Wednesday, September 25, 2019
The Union and the Company continue to meet and work towards a fair contract agreement and although we still have a lot of work to do, we have been able to come to a tentative agreement on several issues. We continue to seek improvements in areas such as wages, pension, 401K, vacation and healthcare benefits but in exchange for these improvements the Company wants some major concessions.
The Company continues to ask for a two-tier wage system in the call center and the ability to use more contractors in that department, also the elimination of Bill Print and Payment Processing departments and the ability to contract out that work.
Although they are willing to add guaranteed new hires during the term of the contract as they did last contract (during last contract we ended up with 36 less members even though we had guaranteed hires) we just want enough members to do our work with minimal use of contractors. The Company continues to ask for the ability to use more contractors and offer less overtime.
We have a federal mediator in negotiations, who has been helping both parties find middle ground on a number of issues, but the tough issues are still ahead.
As we approach the deadline of September 30th several things can happen, we will come to an agreement, the Company can lock us out, the Union can call a strike or work without a contract or both sides can agree to a contract extension while we continue to negotiate.
The Company is spending a lot of money in preparation of a work stoppage (lock out or strike) by bringing in non-union contractors to work on the property along with other things.
The Union has prepared for all options and will inform the membership of any action they will need to take. We continue to fight for a fair contract for all of our members. We will all need to stick together and we thank everyone for all of the support that you have given your committee during this process.
Everyone must show up for work everyday unless you hear something different from your Union leadership, please continue to work safely and be professional at all times.