Ballots are due in by this Thursday, June 7th. They will be counted on Friday, June 8th.
If you have not already done so, please send in your ballots.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
It was not an easy decision. I thought about it on-and-off for a few years. I sat on the Executive Board as Recording Secretary and came to understand that being a Business Manager is a tough job. I go in with my eyes wide open as to what it entails.
There was not one sudden "aha!" moment -- but many large and small incidents that led me to my conclusion that I must run. Some of these include:
- During negotiations for the CBS National Agreement, our head negotiator, International Representative Tim Dixon, said to the union negotiating committee: "No More Side Deals!" They undermine the National Agreement. Lloyd Webster had signed an "Experimental Side Deal" with CBS regarding the use of VJ's at KCBS/KCAL-TV. It expired recently and Mr. Webster renegotiated it and did not allow anyone from the negotiating committee to participate. We asked to be included but he would never even tell us when the meetings took place. We eventually received the signed agreement as an email attachment. He extended the "Experiment" for 3 more years. The VJ's are union members but make half of what our photogs make -- they get 2 weeks vacation. Their raises are based on the same formula that is used for non-union employees. I believe it sets a dangerous precedent.
- I was on the committee to write up new rules for the automated production control rooms during our recent negotiations. It was agreed that TD's would be upgraded to DGA pay as there would be shared duties with Directors. After I believed that the negotiation was settled there was some new backroom dealings in which I was not included . Mr. Webster was part of those backroom deals. The end result is that New York and Chicago TD's will be paid the DGA rate -- which is a substantial raise. Even though we do more daily news than the other markets the KCBS/KCAL TD's are not getting that upgrade. The Chief Engineer at the station told me that Lloyd Webster told him they did not have to pay the upgrade. Mr. Webster denied ever saying that and said he would prove it to me by having a meeting with the Chief Engineer. That meeting has never materialized.
- LOCAL 45 Brother Gary Johnson has been tapped to be Business Manager in the event that Mr. Webster retires. I approached Brother Johnson six or seven months ago and told him that if he chose to run I would support him, but that if he chose not to run then I would run. He said he would not run against Lloyd Webster. He also refused to challenge Mr. Webster about the VJ Agreement for fear that Mr. Webster would not hire him on as a Business Rep. The VJ Agreement was signed and Brother Johnson was hired on as a Rep.
- Mr. Webster is soft on filing grievances. In the past three or four months many grievances have been filed at KCBS/KCAL. Some of those issues have been brewing for over a year with no action taken. Now, because an election is taking place, Mr. Webster has followed through on these issues. We need someone who will take action on issues even when there is no election.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
My name is Elaine Ocasio and I am requesting the honor of representing the membership of IBEW Local 45 as your Business Manager.
I have been a member since 1990 when I began working at KCAL-TV Los Angeles. In 2002 KCAL merged with KCBS-TV.
During my career I have worked as a technician in Master Control, Videotape (now Air Prep), Non-linear Editing, Manual Studio Cameras, Robotic Cameras, Audio and recently trained on Control Room Automation.
I have been a Shop Steward with Local 45 since 2002. I have been a member of the CBS National Agreement Negotiating Committee and sat on The Executive Board as Recording Secretary. I served as a delegate to The International Convention and have attended many Conferences.
From 1980-1988 I worked at KCOP-TV in Los Angeles where I was part of the team that organized the non-union shop there, participated in the negotiations for the first contract and served as Shop Steward.
My pledge, if elected to be your Business Manager, is to always remember that I work for you – the membership – and that my job is to uphold your rights under your contracts.
I promise to be responsive to the membership – to be available by phone, text or email and to be attentive to your needs.
I pledge to vigorously challenge every discharge of a member.
I pledge to NEVER negotiate an agreement with a company where the members are not involved in the process.
I pledge to work to grow and strengthen our local union by pursuing organizing opportunities.
I have worked in Television for 30 years. I know what it is like “in the trenches” – the daily challenges of “downsizing” and the pressure it puts on the remaining workers.
The Broadcast business is changing and I pledge to represent our members so that we can change and grow with the industry.
Our City and County membership is facing pressures of shrinking budgets and I pledge to stand with you to get the fair share of available revenues.
This is your Local. You can help shape its direction.
Please participate in this election – whomever you decide to vote for.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I grew up in a union household. My father was a printer for The New York Times, a member of International Typographical Union No. 6. He was an active member, attending the membership meetings every month. He would come home and explain to us what it was all about. He participated in strikes and would bring home copies of the contract to show the family.
My mother worked in New York City’s Garment District and was a member of The International Ladies Garment Workers Union Local 44.
I saw firsthand the benefits of union membership. My family started out living in public housing, but with their good union jobs and benefits my parents were able to improve the family’s circumstances and buy a house.
I attended Hunter College of The City University of New York, majoring in Communications and Film.
My first job out of college was as an Editorial Assistant to Victor Riesel, a syndicated newspaper columnist and local television commentator who specialized in Labor and Politics. During the time I worked for Mr. Riesel he focused on issues of the Teamsters Union and the struggles of the Southern Textile Workers.
I moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and was hired by KCOP-TV, which at the time was non-union. I was part of a small group of workers there who organized the shop and steered through a successful vote to join IATSE. I participated in negotiating the first contract there and served as the Shop Steward. I became Supervisor of Master Control in 1984.
I left KCOP in 1988 in a voluntary buy-out and worked for two years as a Script Supervisor in film production.
I started at KCAL-TV in 1990. I participated in contract negotiations with Young Broadcasting and then with Viacom/CBS when the station was sold.
Endorsements for Elaine Ocasio as the next IBEW Local 45 Business Manager.
My name is Dave Mumby and I was the Union Steward at KCAL-TV from 1999-2002.
I was also a member of the Naval Reserve and was called back to active duty because of 9-11.
Elaine Ocasio stepped up to the plate and took over the Steward position where she has set the standard in regards to Union Leadership that is second to none.
Elaine has established a proven track record success in resolving both individual as well as station wide issues. Her good judgment and excellent negotiating skills are respected by both staff and management. She has been a true advocate for the rights of the bargaining unit under each successive contract.
Elaine Ocasio has the experience and ability to guide Local 45 into the unexpected future of Broadcast Television. She has been at the leading edge of the changes in technology that has and will continue to impact our membership.
Elaine has been involved in many facets of Union Leadership. She has served on The Executive Board and on several Contract Negotiating Teams. In addition, Elaine was recently selected to be Chief Steward for KCBS/KCAL-TV.
Elaine’s experience and dedication to her union brothers and sisters and her stellar negotiating skills make her the ideal candidate for the next IBEW Local 45 Business Manager.
AWCM David R. Mumby, USN (RET) as of 01 June 2012.
I support Elaine Ocasio for Business Manager of Local 45. Elaine has always been available to listen to whatever union concerns I have. She has strong leadership qualities. She will fight for what is needed and protect what has already been fought for. She does not back down.
In theses times when the company is trying to get what they can from the union, we need change.
We need an intelligent person who will not easily admit defeat in spite of difficulties or opposition.
Elaine has all the qualities we need in a Business Manager: Loyalty to the membership, compassion to listen to all concerns and the drive to act immediately.Janet Travis KCBS/KCAL Freelance Technician
Elaine Ocasio worked tirelessly for our in-house union at KCOP-TV. Her efforts far surpassed her duties as union treasurer. She was instrumental in organizing for our election to join IATSE. Afterward, she continued her service for the union as a steward.
Elaine’s dedication and intelligence would definitely
be an asset to Local 45 as Business Manager.
Avid Supervisor CBS-TV City