We Have a Contract! – Westhampton Free Library Unionization

As union president, and member of the contract negotiations team, I am happy to announce that we have a contract!

Our staff union and the library board voted last month to ratify this contract.

“We look forward to working with management to create a safe, secure work environment with fair and just wages and benefits that reflects the teamwork that is at the heart of what makes the Westhampton Free Library in Westhampton Beach, New York unique and beloved by patrons and staff alike.”Westhampton Library Staff Association website.

Westhampton Free Library Unionization

There is an article in the Southampton Press which, I feel, fairly covers the goals of the Library unionization effort (since successful). I was interviewed for this article and am quoted accurately.

The day the article was published I received a phone call at work from Jack O’Dwyer, who apparently writes his own blog about Westhampton Beach news. He asked me my opinion of Maria Moore. I answered “I have no comment on Maria Moore or any other Library board member.” I refused to answer any of his questions. He later emailed me asking me about union leadership and requesting to take photographs. I replied that the union has not selected any leaders, and that I did not feel a photograph was appropriate at this time. That is the extent of our conversation. I have ignored further email correspondence I have received from him.

He has since published on his blog (Google his name – I am not going to link it here), using my name among others, as his source indicating the “anger” of the Library staff, along with our alleged concerns about Westhampton Beach village political issues.

For the record, the Library staff is not “angry.” Our unionization effort is for exactly what we stated in our mission statement. We have no stand on any issue of village politics or people in authority at the village. Only a handful of staff members actually reside in the village, and I am not in a position to express their individual views.

We echo Danielle Waskiewicz’ sentiment in that we the Westhampton Library Staff Association “look forward to engaging in good-faith negotiations … to reach a fair contract.”


How I Stopped Robocalls From Disturbing My Life

During one of the recent data breaches, my information was breached. More specifically, my cell phone number is now in the hands of spammers.

Several times during the day, my phone will ring. The caller ID will display a number (usually out-of-state and cities where I know no one). In the beginning I would pick them up and either hear some marketing scam, or  hear nothing but noise in the background. So I stopped picking them up. But I would still have to run to my phone at all times of the day to see who it was to determine if I needed to pick it up. It was driving me crazy. I blocked number after number on my iPhone, but they continued to come up with new numbers.

In my frustration I took to Facebook with my rant, and my brother mentioned the service Nomorobo. It sounded perfect! Nomorobo develops a “black list” of phone numbers to block based on complaints received by the FTC. So if one phone number receives lots of complaints, Nomorobo will block that number from ringing the phone of a subscriber. In order to utilize this service, one has to sign up for Simultaneous Ringing with the phone carrier. Nomorobo quickly answers the spam calls, then hangs up.

However, Verizon Wireless does not offer the simultaneous ringing feature. I scoured their help boards, and their solution is for the customer to pay Verizon Wireless a fee to block a finite amount of numbers. I can already block unlimited numbers on the iPhone, I certainly wasn’t going to pay Verizon to do the same.

I was seriously considering changing my cell phone number. I know, though, I would have missed valuable telephone calls, and that solution was not acceptable either.

My solution: download a silent ringtone from iTunes, and set that as my default ringtone. In actual practice I only receive calls from a few of my contacts. So I manually set the custom ringtones for those contacts (plus a few who could possibly call me) to something other than the default.

Now my phone no longer rings unless one of those contacts call me. I can still see the call if I wake up my phone, and they can, of course, leave a voice mail. I still have an audible tone set for a new voice mail.  Legitimate callers will leave a message. I will subsequently add them to my contacts and give them an audible custom ringtone for future calls.

No more running across the room repeatedly during the day. In this small area of my life, I have restored peace.



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