A Message from the BMST

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to take the time to clear up some rumors and false information that has been going out to our membership regarding your Local Union.  

There have been discussions regarding the decline in Local Union meeting attendance and how we can find solutions to engage the members to participate at their Local Unions.  Some of these suggestions were to merge some of the Locals to create Four main Locals located in the North, South, Central, and Downtown areas of our jurisdiction, or merge all the Locals into one under District Council #14.  These discussions are just that, discussions.  It was never decided that any of these suggestions were happening at this time, and I assure you they are NOT happening at this time.

These are hard conversations to have but we need to take action to make a better and stronger Union.  There are many reasons to attend your Union meeting.  It provides members the opportunity to regularly meet as a group, learn about your union and what benefits it provides, debate the issues facing our work force, air gripes and frustrations on the jobs, make proposals and have input, or get updated on events and programs that are offered through the Union.  Bottom line it matters what you do.  If you attend meetings and become more involved your Local Brothers and Sisters will see you and recognize your efforts.  They will have your back, go the extra mile for you, help you while everyone else watches or walks away, give you advice and give you a hand up when you need it.  

I’m a proud Thirty-Five-year member of Local Union 265 and never thought that we would be discussing ways to increase our Local Union meeting participation.  I know that some of our members take great pride in their Local Union and love being involved in all it has to offer.  I know that possibly losing your Local Union to a merger is disappointing and frustrating.  These conversations are taking place because of the significant decline in attendance and participation at the Local Unions.

If you want to be part of the solution to become a stronger union, you must take the time to attend and participate at your local meetings.  I know everyone has a busy schedule, but we are only asking for 1 or 2 meetings a month, which is only a couple hours of your time each month.  I will be randomly attending different local meetings to discuss this matter and hear your input.  Remember every person does make a difference, so don’t sit on the sidelines complaining that your Local Union is not heard.  Remember silence is not golden, it can be deadly.   

So, for now the plan is to keep all the current Local Unions and meetings the same.  Attend your meetings, stay strong, stay union proud.

In Solidarity
Joseph Rinehart
Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer
Painters District Council #14