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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Letter From a Fellow Handler

Greetings Fellow Handlers

After months of reading comments and replies to said comments, I now feel the need to put my two cents into play. Please bare with me, i will try to keep this as brief as i possibly can, but I truly want to make a few points that sometimes I feel people are missing here.

1. Equality in pay. To all canine handlers across the U.S., we all ask for equality. Starting wages in New York City is $26/per hour. San Francisco is $35/hour. San Francisco Handlers, your wage doesn't upset any of us, we are not only happy for you, we feel that the company is getting something right by your starting wage. If one goes to smartasset.com and compares cost of living, one will find the cost of living in NYC is higher than San Francisco. We don't want to lower your wages, we want to have ours raised! For all handlers throughout the US! Lets not fight each other, lets support each other and be happy for one another when good things happen!!! Lets "Unionize" with each other in support!

I can go on with other examples across the US, like New York, Florida, Illinois, and other states that have instituted minimum wage hikes, so by the end of 2018 and beyond, wages will be increased to a $15/hr. minimum wage do to cost of living increasing and our federal government refusing to react to higher living expenses and low minimum wage rates. But either way, we are all specialized professionals. Our company charges a minimum of $100/hour for our services with our canines "Minimum" and we should be ALL be compensated for our professionalism and expertise.

2. Canine care and stipend payment. I have worked for MSA for many years, and the stipend payment has been spoken about since the first day I began (with nothing but silence from Murray Street even though some administration there have personally filed suits in the same federal court, in front of the same judges, for the same issue when they were police officers of not being compensated for canine care). So what is the deal? Did they forget their judgments as canine handlers? Amnesia? Or is it a case of "If you don't like it quit?". Why is this still an issue with pending class action law suits being filed and accepted?

How many handlers fill out their monthly stipend reports, and notice that their federally accepted mileage rates exceeds $1000 per month? We haven't even gotten to the food and other supplies we have to cover, for $400?! Another question. When you put your "company canine" in your vehicle and drive to the work site and hour plus away, is the time clock ticking when you leave your front door? Why not? Technically, you are hauling company assets to and from a work site.

With all of the aforementioned things as well as training and maintenance of our canines, WE NEED TO STAND TOGETHER AND NOT FIGHT EACH OTHER! THIS UNION VOTE DIDN'T START BECAUSE WE ARE BEING "TAKEN CARE OF WELL BY MSA", PLEASE DON'T FORGET THAT.

With the swipe of a pen, our new CEO could raise the stipend rates across the company and give the employees a "good faith" gesture that he also agrees with the unfair payments to handlers, union or no union votes (guess which way the votes would go with actual "good faith gestures" from administration, who claims to want to do right by their employees). Please don't be fooled by the smoke and mirrors. This is nothing but an illusion act. Great for Las Vegas Shows, terrible for workplace pay.

I truly hope all handlers stop this picking at each other. The whole purpose of unionizing is that "Together we can do more than divided"! Don't allow others to divide and conquer us. Administration truly fantasizes about us fighting internally prior to the union vote.

Fraternally Yours,

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