As I sit here contemplating how incredibly embarrassing the turnout for both the Union Contract Negotiation Team meetings and the latest quarterly meeting were, I can’t help but question the state of our Union and its members.
I am in no way affiliated with MCCDA other than being a dues paying member like the majority of you, half of which I have never worked a single shift with. The corrections division as a whole is in shambles, morale is obsolete and your working conditions change from minute to minute. It’s far and few between, but a good day is measured by your ability to go home at the end of your assigned shift without another MOT. The one and only thing we (the membership) have is a voice in and some control over is our Union. Yet, for reasons unknown to me we have decided that complaining to an E-Board member or bitching about how things are amongst our friends and colleagues is the best way to combat what is happening. No need to show up at a Union meeting, or ask questions to the Contract team that is setting the course for the next three years. Fuck it, that’s the easiest way to deal with everything you are faced with from day to day. Nothing is going to change anyway, right?
Well, given the current climate of our membership and its unwillingness to show up and participate, you are right. Nothing will ever change (for the better). So, let’s continue to vote our E-Board members in based on popularity and just feel better anticipating that things are going to change for us because the incoming Sheriff comes from the Corrections side. Things can’t get any worse…
Unfortunately, it appears as though things are going to do just that, get worse! Our President, is out on W/C and didn’t bid so I don’t think we will ever see him again. And a few months into the year, we vote for 3 E-board positions. If what I hear is correct, the current Executive Vice President and the West Side VP are not running again. And the Information Officer who just got in office will have to attempt to do so again. Now, don’t get me wrong, change can be a good thing. Especially as our membership continues to be less and less senior. However, the only people interested in stepping up are the same people that you have seen on the ballot time and time again. I don’t mean any disrespect to any of them, I lost an election as well. However, you have not voted those individuals into positions for a reason (whatever that may be to you).
So not only are we faced with the day to day issues, but we could possibly have 4 brand new members on the E-board. What would that look like? How would that affect/change our position? There are a lot of unanswered questions and concerns I continually think about for our future. And from what I can see, the majority of you don’t give a shit. You just want a pay raise, as much time off as possible and to continue to not be engaged in what is happening around you.
No bullshit, I don’t have the answers. Yet, I am as engaged as I can be and am genuinely concerned about the future of this membership and the working conditions in which we are charged to work in and around. I challenge you to get involved, but please, do it for the right reasons. Let’s start to be part of the solution and stop being contributing factors to the problem.