Putting Local 1458 to Work

at PO Box 12526, Miami, 33101 United States

We are U.S. Department of Homeland Security / U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S. CIS) employees, members of the bargaining unit and members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), whose union local, AFGE Local 1458, has not been effectively present at our workplaces for far too long. We work in the Miami Asylum Office, the Miami District 9 field offices in Miami, the USVI and Puerto Rico, the Tampa District 10 offices, the Atlanta District 8 offices in Georgia and the Carolinas. We want to see our Local 1458 working to train and lead local union representatives from within our own ranks at our own workplaces. We do not want ineffective power-hungry bosses neglecting us from afar and not doing more than keeping themselves there for the sole purpose of not wanting to work hard like the rest of us. We want effective trained union representatives on site: • representing us when our managers want to subject us to unwarranted discipline without due process of law as negotiated by our union in our contract and under other federal law; • grieving unfair changes in our work without fair notice or input as guaranteed by our contract; • negotiating supplemental agreements that bring real quality of work life changes to what we spend so much time and effort doing, OUR WORK, at a workplace with more reasonable workloads and procedures, more fair and equitable rotations of work, overtime, and TDYs, and with more adequate break, lunch, and recreational-health facilities on-site, and work we can take home and get paid for, as promised by tele-commuting. • We don’t want some so-called “representative” union boss who doesn’t get any closer to us than through the telephone, a long-distance robo-steward over the speakerphone, sitting silently and not intervening when we are getting grilled by management supervisors and/or hardcore detectives. We don’t need anyone “well connected” to our managers by back channeling and back stabbing when we need face-to-face and toe-to-toe negotiators and advocates who stand with us shoulder to shoulder across the table from management. • We want to run our union local simply and democratically to reflect the will of the majority in the interest of the majority. We are the %99 who just want to see our union local working for us where we work. We want to put it to work now by electing a slate of candidates for union office that will lead and grow the union from the grassroots as far and as effectively as it can. Vote for our democratic union ticket of veteran union representative and leader, Chuck Tjersland, for President of AFGE Local 1458, and veteran union member and professional financial administrator, Johnnie Hicks, for Secretary Treasurer of AFGE Local 1458; and, Jose L Cruz, a veteran AFGE Union Steward and Immigration Services Officers (ISO) is our candidate for Vice President of District 10 with the aim of building a stronger union presence inTampa, the SE Regional Office in Orlando, and Jackksonville. Some additional background information about Chuck Tjersland, candidate for President of AFGE Local 1458: I am an asylum officer at the Miami Asylum Office (ZMI) and I have been an asyllum officer for almost 20 years. I was a union steward and Vice President of AFGE Local 1924 at the Arlington Asylum Office (ZAR) for 8 years and in 1998 my ZAR brothers and sisters took over the absentee local there and turned it into one of the most active locals in the U.S. CIS and it is now the 3rd largest local in the U.S. CIS. I moved to Miami in 2005, and the union was no where to be seen or heard and not once over the next 7 years did I ever see or meet the Local 1458 President there. I want to put our local to work in our workplaces, to put trained supported union representatives-from the same offices-to work for us in each and every one of our offices. Help me put our local to work where we most need it, in our workplaces. WHO AND WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST-(Copy of 9/29/12 letter) Dear Local 1458 Trustee Clifton and District 5 NVP Kelley, Please note in the attached official time notice sent out by National CIS Council President Whetstone, as the sender of this official notice to the member locals of Council 119, signs off with now-NCISC Eastern Region VP Bobby Corleto's various listed offices-- including "President, Local 1458." Council President Whetstone, in his official letter to the head of labor and employee relations of USCIS, lists Corleto as local president of AFGE Local 1458. This is untrue and it is unethical for both Whetstone and Corleto to make such representation to both the Agency and the 26 member locals. It is not a technicality. I ask that you on behalf of myself and other concerned members of Local 1458 to rectify the situation. This creates confusion among the members and also with the Agency. Corleto has no authority whatsoever to represent employees of Local 1458 in dealing with USCIS management, or, and he has no authority over the stewards and their use of official time. This also undermines and flies in the face of the authoritiy and jurisdiction of you, our trustee, Jimmy Clifton and you, the NVP, Everett Kelley -- and it creates an unfair advantage to Corleto during the upcoming Trustee-supervised local elections by creating the illusion for the members that Corleto is the incumbent, sitting Local President. In fact, he has never been an elected official of the local -- only an acting local president, who was, in fact removed by you, NVP Everett Kelley. This matter, I believe is a chargeable offense under the AFGE constitution (Article XIII). I want to ask you NVP Kelley to send an official notice to the Agency informing them that Corleto is not the local president and that he is not authorized to represent the local or administer its official time. I also want to ask you NVP Kelley to write NVP Whetstone and National President Cox to inform them of this situation. Please, NVP Kelley, please send out a general letter to all of the members of Local 1458 informing them of the trusteeship and the contact information of the trustee and each current steward. Please, for the sake of fair elections, clarify that Mr. Corleto is not the local president and please explain to the members the process by which the District is moving the local towards officer elections and out of trusteeship. Respectfully, Chuck Tjersland, union steward for AFGE Local 1458 at the Miami Asylum Office Contents of attachment sent with letter to National Representative and Local 1458 Trustee Jimmy Clifton and NVP Kelley (note Page 2) : WRITE ME AND I WILL SEND YOU A COPY, I CAN'T SEEM TO ATTACH IT HERE MAKE YOUR UNION MEMBERSHIP COUNT, CHECK AND UPDATE YOUR UNION PROFILE Fellow workers, National Rep Jimmy Clifton sent out an “Update on the trusteeship” that failed to include the essential facts about how he took over as acting President as well as Trustee of our local back in June 2012, but which hopefully announced that our local election will be held this month. While we now must FINISH getting out the vote for AFGE candidate Barak Obama we also must BEGIN getting out our membership’s vote for our democratic union ticket of Chuck Tjersland for President, Johnnie Hicks for Secretary Treasurer, Brenda Stewart for VP for District 8, Joyce DuFour for VP for District 9, and Jose Cruz for VP for District 10. If we want to bring democratically controlled union representation and bargaining back to our worksites we have to win this local election. Please go to the AFGE website http://afge.com/ and go to and click on “Member Benefits” and then click on Sign In and click on My Profile, but if you have never set up a Members Only Account, please do so by submitting your AFGE membership number, and if not available, submit your full SSN and zip code so you can set up your account with a username and password that will give you access and under “Members Only” go to and enter “My Profile” and “Edit” to update your Personal Information mailing address and if you wish your e-mail and telephone contact information. It is critical to update your mailing address to guarantee you get a ballot for our upcoming local election. If you are a new member and no dues have yet been deducted yet from your paycheck, despite your past sign-up, please, for the sake of getting a ballot to vote, click-on the yellow LOG IN field at the top of the page and then click-on (Not a member?)“Join AFGE today!” and then download and fill out another 1187, or use the photocopy of your last 1187 sign-up attempt, and FAX it to (202) 639-6410 along with a simple note on the FAX Cover sheet saying you want to join the AFGE and give our Local# 1458. PUT AFGE LOCAL 1458 TO WORK: HOW & WHY R.CORLETO WAS REMOVED AS ACTING PRESIDENT OF LOCAL 1458 ON JUNE 25, 2012 I am here sharing with you all the chain of e-mails showing EXACTLY why and how Robert Corleto was removed as acting President of Local 1458 this past June 25, 2012 because he attempted to prevent the NVP for AFGE District 5, Everett Kelley, and District 5 National Rep Jimmy Clifton, actual acting President and Trustee of Local 1458, from appointing me a union steward and entering the Miami Asylum Office to attend an AFGE Lunch & Learn organizing event during the Miami Metro. Former Director Fatica forwarded my request for the L&L to Bobby Corleto who in turn asked the former Director to prevent NVP Kelley and Nat Rep Jimmy Clifton from entering ZMI. > From: CLIFTJ@afge.org > To: Erin.K.Fatica@uscis.dhs.gov > CC: Kellee@afge.org; afgedistrict5@gmail.com; robertcorleto@gmail.com; edward.szeman@dhs.gov; chucktjersland@hotmail.com > Subject: RE: Request for Space for Union Lunch and Learn for AFGE Local 1458 for Thursday June 28, 2012 > Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 10:30:09 +0000 > > Erin Fatica, Chuck Tjersland is appointed as steward for the Miami District and is authorized to represent AFGE Local 1458. Mr. Robert Corleto has been removed as acting president for L-1458. Thank you. > > Jimmy Clifton, NR > AFGE Fifth District > L-1458 Trustee > > -----Original Message----- > From: Fatica, Erin K [mailto:Erin.K.Fatica@uscis.dhs.gov] > Sent: Monday, June 25, 2012 7:00 PM > To: Everett Kelley; Robert Corleto > Cc: chucktjersland@hotmail.com; Edward Szeman; Ken Palinkas; varsenik.papazian@dhs.gov; Zeleke, Aster; varsenik.l.papazian@uscis.dhs.gov; mickey62_7@hotmail.com; Jimmy Clifton; Martin, Steven P; Collette, Arlene; Dufour, Marjory L; Blasini, Gloria M > Subject: RE: Request for Space for Union Lunch and Learn for AFGE Local 1458 for Thursday June 28, 2012 > > Hello folks, > > I have been advised that Mr. Tjersland is not authorized to represent Local 1458. A lunch and learn in the conference room will not be authorized at this time. If Mr. Kelley has any representational duties in the office, please let me know and we will make arrangements to accommodate him pursuant to the contract. > > Thank you, > > Erin > > Erin Fatica > Director, Miami Asylum Office > 305.960.8610 > > -----Original Message----- > From: Everett Kelley [mailto:Kellee@afge.org] > Sent: Monday, June 25, 2012 6:33 PM > To: Robert Corleto > Cc: chucktjersland@hotmail.com; Edward Szeman; Ken Palinkas; Fatica, Erin K; varsenik.papazian@dhs.gov; Zeleke, Aster; varsenik.l.papazian@uscis.dhs.gov; mickey62_7@hotmail.com; Jimmy Clifton > Subject: Re: Request for Space for Union Lunch and Learn for AFGE Local 1458 for Thursday June 28, 2012 > > Sir please note the email that I sent you earlier. It is my responsibility to do so, and if the meeting is set up I will be there. > I have supervision over every local in District 5. > > I believe you need to get some advice on your role and mine. > Chuck as NVP of District 5 please move forward. > > Thanks > > Sent from my iPad > > On Jun 25, 2012, at 4:14 PM, "Robert Corleto" <robertcorleto@gmail.com<mailto:robertcorleto@gmail.com>> wrote: > > Chuck, > > The NVP has failed to contact me, and as not directed the trustee to hold elections. I don't want anyone in the local to meet with him. He has no business meeting with anyone except one of the officers of local 1458. > > Bobby > > On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 3:53 PM, Chuck Tjersland <chucktjersland@hotmail.com<mailto:chucktjersland@hotmail.com>> wrote: > > Hi Erin, > > I am writing from home today on s/l because of the urgency of making as timely request as possible on behalf of the bargaining unit members in the Miami Asylum Office (ZMI) and other dues paying AFGE members. Our acting local President, NVP Bobby Corleto, is convalescing from surgery so he has not been able to participate in organizing lunch and learns for our office and I've learned that Joyce is out today and Gloria continues to be out so I am sending this request on their behalf as well. > > Our District 5 National Vice President, Everett Kelley, is in Miami this week and this is a really special opportunity to meet with the AFGE official overseeing our trusteeship. Several members of the union here at ZMI have asked that he come answer questions about the status of our Local 1458, it's finances, and the procedures we may follow to bring about elections of a new local president as soon as practically possible, among other pressing union representational matters. Might it be possible that ZMI management may allow us the use of the conference room from 12:00 noon to 1:00, or better, 1:30 pm to allow for some later arrivals for the purpose of conducting this AFGE representational lunch and learn event? The event will not deal with any internal political, electoral, or financial solicitations at all but rather what the union is and will be doing for it's members and future members here at ZMI. > > Please let me or Joyce Dufour know as soon as possible so we may confirm plans with NVP Kelley for Thursday's proposed event. > > Thanks, > > Chuck Tjersland > > -- > Robert "Bobby" Corleto > President, Local 1458 > Assistant Council President > NCISC 119 WC >

Putting Local 1458 to Work
PO Box 12526
Miami , FL 33101
United States
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Please review and approve the C-119 By-laws Amendments without further delay. You know how hard I am working to bring Local 1458 back and stronger than ever. This, making our Local as well as our National CIS Council 119 more democratic, accountable, and responsible to it’s members is what I’ve worked so very very hard to accomplish. The member locals are counting on you. Respectfully, and in solidarity, Chuck Tjersland Local President, AFGE Local 1458

Published on 2013-07-07 15:27:06 GMT

We are particularly disturbed that the current Council president and C-119 executive board have continued the bad practices of the former Council leadership, namely: no regular reporting to the member locals, no regular notice regarding national bargaining matters, and lack of any meaningful consultation with the member locals about matters that affect them. These Amendments are necessary to ensure that we are effectively represented by a national bargaining council that is accountable to its members. Neither the AFGE Office of the General Counsel, nor any NEC officer, nor any C-119 executive board officer has challenged these Amendments for reasons of legal insufficiency or inconsistency with the AFGE Constitution. Absent substantive legal flaws, the NEC has a duty to support the will of the member locals of C-119 – as expressed by the passage of these Amendments at the council business meeting.

Published on 2013-07-07 15:26:15 GMT

AFGE Local 1458 P.O. Box 12526 Miami, FL 33101 Telephone: (786) 709-3490 e-mail: charles.c.tjersland@uscis.dhs.gov 6 July 2013 Mr. Everett Kelley National Vice President, District 5 American Federation of Government Employees 6724 Church Street, Suite 2 Riverdale, GA 30274 Subject: Approval of Amendments to Council 119 By-Laws Dear National Vice President Kelley: I am writing to urge you to review and approve the Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council 119. At the last NEC meeting, my dear union brother Michael Knowles made a passionate appeal for this action. These Amendments were unanimously approved by the delegates to the annual business meeting of Council 119 in Washington DC, last February 2013. The Amendments were forwarded to the national office for review -- but to date, they have not yet been approved by the NEC.

Published on 2013-07-07 15:22:44 GMT

These Amendments were the product of much hard work by the delegates to the C-119 business meeting – where these matters were fully and orderly debated, with the full participation of the current C-119 executive board. Through these amendments, the member locals clearly communicated their firm expectations and demands for a bargaining council that is held to high standards of accountability, transparency and democratic practices. We were very concerned to learn that the Council President and other C-119 executive board officers have been lobbying the national office and NEC against the approval of these Amendments. Purportedly, they have complained that various provisions (in particular, the notification and ratification requirements) are “burdensome” and might tie the hands of C-119 bargaining teams. We find such complaints highly disturbing because they run counter to the expressed will of the member locals as demonstrated by the unanimous approval of the Amendments at the business meeting. It should be noted that both the Council President and Executive Vice President repeatedly said, during the February business meeting, that they believed the ratification provisions would foster greater accountability and also would strengthen the position of the Council at the bargaining table. Neither of these officers was a voting delegate -- but neither of them opposed the Amendments at the business meeting.

Published on 2013-07-07 15:24:51 GMT

The approval of these Amendments is critical for the good order and effective operation of our national bargaining council (C-119). The Amendments provide for: • improved communication between the C-119 executive board and the member locals – including regular conference calls and written activity reports; • timely notification of all national bargaining matters by the C-119 executive board to the member locals – with an opportunity for comment by the locals; and • ratification, by the member locals, of all collective bargaining agreements (including term and mid-term) negotiated by the C-119 executive board and the Agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Published on 2013-07-07 15:23:56 GMT


Published on 2013-05-06 10:09:00 GMT

Local 1924 congratulates the members of Local 1458 on the recent election of Chuck Tjersland and Johnnie Hicks to lead you. The following quote, from Howard Zinn, sums up the importance of what you have accomplished: "We don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory." -- Howard Zinn

Published on 2013-02-27 00:29:41 GMT

Yes, you can observe the count. All of the replacement ballots were mailed last Thursday and Friday. Look forward to seeing you at the count. Jimmy

Published on 2013-02-18 15:04:33 GMT

On Feb 7, 2013, at 9:31 PM, Jimmy Clifton <CLIFTJ@afge.org> wrote: > The cards were mailed last night. I received them yesterday. Send me the name and address of the new member and I will send them a ballot. If I receive a fax or scan copy of the 1187 by the count, I will count the ballot. I can not except copies of ballots. They have twenty days. I will get them out the day I receive the request. > > J. Clifton

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