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OP-ED BY GEORGE H. NEE

On Nov. 4, Rhode Islanders will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not they wish to convene a Constitutional Convention (Con Con). We stand on the brink of a dangerous precipice. If Question 3 is approved, the floodgates will be opened to out-of-state special interests, and our Constitution could be radically altered and our rights stolen.
Individuals have written about the dangers a Con Con would be to our civil rights. We have heard from those who remember the 1986 Con Con and the detrimental attacks that were made on the rights of women and minority groups in our state. Rhode Islanders were right to be worried then, and they are right to be concerned now. We can expect those attacks to resume, and this time we can expect that they will include the rights of workers in the Ocean State.

The landscape has changed drastically for the working class since the 1986 Con Con. Attacks on unions nationwide have weakened our economy, and the ripple effects have left us all reeling. The middle class is shrinking. Wages have stagnated. Worker safety is no longer a priority. The rise of Right-to-Work laws have had a detrimental effect on workers in states across our country. Collective bargaining rights have been limited in places like Wisconsin. The recent Supreme Court ruling in Harris vs. Quinn reminds us that the war on workers’ rights is ongoing!
It is well known that our economy and the rights of workers go hand in hand. Many Americans still look back to the “good old days,” when our middle class was strong and union membership was at its peak. Well, our economy has gone the way of the unions. Union membership is down (as a percentage of the workforce) and the gap between the rich and the poor is rising.
Here in Rhode Island, attempts have been made to introduce Right-to-Work legislation to our General Assembly. Workers in states that have passed such legislation earn lower wages and experience higher workplace fatality rates. Fortunately, attempts to pass such legislation in Rhode Island have failed, but, should we convene a Constitutional Convention, you can bet that workers’ rights will be on the chopping block. This is a route our state cannot afford to take. Public employee bargaining rights and private sector prevailing wage laws could also be threatened by the convening of a Constitutional Convention.

I have heard those who are in favor of a Con Con refer to those of us who are rightfully concerned about our civil rights and worker rights as fearmongers. Nothing could be further from the truth. RenewRI, a group that recently formed in support of a Con Con, counts as one of its members Mike Stenhouse, the CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a champion of Right to-Work-laws for Rhode Island. Under the guise of government reform, this group will encourage Rhode Islanders to ignore our concerns. Do not be fooled! They do not support our best interests!
The recent Preparatory Commission report estimated that the cost of holding a Con Con would be millions of dollars. At a time when valuable community services are at risk, our taxpayer dollars would be better spent in any number of ways. To convene a Con Con when we already have an effective system in place to amend our Constitution would, put simply, be a waste of our money. To proponents of a Con Con, the millions of dollars spent is not a lot of money, but consider how that money could better help our communities.
Rhode Islanders are no strangers to fighting for what is right. We have a proud history of standing up for the rights of workers. Our constant vigilance keeps us aware of what is really at stake. Come Nov. 4, I know Rhode Island’s workers won’t be let down. Vote to reject Question 3.
George H. Nee is president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO.

Success on the field requires dedication, study, and preparation
Success in your chosen field requires the same thing

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” – Vince Lombardi

Advance your studies by enrolling for Fall courses now!

NACTEL give you choices for your technical education

A.S. Degrees
• Telecom
• Video
• Mobile Technology
• Networking
• Wireless Networking
• CyberSecurity (coming soon) B.S. Degrees
• Telecommunications
• Technology Leadership (coming soon) M.S. Degree
• Internet Technology

NACTEL’s Telecommunications education is designed specifically for working adults like you.
These credentials are stackable and aligned to technical career paths in your industry, so there are no wasted courses when moving up the educational ladder with NACTEL.
Take the first step and attend a Virtual Open House on September 16 to hear from and ask questions of the university staff. It is quick and easy! Register at www.nactel.org/ibew/voh
To learn more about these NACTEL programs, visit www.nactel.org/ibew

The normal order of business has been suspended for the summer months of July and August 2014. With permission from the 2nd District we will be conducting 1 – consolidated meeting per month in the Union office – 22 Amflex Drive, Cranston RI 02921.

We will be holding a Member Appreciation breakfast at 9:00am and a Member Appreciation Dinner at 5:00pm

July 16th, 2014
9:00am Breakfast
10:00am Meeting

5:00pm Dinner
6:00pm Meeting


August 20, 2014

9:00am Breakfast
10:00am Meeting

5:00pm Dinner
6:00pm Meeting

June22rev
IBEW Local 2323 & IBEW Local 99 invite our members and familes to come join us for a solidarity family day.

Hotdogs, Hamburgers, Sausage & Peppers and more…

Bouncy Boot camp obstacle course for the kids, games and more…

Sunday June 22, 2014
12:00 – 5:00pm

22 Amflex Drive
Cranston RI 02921

logo contest

The Union is holding a contest for our memmbers to create a new logo for use on our Union shirts. The winning entry will win a $100.00 VISA gift card.

Entries can be submitted via email IBEW2323@verizon.net or dropped off / mailed to the Union office: 22 Amflex Drive, Cranston RI 02921

Deadline for entries is Aug 19th, 2014
Winner will be selected at the Aug 20, 2014 Metro meeting.

2014 Scholarship
May 30, 2014

To All IBEW Local 2323 members:

IBEW Local 2323 is pleased to announce the renewal of our annual scholarship in the amount of $1000.00 per year for sons & daughters active dues paying members. In order for you to understand the for eligibility and selection of the scholarship for 2014. the Executive Board of the Local has drawn up the following guidelines.

Eligibility

1.) The applicant shall be the natural or legally adopted child up to the age of 25 of an active dues paying member in good standing of Local 2323 for six months at the time of this application or a retired dues paying member in good standing of Local 2323.

2.) Graduate of any public, private, or parochial high school or the equivalent who plan to attend a school of higher education.

3.) Acceptance at an accredited college or school of higher education.

4.) Verification of union membership of Local 2323 of a parent and address of employment, if applicable.

5.) The deadline for applications will be the executive board meeting June 26, 2014.

Committee Rules

1.) The scholarship Committee appointed by the President of the Executive Board.

2.) The winner will be selected at the union meeting in July 2014.

3.) There will be three names drawn.
(a) The first name drawn will be the winner of the 2014 Scholarship in the amount of $1000.00
(b) The second name drawn will be the 1st runner-up
(c) The third name drawn will be the 2nd runner-up

4.) The scholarship will not be confined to academic programs, but will be granted to students planning on post-graduate or vocational studies.

5.)Should the winner of the scholarship transfer to another college or school of higher education during the term of the scholarship, the scholarship committee must be notified and will review if the scholarship should continue.

6.) The award will be paid to the parent of the $1000.00 scholarship recipient upon proof of receipt or proof of payment to the institution of higher learning for the past semester not to exceed $1000.00

7.)The scholarship for 2014 will be terminated when the recipient:
(a) has received a total of $1000.00 from the Scholarship fund.
(b) has completed the course of study for an undergraduate degree or post graduate degree.

8.) It is expected that the scholarship program will continue indefinitely, however, conditions may require changes or modifications. The right to modify or terminate the program, in whole or in part is reserved by the committee. In the event such changes, scholarships in effect will continue for their duration.

If you wish to make an application, fill out the attached application form and submit it to:

IBEW Local 2323
2014 Scholarship
22 Amflex Drive, Cranston RI 02921

or fax the application to (401) 946-2323 where they will be reviewed.

Fraternally yous,

Dan Musard
President
IBEW Local 2323

Verizon in accordance with Article G25 of our collective bargaining agreement, has notified the Union of a surplus in New England. EIPP offers will be distributed to the affected employees by June 2, 2014. An employee’s election to accept the offer must be in writing and transmitted to the Company within fifteen days from the date of the offer. The decision is irrevocable after such fifteen-day period (June 16, 2014). The final date of employment in this case for those accepted volunteers will be June 28, 2014.

Surplus declaration for IBEW Local 2323 are as follows –

    Central Office Technician – 3 total


MCO – 234 Washington St, Providence RI
Dir: Nelson Rodriguez

    Outside Plant Technician – 5 total

Smithfield – 3
Tower Hill – 1
Warwick – 1
Dir: Paul Mcmanus

    Splice Service Technician – 18 total

Newport – 3
Smithfield – 6
Tower Hill -2
Warwick – 7
Dir: Paul Mcmanus