Dustin E. Teske
O.P.E.I.U. Local 30 Executive Board 2017

Hi, I'm Dustin. I was born in Northfield, Minnesota and moved to San Diego, California, when I was just five years old, with my mom, dad, brother and sister (I'm the eldest). My mom retired from teaching preschool at our church after twenty-seven years. My dad, a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and professional cement truck driver for twenty-nine years, is also retired. My parents are now enjoying retirement by traveling via RV and also taking cruises together. I'm married to my amazing wife, Christine, who is my best friend. I have three children; Andrew (18), Britney (15), and Emma (3).

My first labor union experience began in 1997 when I became a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 542, working at UPS. Over the years, I've participated in countless online labor campaigns for labor unions including the AFL-CIO, Change To Win, Communications Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Guards Union of America, Service Employees International Union, UNITEHERE, United Farm Workers, United Food & Commercial Workers, and United Government Security Officers of America. I helped Security Officers at KP form their first union via one-on-one and group work site visits. I have demonstrated in front of Walmart stores with members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and continue to work with security officer labor unions, organizing new members. I created a labor union referral site and provide all workers who are interested in joining a labor union with referrals to labor unions that are interested in organizing more workers.

I have successfully completed several labor studies courses and obtained an Associate's Degree from the National Labor College (NLC). My employment and educational experiences have instilled within me the importance of (and benefits associated with) a strong, engaged, and growing labor movement. Now, I'd like to share with you why I'm a candidate for the O.P.E.I.U. Local 30 Executive Board.

Today, employed by Kaiser Permanente for more than twenty years, I'm a member of the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 30. I have served as one of your dedicated Union Stewards and, in 2010, I was elected to the O.P.E.I.U. Local 30 Bargaining Committee. We unanimously recommended a contract proposal at KP, which members voted overwhelmingly to approve. As union members, we have some excellent benefits and, with your support, I will work to protect what we have while fighting for improvements.

  • Work assignments should specify work locations, work days, and shift times. Our union's members deserve the peace-of-mind that a stable work schedule provides.

  • Members employed by KP in San Diego deserve wage parity with members who perform the same work in Los Angeles. Currently KP workers in San Diego are paid significantly less than are KP workers in Los Angeles even though the cost of living is actually higher in San Diego!

  • If we are going to continue participating in the LMP, labor needs more influence and respect in the process. Labor committee members should be selected by labor (not management) and individual participation should be encouraged but clearly communicated as voluntary. LMP meeting agendas should be jointly decided by labor and management rather than being another platform for management to push its agendas, as is often the reality. PSP amounts should be contractually secured so that never again are workers cheated the money we've earned through goal achievement simply because management decides the billions they made in net profit weren't enough.

  • We need to place a greater emphasis on organizing new members. American approval of labor unions (presently at 56%) has risen during the last few years. In 2015, the National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling that makes it easier for unions to organize unrepresented employees because a shorter period of time between a union's filing of a representation petition and the holding of an election makes it harder for employers to present their arguments against union representation. Through this rule, the NLRB delivers the accelerated election process unions have been seeking for years. In consideration of these facts and in the face of the current anti-worker administration, it is imperative that our union form an organizing committee. We can help workers acquire the benefits that result from union membership while growing our union. This committee should work on developing leads for organizing more members into our union. Adequate resources need to be dedicated for that purpose.

  • We need to reign in outsourcing. I began my KP career as a temporary employee who received minimal pay and benefits. During that time, temporary employment agencies were the exclusive source from which the department that I worked in at that time, eventually hired. In some KP departments, the practice of utilizing temporary employees to avoid paying decent wages and dodge providing benefits continues to this day. Some managers even use temporary employees on a long-term basis to circumvent posting open positions and hiring workers who would become union members. We have workers who perform the same work assignments as KP employees but are compensated significantly less and who makeup a percentage of the workforce and are not a part of our union. This harms the integrity of our bargaining unit and the strength and resolve of our union.

    The negative effects of outsourcing are more obvious in some departments that in others; in the Environmental Services (EVS) department, every EVS position that O.P.E.I.U. Local 30 represents in every KP facility throughout the entire North County (and some central KP facilities) was outsourced. Having outsourced a significant percentage of the EVS positions, KP re-aligned the entire department and all the EVS workers had to re-bid for their jobs. This was more than 15 years ago and these jobs remain outsourced.

    I'll never forget the abrasive and dismissive response from our union President, Marianne, when I brought up outsourcing concerns at a general membership meeting. Visibly annoyed, Marianne quipped, "Why do you care?!" I care because we are a union and 'An Injury to One, is an Injury to All'. We need to help each other and we need to protect each other; what happens to him could happen to her and what happens to them could happen to us. We are the union and we are all in this together. We need more leadership who understands and supports these fundamental union principles.

  • Member Engagement within our labor union is alarmingly low. Our union meetings rarely have the required 15 members in attendance to hold an official meeting (out of nearly 6,000 members). Regularly, fewer than than 10% of our union members employed at KP choose to participate in contract ratification votes.

Involved Members are the true strength of every union. So how do we re-build our union's strength? We start by electing new union leaders who respect the members, listen to us, and value our diversity.

Our union leadership should demonstrate these values by their actions:

  • Members who contact the union office deserve a timely reply to their request/concern.

  • I'll work with our employers to reach mutually agreeable solutions to issues, but there are some instances when we need less hand-holding with management and for our union to fight for us.

  • I will listen to members -whether I may have differing opinions- and work with them to resolve their concerns.

  • I'll welcome members to actively participate in the functions of our union.

  • I will collaborate with other labor organizations. Recently, our leadership chose to disaffiliate from the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. Our union needs to re-invest in its relationships with the local and international labor communities so we can work together and support each other rather than waste resources that would be better used in a more coherent strategic fashion.

By engaging our unions members, we will increase our influence during contract negotiations and we can fix more workplace issues.

Now, some of those in our current union administration -and their loyalists- not only fail to acknowledge but are outright dismissive of the issues that I've addressed here today. They think that, since I've unsuccessfully run for office several times, these positions are not popular. The irony here is that the people with that mentality are that are the very same people who are either elected by the 7% of members who vote in our elections or appointed by those who were elected by the 7% who vote. Meanwhile, the truth is, I know that the issues addressed here are important to most of us because I've had the opportunity to work with many of you during the last twenty years of my employment at KP. But just knowing something isn't enough, we need to engage the additional 93% of our members to vote so we can create the change together. Won't you help me? It's for these reasons that I ask for your support of my candidacy for our union's Executive Board.

In Solidarity,

Dustin E. Teske
Working Together, Moving Forward (please share my flyer)

Important to You Means Important to Me

Kaiser Permanente (KP) made $3.1 BILLION (net income) in 2016. But management basically claimed that wasn't enough money and gave workers only 55% of the Performance Sharing Payout (PSP) that we had earned. Do you feel like the Labor Management Partnership (LMP) and Unit Based Teams (UBTs) are working more for KP than they are working for you? Are you sick of job descriptions that are 'Varied, Varied and Varies' (Shifts, Days, Locations)?
Lets Fix That!
Lets Fix That!
Lets Fix That!

Do you think it's unfair that members who work for KP in San Diego receive significantly lower wages than members who perform the same work for KP in Los Angeles? Do You Sometimes Feel Like You're Not Receiving the Support That You Need? Do You Sometimes Feel Disengaged And As Though Your Ideas Don't Matter?
Lets Fix That!
Lets Fix That!
Lets Fix That, And More...

I Want to Hear From You

    It's not just some empty campaign slogan, I truly want to hear YOUR ideas; whether some of them may differ from some of mine; remember, 'Our Diversity Makes Us Strong'. With your support, I will be elected to our Executive Board and I will maintain this website and continue to provide several options for you to contact me and, yes, when you call on me, you will receive a response.

Powered byEMF Contact Form

Connect with Me Via Social Media or Email

© Dustin E. Teske for O.P.E.I.U. Local 30 Executive Board 2017