Since we now know Neil MacFarlane has NEVER sat at a negotiating table, one can't help wonder why the Board of Directors hired him and "so quickly and secretly"? Was it because he promised to BUST ATU?!! Or was it because they already had someone in mind who would do just that and knew MacFarlane would go along with it?!! What I really don't understand is why MacFarlane couldn't have just sat down with ATU, shared a cup 'a tea, a biscuit or two and acted like a mensch. It's not like we weren't willing to negotiate - it's just that he REMOVED that whole part of the bargaining process. As if the Union were non-existant. What he did do instead, was send members a letter informing us that we would now be paying for a portion of our health care and if we didn't like it to bad - "IT'LL BE DEDUCTED FROM YOUR PAY, WITH OR WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT!" (which btw is illegal) We wanted to have input about how much and what we'd be getting. We now have the WORST HEALTH PLANS IMAGINABLE. Union and Non-Union employees have two different plans and the upper $90,000+ per year has the best provided - free of cost. Trimet Public Records REFUSED to provide information about other Blue Cross plans available within the company other then sending links to non existant sites. What the Board of Directors and General Manager doesn't 'GET' or turn a blind eye to is the nature of our jobs. They hire negotiators who know absolutely NOTHING ABOUT TRANSIT and these people are suppose to advocate what our health care needs are. That's why we have a Union, so our needs can be recognized. We have COMPLICATED, UNHEALTHY AND DANGEROUS JOBS! Trimet Worker's Comp for example, will fight you 'till death if you have a work related injury. For all of us, health insurance is imperative. There are many injuries and sicknesses. Our Retirees are spending their retirements recovering from Trimet. They're dealing with an array of work related health problems just from breathing the air in the buses or trains due to unsafe chemicals and unclean filtering systems to hip problems from bad torn up seats to backs bottoming out on Buses with zero back support and no suspension to loss of hearing due to the noise the buses and trains make and so on. We get assaulted, spit on, sneezed and coughed on, are required to hear dirty filthy abusive language during our shifts, don't get regular lunch breaks or bathroom breaks - to name a few. When we retire the larger percentage of retirees spend their years dealing with declining health issues and now Trimet's professional anti-union hit man Stedman is gonna take as much back as he, the Board of Directors and MacFarlane can so they can gain personal wealth and have you all believing the benefits we've worked hard to earn to keep their system going is strangling them.
MacFarlane has consistently treated Union members with a personal vendetta. Perhaps his behavior is associated with some sort of PTSD. Some unresolved issues with his Father who he said at one point was a Union member. What ever the problem, it's unprofessional!
After MacFarlane sent the letters about our health care, he then gave a well rehearsed well orchestrated speech to the Portland City Club which was picked up by local media. At that point he successfully created a situation were the OTHER SIDE of a news story was no longer given equal time. Hense, yellow journalism. Trimet has since carried out their CONTROL TACTICS as recent as November 30th by refusing to negotiate with transparency as required per Oregon State Statute.
MacFarlane's a registered Democrat. Stedman's a Registered Republican, a right wing conservative who glorifies Romney. Stedman WANTS to get rid of the working class! He brags about it. I wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't already contacted Mr. Wonderful about being on the Shark Tank. A new get rich quick scheme at the expense of the working class.
According to Randy Stedman's online resume he started at Trimet in November of 2011, but ATU says he started in early 2010. The 2010 date is significant because as a paid consultant public record searches don't have to comply - at least that's what Trimet says. The other part of a UNION BUSTING plan (according to Stedman's resume) is you get in early to get it all set up before time can be documented. It's a surprise tactic! I'll be posting the results of Public Record Searches for his date of hire and position title in the next posting. It took awhile because LEGAL at first denied he was either an employee, a sub-contractor or a consultant. But in the end they finally sent something which acknowledged he did show up and wasn't working for free.
The screen shot, "TRANSPARENCY" is from Stedman's resume/advertisement. It hardly reflect his recent behavior particularly after all his whining and crying to the Oregonian about, "Negotiations getting off to a rocky start" because he DIDN'T WANT TRANSPARENCY. He then backed down, changed his mind after ATU President Bruce Hansen AGAIN made it clear. Stedman said, 'WELL, OK BUT I WANT TO CONTROL AND PICK WHICH MEDIA GETS TO OBSERVE. Randy Stedman,“These are difficult and complex issues that deserve both transparency and a negotiating atmosphere that avoids spectacle.” ATU President Bruce Hansen, 'Trimet is a Public agency, the Public has a right to observe.' and Oregon State law supports it.
Trimet would've been a whole lot better off if they just came to the table in good faith as was done in years pre MacFarlane. I think they're gonna be in real trouble with Stedman doing their bidding because he came here motivated to dissolve ATU, "UNION AVOIDANCE" Stedman's words right off his informercial, puts him, Trimet, the Board of Directors and the Governor in the precarious position of coming to the table in bad faith. (if it trickles down and ends up getting you in the ass then it's gonna trickle on back up and get you in the ass.) karma
According to everything he's written about himself, Stedman appears to be someone who's more interested in his plan for gaining personal wealth by exploiting the middle class then legally negotiating something in good faith. He's an infomercial.
Oregonians don't like that. Perhaps it's a part of what keeps Portland weird. We want our politicians, our agencies, those who make the rules and enforce 'em to be honest. Is that too weird to ask?!!