Public Employee Spring

There is a giddy sense of optimism in the public sector unions of the United States of Trumplandia and union bosses are walking hard-heeled through the halls of state Capitols spoiling for a fight.

West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico the workers walked, are protesting, and talking walk.  So far those who have walked are a respectable 1.5-0.5 because no one is quite sure Oklahoma is a clear cut victory or a draw.

Are we seeing a labor resurgence similar to the heady days of the Flint sit-down strike of the 1930s or an anomalous phenomenon? Spring is in the air and public employee unions are feeling the sap rise.  But the Janus decision is waiting on the wings to trim the new growth from this budding sapling of hope.

And what about Montana where the teachers’ union, MEA-MFT just merged…with…some one and is now the largest union in the history of Montana.  Recently elected President Eric Feaver of the Montana Federation of Public Employees is quoted, “We are exponentially beyond being a teacher union.” It begs the question what does the long-lasting, long serving, everlasting indefatigable, incomparable Mr.  Feaver plan to do with the exponential power at hand?

The University system is a mess, state employees haven’t seen a decent raise since 2013, and the Montana Department of Corrections just closed the Great Falls Youth Transition Center as part of their $40 million budget cuts courtesy of a special session steered by the Republican caucus.  The end result of Governor Bullock and budget director  Dan Villa getting an atomic wedgie from Senator  Lew Jones, Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen, and loyal minion Representative Rob Cook.

It begs the  question is there enough anger and stamina within the ranks of state employees to pull off a strike?  Does Eric Feaver have the savvy to pull the trigger on a statewide strike during the upcoming session?  Remeber, the 1991 strike was engineered by the late  Jim McGarvey of the Montana Federation of Teachers/Montana Federation of State Employees and Tom Schneider, former executive director of the Montana Public Employees Association.   Feaver watched from the sidelines. There hasn’t been a repeat of that action in almost thirty years.Teacher Pay

So do you  wield the collective power of the most powerful union in the history of Montana or use the possibility of a strike as a bargaining chip?  Time will tell but time is waning for the aging labor boss to pull something epic and will it occur because union members want it or because Feaver is feeling his oats and the sap is on the rise?

Just remember summer follows spring and shit burns in Montana and winter is coming.  Just ask the Syrian  rebels how  that Arab Spring is working for them.

“Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack”.  – T-Bone Slim

UM Hires Social Intelligence VP

19983460101038892704526313733188605164525066o[1]University of Montana President Seth Bodner announced today that he has created a Vice President position who’s role will fit well with The Messina Group’s work in digging deeper into the patterns of UM’s current students and those Bodner hopes will flock to campus.  ‘We believe we’ve found the perfect fit for my wife’s directive to mine all of the data possible and enhance our enrollment.  In addition to the work we’ll be doing with the Messina Group, we are extremely excited to announce that Mark Zuckerberg will begin his work as the Vice President of Social Intelligence.’ Bodner said.  ‘Zuckerberg brings a wealth of data as well as connections to think tanks who have proven their ability to manipulate that data with results.’

The announcement, first delivered on Facebook and later via email to the campus community, came as a shock to faculty given Bodner’s intention to begin slashing academic positions and shuffle departments yet again.  When pressed as to how UM can afford someone of Zuckerberg’s net worth, President Bodner explained that his wife had negotiated and agreement to allow the Facebook creator to work from an ‘alternative worksite’ given that the nature of his work will not require him to actually ever set foot on campus.  ‘People willingly share all the information on social media we’ll need so there’s no need for a bricks and mortar approach to his employment.  I mean this matter of factly, but President Trump isn’t too far off when he calls voters stupid, they share everything.’

Zuckerberg most recently made headlines by being summoned to the nations capitol for a set of congressional hearings related to the discovery of personal information which was collected and used to allegedly sway voters in the 2016 presidential elections to Trump’s favor.  Cambridge Analytics collected ‘private’ data of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge.  Chelsea Elander, Bodner’s wife and chief advisor, suggested that what Cambridge did could work for UM.  ‘We’re toying with some sort of ‘Monty Crush’ type game in hopes of getting users to send invitations to their friends and allow us access to as much personal data as possible.  I mean, it worked once, right?’ Elandar joked.

Along with gathering student and prospective student data through social media, UM also announced the release of a request for proposals to secure a medical provider to ‘chip’ all students or visitors to campus who may be interested in enrolling.  ‘We’ve beenhuman-upc[1] chipping our football players for over a decade now in order to better track their movements on Saturday nights. We use the trackers, I mean chips, to round the boys up on Sunday morning so they aren’t left in a sticky situation.’ Said head coach Bobby Hauck.  ‘I guess it could work on students who don’t contribute to the football program too if that’s important to President Bodner.’


‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’



Helena Industries: Who’s To Blame?

Helena Industries is closing and kicking all of its staff and clients into the gutter.  By now this is old news, and even more so, very sad news for a some of Montana’s most in needHaunted-Forest-Scenic-Backdrop[1] residents.  Yep, we’ve been hearing that for some time now and it’s not Helena-centric by any means.  The State’s ability to pay for these services, as they have for decades, has been on this track since a Republican majority planted the seeds of disaster in 2003.  Those seeds have taken root, grown trees and are now bearing rotten fruit.

That’s the bigger picture.  But in regard to HI there’s much more to the story and pointing the finger at the Department of Health and Human Services as the hammer that put the nail in their proverbial coffin is disingenuous at best.  What you won’t find in the news are accounts of mismanagement by hired leadership to include real estate speculation and a phony scheme to establish E-Recycling across Montana.  What you won’t see is the amount of money sunk into that program full of false promises and contracts with large entities that were never established or negotiated.  In a manner of speaking, what you won’t see are the fancy clothes tailored to fit HI’s Board of Directors who feel oh so bad for the loss.

According to Vice Chair of Helena Industries’ Board Chuck Siefert “This doesn’t feel like who we are as Montanans, that the most vulnerable of our society are the ones that take the hit,” he said. “It’s sad to see this evaporate like this.”  He has a great point, however, it is who Montanans and Americans, for that matter, are becoming.

So what did HI do wrong in their effort to save themselves and continue to serve the needs of their clients instead of the ignoring the failures of their leadership team?  It’s really a simple formula and was all played out in the 2015 Legislative session.  HI could have easily taken the script from AWARE and run with it.  Here’s an easy breakdown:  Hire Mary Caferro and have her collude with Disability Rights Montana to close any near by and important institution run by the State of Montana.  Then, coordinate with seiu-bus1[1]someone or some entity that dumps a fair amount of money into state political scenes via a big purple delivery truck.  Have Disability Rights file a load of complaints on behalf of clients of that state institution, have that purple money machine promise to take care of the new workers and then get the Governor to shut down his operation and lay off his own employees in order to save HI.  So simple and so few people to move around.  What could go wrong.  Oh well, too late now Helena Industries, but what a great opportunity for Mary and AWARE.


‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’