Skilled Trades Teamsters: Know the Facts

Dear Skilled Trades Teamster:

The undersigned eight members of the Skilled Trades Division Board and nine members of the Local Union Executive Board write to correct some misinformation that has been circulated about our Union.

In Teamsters 2010, we value transparency and open discussion. Every member deserves to have the facts, and to have every question answered.  We need to put the divisiveness and weakness of the past behind us and come together as Teamster brothers and sisters to build the power we need to take on the issues facing our members in Skilled Trades.  Here are the facts:

1. The Skilled Trades Division is alive and well.
The Skilled Trades Division has not gone anywhere.  It is in place exactly as set forth in the Affiliation Agreement and is currently at work putting together a strategic plan to take on the important issues for our members: classification, IRPs, safety, apprenticeship and legislative action.  The Skilled Trades Division Board has 15 members.  It is made up of the former SETC Board, plus three additional representatives for UCLA and one additional representative for UCSD, who were appointed by the Executive Board in accordance with the Bylaws approved by the members. The Skilled Trades Board meets at least every three months.  It last met on April 27 and is scheduled to meet again on June 29.  The suggestion that the Skilled Trades Division has somehow gone away or changed is false.

2. Teamsters 2010 and SETC have merged, including the financial accounts.
When the SETC members voted to merge with Teamsters Local 2010, we became one Union – Teamsters Local 2010, with a Skilled Trades Division, and all SETC members became full Teamster Local 2010 members, with all the rights of Teamster membership.  (See Affiliation Agreement, Paragraph 2). As part of the merger, the assets and liabilities of the two organizations merged as of that date as well.  (Affiliation Agreement, Paragraph 11.)

In strict accordance with the Affiliation Agreement, officers of SETC and Teamsters Local 2010 merged the finances of the organizations, with the full knowledge and agreement of the Skilled Trades Director.  We set up a separate Skilled Trades Account, with one half of the cash on hand of SETC at the time of the affiliation, solely dedicated to Skilled Trades members, as mutually agreed upon in the Agreement.

Of course, we are one Union, and all of the resources of the organization are available for the benefit of Skilled Trades, and all of our members.Teamsters Local 2010 has expended enormous resources in support of our Skilled Trades members, even before the finances were merged, because that is what a strong Union is all about.  We all kick in our fair share to support the Union, and the Union’s resources are there to support all members when we need it.

In Teamsters Local 2010, we are very transparent about our finances. All financial matters, including the above transactions, are reported on in detail at every monthly membership meeting.  We urge every member to attend the monthly membership meetings.

3. The Affiliation Agreement Has Not Been Changed.
The Affiliation Agreement has not been changed in any way.  To the contrary, we have followed the Affiliation Agreement to the letter, because that is what the members voted for.  The Affiliation Agreement, and the Bylaws that the members adopted to implement it, are the basis for moving forward as a powerful, united Union.

4. What is really going on here?
The truth is that we have strictly followed the Affiliation Agreement, and nothing has changed except that the Skilled Trades Board and the Executive Board both voted to remove Hector Fernandez from full release with the Union. We took that action because it was our judgment that it was in the best interests of the members and the Union.  Hector remains in his elected positions as Skilled Trades Director and Executive Board Advisory Member.  Although the majority voted in support of this action, a few individuals don’t like the fact that they were outvoted, and don’t like the fact that we are moving forward as Teamsters. Their actions would take us back to the past of weakness and division that the members voted to leave behind when we voted to become Teamsters.  Unfortunately, they have decided to go on a campaign of spreading misinformation, dividing the members, and undermining our Union. That is not in the best interests of the members.

5. We are standing together as Teamsters to build member power and win victories.
The members voted overwhelmingly to move forward as Teamsters, and we have come together and taken action as never before. Standing together as Teamsters, we won our contract extension at CSU, with guaranteed raises and improved rights on IRPs. In 2017, we won contracts at UCLA and UCSD, with substantial guaranteed raises and signing bonuses after years of no contract and no raises. Our members are scheduled to receive our next guaranteed raises next month.

Now we are moving forward on the important issues we face in the Skilled Trades. We have our first Skilled Trades Lobby Day June 27, to support funding for deferred maintenance at UC and CSU, and to pass AB 1231, the bill for step increases at CSU.We are negotiating for more rights on IRPs, classification, health and safety, and more. We are building a Skilled Trades powerhouse in higher education, so we will be ready to win strong contracts over the next several years.

If we are going to take on these challenges successfully, we need to come together as Teamsters and put the weakness and division of the past behind us.We call on every member to get involved.  Sign up for lobby day or steward training.  Come to our upcoming General Membership Meeting taking place tomorrow at 10am at our Northern California and Southern California Offices.  If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Jason Rabinowitz directly.  When we stand together as Teamsters, we win together!

In Union,

Drew Scott
Treasurer, Skilled Trades Division Board

Eduardo Rosales
Skilled Trades Division Board
Local 2010 Executive Board Advisory Member

Charlie Doan
Skilled Trades Division Board

Jon Kramer
Skilled Trades Division Board

Brian Maloney
Skilled Trades Division Board

Cal Mason
Skilled Trades Division Board

Laura Newman
Skilled Trades Division Board

Andy Taff
Skilled Trades Division Board

Jason Rabinowitz
Secretary-Treasurer, Local 2010
(510) 220-7828

Catherine Cobb
President, Local 2010

Ali Tweini
Recording Secretary, Local 2010

Mary Higgins
Vice President, Local 2010

Mike Erazo
Trustee, Local 2010 Executive Board

Jackie Spears
Trustee, Local 2010 Executive Board

Marcia Thompson
Trustee, Local 2010 Executive Board

Rocio Torres
Trustee, Local 2010 Executive Board

Laurence Young
Trustee, Local 2010 Executive Board