In his May 19th column, “When CMG and OPEIU have standoff, CUs lose,” Mike Welch makes some good observations and fine points. It is, however, not the Union that’s acting “like a neighborhood bully,” but CUNA Mutual Group. The 37-hour work week is not part of management’s proposal, it’s 40 hours without extra compensation for the increased hours. It comes to working free for approximately 21 days. Multiply that by approximately 1,400 Union employees, and, as Sen. Everett Dirksen used to say, “We’re talking real money!” The unfair labor practice was filed by the Union because management put in its proposal language that would take away the right of the Union to bargain over health insurance, wages, work rules, outsourcing and hours. This, the Union strongly believes, is illegal. By agreeing to such a proposal, the Union would have to commit virtual suicide. This is certainly a bullying tactic. The Union has offered certain concessions management wants, but management refuses to recognize that. They will not budge from the company’s “last, best and final” offer, which includes the loss of the right to bargain over the above mentioned issues. Union workers want CUNA Mutual to succeed and to serve credit unions and their members with the highest quality products and services imaginable. And they have. CUNA Mutual Group had a record $113 million profit and Union employees had very much to do with that success. But offering what amounts to $7 million in givebacks is hardly a way to recognize their efforts. Union employees deserve to be treated better than that. Chuck Eikel CUNA Mutual Group – Retired Union Negotiator, OPEIU-39

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