Release Hours

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
Dalai Lama

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein

 I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.
Walt Disney

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.
Arthur C. Clarke


ASPTEA special invite for viewing of "United States of ALEC: A Follow-Up"


Check out the Video at PBS....

Mike Cusimano Education Award
The following students were winners of the 2014 Mike Cusimano Education Award.
Gage McKenna Howell  
Candy Howell member - Fire Department
Erik Isaacson
Phil Isaacson member Housing Department
Kelly Ann Smith
Laurie Smith member - City Clerk Department
Francesa Olguin
Anissa Blair member - Human Services Department
Let's Talk

 See Ron's comments on Facebook!

ASPTEA Now has Aflac



ASPTEA members can now sign up for Aflac at discount Rates! 

For More Information on the Plans see the Video's below..

Cancer Care Plan

Accident Indemnity Advantage Plan

Hospital Advantage Plan

Dental Plan

Critical Care and Recovery Plan

Vision Now Plan


Good Bye and Thank you...
As many of you are aware my service as President comes to an end and I return to the general work force. Serving ASPTEA has been an honor and privilege. Although I am disappointed in the results and the manner in which it all happened. I leave with a clear heart and proud to have done the work and accomplishments achieved during my time.

As people approach me and ask me what happened? It comes down to a simple process of people NOT being engaged and assuming an outcome. With that, I have always advocated that people need to be participating not just a face. The issues that lie ahead will be more troubling and have greater impact. Complacency is the evil that has to been overcome. A united front is much greater then a divided perception.

Also, over the last decade Serving as Chairman of COPCU which, is the coalition of City of Phoenix Unions, has been a tremendous experience and honor to work with people who are dedication and committed to their membership and the cause of protecting employees.    
    Thanks to Fire, PLEA, PPSLA, AFSCME, LIUNA. During the recent 487 challenges, without their help and the full participation by theses groups, city employees at all levels would have had a dismal impact.  

Thank you to the Mayor, City Council and City Manager, as well as all in the Executive level and general Management.

My success and accomplishments are not done without a wonderful team. Thanks to Colleen Lockwood, Vice President, Jason Stokes, Chief Rep, and to the ASPTEA Board. I will miss all of you!

Once again, I wish everyone well and the new administration will have challenges to resolve. Focus on the global issues and not on personal satisfaction or objectives. In the end the unit will have greater satisfaction and people will find a benefit to be a part of the Association.

Thanks, Ron.

Thank You All

 Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate and work with the community! Many wonderful people spent many hours of their lives to save our employees! Words are not enough to THANK YOU! Without labor taking the Challenge this would have been terrible. 



In July 2015, all Unit 7 employees will be receiving three additional hours of vacation time.

Release time is utilized for employee representation during PMG appeals, investigatory processes, grievance preparation, and the day-to-day management of the union office.  

Without representation during the recent contract negotiations, the situation would have been much worse: loss of longevity, merit freezes and wage cuts.  This was the City’s initial offer for our package. During the negotiation process, your ASPTEA representatives met with the City to minimize our concessions.  This would not have been possible without our bank of release hours.  We understand that no one is happy about losing any compensation, but the ability to have a voice is crucial. 

There may be those who feel that our services are not necessary or needed, The Goldwater Institute, for instance.  The elimination of “Release Time” is another of their attempts to weaken pubic employees. Their goal is to outsource your job and eliminate your pension.  Please don’t help them to be successful.

We are asking for your support and participation in this effort and hope that you will decide to Opt in your donation of three hours or more. Attached to this message is the donation form.  Please show your commitment to preserving your benefits and future security.  Don’t be afraid to help and show you care for your colleagues and our service to the people of Phoenix. 


Now that negotiations are over and our new contract is signed, it is time to discuss and share why and how our decisions were made with regard to the concessions.  We have been receiving some negative feedback from our membership about how they feel ASPTEA misrepresented them during the process.  Many members are now dropping their ASPTEA membership as a result.  This could not come at a worse time for our organization as we are asking people to help ASPTEA out with the donation of the three hours that the city is giving to each employee (on July 25, 2014) because of a recent court decision.

I know this has been explained before, but the Goldwater Institute sued the Police Department Union (PLEA) and they won a judgment that we feel illegally enjoined ALL city unions and associations. Part of the judgment related to how full time union officers are paid.  Currently, all full-time union officers are paid by a small wage concession from every member of their unit.  Our unit (Unit 7) encompasses approximately 3200 people.  The way the City is choosing to meet the terms of the lawsuit is to convert those wage concessions into vacation hours, which equates to approximately 3 hours per year, per unit member for Unit 7.  Each unit member gets a choice of whether to donate those hours to their association so that they can continue to perform association business or keep it for themselves.  Donations of 3 hours (or more) from each member will be critical to maintain staffing of the ASPTEA office.  We are shooting for a goal of 6,000 hours to get us through fiscal year 2014/15.

FYI – PLEA and Fire employees have ponied up all of the hours those unions need to have continuous operations while we wait for the outcome of the appeal to the court decision.

Union release was just part of the concession package that will begin on July 1, 2014.  ASPTEA went above and beyond during this negotiation period by holding 21 separate focus group meetings in January.  Although all 21 sessions were fully booked (20 persons each), only about half of those who registered attended.   In April, a survey was sent to each member to rank concessions after we found out that Fire had caved in and agreed to a 2.5% concession package.  Nearly 75% of our membership participated in the survey.  ASPTEA took the information we received from the membership and constructed two concession choices (three if you count the choice to do nothing).  Over 80% of the membership voted on the concession package. Membership was given costing sheets and ASPTEA held two informational meetings to explain the issues and another for the ratification process.

NO other association or union gave their membership more than one choice until it was time to vote and then for only one option.  

We know that no matter what we do or say there is always a group of people that won’t be satisfied with the outcome.  I am asking that same group to look at the situation our organization was in and work with us. As a consequence of this new approach to the way ASPTEA will be conducting the day-to-day business of representing our unit, we find ourselves having to make a bigger distinction between members and non-members. While this illegal judgment is imposed on all the labor groups, non-members will have to either pay in time for any services or get none. Giving services to non-members would be “gifting” and we certainly don’t want to violate any court rule. So, we are back to the original request. Over time I have made it clear that I am not a person who thrives on fear or intimidation, but work in a mature and factual disposition. I understand the resentment of not getting what we expected, but I too have endured the pain and sacrifice that everyone has had to accept. Lets make lemonade out of lemons and help each other.

Thank You.

MOA is Released

We are finally here; our 2014-2016 MOA has been completed and released. Members can have their own copy or visit our web site to review.

The road was long and hard, but there was light at the end of the tunnel. As we close this chapter some people may not be satisfied with the outcome or conclusion, but the difficulty was to reach the objective set for us and to maintain our level of service.

Outcomes from this process were more positive then negative.What most people don’t know is the depth of the potential damages that lurked in the early stages. Our committed team at ASPTEA was diligently working around the clock to keep our balance and stability with the outcomes. It is always easy to point and criticize when the danger is unknown. 

Once again thanks to the membership, ASPTEA Negotiation team and ASPTEA Board. 

MOA Link

Opt-In Winners....
iPad winner :       Karl Hamza         Public Works Energy
$100  Gift Card:  Juan Rodriguez    Parks Supervisor
$50 Gift Card:     Janis Lair             Police


Year 1 (FY 2014/15)
Reduce Deferred Compensation from 5.16% to 3.06% (a 2.10% decrease) in 2014-15.

Year 2 (FY 2015/16)
Reduce Deferred Compensation from 3.06% to 1.91% (additional 1.15% decrease) in 2015-16. 

Message from Ron on the Final Negotiations