Unions making things better for the future

Sergeant Major Tom Morrissey, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.) and Army Master Sgt. Kirk Havens

Sergeant Major Tom Morrissey, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.) and Army Master Sgt. Kirk Havens have an opportunity to talk during the Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 Veterans Day luncheon. Both Morrissey and Havens were injured in war. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley

To view Mike Teranova’s speech, visit Fox Valley Labor News YouTube Channel
To view SMW 73 President Rocco Terranova’s speech, visit Fox Valley Labor News YouTube Channel
To view Hillside Mayor Joe Tamburion’s speech, visit Fox Valley Labor News YouTube Channel

HILLSIDE — The brotherhood of union members and veterans are similar — there’s solidarity, commitment and pride.

For these reasons, it was only fitting that members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 formed its Veterans Committee. This year, it marked its 10th anniversary.

SMW Local 73 President Rocco Terranova couldn’t thank this members enough for their service and their sacrifice to their country.

Over the past 10 years, the Veterans Committee has raised money and donated to several worthy causes, from providing postage costs for overseas packages to furnishing a room for a wounded veteran at Hines VA Hospital. Members also visit Hines to play bingo.

“Those men and women there are so grateful we took a little time out of our day to visit them. We’ve touched so many lives and helped so many veterans,” Terranova said.

Sergeant Major Tom Morrissey, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.) was invited to speak to members and he instilled the message the need to give back to others.

Retired Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 members

Retired Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 members enjoy their veterans luncheon Nov. 8. From left are Mac McCoy, peacetime Navy veteran; George Litynski, Army Vietnam vet; Steve Ziroli, Army Vietnam vet and Larry Kalchbrenner, Army Vietnam vet. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

“Veterans Day is about sharing my experiences with how I’ve been helped, and how I’ve tried to help others.

Morrissey works for, and serves on the board for Transitional Living Services in McHenry, which helps homeless veterans and veterans with drug and alcohol problems.

“We do the dirty work. We deal with veterans that have a hard time dealing with life and we all need to understand that the more we can do to help those people, we’re helping ourselves,” he explained.

Terranova’s son, Mike, a Marine veteran, thanked the Veterans Committee for donating $500 to Salute, INC., a non-profit organization that provides financial support for our military men and women through a variety of fundraising activities.

Mike was quick to point out that donations to Salute go to a good cause — not someone else’s bank account.

The organization is near and dear to his heart because it helped his brother-in-law, Kirk Havens and his family, after he was injured in Afghanistan in 2013. The Army Master Sgt. now walks with a limp.

Sergeant Major Tom Morrissey, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.)

Keynote speaker Sergeant Major Tom Morrissey, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.) spent 32 years in the Special Service. He reminded members that Veterans Day is not just about the people who have served, but those who will serve. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

While recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, several organizations contacted Havens with mailers, hoodies and decal stickers, but when he reached out for real help — in terms of executing a plan to continue his civilian life — he discovered none really wanted to offer help beyond hoodies and bumper stickers.

“But Salute reached out to [Haven’s wife] and they said, “we’ll pay off our bills this month, just to give you one less thing to worry about,” Mike explained. “The money that your donating is making a difference. It’s not going to be clouded in administrative costs. It’s going to be put in veteran’s pockets.”

Salute, INC

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 Veterans Committee donated $500 to Salute, INC. in its continuing efforts to support veterans and their families.

Hillside Mayor Joe Tamburino, who’s been coming to the Veterans Committee luncheon for all 10 years said no greater honor can be bestowed on an individual than to serve their country. Tamburion served in the Army from 1968-70.

“This is our day to sit back and think back and keep alive the memories, the times the places and the people — because that’s the hard part. As a Vietnam veteran, I can say today that I’m extremely proud of the way its country treats veterans and how they recognize them. It didn’t happen in our day. But that’s ok, because in our heart, we did what was right,” he explained.

The Veterans Committee is able to make donations through funds raised at its monthly 50/50 union meeting raffles, donations and proceeds from the sale of ads in its Veterans Committee luncheon booklet.

Prior to the start of the luncheon, colors were posted by the Northlake Howard H. Rohde American Legion Post 888.

The election is over, but the political war rages on

The Rotten GOP

Illinois can only hope that governor-elect Bruce Rauner won’t take to many plays out of the playbook of Rick Perry, Chris Christie and Scott Walker.

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley

AURORA — The voters have spoken and Bruce Rauner is now Illinois’ governor-elect and the Republicans have taken control of the U.S. Senate.

On the upside, Sen.Dick Durbin, Congressman Bill Foster, Sen. Linda Holmes, State Representatives Linda Chapa LaVia and Stephanie Kifowit will all continue to serve their constituents.

Illinois State Association of Letter Carriers President Ken Christy said the election was a “devastating loss for us.”

“We lost not only the governor, but we lost Brad Schneider in the 10th and Bill Enyart in the 12th. 2010 was very similar to this, so we’ve see these losses before,” Christy explained.

He, along with Kane County Chairman Mark Guethle, shared a stage Nov. 4 with Congressman Bill Foster as Foster thanked his voters for a win.

“Because of you, we were able to hold on and win in what was obviously a very tough night for Democrats,” Foster said.

He hopes the Democrats victories it earned will send a message to Washington and Republican leadership that voters are tired of the “intransigence, the gridlock and the partisan bickering.”

Guthle acknowledged that low turnout throughout the state didn’t help Quinn with this re-election bid.

“We really need Quinn. He’s a friend of labor and Bruce Rauner is a right-to-work advocate. He’s openly said he’d like to make Illinois a right-to-work state,” Guthle said.

He added he’s afraid Rauner will go after prevailing wage, and he’s confident Rauner will turn pension plans into 401(k).

“What he’d like to do is freeze everybody’s wages. It’s ok for him to make what he wants, he just doesn’t think a painter, electrician, carpenter or plumber should be making $40 an hour,” Guethle said.

Moving forward it’s all about regrouping and keeping organized labor together.

“The Democrats are confident, with the allies we already have in place, with Mike Madigan and John Cullerton, we’ll be able to play defense well enough to stop the Republicans and all the anti-work provisions they will want to try and pass,” Guthle said.

In the end, problems still need to be solved — and the will be. “We’re going to have a struggle on our hands, but we’re not going to get depressed, we’re going to start regrouping and do what we have to do,” Christy explained.

This election did not go down without a fight from organized labor. Members knocked on doors, mailed flyers and phone banked, all in the name a victory.

“Organized labor did there part — that I can tell you that much,” Guthle said. He manned countless evenings at the Painters District Council 30 phone banking events and traveled to job sites to spread the word.

“This is what happens when people don’t vote,” he explained.

All Democrats might be able to say now is election are like buses — there is always another one coming just around the corner.

A salute to Aurora’s fallen heroes

Aurora’s new Veterans Monument.

Aurora Adlerman-At-Large Bob O’Connor said with the city celebrating veterans month, it is entirely appropriate people gathered Nov. 5 to start the work in regards to Aurora’s new Veterans Monument. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley

To view the video of this announcement, visit the Fox Valley Labor News YouTube Channel

AURORA — In its continued efforts to honor and advocate for veterans of the city, Aurora and the Aurora Veterans Advisory Council Nov. 5 publicly unveiled a new veterans monument that will honor Aurora’s own who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the nations conflicts from Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The monument will be showcased in the Sunken Garden at Phillips Park in Aurora.

Aurora Adlerman-At-Large Bob O’Connor told the crowed gathered at the Sunken Garden that Aurora has a very proud history — and much of that history is the service given by servicemen and servicewomen.

“We are trying to complete an unconnected circle in regards to a monument for persons who gave their lives,” O’Connor explained.

“How meaningful it will be for families to be here, seeing the flowers and the trees — new life,” he added.

Veterans Monument

An artist rendering of the city’s newest Veterans Monument is shown at the entrance to Phillips Park Sunken Garden. It will be placed between the WWI and WWII monuments. Artist rendering courtesy of Cordogan Clark & Associates, INC.

The announcement coincided with announcement a fundraising campaign has been launched to raise an estimated $40,000 to $50,000 for the project.

Cordogan Clark & Associates of Aurora created the design for the white and black granite monument, which will feature the seal of each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Prior to the announcement, members of the 106th Calvary Regiment of the Illinois Army National Guard posted colors.

To make a donation, please visit Community Foundation and search: Aurora Veterans Advisory Council

Food panty’s Thanksgiving Gala proves community partnership is key

The Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry

The Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry’s team takes a moment away from their hard work to find the time for a quick photo. Executive Director Marilyn Weisner said the event would not have been possible without countless hours from the team and several other volunteers to put the Thanksgiving Gala together. Photo courtesy of Beth Kolar Photography, Community Photo Studios.

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley

AURORA — To feed people and get them the food they need is a team effort and a community partnership and the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry knows this all too well.

Nov. 8, it held its 4th annual Thanksgiving Gala at Pipers Banquet in Aurora to celebrate the community and its various partners for the dedication to help fund the food pantry.
“This absolutely a partnership effort. We can’t do it alone,” said Executive Director Marilyn Weisner.

As of Nov. 11, the event raised more than $163,000. “We are so grateful to the community for offering this kind of support of our anti-hunger programs,” Weisner added.

A live auction brought in some big numbers. Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner was surprised at the amount one particular auction raised — $700 for Mayor for a Day, which was the first auction of the night.

The Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry

Frank and Char Voris dance the night away with music provided by Wolf Gang. Photo courtesy of Beth Kolar Photography, Community Photo Studios.

“Some members of my staff who go to work for me every day might wonder at that amount,” he said with a laugh.

One guest went all out when it came to custom-made quilts hand-crafted by Gwen Mckee, who passed away Oct. 26, making the quilts a priceless item made by a loving women revered in Aurora. A memorial service was held the morning of the Gala, The quilts were bought for $2,500.

Guests were allowed to bid via their Smartphone, allowing accurate bidding updates and eliminating the need to get up from the table to check their bid.

As with any event, it isn’t done by one person. An entire team of volunteers and board members worked for months to make the Gala a success.

“Everyone was just incredible and we are so grateful to them. Frank and Char Voris and Scott and Michelle Voris are to be thanked for taking the leadership of the Gala event,” Weisner said.

Meaningful morning leads to lasting laughter

By Dan Richardson
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
Email Dan Richardson at danrichardson@foxvalleylabornews.com

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . . a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4).”

Tornados, cancer, financial meltdown and ensuing anger give reasons to grieve. Yet, for the most part, suffering brings people together. Even when the media reports of strained political tensions, acts of compassion going on behind the scenes. We cope with suffering and look for the light at end of the tunnel.

As far as purpose goes, the post-modernism “whatever” mind-set avoids the deeper significance of suffering. Naturalism takes the day: “All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the Earth? (Eccl. 3:20-21).” Leave eternity up to uncertainty and the best you hope for is a good job, some money and constant entertainment.

The reason why secularism can’t offer a sufficient response to suffering is because it is committed to leaving God and eternity out of the equation. Something terrible happens and in the mind-set of the kindness and support, today’s whatever mind-set says, “It doesn’t make sense to turn to God because no one can be sure of those kinds of things.” Why are we so committed to uncertainty?

The answer is both shocking and comforting. The hard reality is we were given a beautiful world to inhabit; and our rebellion brought sadness and misery to it. Our Creator obligates us to bear His image; and we by nature, are unable to obey. God’s response is material with spiritual implications. Wild weather, sickness and corruption should remind us of our sin. God uses these reminders to lead us to Him. Yet, we refuse because we don’t want to be obligated to Him. We only want His benefits.

Honest grief leads to comfort. If we see suffering as a result of global sin, then we’ve come a long way in our thinking. Please understand, I am not saying a tornado that killed a 60-year-old woman was the result of a specific sin on her part. It is not right to tell someone with cancer, “Hey buddy, you sinned and now you got cancer.” It is to say, “No one is good. Our sin leads us to misery. But God turns misery into joy.”

It’s difficult for us to see holiness in God’s just anger towards sin. Yet, it is the right response to evil. The suffering we see today is only a glimpse of what His enemies will endure for eternity. Yet the comfort and healing is also a foretaste of what He offers to those who trust in Him. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing Your praise and not be silent (Psalm 30:11-12a).”

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).” The Lord Jesus Christ confidently said those words because He was going to absorb and satisfy God’s just anger on the cross for the world. The only way the death of Jesus suffices is if He indeed is God. We have His word and the resurrection to rejoice and say, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).”

If we only would take time to think and mourn over our sin, then we’d see the purpose of it all. Then we’d see laughing and dancing a part of a forever-life with God.

Godly Heritage Quote of the Week
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
—The Apostle Paul, 2nd Letter to the Corinthians, 7:10.

Board, union reach tentative agreement

Waukegan strike is over

A tentative agreement in Waukegan represents a compromise between the Union and the Board, ending a 20 day strike. Teachers approved the contract Oct. 30 with an 870 to 136 vote, (86 percent). Students returned to classes Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

Fox Valley Labor News
staff reports
Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014

WAUKEGAN — Schools reopened for students Monday, Nov. 3 after Waukegan Teachers’ Council (IFT Local 504) and the Waukegan Community Unit School District #60 reached a tentative contract agreement.

Shortly before midnight Oct. 30, both sides reached a tentative agreement on three-year contract, which was approved with an 86 percent vote.

All schools remained closed Oct. 30 and Oct. 31, as both parties review the agreement. Teachers returned to work Oct. 31 to help prepare the schools for re-opening to students Nov. 3.

Waukegan Teachers’ Council President Kathy Schwarz said the tentative agreement represents not only a compromise between the Union and the Board, but an end to what was a long, trying process for all parties involved.

“We are grateful to the entire Waukegan community that struggled with us through these difficult times. We would also like to thank Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery Chico for their assistance during the conclusion of contract talks.

After years of instability, we are hopeful that this agreement will be the first step in giving our students the schools they deserve,” Schwarz explained.

Waukegan strike is over

Waukegan teachers voted to approve a tentative agreement with an 870 – 136 vote (86 percent). Teachers were on strike 20 days fighting for a fair contract. School reopened for students Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Illinois Federation of Teachers

Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery said he was inspired by the Waukegan teachers and the community united behind them, adding that going on strike is never a decision made lightly.

“For teachers in Waukegan, their fight for fairness, respect, and a quality education for the students they serve was a sacrifice worth making,” Montgomery said.

Teachers were on strike 20 days. Mongtomery also recognized the assistance of Gov. Pat Quinn and state board of education Chairman Gery Chico. Both got personally involved to help achieve a fair settlement. “They believed in us, and the importance of a resolution for this community,” Montgomery said. “I don’t believe we would have been able to reach an agreement last night without the leadership of Chairman Chico.”

Waukegan strike is over

Union members stand in a line Oct. 30 that wraps around the building to vote on the tentative agreement. Photo courtesy of Waukegan Teachers Council

Waukegan Superintendent Dr. Donaldo R. Batiste said that it was a “great delight” the union acknowledge it reached a tentative agreement.

“These last four weeks have been difficult for everyone involved. Both the Board of Education and I have witnessed first hand a great passion for education from parents, students and community members. We eagerly look forward to working together as a community for the betterment of our students,” Batiste added.

An update on school re-openings, make-up days and other related matters will be provided at a later date.

Schools will maintain the same schedules as they did prior to the teachers’ strike. Transportation will also operate under the same schedule.

Makeup days will be announced within the following weeks.

Regarding the return of students Nov. 3, Montgomery said teachers and students will be going back to school in a new Waukegan that they are building together.

Rat contractor in Warrenville

Scabby the Rat

Members of Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Local 1889 are on strike in Warrenville for area standards against DBI Dunaway Brothers. Recently, members from IBEW Local 701 were protesting Dave’s Electric for violating area standards. Under construction is Twin Peaks, a new restaurant coming to Warrenville, but it’s starting to be built mostly with out-of-state and non-signatory contractors. It’s housed in the old Stir Crazy restaurant at Diehl and Winfield roads. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Can you see God?

By Dan Richardson
Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014
Email Dan Richardson at danrichardson@foxvalleylabornews.com

There are many stories of folks who said they saw God. Many describe tours of heaven or hell, and other playful interactions with Jesus. A popular speaker often describes his ‘hilarious’ conversations with Jesus. A recent story talks about Jesus giving a boy a ride on his horse up to heaven. The problem with these trips to heaven and back is that Jesus claimed to be the only one who has descended from heaven. He said no one who has ascended to heaven has ever descended back to Earth, except Him (John 3:13).

Another problem is the inconsistency with other encounters recorded in Scripture. Moses hid his face when the LORD spoke through a burning bush (Exodus 3). Joshua fell to his face at the feet of the Commander of the LORD (Joshua 5:14). Manoah fell to his face when he recognized the angel of the LORD (Judges 13:21). In chapter one, Ezekiel fell to his face. In Isaiah 6, the prophet trembled and said, “Woe is me!” The apostle Paul fell to the ground (Acts 9).

God “dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see (1 Timothy 6:16).” In His transcendent state, we cannot see God; yet in His earthly state, we have.

John says, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known (John 1:18).” Note the two persons of the Godhead mentioned — God, and one at the Father’s side. The one at the Father’s side is Jesus, the second person of the Godhead. He took on the “form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8).”

Back then, anyone who believed Jesus’ testimony believed they saw the face of God. In fact, Jesus said to His disciples, if they see Him, they have seen the Father (John 14).

Although His appearing on Earth has come and gone, by God’s grace, faithful men kept good records. There are enough witnesses and collaboration to compile a reliable record of Jesus’ life.

When He ascended to heaven, the angels told the disciples Jesus would return the same way He left. In other words, the next time Jesus is seen on Earth is when He physically descends from heaven. The subsequent earthly sightings of Jesus were exclusive to the first century church. Stephen, the first martyr, saw Jesus standing at the Father’s right side. Paul saw a vision of heaven, but he was not allowed to speak about. John saw Jesus, fell to his face, and wrote the revelation of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus is seen again, it won’t be a block party. He won’t schedule an interview. No pony rides will be offered. The Earth will tremble, the mountains will melt, and the trumpet will sound. Some will hide in fear. Others will fall to their face and worship Him.

Then He will speak.

Godly Heritage Quote of the Week
“The Founding Fathers believed devoutly that there was a God and that the inalienable rights of man were rooted — not in the state, nor the legislature, nor in any other human power — but in God alone.”
—Jeremiah S. Black (1810-1883), Secretary of State, (presidentialprayerteam.org).

Unions making things better for the future

Scabby the Rat

A new restaurant, Twin Peaks, is coming to Warrenville, but it’s starting to be built mostly with out-of-state and non-signatory contractors. Members of IBEW Local 701 brought Scabby the Rat to the job site to alert other trades. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley

WARRENVILLE — The driver of a pick-up truck said it best as he drove past protesting union members Oct. 22 and a Scabby the Rat inflatable which was put up outside a construction site.

“Lousy rats!” the driver yelled from his truck.

Twin Peaks, a new restaurant is coming to Warrenville, but it’s starting to be built mostly with out-of-state and non-signatory contractors. It’s housed in the old Stir Crazy restaurant at Diehl and Winfield roads.

Members from IBEW Local 701 were protesting Dave’s Electric for violating area standards.

“We’ll be out here as we need to be,” said IBEW Local 701 Business Representative/Membership Development Anthony Giunti.

He explained without Responsible Bidder language at the village or city level, it’s going to be a struggle for union members to work on projects.

“We’d love to see every village in DuPage County with a Responsible Bidder language, because it would cut down on this,” indicating the Scabby the Rat presence.

Scabby the Rat

Members of IBEW Local 701 were protesting Dave’s Electric Oct. 22 in Warrenville for violating area standards on the construction of a new Twin Peaks restaurant on Diehl and Winfield roads. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

But it would also protect the public and cost less money in the long run through the trained union members working on the project.
DuPage County Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee IBEW Local 701 Training Director Henry Zurawski said his apprentices are worth it.
“We have five years of training; 8,000 hours. I have a $1.4 million annual training budget, which is all funded from membership — not taxpayer money,” Zurawski explained.

The construction is currently being done with non-union electrical. But that’s not to say things couldn’t change, and that what Giunti and others are hoping.

Several other Twin Peaks are scheduled to go up. If opening the lines of communication with general contractors now helps with future jobs, then the protest will be worth it.

“After you do something like this, you’d be surprised to find that the next ones are good. And that’s what we’re shooting for,” said IBEW Local 701 Business Representative/Membership Development Bob Perreault.

Even if signatory electricians don’t get in on the job, they are hoping others do.

“We might get the security, fire alarms or the cameras — we still have a shot at those,” Giunti explained.