dr. Germano, go ask them. Uploaded all the exhibits for the 2 cases submitted to the NYS Attorney General and Union's Judicial Board and BOD last year, click here.
7/2011 Felice is calling the members traitors again (published in the VOICE) and inviting another Improper Practice Charge at PERB. She just settled at PERB, and she agreed to settle at DHR. What does she care? She's not paying for an attorney out of her own pocket, the members are paying for it. She's not paying the money agreed upon in the settlements - the SCAME members are paying it. And she's not telling the members the facts about all the cases/charges filed against her in the VOICE. The union is a cash cow for O'Dwyer & Bernstein. They get $22,000 a month just to sit at the BOD meetings, they get extra for any lawsuits, court, PERB, DHR, contract negotiations, etc. The more lawsuits, charges at Perb, etc., the more money for them. They're raking it in. By failing to inform the BOD of the facts of Felice's libel and legal violations, they are insuring more lawsuits and more money for themselves. $100's of thousands of dollars is a great incentive to ignoring the law that you have a license to practice in.
6/2011 Felice agreed to settle the DHR case against her but the Union's BOD rejected it for a second time when they've never seen any of the DHR's documentation. Randi Delirod was in the conference room for the final settlement agreement and because of this, her presence breaks all secrecy and invalidates the non-disclosure clause. She wasn't a party to the matter and identified herself as only a "supporter" of Felice to the Administrative Law Judge. Third party presence breaks all secrecy. And she's a law student?
What's next with this case? Time will tell, and if a settlement can't be approved by the BOD, it goes to a public hearing and the tapes Felice doesn't want anyone to hear will be a matter of public record, along with all the other sordid details. One word - FOIL.
5/2011 Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) sides against SCAME - PERB upheld that an employee has the right to support the union of his/her choice, without being retaliated, harassed, or discriminated against by the employee's current union. PERB sided in favor of an SCCC employee who is an AME member that has been supporting the current decert/fragment attempt of the college employees to CSEA (by refusing to dismiss this person's complaint and moving forward to a hearing if SCAME refused to settle). This employee was denied reimbursement for an exam from AME, whereas other AME members received reimbursement. The SCCC Unit Board distributed an email stating how they were going to refuse benefits to anyone supporting the decert/fragment attempt, in violation of the Taylor Law. This AME member was retaliated and discriminated against as a direct result of the her actions supporting CSEA. Furthermore, AME is to issue a notice that they are aware of the Taylor Law and will not violate it. Get more info at http://www.scccworkersforchange.org/ or at http://www.perb.state.ny.us/. We could have been celebrating this decision one year ago:
- CWA filed an Improper Practice charge with PERB against SCAME on behalf of the AME members that supported the decert attempt in 2009, for harassment and retaliation. The case was airtight. See the charges here. CWA filed a second Improper Practice charge against Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy for violating CWA's right to equal access to the county employees. Again, the case was airtight. See the charges here. Despite repeated assurances from the CWA organizing reps that CWA was committed to following through on the PERB charges - CWA dropped the charges with PERB without any notification or explanation to the AME members who supported the decert and provided affidavits for the cases. I found out directly from PERB after the fact. We were harassed, libeled, and retaliated against, and still are! All because we refused to accept the corruption within AME and stood up for our rights. Good, hard-working, dues-paying members were expelled in retaliation and in violation of NYS Law (yes people - NYS Laws supersede Union Bylaws). This should have been the ruling one year ago. CWA (the few that made the decision, not the rank and file)- you left in the middle of the night without saying a word to any of us - and AME and the County Executive got away with breaking the law.
5/2011 Updates on JJFSNF:
- JJ Foley Nursing Home Fundraiser/Chinese Auction - The employees of the JJFSNF are having their 3rd fundraiser of the year to help keep their doors open with the support of their lawyers. The court case is ongoing against the County Executive's plans of closing the facility. A chinese auction will be held at the Knights of Columbus in Mastic Beach on Friday, June 10th at 6PM. Door charge is $25 dollars and includes 25 tickets, and refreshments (food,soda, coffee). Cash bar and 50/50 raffle, lots of fun for a great cause. Come early, as seats went fast at the last 2 fundraisers.
- The SC Legislature approved a resolution introduced by Leg. Kate Browning to increase services and revenue to JJFSNF through a public-private partnership (IR # 1319-2011), and a resolution introduced by Legislators Browning & Kennedy to amend the operating budget to fund JJFSNF through 6/30/2011 (IR # 1369-2011)
- In a quid pro quo - the 16 employees that were laid off and the employees that were transferred have all been restored to their prior positions as a result of the severance package for the JJFSNF employees approved by the SC Legislature (IR # 1234-2011), at the same time they approved the sale of JJFSNF (IR # 1230-2011) which subsequently fell through due to the buyer backing out.
5/2011 The NYS DHR is holding the Public Hearing on Lydia Sabosoto, Felice & SCAME cases, and anyone can attend:
Dates: Wednesday, 6/1/2011 - Thursday 6/2/2011
Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm both days
Location: NYS DHR, LI Regional Office
175 Fulton Avenue, Second Floor, Suite 201
Hempstead, NY 11550
Click here for the reports that the union's BOD never saw or asked for. NYS DHR's website, phone number, and email address available on the last page of this website. I don't know why this isn't being held in Suffolk County. I do think that the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the case should be provided the following facts:
- the Union President, in the presence of and with the knowledge of the Union Attorneys, purposely withheld the NYS DHR decisions and investigative reports from the Unions' BOD who held the power to accept or reject the NYS DHR's settlement offer. These actions on the part of the Union President and Union's Attorney show a lack or respect for the NYS DHR process that all of their (NYS DHR) correspondence, decisions, and investigative reports should have been carefully considered by the BOD before the BOD made their decision.
- The Union's BOD, in the presence of the Union President and Union Counsel, failed to request to be provided the NYS DHR correspondence, decisions, and investigative reports in order to make an informed decision in accepting or rejecting the settlement offer from the NYS DHR. They rejected the settlement offer without anything in front of them from the NYS DHR, showing disregard for the NYS DHR process.
- It also proves lack of representation from the BOD to the members, in failing to consider all the facts, and all the documentation, before reaching a decision for or against the settlement offer.
- This disregard and disrespect for the NYS DHR should be taken under consideration by the Administrative Law Judge - with the Union President and Union Attorneys standing before him/her - at the Public Hearing.
- I was present at the BOD meeting in 4/2010, and witnessed the handout on Cheryl Felice's cut & paste job on union letterhead, on the NYS DHR's decisions on the 2 cases involving Lydia Sabosto (in favor of Lydia Sabosto), to the BOD. I witnessed the actual NYS DHR's decisions on the married couples, in favor of the union, distributed to the BOD.
4/2011 Definition of Union Busting: Union busters is a term widely used by labor organizations and others to describe individuals and/or organizations who are either opposed to unionization or engage in practices designed to stop workers from forming trade unions, or from remaining in unions. Our AME leaders, and everyone who voted "yes" on the contract is a union buster because they approved an employee organization's/union's contract which contained language (the "practice designed") that it was contingent upon the sale of the JJFSNF which leads to the termination of JJFSNF employees (workers) and not remaining in an employee organization/union. Union Busting - it's here and coming from AME leadership. Can't blame the county for this one, can't blame the employees who are trying to decertify to another union. It's the first time in AME history, and I think Union history, that a labor contract was based on the sale of the employer's property, resulting in the termination of employees - and approved by the majority of the employee membership as advertised. As I've said before, maybe it's your building that will be sold next, and your job that will be terminated next - by your fellow coworker. This is the second time JJFSNF was singled out in a labor contract pertaining to the general membership, the first time was the 2009 Lag Payroll MOA. What more proof of disunity do you need? Alan Schneider, head of Civil Service, testified before the SC Legislature that there weren't enough county positions to put the displaced JJFSNF employees in after the bump & retreat process and employees would be laid off. And Felice repeatedly published that the SC Legislature violated the Mary Hibberd Law in its actions to sell JJFSNF. Violation of Mary Hibberd Law = Employees laid off. Our labor contract called for the sale of the JJFSNF - that's not the business of our employee organization. The business of our employee organization was to seek judicial intervention on behalf of the JJFSNF employees in response to the Mary Hibberd Law violations. What happens the next time the SC Legislature or CE violates the law? Our union won't do anything but go along with it.
4/2011 Did you know that the 10 Union Presidents of SCOPE filed an EMHP Grievance against Labor Relations related to the 10/2007 Health Insurance MOA? No one knew (except Felice and AME's Executive Board and they didn't tell). Here it is under Documents on Page 2. It's scheduled for an arbitration hearing on 7/12/2011. You have to put it in context:
Fact #1: The members of AME were not informed of, or consulted with, or had a vote on, the 10/2007 Health Insurance MOA.
Fact #2: AME did not notify the membership of any changes in the health insurance until after the Suffolk County Executive distributed an All-Employee-Memorandum (AEM) in 12/2007 - 2 months after Felice and the AME Board signed off on it.
Fact #3: The MOA contains a clause that beginning in 2009 there will be additional annual "cost savings" of $15,000,000. All the Union Presidents of SCOPE signed off on this MOA, and didn't know at the time what the $15,000,000 in "cost savings" would be, that was to be determined in the future. Steve Levy issued a letter to Cheryl Felice thanking her for the health insurance"givebacks" which came out during the decert attempt.
Fact #4: In October 2008, Felice sent a letter to the county giving 2 different lists of "cost savings" that she and the other SCOPE presidents picked from a list of items, or menu of options, provided by an outside consultant (these documents are contained in the 4/23/09 MOA on Page 2). The AME membership has never been told about the 4/23/09 MOA with the changes in the vesting issues, nor were they ever told of the lists of the "cost savings" and the options available. I have to send another FOIL request to Labor Relations asking for the "menu of options" provided by the outside consultant, so we have all the facts.
Fact #5: The 4/23/09 MOA was only signed off on by Felice, and not the Board, because the union's Bylaws changed after 10/2007 giving the Union President the sole signatory power on all MOA's, except for the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Bylaws are still the same - we have no vote, the board has no vote, on any changes to our health insurance or changes to our vestment rights related to health insurance at retirement or separation from employment.
Fact #6: In 11/2009 all 10 Union Presidents of SCOPE filed a grievance with Labor Relations related to the "cost savings" and "Change in Pharmacy Benefit Manager" of the 10/2007 MOA. Felice doesn't inform the membership, just like she didn't inform the membership of the 10/2007 MOA until after the CE did, her 10/2008 letter of the "cost saving" options, or the 4/23/2009 MOA.
What else isn't Felice and the Executive Board telling us?
3/2011 Suffolk County Comptroller Joseph Sawicki, Jr., did an investigation into the Request for Proposal (RFP) process pertaining to JJFSNF, and the $2.6 million in grants for the facility's acquisitions and capital improvements. Click here for his Analysis of the proposed disposition of the JJFSNF (under Documents). The report gives insight as to how the county operated in attracting interested parties to originally lease the facility, and what happened after that as it was changed to a purchase of the facility instead of a lease, and other relevant information to the process. It is a must read. There are things in this report that haven't been brought to the attention of the public yet, and are not only surprising, but lead to more questions. The Suffolk County Comptroller is still conducting an audit on the $2.6 million in state grants to the facility.
The JJFSNF fundraiser on 3/12/11 was amazing! It was packed, and all seats were taken. Chris Destio and the JJFSNF employees behind this did another incredible job! Legislators Kate Browning and John Kennedy attended, as well as Terrence G. Pearsall, Chief of Staff to Presiding Officer William J. Lindsay, and former NYS Senator and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Brian Foley. The Honorable Mr. Foley gave the history behind the JJFSNF, from when it first began as an almshouse in the late 1880's, until present day. Legislators Browning and Kennedy spoke in support of the facility and its patients and staff. There were too many people to count, and too many donations to count that were raffled off. Also former Suffolk County Legislative Counsel and Chief Deputy Paul Sabatino was there, who wrote the Mary Hibberd Law, and who has been involved in the JJFSNF lawsuit.
Click here for Updates on Reasons for Decert. New reasons included to Vote Out AME's Incumbent President and Board of Directors in this year's Unit Elections and next year's General Election. Ask Your Unit President for the actual roll call votes on how they voted on all these issues, and for the specific BOD minutes where they spoke out on these issues. Keep your Unit President if he or she has consistently voted against all the wrongdoing in the union, and urge them to propose amendments to the union's C & B to rectify all the wrongdoing.
3/2011 Fundraiser for the JJFSNF lawsuit on Saturday, March 12, 2011 @ 5pm. Click here for the flier. Felice wants you to approve the new contract which is contingent upon our legislators agreeing to, and final approval of, the sale of JJFSNF. There's a term for this: Coercion. Coercion upon the legislators that we won't have a contract unless they agree to sell the JJFSNF, and coercion upon the members to lobby their legislators to sell it and terminate fellow coworkers/employees in order to have a contract. Coercion - don't fall for it because in the next contract Felice and the Board will be asking you to agree to the sale of other county buildings and laying off or terminating those county employees, or maybe the building you work in and terminating you. The sale of JJFSNF has no legitimate basis for being a condition of the contract between the union and the county. None. First, AME leadership violated their DFR (Duty to Fair Representation) to the JJFSNF members under the Taylor Law, now they're actively participating in the sale of JJFSNF.
You're in for a treat when the minutes of the Suffolk County Legislature's Special meeting on 3/3/11 are posted. The plaintiff's attorney in the JJFSNF lawsuit, Anton Borovino, explained in detail the basis for the lawsuit and the implications of the injunction granted by the NYS Appellate Division. He discussed at length how the Mary Hibberd Law was violated in regards to the sale of the facility, as well as the closure of the facility. Legislators voted to sell the facility (12-4), contingent upon whether or not the sale is a violation of the current Appellate ruling. Essentially, it stays in court until further notice. Click here for the letter written by Attorney Lawrence Gray, (scroll down to the "Letters" section on Page 2), who did an analysis of the contract of sale to the private buyers and contends the Suffolk County taxpayers are taking a financial loss on this contract of sale.
Employees and family members of residents spoke, former AME president Phyllis Garbarino spoke, and I also spoke twice at the 3/3/11 meeting, and put Felice on the firing line for violating her Duty to Represent the JJFSNF members, and other acts. Unlike the minutes posted in the VOICE, Felice can't edit or delete my comments to the Legislature. She repeatedly published/asserted the SC Legislature violated the Mary Hibberd Law, but sought no judicial intervention on behalf of her members. What happens the next time the Legislature or County Executive violate the law and it effects AME members? AME will do nothing, except work with Labor Relations to facilitate your transfer elsewhere, and there's no guarantee you'll still have a job.
2/2011 Our Lobbyist, Peter Meringolo got a $5000 raise this year from SCAME, did you get a $5000 raise? Click here for the new contract.
2/2011 Re: PAC Contributions: SCAME's Bylaws are in violation of state and federal laws making it mandatory to pay PAC contributions in order to run for and hold office in our employee organization/union. The following link will take you to New York Civil Service Law Section 107: http://www.nyintegrity.org/law/ethc/cs107.html. And this link will take you to NY Election Law Section 17-156 (go to page 414): http://www.elections.state.ny.us/NYSBOE/download/law/2008NYElectionLaw.pdf. Did we leave our civil service status at the door when we signed up to be a member of SCAME? No, we didn't. These laws apply at our job, so why wouldn't they apply within our employee organization? And this is from the Federal Election Commission, http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers_pac.shtml#pac : "What is a political action committee? The term "political action committee" (PAC) refers to two distinct types of political committees registered with the FEC: separate segregated funds (SSFs) and nonconnected committees. Basically, SSFs are political committees established and administered by corporations, labor unions, membership organizations or trade associations. These committees can only solicit contributions from individuals associated with connected or sponsoring organization. By contrast, nonconnected committees--as their name suggests--are not sponsored by or connected to any of the aforementioned entities and are free to solicit contributions from the general public." As a member of our employee organization, you also can not be denied scholarships, unit rebates, or other benefits of the union if you chose not to make PAC contributions. Register a complaint with the NYS Commission on Public Integrity if you're denied any of these rights or benefits. Their website address is on the last page. Consult a labor-management specialist/attorney outside of and not affiliated with the union.
Randi Delirod got more PAC money from SCAME PAC in 2010 then 67 of the 70 political candidates/parties that received SCAME PAC contributions individually. Randi Delirod got more money than the Suffolk County Legislators, who have a direct say on layoffs. Only Andrew Cuomo, Thomas Dinapoli, and the Brookhaven Town Democratic Committee got more PAC money than Randi Delirod, the other 67 got less.
I'm not against PAC Contributions, as long as our rights aren't being violated, and as long as there is disclosure as to how our PAC Contributions are being spent. I think PAC contributions are a good thing, especially to political candidates or parties that are supportive of worker's rights/labor. But I did an analysis of SCAME's PAC Contributions & Expenditures and it raised a few eyebrows. I'll let you be the judge. Click here for the 2010 report. All financial disclosure reports submitted by SCAME PAC to the NYS Board of Elections can be obtained directly @ http://www.elections.state.ny.us:8080/plsql_browser/getfiler2?filerid_in=A01147. Randi Delirod, who is getting a salary as SCAME's public relations director/chief of staff, also got $10,060 in our PAC contributions under the expense of "radio". Where is the disclosure to the members? She is also getting another indirect salary from SCAME of $30,000 a year as the lobbyist of SCAME's lobbyist. Where is the disclosure to the members? She is also on the Board of Directors of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center with its Chairman, Brian O'Dwyer, SCAME's attorney. Where is the disclosure?
1/2011 Update on the NYS Division of Human Rights cases of Sabosto vs. SCAME: Click Here for the decisions and investigative reports on the 2 cases which found probable cause against Felice and SCAME. Date for Public Hearing yet to be scheduled. These documents issued by the NYS DHR were given to Felice and the Union's Attorneys, but never given to the Board of Directors and the BOD never asked for them. Felice issued her press release on the decisions to the Board on union letterhead and did a cut and paste job, just like she did with the NYS Supreme Court decision in my court case. The BOD rejected a settlement offer from the NYS DHR, when they've never even seen the documents.
1/2011 Update on the withdrawn PERB Charges against the Suffolk County Executive: Click Here for the 10/29/09 PERB Charges filed by CWA, that clearly prove Levy & the County were in violation of the Taylor Law. CWA withdrew the charges, after repeated assurances to the SCAME members who supported the Decert Attempt, that CWA was pursuing the charges filed in PERB, despite them not going forward with an election. Later I checked in with a CWA rep for a status update, was told hearings pending on both cases, and afterwards confirmed directly with Perb that hearings were pending on both cases. PERB responded to me in August, that CWA dropped both cases against SCAME and the County Executive. CWA did not notify the SCAME members who supported the decert and who provided affidavits, nor did they provide an explanation as to why they dropped the charges. I'm still trying to ascertain who made the decisions and why. The CWA Attorney listed on both cases did not return my phone calls. Click Here for the withdrawn PERB Charges against SCAME.
11/2010 Peter Meringolo, our lobbyist, Cheryl Felice, President of SCAME, and Randi Delirod, SCAME's Chief of Staff/Public Relations Director deceived the NYS Public Employees Conference (NYS PEC) in 2009 and the members of SCAME (who are still being deceived). Peter Meringolo is also the Chairman of NYS PEC which is comprised of approximately 60 full-time active union presidents, which Peter Merigolo is not. Meringolo, Felice, and Delirod failed to disclose their lobbying contracts with each other when they deceived NYS PEC into taking sides with SCAME in the decert attempt in 2009. Click here for the lobbying contracts. It was never disclosed to the members of SCAME that Delirod was getting a second paycheck of $30,000/year as Meringolo's lobbyist. If things don't make sense they're usually not true. Peter Meringolo maintains that Arthur Cheliotes of CWA, who filed charges(click here) against Meringolo in NYS PEC for the scam, voted for him in the 12/09 PEC election. Well it's not true. Per the Bylaws(click here) of NYS PEC available online, "When there is no contest for an office (Meringolo was the sole nominee for Chairman) the Recording Secretary shall cast one vote for the nominee and that nominee shall have been duly elected to hold the office." And that's how Meringolo kept the position, the Recording Secretary cast the sole vote needed.
11/2010 The 5/1/2009 MOA lag payroll included suspending grievances filed by the union against the Salary and Appeals Board for failing to abide by the Collective Bargaining Agreement and meeting the minimum requirement to meet twice a year to review applications for salary upgrades and make decisions. The grievances filed in 2007, 2008, and 2009 were suspended and the Salary and Appeals Board was to resume their meetings in 2010. The S & A Board is given up to $500,000 a year from the county to apply to upgrades or steps that they approve. Because the S & A Board failed to meet and make decisions, that money was not given to employees who have filed appeals/applications, and was retained by the county. The Public Health Nurses filed an application/appeal in 2003 and are still waiting for a decision. But: One title received a salary upgrade in 2009 - Employee Benefits Supervisor - here's the 9/21/2009 MOA signed by Cheryl Felice. This salary upgrade went into effect on 1/1/2009. Cheryl Felice is on the Civil Service Eligible List (click here) for the position with a grade of 85.
11/2010 Per the 2010 union convention issue the union has spent close to $60,000 in legal fees to O'Dwyer & Bernstein so far fighting the NYS Division of Human Rights. The union rejected a settlement offer with the government's agency responsible for fighting discrimination. The fight with the NYS DHR continues. Public hearing yet to be scheduled. Phone # for NYS DHR is 1-718-741-8267, website is http://www.dhr.state.ny.us. This is not the Lydia Sabosto Lawsuit as advertised by our union, that would mean that Ms. Sabosto brought a lawsuit in court, as pro se or with a personal attorney, and she didn't. She filed a complaint with the NYS DHR and their investigators did an investigation and determined there was probable cause that Felice and the union were in the wrong and violated the constitutional rights of Ms. Sabosto. The union is not fighting Ms. Sabosto, they're fighting the investigators and attorneys of the NYS DHR. The BOD was not given the actual DHR decision, nor have they requested to see it. The union is misusing union dues because they're misleading the membership by not disclosing the fact that this is the The New York State Division of Human Rights Fight.
10/2010 Click here for the letter that went to all the Suffolk County Legislators, et al., including Suffolk County Clerk Judith Pascale, NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, NYS Assemblywoman Ginny Fields, and the Labor & Management Institute's Dr. Thomas Germano. This letter alerts our publicly elected officials and others to only some of the corruption that is taking place within our union.
8/2010 News from NYS PERB (Public Employees Relation Board) - CWA withdrew their 2 cases against SCAME and the Suffolk County Executive/Government. CWA did not notify the SCAME members who provided affidavits for the 2 cases, myself included. It was through correspondence with PERB that I got the news. Only CWA, SCAME, and the Suffolk County Executive's Office know the reasons. SCAME and Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy are off the hook for violating the Taylor Law and the rights of union employees seeking to decertify and unions participating in decertification.
It wasn't in vain, as long as we continue to talk about the reasons for the decertification attempt, all of which still exist today. Click here for those reasons. I'm going to upload the Improper Practice charges that CWA Filed with PERB against SCAME and the County Executive. Other people might want all of us to forget and accept our rights being violated, but that won't be the case.
The members of SCAME were denied a fair and democratic election by their union, and then were denied a fair and democratic election to decertify from their union by the Suffolk County Executive. SCAME expelled members from the union for standing up for their rights.
7/2010 Here is the Memorandum of Agreement (18 pages with correspondence) that our Union President signed on 4/23/09 that changes eligibility for health benefits at retirement, and at separation from county employment - which she did not notify her membership about. She signed this three days after the election, and denied this MOA existed when someone on the Board brought it up at the May 2010 Board meeting (it's in the minutes and I was there). See Page 42 of the September VOICE under "Open Discussion". When the Executive Board Secretary Frank Casiglia came to my worksite with my Unit President Nancy Rivera, and Executive Board member Alice Peltz, I asked about this MOA and Frank confirmed it existed but stated, "I don't know if it was in 2009 though." So this makes 2 MOA's our Union President signed within days of the election.
6/2010 Click Here for the NYS Supreme Court decision. It was dismissed based on notice requirements, not the merits. AME'S news bulletin completely distorts the Judge's ruling and is a cut and paste job. Letter to Justice Mayer regarding SCAME's slander on his decision.
4/2010 The NYS Division of Human Rights found probable cause against our Union President for discrimination and retaliation against a former Executive Board member. Prior to this our Board of Directors had dismissed internal charges brought by the former Executive Board Officer against our Union President. Currently our union dues are being used to pay our union attorneys to fight the decision. Cheryl Felice announced the decision and distributed her press release on it to the Board, and not the actual document. She informed the Board that the retainer agreement with the union attorneys does not cover litigation or going to hearings, so this is costing all of us extra.
This website is in response to being slandered to the 8,500 members of my union, the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees, and being lied to, yet again, by some of our elected officials.
The membership was lied to about my election grievance, and court case, and the Board of Directors were not given copies of my charges that I filed against Cheryl Felice, for misuse of association funds, slander, and unethical behavior.
If I can't even get my charges to the Board of Directors and they're aware there are charges and don't make a motion to be provided copies, then what is a person to do? Start their own website and let anyone and everyone have access to all the documents that the union does not want them to see. (It's cheaper than making 8500 copies - besides I don't have a membership mailing list, or pursuing a second court case at this time).
Our Union President acknowledged at the Board meeting in May 2010 that she did not provide copies of my charges (against her, Randi Delirod & Peter Meringolo) to the Board, and went on to say it's the member's responsibility to do so and none of the Board disputed that assertion. That is not the case per our Bylaws....but in response to the Union President's comments, I am making the charges available to the Board via this website (click here)... She stated several times to the Board, "Let me remind you that the charges were made available to you on a table over there (out of arm's reach). A set was made available to you (at the 3/4/10 BOD meeting wherein the Judicial Review Panel Chair reported to the Board that the JRP had decided the charges were defective)." The JRP Chair never informed me of the Judicial Review Panel's decision. And I was lied to by the Executive Board Secretary in writing that the Board had comprehensively evaluated my charges and the Board decided they were defective. For the Board to have comprehensively evaluated my charges would have taken 7+ hours for the 41 of them sharing one copy between themselves.
There also now exists two different versions of the minutes for the 5/12/2009 BOD meeting wherein the BOD overturned the Judicial Board decision recommending a new election. Felice distributed a second set of minutes to the Board in April 2010 stating the set that the Board was given on 9/17/09 (and approved) were lost (all 41+ copies). The minutes at the April 2010 meeting were tabled and at the May 2010 meeting Felice said they had been previously approved so no vote was necessary to approve them. The issue of a postal permit was never part of my election grievance, but the members were led to believe that. And Felice did not answer to three of the charges in the grievance and the union's attorneys and majority of BOD acted on her behalf, not the members' behalf in regards to that fact. The 5/12/09 minutes still have not been published in the VOICE, a clear violation of our Bylaws.
Click Here for the charges and other documents.
At this website you'll find all the documents that not only have been kept from the members, but have been lied about to the members. Ask your Unit President what they're doing about it and vote them out of office if they're doing nothing about it. The proof is in actions and writing, not words. I've met alot of people who talk about the transgressions of our union officials, but they don't follow through with bringing charges themselves against the ones that are violating our Bill of Rights, Constitution, & Bylaws, or documenting ethical violations. Any one of the Unit Presidents and Executive Board can bring charges based on the exhibits and evidence I've submitted, it's not only up to me and the material does not only pertain to me.
I invite people who have documentation of the union misleading the members to post their materials here if they want. No one will be able to take it down or prevent the members from having access to it. Please tell all the AME people you know about this website. If someone posts or hands you something they say that I wrote please verify it matches the originals available only through this website. Please do not forward this website or any of its content to county or college email addresses, only personal email addresses. I welcome suggestions to improve this website, its content, or appearance, as it is my first time doing this.
And let's push for the Board of Director's meetings being videotaped for true transparency for the members. After attending a few meetings myself, what you see and hear in person, is different than the minutes published in the VOICE, by our president. What you see in the VOICE is not a true and accurate record of what was said at the meeting. Comments are edited and/or omitted. Everything that is stated is not being printed, and body language (the way things are said) are not conveyed in the minutes as well. Also materials are distributed to our Unit Presidents and the contents of those materials are not always disclosed in the minutes.
Bear with the primitive website design and I'll make changes as I go along. Click Here if you'd like to contact me. I'm interested in posting any Memorandums of Agreements (MOA's) signed by our President or Board that have not been given to the members - the actual documents, not what has been reported about the documents in the SCAME VOICE or in mailings. Also any documents that might be considered important to the members. Communications and email addresses will be kept confidential.
This website is dedicated to my daughters: Stand up for your rights and if someone violates them then fight back. And don't listen to anyone that tells you that you can't do something or change the situation you're in, because you can...stay away from the nay sayers and know that just because some people have important or big titles doesn't mean they are ethical. Document everything.