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Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules
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Post Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:37 pm
tony battisti
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ATTENTION ALL LIFEGUARDS

MAJOR CHANGES TO SENIORITY AND DRAFT RULES ARE
BEING DISCUSSED AT THE BEACH REP MEETINGS

NEXT MEETING:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2010
NYSUT – 1000 WOODBURY ROAD, WOODBURY, NY – SECOND FLOOR


At the December 2009 Beach Rep Meeting (shop stewards meeting), a joint proposal was made to change the Seniority Rules and Draft procedures that we’ve used for many years. This joint proposal suggested two changes; they are:

1: Abolish the In-House transfer rule; and,
2: Adopt a new thing called “Bumping” - I’ll explain this in a minute.

THESE CHANGES WILL HIT THE PART TIME LIFEGUARDS FIRST.

The gravity of those changes was clear and it was agreed that any change that big had to go to a full vote of the General Membership. We decided in December that in order for the General Membership to cast meaningful votes, they would have to be told how the changes would affect them.

As Chairman of the Elections Committee, I accepted the job of drafting the language of the proposal along with Seniority Committee Chair, Dave Spence, and Beach Rep. Stu Kaplan. The proposal being drafted was going to outline the pros and cons of such a rule change. It was also decided at the December Meeting that the language would be reviewed by all the Beach Reps and the Executive Board at an upcoming meeting before going out to the General Membership. We decided that any language on the subject should be reviewed and clarified by the Executive Board and the Beach Reps to be sure that all points of view were presented.

From January to April 2010, a number of lifeguards discussed these issues on the JBLC Forum. Go on the Forum under Union/WSO and look at the posts on Bumping, Seniority Rules Questions, 2010 Draft Suggestions, Bumping vs. Complete Re-Draft, etc. – look at the dates. All of my comments on the subject reminded everyone that the Executive Board and the Beach Reps had voted, in December, that nothing would happen without a General Membership vote.

You must keep in mind that these two changes – In-House and Bumping – came up at the same time, as joint issues, and have been discussed as joint-issues since they were raised at the December meeting.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE RULES:

The In-House Rule, of course, is the thing that lets a lifeguard with at least 5 years seniority go from part-time to full-time, or vice versa, and stay at his/her beach. This rule has been around for a long time; and, pre-dates our first union contract in 1972. Some disagree with this and say the In-House rule came in during the late 80’s.

Bumping is brand new, and if it were adopted it could re-write the entire “Board”, from top to bottom, and create chaos. Here’s how Bumping would work. Bumping would allow lifeguards, in order of seniority, to simply walk up to the “Board” and take any spot away from any other lifeguard with less seniority. The guys with the most seniority go first – GET IT? They would not have to wait for spots to be vacated. They could make their own spots. YOU HEARD ME RIGHT. This process would repeat itself all the way down the line, toppling positions all the way down the line, to the least senior lifeguard who, of course, would have no choice – he/she would have to take whatever spot was left, if any.

Bumping is the same as a complete re-draft. Anyone who tries to argue that Bumping and a Re-Draft are two different things is incorrect – they are one in the same. If adopted, Bumping would produce a re-draft every year. And every year lifeguards of lesser seniority would be victims of the whims of those with higher seniority – no one would ever know where they would be working from one year to the next.

WHO WANTS THESE CHANGES?

The proponents of these changes are displaced part-timers and full-time officers from beaches that got closed last year. These lifeguards and officers were moved to other beaches to fill in the spots vacated by the lifeguards who took medicals and furloughs. Those who took medicals and furloughs in 2009 are coming back this year, and the displaced part-timers are concerned that if no one takes a furlough this year, they will have to get into the draft and pick from available part-time spots at Sunken Meadow, Heckscher, ZBay, WBHP, etc. They don’t want to work at those beaches after years on the ocean.

Abolishing the In-House rule would create part-time spots. The younger lifeguards – you know, those other dues-paying, union members the Beach Reps are supposed to lookout for – with about 5 or 6 years seniority are starting to get out of school and get their main jobs. That’s when most people go from full-time to part-time. If they could not make an In-house transfer, they would have to go into the draft. This would open a number of part-time spots on the ocean that would be taken by the displaced guards.

THE APRIL 14, 2010 BEACH REP MEETING.

Remember, the Executive Board and Beach Reps decided, in December, that any change had to go to a General Membership.

At the April 14, 2010 Beach Rep Meeting, there was an attempt to amend the JBLC By-Laws by incorporating the “Seniority Rules” into the By-Laws as a new article – Article 13; and then, with an immediate follow-up amendment, abolish the In-House rule.

Here’s how that would work:

Article 9 of the By-Laws gives the Beach Reps the authority to amend the By-Laws without a vote of the General Membership. Article 9 reads as follows:

ARTICLE IX - AMENDMENTS

The Beach Representative Assembly may, by a 2/3 vote of the quorum; amend the By-Laws.

The Executive Board and the Beach Representative Assembly shall previously study proposed amendments.


There was an attempt, using Article 9, to amend the By-Laws by making ALL OF THE SENIORITY RULES part of the By-Laws document. Now, the By-Laws and the Seniority Rules would exist as one document – the By-Laws. All of the Seniority Rules would now be just a section of the By-Laws. The In-House rule, because it is in the Seniority Rules, would now be part of the By-Laws; and, the Beach Reps could change them right at the meeting with an Article 9 amendment.

If the Seniority Rules had been incorporated into the By-Laws, they could have been amended right on the spot to abolish the In-House rule. That nearly happened. That act would have reversed a General Membership vote that had ratified the In-House Rule – (keep reading, it’s explained below).

And if the In-House rule were abolished with an Article 9 amendment, there would have been nothing to prevent the Seniority Rules from being amended again – right on the spot – with another Article 9 amendment, to adopt BUMPING. You must not forget that these two issues have been discussed jointly since the day they were proposed – when there is one there is the other. Once Article 9 is used to amend a single Seniority Rule, all of the Seniority Rules can be changed in that way.

I was concerned this would appear as a “back-door” attempt to usurp the General Membership on an issue that affects the substantial rights of every lifeguard. This issue was not announced prior to the meeting and so no one was prepared to adequately discuss whether or not the power to change the Seniority Rules was ever contemplated by Article 9.

I warned that the General Membership would view an Article 9 amendment of the Seniority Rules as a “BACK ROOM DEAL”. In my considered opinion, the spectre of the Executive Board and Beach Reps being viewed as a bunch of old lifeguards looking out for their own interests at the expense of young lifeguards was the only thing that stopped the Seniority Rules from being changed.

I was also very concerned that had the Article 9 amendment been allowed to abolish the In-House Rule, an attempt could have been made to adopt BUMPING in the same manner.

These changes may also have a disparate impact on the women. There aren’t that many women in the Corps. with the kind of seniority that would protect them if these rule changes came in. This could be interpreted as Gender Discrimination.

At the same meeting, in an attempt to determine the personal views of the Beach Reps regarding the In-House Rule, Treasurer, Bob Cornacchia, with acquiescence of the Executive Board called an informal vote as to how the Beach Reps felt about the In-House Rule: that is, keep it or abolish it. With the exception of myself all of the Beach Reps voted to abolish the In-House Rule.

ARTICLE 9 SHOULD NOT BE USED TO CHANGE THE SENIORITY RULES


The In-House Rule was amended once when the 5-year requirement was added. That was done by a Gen. Membership vote. That vote was monumental for two reasons, here’s why . . .

First, there’s a concept in the law called Ratification. Simply speaking, ratification says if you follow a rule for a significant length of time or make changes to it, you have adopted every part of that rule regardless of how it got there. By taking a vote on the 5-year requirement and adding it to the In-House rule, the General Membership implicitly VOTED TO KEEP the underlying In-House Rule. Therefore, the In-House Rule has been ratified by a vote of the General Membership.

In point of fact, the In-House Rule may very well be the only part of the Seniority Rules that’s been adopted by a Gen. Membership vote. The rest of the Seniority Rules, as I understand it, evolved over time and have been reduced to the writing we now call the “Seniority Rules”. However, annual adherence to these rules has likewise resulted in their ratification with or without a formal vote.

The second reason that vote was monumental is because it represents the JBLC TRADITION of putting any proposed change to the Seniority Rules to a vote of the General Membership vote – NOT BY AN ARTICLE 9 AMENDMENT.

IS IT TIME TO CHANGE THE IN-HOUSE RULE?


If the time has come for a change to the In-House rule, then let’s do it the right way by having an informed vote on the issue. A strong case can be made that the Article 9 amendment power was never intended to allow for a change of the Seniority Rules. Therefore, the only way to change the rule may be by General Membership vote.

THE UPSHOT OF THE MEETING.


In the end, after heated debate, none of these changes took place. What we did agree on was this: There are 3 issues for the next Beach Rep meeting and the Beach Reps. are under orders to get the crews to vote on these 3 things:

1: Should there be a General Membership vote to remove the In-House Rule?

2: Should we bring the Seniority Rules into the By-Laws?

3: Should there be another Displaced Draft as there was last year. Last year displaced guards got to pick from the spots the State added to the Board before the Draft was open to the rest of the membership. If we keep it the same will happen this year. If we don’t displaced people would have to go into the draft like everyone else under straight seniority.

CONTACT YOUR BEACH REP – NOW!



Tony Battisti - EBHO
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:54 am
James Rooney
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Tony;

The In House rule couldn't have occured prior to 1997, since part time didn't exist prior. In 1997 the status part-time was first used to include both weekenders and split line or 2-3 day a week lifeguards. It was created that year by our Union president Arnie Norman and the Executive Board at the time which included Roy Lester one of the new part time lifeguards who had campaigned for years to even create part-time officers!

One of the early gains of the lifeguard union (created in 1963) was the concept back in the late 1960's was being assigned to the same beach year after year. Prior to that your beach assignment was at the whim of the Captain of the lifeguards, and could change from year to year as he saw fit.

The Draft back in the late 1960's and through-out the 1970's was done by seniority, but the seniority used was the seniority of the BEACH lieutenant. All of the lieutenants would meet after the NEW hire test was given and they would choose new lifeguard candidates in the same way an athletic team might choose. First pick would go to the senior Lieutenant who might choose the number One candidate from the NEW hire test, or possibly a sibling of one of his lifeguards, or basically anyone he wanted or liked.

They would choose in order till all of the openings were filled. The last candidates remaining would be sent to the least desirable spots usually in Zachs Bay, West Bath & East Bath pools, Heckscher, and Sunken Meadow. After doing your rookie year in those still water spots you would go into the Draft the next year hoping for better luck getting out to the ocean the next year.

I think this process changed in the mid 1980's, if I remember correctly Frank Salino has spoken about the difficulty getting out of Sunken Meadow and some changes instituted in order to make the process fairer to all lifeguards. Rules were instituted that would begin using seniority of the individual lifeguards, and some rules concerning transfering in from outer parks were also instituted.

BUMPING isn't a brand new concept and BUMPS have occured throughout the 1970's and 1980's, but in individual situations and certain special events. The Captains have always attempted to have the individuals involved discuss and come to an agreement that would be both fair and equitable to ALL.

In 1974 the Winter storms undercut the parking lot of Field NINE and the crew came back to the 1975 season with NO beach to return to. At that time the Park Administration created a new beach at WEBO or West End Beach Overlook to help with the busy crowd then going to West End Two. Over the years we have handled beach cuts and changes in many different ways.

It might be good to realize that one of the things that led to the 1971 Lifeguard Strike was the LISPC's move to cut 60 lifeguard spots. Plans were under way to trim the Jones Beach Lifeguard Corps from 360 lifeguards in 1970 to 300 lifeguards in 1971. The idea was to create Week-end beaches a brand new concept at that time, but one that has been brought in over the years since.

Lets try to learn from our HISTORY and also to look back and gather our RECORDS so we can make Educated choices for our future!
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:51 pm
Bob Adler
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Tony Battisti,

I believe you have confused several issues, especially the concept of BUMPING, which only you brought up and have mis-construed to anyone who reads this email of yours and your posting on the Forum.

The Seniority Rules is a separate document from the By-Laws. That point of it being a separate document from the By-Laws could not have been made any clearer at the April 14, 2010 Beach Representative Assembly (BRA) meeting. The Seniority Rules is a living document that was most recently amended in April 2009 to get rid of superfluous language, and that was done by a series of events including having the Beach Representatives go back to their constituency with sufficient time to discuss and get input from the members of their crews. It was voted on by the BRA that the document known as the Seniority Rules could be modified by the BRA, and with that authority, the language was cleaned up. As far as the history of the modifications to the Seniority Rules, during the Presidencies of Paul Lundwall and Jim Cash, my secretary typed the Seniority Rules out and copies were distributed to all beaches, pools, facilities. I know this for a fact as I visited and delivered them. Furthermore, the Seniority Rules were more recently posted on the JBlifeguards .com and .org web sites over three years ago for all to see, along with the hierarchy of individual lifeguards' seniority. When the vote was taken by the General Membership to amend the In-House Transfer rule (Home Boy rule) to mandate that a lifeguard must have a minimum of five years, there were less people present than there was at the last BRA meeting on April 14, 2010.

Regarding BUMPING, that is not an issue, unless Management decides to re-do the entire draft as they, by law, are responsible for staffing. Our Seniority Rules provides for Management an orderly, logical process that staffs lifeguards throughout Long Island that otherwise would be an annual nightmare for Management and the Lifeguard Corps. Although this is conjecture on my part, but if the entire 'board" was to be re-drafted BY STRAIGHT SENIORITY, the vast majority of lifeguards would wind up being back at their current beaches. Never the less, BUMPING is NOT an issue. More pointedly, the In-House Transfer (Home Boy) rule VIOLATES the concept of seniority which we have worked for over 25 years to achieve. The days of back room deals, and your concept of giving a "specter of the Executive Board and Beach Reps being viewed as a bunch of old lifeguards looking out for their own interests at the expense of young lifeguards", DOES NOT EXIST. What could be more transparent than your seniority ranking and the Seniority Rules posted on line for all to see?

Acts of God and fiscal constraints are going to affect the staffing of beaches and facilities now and in the future. The only proper, organized and fair methodology is to use STRAIGHT SENIORITY. I can see no fairness in a five-year lifeguard, changing their status from PT to FT, or FT to PT having more right to that opening ahead of someone with 30 or 40 years of service. If an officer changes status, they go into the draft and take what is open on the board. How is it fair that a FTer changing to a PTer (or PT to FT) goes ahead of that officer with many years of experience; or a lifeguard with 25 years or more gets denied the opportunity to fill that slot ahead of the lifeguard with as little as five years???

Thank you for reading this and giving it your utmost consideration,

Bob Adler

Robert J. Adler, CLU
100 Broadhollow Rd., Suite 203 Farmingdale, NY 11735-4813
(516) 249-0469 x23 (516) 249-0310 fax
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:31 pm
teamfischer
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Bob,
Will the JBLC corps always have the opportunity to a general membership vote on seniority issues?
For my question, please set aside the merits of "in-house transfer", "bumping", or "whatever".
If the current Executive board and beach reps amend an issue at a meeting (without a general membership vote), will that mean that our current/future group of EB and beach reps could also amend ANY future seniority issue, also without a general membership vote?
THX
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:12 pm
STUKAPLAN
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Mike, The Seniorty Rules is a separate document from the By-Laws. It was reviewed often during the off season of 2008/2009 with numerous discussions and many opportunities for Beach Representatives to get back to their crews for input and information. In April 2009 the Seniority Rules were amended by a mojority of the Beach Representative Assembly (BRA) to get rid of superfluous language and with authority make changes to that document know as the Seniority Rules. It is not feasible, time wise and financially, to have every issue challenged for season after season and require a General Membership vote. The Beach Reps have been charged with the authority of their crews as duly elected by their crews to represent them. For the past two years it has been required that each crew properly elect their Beach Rep and an alternate, a second alternate position was also available. Additionally, the Beach Reps have been given significant time to inform their crews and get their input to a number of issues, including the current pending question of keeping or eliminating the Intra Beach Transfer rule aka the Home Boy rule. To the best of my knowledge, the BRA may vote on the Seniority Rules with a majority vote if there is a quorum at a BRA meeting. If anyone wishes to voice their concerns they should do so to their Beach Rep and then the Beach Rep will vote accordingly after they have determined the wishes of their constituencey (crew). There is to be a vote at the next BRA meeting on May 12, 2010. Please keep in mind that staffing is the responsibility of NYS Parks and Rec, however they have been working diligently with our representatives to meet our needs. I hope this clarifies your question. - Bob Adler
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:17 pm
James Rooney
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Is this STU KAPLAN?

Or is it BOB ADLER?


Or maybe STU KAPLAN forwarding BOB ADLERS message?

I guess Either way the HOME-BOY rule is coming up for a VOTE at the next BRA bro's!
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:58 pm
Matt Lindbom
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I think Tony does have a valid point on the ratification of the In-House/Home-Boy rule that did have a vote associated with it. It should at the very least be investigated.

It was my understanding that for expediency the Shop Stewards would be able to make changes with "a majority vote of those present". Just like our Representative Government. This can be dangerous, however, any proposed change would be required to be posted (i.e. online at JBLC websites, in shacks, given to Shop Steward for distribution) for a period of time (read 30 Days or thereabouts) and you, as members of a crew and the JBLC should tell your Shop Steward your stance on the issue (which we seem to be doing, finally) and they will (SHOULD) vote according to the majority of responses from their crew. According to the Executive Board, there will be exact language for any proposed change(s) contained in these “postings”. The Executive Board is supposed to distribute official language of the proposed change of the In-House/Home-Boy and your Shop Steward should send it out.

As to the matter of “actual bumping” (i.e. I have more seniority than you and I want your spot, so find another spot for yourself) was discussed and summarily dismissed by the Seniority Committee (SC). We (SC) felt this form of “actual bumping” was absolutely unacceptable and as far as I know is NOT on the table. People may be continuing to discuss it on their own and speculate as to those who are in favor and their motives, but as I stated as far as I know this is NOT on the table.

We, as Union members need to be as vigilant watching our Leadership and Management, as we are while watching the water. We the Union members direct OUR Shop Stewards, who in turn direct OUR Executive Board, not the other way around! BE INFORMED, BE ACTIVE, OR BE SCREWED! Your choice.



Bomber
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:01 pm
STUKAPLAN
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Hey Bob, how did you do that? Did you hack into my hard drive? Sending things under an alias, is your name really Bob Hirten? Bizarre!
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:49 pm
Frank Salino
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Hey,
I have been thinking about the current issue/s of seniority. I have been a member of the seniority committee since 1993 when I transferred from Sunken Meadow to Robert Moses Fld.5. I has 15 years of service at that time-there were 17 openings at RM5, I was not going to make the cut. There were a few rookies, one with less than 15 days of work the summer before and they were all ahead of me when the draft got down to one spot at RM5 left. I had to cheat-make a backroom deal to get out of SM. I asked our then union president to talk to the captain to see if i could get ahead of the three rookies in the holding pen. Back then we had zones and I was in the wrong zone, so my 15 yeard of seniority did not matter. The three rookies were in the right zone, they were considered inter beach transfers.

I got involved with seniority to make sure it was fair and would not hurt anyone who just happened to start their career in the wrong zone. We got rid of the zones a year or so later and over the years a few changes were made to clean-up language, clarify poorly written rules, and some more sweeping changes were made also. All of those more sweeping changes were done by membership vote. In 2002 a few additions were voted on, in 2003 another change was voted on, and so on.

Of course there were still back door, hidden deals. Some made by union members, some by WSO, some just seemed to happen by magic. We have a history of breaking rules to suit individuals and individual situations and I have always been against it. But it is not always easy to keep a lid on things and somehow deals are made. I like rules, they keep things honest and fair.

So, what do I think about the Home-Boy rule. I like it and I hate it. It has been around for a long time both unofficially and within the rules, it was modified by membership vote in 2002. It was never a real issue before because there was always movement t the prime locations and the only ones who were ever screwed over by it were young guards at outer beaches who rarely complained to the union or beach reps. More recently the state has shrunk the Corps and guards stay around for longer, often switching job status to work weekends or part time. More recently older guards were locked out of prime locations due to many reasons and the noise about the rule has become a hot topic. I'm sure you have read some recent posts that have scenarios were a well respected lifeguard with great service years is unable to get a prime location because some little shit took it. But here is the other side.

- a married couple, lifeguards who work at the same location for a few years- it took a few years for the couple to get to the same beach- one has about 15 years of service the other 8 or 9. They buy a house and want to start a family and both have new jobs. They want to try to go part time, yet stay at the same beach. They are able to take advantage of the Home Boy rule because two part time spots (or more) opened up at the same beach where they work. Great for them. And there are lots of those stories too.

I don't know which side of this fence is right or fair. It all depends whether you think overall time served is more important than time served at a location. I hate the rule. I believe in strict seniority, but I was also one of those guys who took a backdoor deal to get out of Sunken Meadow after 15 years. I have been trying to make the rules fair and take into account that each rule is going to be seen in different ways. So here is my final take on this crazy thing.
1. We have voted on changes in the past few years and have tried to make the information fair and balanced-put out information that does not try to sway opinion, but rather present it in a factual way. That is not happening right now, most of the information is one sided. Think about how these rules work and whether they are fair for everyone.
2. Your shop stew or beach rep should be getting as much information as possible from the crews. They should vote the way the crew directs them to. I would rather see a secret ballot type vote by the whole Corps on issues like this because that is what we have done or were supposed to do, and that is what was agreed to recently.
3. Are all the facilities being represented? If the outer parks and younger guards are not getting counted, this decision will be tainted. The stories of old guards looking out for themselves will continue.
4. Can the shop stews or beach reps be trusted to not use any bully tactics or intimidation in the gathering of votes? It is so important that we gather the Corps opinions without pushing an agenda. Like I said earlier I hated the home boy rule, but it was voted in (or modified, which essentially validated the rule) by the Corps.
5. Do we need to do it now, or do we need to do it right? I understand the rush to get it done now, but we still need to make sure it is done correctly. I hope the executive board, the shop stews or beach reps, and the membership will take this seriously.
and lastly-can we keep the communications civil, stop feeling so hurt when a different opinion is posted, make sure you get enough information to make informed and meaningful posts.
Thanks for letting me ramble.

Frank Salino
Class of '78
Who Watches the Watchmen
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:25 am
James Rooney
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Alot of interesting points being brought out into the debate.

What is fair?

And by the way I heard that Bob Adler isn't able to post so he occasionally has the Administrator POST for him, maybe thats how it slipped through into the Stu Kaplin byline?

I think when Bob Hirten POSTS he usually does so under his own name, but I am curious on his take on the subject.

Thanks Frank for giving your History, I knew it had something to do with the old Zone system, but I didn't realize the guys from outer zones were getting so screwed. 15 spots and you still ended up behind 3 rookies brokering your own back alley deal to cheat in. I guess Bobby Hirten didn't help you then?

What I can't understand is if it was so unfair back in 1993, and you've been on the seniority rules committee since then, how did you allow the HOME-BOY rule to slip in since?

I went to the 2008 lifeguard draft and was representing a lifeguard with 15 years service and one with 35 years service. That year there were over 10 in house transfers from full time to part time. At the draft only one part time spot remained at an oceanfront facility. It seemed unfair to me, and I brought it up to the Executive Board but no action was taken.

NOW it is being looked at, but anyone can see it's UNFAIR!

While it's nice that there are many sweet stories where lifeguards with 5-6 years get to stay with their friends, it really doesn't address strict seniority if spots are held and lifeguards are forced to go hat in hand to Captains to broker a DEAL.......or better yet cheat and possibly make a deal with the DEVIL and go hat in hand to the Water Safety Office.

I've been at the beach for 30 years and at the same Field for 22 years. I don't plan to move any time soon, but I do hope that if I did want to move the process would be fair and equitable for ALL lifeguards Full time or part time!

Another thought is this;

Does the Seniority Rules really belong in the Union Constitution?

I think not.

I think the constitution is how We as an organization run, not how the BEACH as an operation runs.

Staffing is something that the Water Safety Office handles, hopefully using Union input as well as using our Captains to oversee the process. I think we are spending too much time focusing on the DRAFT.

I'm wondering if teachers have a seniority clause in their union contract?

Do their Staffing concerns come under Union business?
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:56 pm
Frank Salino
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The Home Boy rule was in place, perhaps not officially, but was in the seniority paperwork prior to my getting involved. I don't know the exact history of how or why it was used-Tom Levine had a pretty good comment about it, but I do not have the exact history. Maybe Rooney can find something written in seniority stuff before 1993, that was my first experience with it. If a rule is in place, used regularly and no-one complains about it, what right would I have to try and change it. Like I said, since 1993, nobody has said a word about the "home boy rule" to me or other seniority committee members ( as far as I know). The "Home Boy Rule" has only recently been on the agenda.

I hate the rule, I just don't like when changes are made to existing documents without representing that there are always two (or more) sides to every story.

I don't think Hirten was working for the sate in 1993, if he was, he certainly was not involved on my cheating. I'm not proud that I had to make a back room deal. The system sucked, many others had to make deals then to get out on the ocean. I remember the old drafts, when lieutenants picked lifeguards. It was like gym class. You had to bribe someone with beer, or worse. If you couldn't win an event at the inter-beach races-you could not work at RM2. FLD6, the Mall, WEII, ect. It had nothing to do with seniority at all. The home boy rule was used all the time in the 70's and 80's. And post draft inside deals were done all the time too.

My teachers contract has limited seniority provisions. If a spot opened up in another building and I wanted to transfer -the administration has final say. I can put in a request and they send out an annual "would you like a change if it becomes available " type notice, and openings are posted somewhere in each building. The building principal, department chairperson, and superintendent have input. If I feel that I was not considered appropriately for a spot , I can grieve it. The union asks that seniority is taken into account. The administration breaks down seniority in many ways; by time served, by time served in grade level, by experience with subject/area, certification,...

In the teachers union we are promised employment, not location. Staffing is managements prerogative.

How does the NYFD. or NYPD handle stuff like this? Anyone else in some other union with any information for the masses?

Like I said earlier, and many times now, I DON'T LIKE THE HOMEBOY RULE. We should stick with strict seniority if possible. But as a member of the seniority committee, I am not supposed to act on what I like. I am supposed to offer historical perspective, past practice, the decisions voted on by the Corps , and any requests from the membership and executive board are supposed to be discussed and we report back to the EB. I think we have done that this year.

All I ask is that we make this decision in a fair manner-as much fact as possible, clearly written questions, clearly stated information, all opinions heard. Then the membership can look at the issue and respond to the questions asked. The reps can tally up the members decisions, don't intimidate anyone to vote a certain way, get as many members to vote as possible-then the executive board and beach reps can do what they think is right.

xoxo

Frank Salino
Class of '78
Who Watches the Watchmen
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:52 pm
Bob Adler
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Hey everyone, Just to clarify: I have no idea how I was able to use Stu Kaplan's login, except that it showed up on my office computer when I went to post a response. Thanks Stu for the use of your login and the subsequent good natured (?) ribbing. The only thing in common is a first name. :roll: Great discussions going on, but I suspect very few lifeguards are reading these posted items, and likely the same people visiting time and again. The issue is surely to be brought to a conclusion at the next Beach Rep Assembly meeting on May 12th. Hope many are there for the festivities. - Bob Adler
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:17 am
James Rooney
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While it looks like the May Bra meeting should be exciting and full of debate I don't think the BRA has the authority to change anything. Tony Battisti made a very good examination of the issue in another POST and it looks like any changes in seniority need to go to a full vote of the membership.

Maybe for the next meeting of the BRA the Executive Board can have Dave Spence the "LORD of Seniority" bring the documentation showing the origins of the HOME-BOY rule?

There must have been some sort of document that was used to show the RULE?

I know in the FDNY there is a whole procedure used to make a transfer, and the union isn't involved. It is done through management, but the rules and process is carefully spelled out and documented.

I think here at the JBLC we are used to a very dysfunctional system. This system was used for the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's , and into this new century. From 1972 till 2007 would be about 36 years of habits and Ways of doing business formed in the name of UNION.

Just because we always did it this way, and BAD rules were voted on ALL these years, doesn't mean we can't come to our senses and correct things NOW!

I think now that we are in NYSUT and UUP, we are under a totally new set of rules. I know we have a completely new constitution. Thankfully we have a group of Labor Relation specialists to help guide us. Part of the problem is integrating our old system into this new system.

We might need to completely scrap the Seniority Rules. That wouldn't mean scrapping the concept of seniority, but maybe we need to completely overhaul the system?

Hopefully we can get some closure on this subject from our NEW leaders at the next BRA. I think the OLD way of doing business at the JBLC is out, and maybe the HOME-BOY rule will go the way of the HOME-BOYS.

Also keep in mind the BRA is our little local, and that local falls under the NYSLC umbrella. Ultimately our Executive Board at the local level needs to consider and integrate this into the State-wide concept of seniority.
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:02 pm
Ryan Clark
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The main point all these posts are missing with the exception of Frank Salino is that our Corps is a Democracy and the rule of the many should decide where we go from here. It should not matter what your individual feelings are, we come together as a corps and use many voices to decide on the path the entire unit should go down. In the study of government we call this the majority will, while we can not make all the members happy all the time, we should always listen to the collective voice when making a change. More democracy and not less is the only way to go. I feel bad for all the members who were displaced when fields were shut down, but that is not reason enough to go against the will of the corps when they voted to require 5 years of service to do an in house swap. The only way this can legitimately be changed is by a popular vote. When we start making changes based on discussions at the BRA Meetings, we are subverting the will of the many for the needs/desires of a few.

Ryan Clark
EBHO
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Post Re: Proposed Changes to By-Laws and Seniority Rules Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:51 pm
teamfischer
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If I haven't stated it directly enough, I will now:
Any seniority rules must be changed ONLY WITH A GENERAL MEMBERSHIP VOTE. That is the verbal consensus of almost all lifeguards I have spoken to. EVERYONE NEEDS TO MAKE SURE THEY TELL THIS (or their own opinion) to your beach rep or the EB.

Post here and state your opinion.

IMO it is not correct that the EB/ BRA can change these Seniority rules with their own vote. That is not why we elected this Executive Board. I know you put in a lot of time and effort, and it is a thankless job, but I believe they (EB/BRA) need to listen to what the corps is telling you. I also think I speak for a majority of the corp in continuing to say a sincere THANK YOU for the tireless efforts of your labor.

I am calling on the EB/BRA/Beach reps to DO THE RIGHT THING!!!! THE CORPS DOES NOT WANT TO SEE YOU CHANGE SENIORITY RULES WITHOUT A GENERAL VOTE. (even if we agree with your issue)

There is some GREAT dialogue this year. It is different than the personl attacks of previous years. It is constructive. We are getting stronger, and better than ever.

As an aside, I checked with site admin Mike Defina. Site traffic has been growing. It is currently getting approx 100 unique users a day. (if you hit the site from home and work, you are 2 users). So I think word is getting out there about the current issues, and the momentum of site veiwership is building.
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