|Bilello grossly negligent.|
The RO issued the notice after reading a story exposing Bilello's improper actions we posted last Saturday.
Bilello, claiming ignorance, said "it was a mistake" and he was unaware that he did not have the authority to direct monies to the welfare fund. He also blamed members of his administration for the failure saying, "no one told me I needed approval."
Section 21 of the District Council Bylaws, is very clear, the delegate body decides all questions of allocation of trust fund monies.
Bilello's claim of ignorance is not to be believed. First, Bilello is fully aware that "the full plenary power and authority of the district council is vested, without limitation, in the delegate body." Second, his running mate and former disgraced president and highly paid assistant, William S. Lebo, claimed to be an expert in the Bylaws and submitted a very detailed letter to the RO criticizing the Bylaws.
"All delegate meetings must be documented accurately, and all of this documentation should be disseminated to the membership so that they might know whether or not their delegates are doing the job they expect them to do. Also, as you have discussed at meetings with the membership, the voting by the delegates must also be recorded and documented for dissemination to the membership for the same reasons."
Lebo was vetoed in September 2012, the decision to allocate the Hoist raise was made in June 2012.
Bilello is not only grossly negligent, he is incompetent. Not only did Bilello fail to abide by the Bylaws, he also failed to notify the affected members that he allocated their entire contract raise to the welfare fund.
We reported, Roto Born, a hod hoist shop steward working at St Patrick’s Cathedral was unaware he even received a raise.
“I am working on one of the largest scaffolding jobs in the city and the men and I didn’t even know we received a raise, why was the entire raise put into the welfare fund and why weren’t we even notified about this," Born stated.
Never is the history of the carpenters union, has 100% of a contract raise been allocated into just one trust fund, historically the raise is always divided between wage and benefits.
Because of Bilello's improper actions, for the first time in the history of the Union, we have members paying different welfare fund benefit rates for the exact same coverage received (see chart below).
According to a Benefit Fund Newsletter, "a contribution rate of $11.25 per hour is already substantial and represents over 13% of your total hourly compensation. Increasing the employer contribution rate is not the solution. In fact, it may be counter-productive to improving the employment situation. Because it is in everyone’s interest that our union employers remain competitive with non-union employers, we must start with controlling our costs."
The key in solving the problems of the welfare fund is increasing man-hours, increasing the contribution rate does not compensate for the loss in man-hours. We should not have members paying higher rates for the same health coverage.
On July 1, 2012, Bilello violated the bylaws and improperly diverted a $2.59 per hour contract raise with the Hoist Agreement into the welfare fund.
On January 1, 2013, Bilello violated the bylaws and improperly diverted a $2.46 per hour contract raise with the Millwrights Agreement into the welfare fund.
And on, February 27, 2013, Bilello violated the bylaws and improperly allocated the contract raise with the Association of Wall-Ceiling and Carpentry Industries agreement; the March 12, 2013 executed CBA submitted to Judge Berman for approval purports to allocate $2.12 per hour to the Welfare Fund.
Bilello, in an effort to correct his failures, put all the allocation decisions before the delegates for retroactive approval at Wednesday's delegate body meeting.
Counsel for the district council Jim Murphy, put forth the proposition of nunc pro tunc––which is a legal basis to correct past clerical errors. When courts take some action nunc pro tunc, that action has retroactive legal effect, as though it had been performed at a particular, earlier date.
Despite good efforts by several delegates to postpone the vote or have the monies allocated differently, the pro Bilello, council employee/delegate majority easily outnumbered the opposition and approved the allocations.
"Instead of making an informed decision on allocation, based on information about the Welfare Fund, the rubber-stamp delegates were instructed how to prop-up a grossly negligent scofflaw EST," said a rank in filer in attendance who asked to remain anonymous.
Member's who attended the meeting are furious and oppose what is transpiring, they claim that Murphy's legal theory of nunc pro tunc is somewhat restricted in its application in cases such as contract law, and moreover something that has to be approved by Judge Berman.
"By virtue of the non transparent, non disclosure shortcomings of the DC, and every other trick they have orchestrated in regard to the contracts, what is necessary here is to emphasize to Judge Berman, in no uncertain terms, the claim of nunc pro tunc cannot, in the vane of common sense not to do injustice, it must not be applicable in this case."