Marty Beil demonstrates once again how out of touch he is

This is unbelievable…

The Wisconsin State Employees Union last month seized tens of thousands of dollars from five union locals of correctional officers that have broken away from WSEU. WSEU’s director said the union had taken about $45,000, while an official with one of the locals said the total was closer to $25,000.

The state union withdrew the money from a number of local bank accounts it had access to, and WSEU’s assistant director and another union representative persuaded managers at one bank to allow a locksmith to drill out the safe-deposit box and remove a $14,000 money order.

Marty Beil, the executive director of WSEU, justified sending his minions to seize funds from local unions after their decision to break away from AFSCME by saying, “This money is really the property of the union and has to accrue to the membership.” However, despite Beil’s bluster, two Wisconsin appeals courts have ruled local union funds stay with those local unions when they change over to new unions.

In 1986, a court said the money stayed with the local when workers at Waukesha County Technical Institute left AFSCME and joined the Wisconsin Education Association Council. Another appeals court panel reached the same decision in 2008 when state law officers left AFSCME to join the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association.

Beil argued that this situation is “altogether different” from those in the earlier cases in which AFSCME lost. In this case, he said, the question of who gets the money should be decided by the union’s charter – an argument that failed in the two earlier cases.

The ham-handed way Marty Beil and his minions have handled the seizure of local union funds just goes to show how dysfunctional the leadership of AFSCME Council 24 is, and it’s abundantly clear to me that a change is in order.

It’s time for Marty Beil and his right-hand woman Jana Weaver to go.


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16 thoughts on “Marty Beil demonstrates once again how out of touch he is

  1. Agree 100%. Marty continues to think the union movement in Wisconsin is about him, and not the brothers and sisters. Marty has had no problem coming on Sly’s show and other media complaining about the conditions that correctional officers have put up with under Act 10, but then he pulls this stunt. Pathetic.

    It’s not about YOU, Marty. Because you think it is, you must now go. Stop acting like a corporate CEO scumbag and stop playing into RW propaganda’s hands

  2. Beil’s key base of support in the WSEU was the correctional officers. He consistently bargained stronger contracts for them at the expense of lower paid clerical, custodial and food service workers, which explains why so many of these workers are now forced to collect food stamps and frequent food pantries. With correctional officers leaving the union I expect a serious challenge for the leadership of the WSEU and the end result will be a more progressive and activist union, engaged from the bottom up.

    It will be interesting to see how the new correctional locals will deal with future attempts to privatize prisons. A small union is not a stronger union, but that is their choice. Any belief that they can buy-in to the divide and conquer strategy in order to cut a better deal with Governor Jail Bait may prove to be a dangerous fantasy. Without the other state workers to use as a bargaining chip they may just find themselves hung out to dry.

  3. There is much more to this than what the MJS published. I would hope a true progressive would do a little investigation before passing judgement. That said, Gareth is correct, but, what he doesn’t realize is that Correctional Officers aren’t in leadership of the WSEU any longer and that is one of the reasons why this temper tantrum is occurring.

    The money is not just the Correctional Officers to take to use as they want, as they keep saying. There are members outside of the Security and Public Safety unit that are still part of the locals, as well as SPSS members who have stayed with AFSCME. There are also Technical, Blue Collar and Administrative Support employees in those locals who aren’t covered by the CO’s new “club”. By assuming that the money was theirs to take to form their organization is mistaken and as wrong as what they are accusing the WSEU of doing. WSEU has that money in trust, for representation of those members in the locals that have not resigned from AFSCME (which there are)–even though the breakaway CO’s don’t mention them.

    1. You raise some points, but then I can’t help but wonder why Marty Beil and Jana Weaver didn’t seek to recoup the monies they felt belonged to AFSCME through a less sneaky manner? Why not attempt to resolve the issue in an aboveboard way before resorting to the kinds of tactics that just reinforce public perception of unions (and “union bosses”) as a bunch of corrupt thugs?

      Ultimately, whether Marty and Jana were in the right or not for what they did, how they went about recouping the monies shows either a stunning lack of regard for how the situation would be seen by the public or a total disregard. Either way, it certainly seems like it’s time for a change in AFSCME’s leadership, and I know I’m not the only dues-paying member who believes that.

      1. Let me explain, when the leadership of 6 locals decided that they didn’t want to be part of AFSCME anymore, they didn’t dissolve the locals they were members of, they left the locals without leadership, even though there were still members in the local. It is not the entire local that has abdicated from AFSCME, just some of the members. There are still members in Local 18, 1005, 281, etc. Is that really good leadership or just “I’m taking my ball and taking it home”? Also, there may be other individuals in other locals that have chosen to follow behind the WACLE Pied Pipers, but in those locals, the leadership realized that the yellow brick road that is being spread by WACLE is a dream. DOn’t believe what WACLE is spreading, it is not a mass exodus from AFSCME. Essentially what the INTERNATIONAL (not Jana and Marty) did was to assume control of the money so the remaining members could be represented and because these locals do not have leadership at this point to manage the local finances. Once the local proves they have leadership in place to assume their responsibilities again, the money will be returned. That is how it works. Yes, it was Jana and a member of the International staff who physically collected the money, but they had documentation that the banks must have recognized as legal. If you had seen any of the emails written by individuals involved in WACLE, you would also know that that group knew this would happen, so it wasn’t really a surprise. The other issue is, how do you explain that the local that wrote checks out to their former leadership was suddenly in better financial shape then they were a year ago, that’s pretty surprising under the circumstances. I would venture to guess that the local had less money now then they did in 2011. Which brings me back to my comment that unless you know the full story, you’re better off not commenting on it or anyone involved.

  4. The prision guards belong behind bars for the theft they have committed. Go ahead and quit because 3 girls were chosen to lead the union and you little boys throw a tantrum. But to steal funds from the union you deserted after you quit is a crime. What a bunch of sissies! And who cares what some PSS ant says.

    1. You spelled pissant wrong, but I’m betting that wasn’t an accident on your part.

      Putting that aside, how exactly did the corrections officers commit theft? Both the police and the district attorney reviewed the situation and found no one had broken any laws.

      As for the reasons why the corrections officers left AFSCME, your behavior in this thread (given the position you hold in AFSCME, which might explain why you’re too much of a coward to post using your real name) just underscores that their reasons had some validity.

  5. The WSEU did reject the” hooray for me and the hell with everybody else” crowd and DID elect an activist leadership that supports imprisioning the criminal prision guards for their theft.
    Guard union activism consisted of who can drink the most at union functions. Now we will resurrect these locals with corrections people with real courage not bottled courage!

    1. Why don’t you tell everyone here who you really are, because a little context would shed some light on things.

      There’s nothing I dislike more than someone who visits here to hurl baseless insults while hiding like a coward behind a pseudonym.

  6. Damn, I have been out of the loop for a while. Thanks for the additional info, I sure as hell can’t get it from reading the newsapers.

  7. I can’t help but read this article and feel depressed on every level about the fate of the public employee unions in Wisconsin. I believe that no one has acted in the best interest of the members or of working people in general. To see people writing themselves $2000 checks without approval of an elected board disgusts me. To see the correctional officer leave AFSCME as the result of the recall endorsement process and internal politics disappoints me, but the manner in which they left and made the split a public and ugly affair in the Journal goes beyond that and actually angers me. I feel for the wardens and other members of their bargaining teams and the remaining guards who stuck with AFSCME who may feel that they have had their money stolen. All of it has been playing right into the hands of Scott Walker and his divide and conquer strategy. On the other hand, I can’t imagine what thought process was involved in getting a lock smith to drill out a safety deposit box and take the money and run. If there was a good reason for that, an attempt to keep the money from being misused for example, I wish that had been explained in the paper and to the members. Everyone needs to take a step back and remember that ego and anger needs to be set aside, that we are in a long war and every action will be examined in the worst light by conservative media in this state and every error will be held against the members.

    1. Paul, have you verified that the back pay was granted without the approval of members?

      Further, you seem to be awfully depressed about everything but Marty Beil’s leadership of Council 24. The fact that Jana Weaver had a safety deposit box that she had no right to drilled out (without a court order, warrant, etc.) is absolutely stunning, and any reasonable person should be bothered at how Marty and Jana handled this situation.

      Their iron-fisted actions towards the corrections officers really just reinforces some of the reasons the COs gave for why they decided to split from AFSCME. This situation absolutely could have been resolved in a more appropriate manner, and I’m extremely disappointed and dismayed at the behavior of leaders who are supposed to be serving their members, not their own selfish self-interests.

      1. Zach, read my comment again. I clearly said I can’t understand the thought process that lead to a safety deposit box being drilled out. I am not defending Marty or Jana, I don’t have any information that makes that possible. I will say they have always done right by me, but so far no communications about this situation have been provided and what I am reading in the paper upsets me a great deal, just like I said. The only people I am defending are the wardens and other members of the bargaining unit who stayed behind. They are the only ones who appear to be totally innocent in this situation and they are getting screwed.

  8. When I took journalism classes way back when, I learned that it was important to do research and get facts to write an accurate story. We all know that journalistic integrity has abandoned those beliefs by the wayside to get that sensational dirt. Leave the research to stuffy librarians with buns in their hair and glasses. Here are the facts on this:
    –In this situation, a local cannot decertify. A bargaining unit decertifies. There are only two locals in Council 24 that represent one bargaining unit. All the rest represent employees in other bargaining units. When the leadership of the locals that are forming WACLE resigned their membership in AFSCME, they were doing it as individuals, not as a local. In order to leave, the bargaining unit must act as one. There are members of the bargaining unit in question at state agencies outside of the Department of Corrections and they are not just Correctional Officers, even if the former WSEU members at Waupun, Dodge, etc. would like to believe so. Their locals at those institutions also represented individuals in other Bargaining Units. Any members in those units are still members of the local.
    –When the officers who resigned from AFSCME took their oath of office, they agreed to “deliver to my successor in office all books, papers and other property of this union which are in my possession at the close of my official term”. Property includes financial resources. It doesn’t mean we can take the money and run.

    Those are the facts, whether individuals like it or not. In my opinion, the action that was taken in securing the money was done based on the duties of officers contained in the AFSCME International Constitution. The fact that the former members and leadership believe that the money belongs to WACLE is not enough to give them the right to whine and complain when the money is secured by representatives of AFSCME (no matter what lengths they went through to make it unavailable). It is their burden to prove to the courts that the money belongs to someone besides AFSCME in this particular situation.

  9. “Ham handed” is mild. I’ve been a union member since 1969 and Marty Beil’s behavior makes my blood boil. He is a scab pure and simple, if not a criminal. These correctional officers have made it clear they want out of AFSCME, and the most basic canons of democratic practice require respect for that decision. It is not just a few leaders either, but the great majority. They are acting in unison, indeed in union. The funds in question are dues paid by members to their local union. This is unconscionable.

    A Wall Street Journal article ~June 1 said WSEU was down from 22,300 members in March 2011 to 7,100 in February 2012. I’m guessing more like 4,000 today. They can’t hold their own members, so steal other unions’ dues money. As the correctional officers’ new leader said:

    Marty Beil has made such a mess down in Madison. He’s turned off so many people down there. We have to work with lawmakers who want to work with us, and nobody wants to listen to Marty Beil.

    I met many great correctional officers, police officers, and fire fighters during the recall and fought side-by-side with them. They want away from the scab Marty Beil. So would any sensible trade unionist.

    1. Mike, thanks for sharing your perspective. While I’m proud as hell to be a member of AFSCME, I’m certainly not proud of our leadership. I’m not proud of how tone-deaf Marty Beil has been throughout the entire Act 10/recall process, and I’m not proud of how AFSCME wasted millions of dollars propping up Kathleen Falk during the Democratic gubernatorial recall primary, when AFSCME had polling showing she was going to lose.

      If we’re going to prevail in the fight to restore our collective bargaining rights, we need to win the public over to our side, and Marty referring to lawmakers as “whores” and situations like the one I wrote about in my original entry aren’t going to win the public to our side.

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