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I'm No Johnny-Come-Lately in Support of Employee Protections


by: Glen Maxey

Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 01:47 AM CST


(While the Travis County District Attorney's race has become hot, this race is equally important for Travis Democrats as it could have statewide implications (given the Voter Registration component of the office).   - promoted by Mark Duncan)

I'm cross-posting this from my website.

With the Central Labor Council preparing to make endorsements in the Democratic Primary, I’ve taken a moment to reflect on my long history of work with and in support of the organized labor movement.

I grew up in a union family. While working for the State, I was a member of TSEU/CWA and AFSCME. I am now a member of the AFSCME Retiree Group and TSEU.

block quote The first bill I worked as an aide to State Senator Kent Caperton was the due process employment bill for teachers. I’m proud of our work passing that bill to give job security and continuing contracts to public education employees

I was taught about the legislative process by Sen. Oscar Mauzy, one of the strongest labor movement leaders. While working for Mauzy, my proudest moment was working to bring worker’s compensation to farm workers.

During 12 years in the Texas House, I can point to a 100% labor record, 100% on consumer and environmental protection, and 100% on civil and worker’s rights.

You’ll not find a better friend of labor.

I want to bring my committment to the cause of organized labor to the second largest office in county government.

block quote For the past 16 years, the incumbent has operated an at-will employment office. It’s unconscionable in 2007 for an elected official in Travis County to have an at-will employment policy.

That will change immediately when I take office. On my first day in office, I’ll impose a just-cause employment policy for employees of the Tax Office.

I pledge to do a case-by-case review of employees’ compensation in relation to their pay grades, and inequities caused by market study adjustments shall be remedied. I’ll be an advocate for my employees in the budget process.

In addition, I opposed privatization of state services as a legislator, and I oppose the privatization of our delinquent tax collection efforts at the Tax Office. Decisions of filing lawsuits and taking people’s property are serious decisions, and I’ll work to see that this is done fairly and only after all other remedies have been tried to help struggling families.

County employees deserve no less, and they’ll have my support from day one, not just when election time rolls around.

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This is an Important Issue (0.00 / 0)
I have some experience with this both as a manager and employee.  If you support organized labor and worker's rights, 'just-cause' is worth fighting for.  

We need changes like this all over the state (0.00 / 0)
Employees are key asset that the public sector has. We need to be gaining more employee protections, not moving backward and losing ground.

<b>So What does Labor Say about Maxey and Spears?</b> (0.00 / 0)
Glen's been friendly to Labor in the past, but so has Nelda.

I understand that on Saturday Labor endorsed Nelda Spears, hands down.

Glen's negative, false, mean attacks on Nelda are backfiring. Travis County voters have no reason to fire the best Tax Collector/Voter Registrar in Texas.


I don't see (0.00 / 0)
a Union endorsement on her website.  Can you clarify?

[ Parent ]
haha, what a joke (0.00 / 0)
Labor has really shown itself how clueless it is with this one. Let's see, on one hand we had Glen with one of the most pro-Labor voting records in the State lege and is actually a MEMBER of a labor union... versus a candidate who has run an office for nearly two decades as an "At Will" employer where she can fire at will- Totally OPPOSITE of the values that labor supports... and is not a member of any labor union.

And Labor endorses the anti-labor candidate? What a joke.

You can try to spin this one 'Justice' but this one is blatantly clear. This Labor endorsement is absolutely meaningless given how bad their endorsed candidate in the race is on their issues. I'd really like to see them try to explain this one to their members and the Democratic establishment here in town that has gone out of their way to create a pro-labor environment in a state that is hostile to it. On that front, Nelda is part of labor's problem, not the solution.  


[ Parent ]
No Joking (0.00 / 0)

So, I guess you feel the same way about the West Austin Democrats who endorsed Nelda 62% over Maxey.

Maybe the AFL-CIO and West Austin Democrats are seeing Nelda for who she is and they're rejecting the made-up stuff that has led you astray.


[ Parent ]
I'm not sure I follow (0.00 / 0)
The AFL-CIO supposedly is suppose to take candidate's position on labor issues into consideration when it endorses (if it didn't what difference would their endorsement make). It's an group bounded by issues (labor). West Austin Democrats are a geographical group, whose members are not bounded by anything other than location. I don't see the comparison here...

The fact that Spears has anti-labor practices in her office and has for over a decade isn't made-up. It's a fact. Are you denying it? Are you disputing the fact that she's an at-will employer?  


[ Parent ]
Nelda's Good People (0.00 / 0)
Nelda is not anti-labor.  She was Bob Bullock's Human Resources Director and worked in the same job for Garry Mauro.  Like other County officials she has continued to work with AFSCME on these issues and has been improving policies while maintaining the best tax collection and voter registration record in Texas.

Maxey's campaign has desperately tried to get good folks like you to gulp down lies about Nelda as if they were "facts."  Like I said, Labor and others see through "the made-up stuff that has led you astray."  Folks who are fair to Nelda will support her re-election.


[ Parent ]
You're avoiding the question (0.00 / 0)
Spears has had over a decade and a half to 'work with AFSCME' which she was not a member of (surprise, Maxey was!). So answer the question.

Are you denying that Spears has been an At-Will employer for over a decade?  Are you denying Labor opposes the concept of At-Will employment?

If not, you cannot deny that Spears is anti-labor and that continues to be a fact. That is a very fair assessment.  


[ Parent ]
No, you're just a sucker for Maxey's smear campaign (0.00 / 0)
Given the AFL-CIO endorsement for Nelda, it would appear she's not anti-labor.

Probably what it means is that labor is smart enough to tell the difference between real labor issues and bogus rhetorical pablum.  They also might want the same thing every other taxpayer wants from public employees - accountability and performance.


[ Parent ]
How hard is this? (0.00 / 0)
Are you denying that Spears has been an At-Will employer for over a decade?  Are you denying Labor opposes the concept of At-Will employment?

Clearly Justice is not denying these facts. Spears has an anti-labor record. The endorsement spoken of doesn't erase that fact (and raises questions about labor as well).

Nice try, but that isn't a smear campaign. It's fact and the refusal to contest it says volumes. It's almost laughable.  


[ Parent ]
let's all channel Samuel Gompers (0.00 / 0)
Raises questions about labor? So the AFL-CIO isn't qualified to identify what its issues are?  Sorry, but the CLC has alot more credibility on what a labor issue is and who really supports their issues than you do.

Tax office employees are protected by ordinary Travis County personnel policies and the HR policies of the Tax Office itself.  They are "at will" only in the sense that they do not have a contract or civil service.  But they cannot be fired without cause so Maxey's argument is fundamentally bogus.

And you'll notice that Maxey is proposing a 'just cause' policy, whatever the hell that means, not imposition of county civil service. If he was actually serious about this issue that's what he'd be calling for.  'Just Cause' sounds so wonderful - like 'mom' and 'apple pie'.

By the way, what tax office employee has ever asked for a 'just cause' policy or complained about being allegedly at-will?  Try none.  


[ Parent ]
clearly not (0.00 / 0)
So if that's what Maxey should be proposing to go further, why isn't Nelda taking any step in that direction?

By the way, what tax office employee has ever asked for a 'just cause' policy or complained about being allegedly at-will?  Try none.

Maybe because they fear getting fired. Which just proves the point.  


[ Parent ]
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