Vote of No Confidence for Ronald Williamson, President, CSEA Unit 9227 and CSEA Labor Rep Kimberly Morales
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Dear CSEA Members,
I hope this note finds you well. As a member of CSEA for over 23 years, I feel an obligation to let you know of what has been going on since October 2021 with our Executive Board and Negotiating Committee. This is going to be long, but it is everything and I feel that I don’t want to leave anything out so I appreciate your attention and patience. I don’t write this letter to you lightly, but I am writing to request your support to stand with me in a Vote of No Confidence for Ronald Williamson as Union President and with a Vote of No Confidence for Kimberly Morales as the Labor Representative.
The employees of the Town of Eastchester as members of CSEA Local 860 have long had little representation from its Executive Board elected to office and now, there is none. Last year, a majority of .the membership did not even know there was an election until a notice was found in an area of Town Hall not accessible to many union members. At that time, a request for a new election to be held was made by me. The election was finally held in August and a new full board was elected.
Since August 2021, the President, Ronald Williamson has not held a union meeting and has had no communication with members at Town Hall and little to no communication with his Executive Board.
In October 2021, I was advised that I was a Shop Steward representing Town Hall Employees and I would also have a seat on the Negotiating Committee as would a representative from the Library, another from Highway along with Vice President Michelle Liscio and President Ron Williamson. As a side note, other Shop Stewards have gone for training. I have not because I was not given instructions as the other Shop Stewards were to do the training by our President. He provided the information to those he wanted to have it.
As for the Negotiating Committee, our meetings were sometimes contentious because of personality conflicts between the Vice President and Kim Morales, the CSEA Labor Representative. Kim's behavior was inappropriate, condescending and rude towards Michelle and me any time we had a question regarding the contract. After two meetings, Ron removed Michelle from the committee in November. Yes. He removed the Vice-President who has the most experience with dealing with labor contracts than all the members on the committee combined. On November 29, 2021, there was a Negotiation Committee Meeting that was to be held at Town Hall. Ron, nor Kim notified me of a venue change but I was told there was one by someone else. When I contacted Ron, he stated he didn't have my number to let me know it was scheduled elsewhere and then in the same breath told me that he tried to call me to tell me it was rescheduled for the following Wednesday, December 1st and it would be held at the Library (I have all this in text). Although he denied it, the meeting was to be held and he cancelled it because he knew Michelle Liscio was going. On December 1, 2021, he texted me to ask if I was attending the rescheduled meeting. I responded no (I had another obligation). That was the last notification I had received from President Williamson or anyone for that matter, regarding any Negotiating Committee Meetings. On January 18, 2022 I asked President Williams for the list of proposals for the contract. He answered that text the next day by saying "proposals are finished waiting for the final draft not handing them out right now until we get the final draft back". I explained I didn't need a "final draft" and I just wanted to see the proposals. No response from President Williams.
On January 26, 2022 and January 28, 2022 I texted President Williamson again regarding the proposal and advising that as a Member of the Negotiation Committee, I am entitled to see the proposal and still no response. On February 2, 2022, I sent yet another text stating the same. His response to that was and I quote "hi Karen, first of all I said we were ready and we waiting for the final draft to be printed second of all nobody notified me that the town was ready or the Union". My response to him, (not verbatim-but I do have the full text), if you are calling for a meeting then you must have the proposals ready. It shouldn't be that difficult to supply me with the proposal. No further response from President Williams.
On February 15, 2022, March 3, 2022 and March 8, 2022, texts were sent to President Williamson by me regarding a proposal and meeting date. No response.
Yesterday, March 22, 2022, I called President Williamson and he sent me to voicemail. I then texted him the following: "Ron, I just found out that there is a negotiation committee meeting with the town today. Why wasn't I notified? I have been texting you for months without a response from you. This is not representative of your position". Soon after, I received the following text from Ron "Hi Karen first of all you did not come to the last two contract meetings and we called and text you and you didn't answer in January so we decided to move on without you". I immediately sent him a screen shot of my text messages to show him the last time he texted me about attending a meeting which was the December 1st meeting that was rescheduled and I couldn't attend. I explained that I never received any meeting notices and that if it was decided that I was no longer on the committee, I should have been notified in writing as well at the Executive Board as required. No further response from President Williams.
On this same day, I attended the Negotiation Meeting via zoom. In attendance were representatives from the Town and for CSEA were Ronald Williamson, Kim Morales, Amelia Buccarelli (Library) and Glenn Verrell (Highway). After realizing I was on, Kim Morales turned off the camera and muted herself. Ron Williams then tried calling me and I did not answer. He then told me on zoom that I was not allowed in the meeting because I was no longer on the committee. I responded that I was since I had not received any notification. He then proceeded to tell me that since I missed two meetings I was not to be on the committee. I responded again by stating that I attended every meeting I was notified of except for 1 (Dec 1 meeting) because it was rescheduled and that respectfully, Amelia and Glenn weren't at two of the meetings that I attended so why were they on the committee still? He stated that he did notify me by text and phone and I outright refuted that accusation and told him it was a lie. He has no evidence of such because it never happened. Kim then stated they would have to reschedule the meeting and they left the zoom call. Today I heard that one of the employees on the zoom call was telling members that the Town left the meeting. That is not true. Kim made her statement regarding rescheduling the meeting and left the zoom call leaving just myself, Dawn Donovan and the attorney on the call.
Earlier in the day, another employee contacted Ron and he answered the phone for her. He told her he was being “bullied” when asked why Michelle was taken off and I wasn’t notified of the meeting. I resent the fact that Ron is trying to disparage my reputation by calling me a “bully” and claiming that I didn’t respond to his notifications of meetings or return his calls. That’s not how I operate. I have everything documented regarding texts and calls. I can assure you he doesn’t because they were never made and pretty much everything he has said is an outright lie. I emailed Kim this morning to ask her for copies of the meeting notices and her response was “Ron did not say there were meeting notices. He said he contacted you regarding the meetings. There are no meeting notices to send to you.” My reply to her was “I would like the dates and times the meetings. I’d also like for him to show proof that he contacted me. He can send me a screenshot of his phone call to me or text”. I haven’t received any further response from her.
Representation in our union has been headed by an employee from the Highway Department for at least the last 15 years and there has been no representation to the employees of Town Hall, Library or the Parks Department. All union negotiations were tailored to the Highway Department employees but at least there was communication. During our negotiations, Kim Morales has stated several times that “she” is not accepting any contract from the Town unless it incorporates "binding arbitration". We, (Michelle and I) explained to her that no employer in their right mind would take that out of a contract even with substantial concessions from the employees. The majority of the employees are not even concerned with that. They are concerned with wage increases due to the immediate impacts they are all facing with record high inflation. Her representation and Ron Williamson representation is not that of all employees but rather a handful of employees at the Highway Department that have them on speed-dial because they are constantly complaining about something or someone. Ron has also made a statement to an Executive Board Member "I don't need Town Hall!". There are so many employees in all departments (including Highway) of the Town of Eastchester that are dedicated to their positions and work hard every day and they are not represented but are feeling the effects of the mismanagement by our President. Our union dues are going to lawyer fees to defend nonsense issues with the same employees (from Highway) time after time. It's enough. We are without a contract since December 31, 2021 and I can assure you, there won't be one any time soon with this Ron Williams and Kim Morales and their unrealistic demands (I hear its 28 pages) of what they think is best without any input from the membership.
The majority of employees (including those in Highway) in our unit want their fair share of wages, benefits and representation. We're not getting it.
In addition to the above, the Executive Officers have also been shunned by President Ronald Williamson. He does not respond to calls or texts from any of the Executive Officers. He does however respond to one person, Kimberly Morales. He not only responds to her but answers to her. Kim and Ron have excluded the Executive Officers and the membership from this process. But you can confirm that with the rest of the Executive Board.
I have been an employee and CSEA member for 23 years. I have never experienced this type of behavior from any CSEA Unit President or Labor Rep. Our last Rep, Alisa Cagle, never stood in the way of an Executive Board working together. She made sure the Executive Board communicated with the members and management before getting involved. She made sure the membership was heard and advised of what was being brought to the table in terms of negotiations. She stayed in her lane and let the Unit run its business. Now, we’re left with a Labor Rep who is with us for less than 2 years (no one in Town Hall knows her) and who tells us that she knows better than us and knows what’s best for us. I can tell you that 99% (if not 100%) of the employees at Town Hall don’t feel that way and at least 90% of the Unit don’t feel that way.
As I stated, I have everything documented and I have no problem showing/sharing my information if anyone would like to see it. I don’t ask you to just believe me, I will show you.
If you agree and would like to show support, please submit your signature. This petition will then be sent to Ms. Hattie Adams at the CSEA Local 860 Office.
I thank you for your time and cooperation in this matter.