General Election Day and Pay for Knowledge

Election Day is Around the Corner

General Election Day is fast approaching and there is a lot of important work to be done to elect candidates that will work for working people.  For those of you here in Pittsburgh, I encourage you to think about participating in a phone bank or a block walk here in the building.  Those of you in the field can plug into our Union’s electoral activities wherever you are.

Below, find a schedule of phonebanking activities here in Pittsburgh between now and the election.  For more information contact USW Local 3657 Member Eric Russell aterussell@usw.org

Wednesday, October 31st 10:00am – 5:00pm Email erussell@usw.org to schedule 2nd Floor
5:00 – 8:00pm Hosted by AFLCIO in 1st Floor Lobby 1st Floor and 2nd Floor
Thursday, November 1st 10:00am – 5:00pm Email erussell@usw.orgto schedule 2nd Floor
5:00 – 8:00pm Hosted by USW Officer, TBA 2nd Floor
Friday, November 2nd 10:00am – 5:00pm Email erussell@usw.orgto schedule 2nd Floor
Saturday, November 3rd 9:00am – 1:00pm Canvassing, Hosted by AFLCIO in 1st Floor Lobby 1st Floor
Sunday, November 4th Off
Monday, November 5th 10:00am – 5:00pm Email erussell@usw.orgto schedule 2nd Floor
5:00 – 8:00pm Hosted by USW Officer, TBA 2nd Floor
Tuesday, November 6th 9:00am – ???? Email erussell@usw.orgto schedule 2nd Floor

We want to thank everyone who participated in the Local 3657 Phone Banking night on Tuesday, October 23.  We made over 9,000 calls that night for a great candidate in Massachucetts and we showed everyone that 3657 is a Local Union that can organize and mobilize!

General Election Day
As you all know, General Election Day (November 6th) is a holiday under our current collective bargaining agreement.  We strongly encourage everyone to volunteer to help out with election day activities in whatever way makes sense for you, whether it’s phone banking or block walking as part of the labor mobilization for the election or poll watching for an election protection program.

If you volunteer to help with the get-out-the vote effort you will not be entitled to overtime pay that day.  However, clerical employees who are assigned to work their regular jobs on Election Day are entitled to overtime for any hours worked on Election Day.  If you are a clerical employee who is assigned to perform your regular job that day and you have any trouble getting your overtime approved, please contact Dianne Babin or another member of the Grievance Committee so we can be sure that you are fairly compensated for your work.

New Horizons and Pay for Knowledge

There have been several questions about the availability of training for 3657 Members who choose to participate in the Pay for Knowledge Program.  Local 3657 has been working hard with the International to set up a training program that is accessible to everyone and will give our 3657 members the skill set we need to attain Microsoft Certification.

Starting in January we will be offering in-person Microsoft trainings at the Headquarters.  You will need to take three one-day trainings to prepare for the certification exam for Microsoft Word, thee one-day trainings to prepare for the certification exam for Microsoft Excel, and three two-day trainings to prepare for the certification exam for Microsoft Access.

These classes will be at no cost to Local 3657 members and held on Saturdays and Tuesday/Thursday evenings (Tuesday and Thursday together count for one day of training) starting in January.  Local 3657 members in Pittsburgh will have the opportunity to take the class in person in the building and Local 3657 members in the field can participate in the same exact classes (alongside members in the building) remotely from your offices or your home.  Once you’ve taken the three classes you can take a practice exam and then the certification exam.  As soon as you pass a certification exam in any one of the three programs you will be eligible for a 3% increase in your pay.

We will be holding an informational meeting at the beginning of December here at headquarters (and live-streamed in the field) to provide further information on the program and details on scheduling.  Representatives from New Horizons will also be at that meeting to give everyone an overview of what to expect during the training sessions and answer any questions you all have.

If the training program we have set up in the building doesn’t work for you or you want to move faster, you can choose to pursue Microsoft Office Certification another way.  Some Local 3657 members are taking classes through their local community colleges and others are attending in-person sessions at a New Horizons Training Center in their area (http://www.newhorizons.com).  If you choose to participate in one of these trainings you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket but then you will be eligible of reimbursement through the Tuition Assistance and Professional Development Program.

Most of these training programs are scheduled during regular working hours.  You may request time off to participate in the trainings but your supervisor is not required to offer time off.  If you can’t get time off to participate in the trainings you can either take vacation days for the training sessions or take unpaid time off for the training sessions.

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