Shift recently obtained a copy of the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 8’s (OPEIU, AFL-CIO) 2015 messaging tips—a guide for activists when meeting with state legislators. OPEIU Local 8 is one of the many state employee unions’ seeking pay hikes this legislative cycle. Inslee’s budget includes a whopping $867 million (the result of Inslee’s secret negotiations with the top union executives who supported his campaign) in pay hikes, but state employee unions still need the Legislature to sign-off on the raises—hence the messaging tips.
So, what is OPEIU Local 8 telling its activists to say? And, better yet, what is it telling them not to say?
OPEIU Local 8’s “Do” list includes:
- Talk about your values and how they translate to your work.
- Tie those values into a personal story to make it memorable.
- Speak from the heart.
Notice, the union urges activists to appeal to legislators’ emotions, not the facts. The union’s “Don’t” list provides insight in to what activists are urged to avoid, i.e. the facts.
OPEIU Local 8’s “Don’t” list includes:
- Complain about your agency or management.
- Talk to legislators about waste, fraud and abuse.
In other words, speak from the heart. But, if mismanagement or waste, fraud and abuse are issues that weight heavily on the heart then don’t speak from the heart.
The union goes on to inform activists, “It is not in our interest to complain about bad management, waste, fraud or abuse to legislators. Our time with legislators is valuable and should be spent talking about things they can take action on or do something about.”
So, legislators can “take action” by spending $867 million for state employee pay hikes, but they cannot “take action” to stop bad management or prevent waste, fraud and abuse. As long as the union benefits monetarily, taxpayers can keep right on forking over hard-earned dollars to a system riddled with waste, fraud and abuse. Ladies and gentlemen, we present the self-serving mindset of union leaders.
You can check out the messaging tips below: