The canine stipend, much like the handler salaries at MSA Security have been frozen in time, but when management decided to make a change, instead of increasing the stipend as a responsible company would, they butchered it. Whenever the topic of a raise came up management was quick to point out that we were getting $400 a month tax free and that $400 should be considered part of our salary. At one time we were threatened with getting a 1099 for the stipend. There was a proposal that the stipend would increase yearly and cap out at $1000/month. It would have been fair, but as we have come to learn, nothing about MSA is fair when it comes to the handlers. Same old story, they kept the salary and held the ESOP over our heads, all the while telling us we were "employee owners" and would someday own the company and have a seat on the Board of Directors but of course that never happened and now we have to fight just to be treated with some dignity. Imagine what this place would be like without the union? Scary. Arrogant and egomaniacal managers rule MSA and we are expendable to them, they expect us to be loyal but that loyalty is not a two-way street. The State Department contract for the validation center as a matter of public record is almost $100 million dollars where does all that money go? $80.00 stipend what a joke. $100 million from the State Department yet MSA allowed dogs to go overseas and is complicit in the canines suffering and the deplorable conditions they had to endure. The dogs I'm most cases were starving, dying of thirst, infested with fleas, feces and worms. The poor dogs probably welcomed death. No oversight, no assurances that the dogs would be cared for properly, a black eye for MSA, but no accountability, no discipline. I would say the Virginia guys have it pretty good and go along with "business as usual", while around the country we look forward to another cold winter with a leash in our hands. What's been done in Virginia Glenn? What steps have been taken to make sure something this tragic never occurs again? MSA Security has become a joke in the working dog community thanks to our leadership.
Thanks for the update Bill and thanks for fighting the good fight, God knows it can't be easy.