AFSCME Negotiations Team has already written the next newsletter to keep you informed. Bottom Line Issue #3 and know just where you stand with our employer. Your presence at the Lunch Rally on April 27th was huge, and we ask you to make it a point to be present during the next session which is still to be determined. Let’s go in and out of the Madison Avenue Meeting Room every 15 minutes on our breaks and lunch periods or if you are off that that day stop in for as long as you can. Stay tuned to find out when the next session will be and gear up for YOUR presence.
The Bottom Line Contract Negotiation Newsletter Issue #3 – May 2, 2018
What happened at the April 27 session?
There were three series of events that occurred at this session – Tentative Agreements; Counterproposals and Proposals submitted by Management; and Counterproposals and Proposals submitted by the Union.
Tentative Agreements, known as TA’s by people who do this all the time, result when both sides agree to an article. It is “tentative” because none of these agreements are final until the contract is final. There were three TA’s reached during the April 27 session. None of the TA’s were earth shattering, but you have to start somewhere.
The three TA’s are:
Article 7: Labor Management Advisory Team (LMAT) – The agreement is the removal of the requirement to meet at least every other month. Either party may request a meeting to held at a mutually convenient time.
Article 11: Rest Periods/Meal Periods – Just some minor language changes. You still get a rest period and meal period.
Article 13: Cleanup Time – Again, just some minor language changes.
Counterproposals and Proposals
Submitted by Union –
Union Security and Checkoff; Employee Rights; Union Representation; Leave Due to Emergency or Adverse Weather Condition; Vacation Accumulation; Wages (including Medical Stipend); Job Classification and Wage Adjustments; Special Pay; Acting In Capacity; Health and Dental Benefits; Other Benefits; Safety; and Term of Agreement. None of these resulted in a TA and will need to be bargained further.
Submitted By Management –
Hours of Work and Overtime; Uniforms; Leaves; Wages (including the Medical Stipend); Health and Dental Insurance Benefits; Posting Job Vacancies; Probationary Period; Required Driver’s License; and Term of Agreement. None of these resulted in a TA, and will need to be bargained further.
Our Union was very disappointed by Management’s proposal and counterproposals, especially regarding Wages and the Medical Stipend. Management is proposing to completely eliminate the Medical Stipend. They claim that this was always meant as just a “bridge” between the elimination of the HMO plan and the HSA/HRA plan back in 2013. Uh, no way. Our Union knows that this was not he original intent. Our Union also knows that its members see the Medical Stipend as one of, if not THE, most important issue to be bargained.
Equally disappointing was management’s proposal of Article 22.3 they are proposing to have us pick up 2% more of the premiums and asked that we split 50-50 any increases in insurance renewals above 5% in the premiums. Why should
we be held responsible for managements failure to budget and plan ahead accordingly? If they had continued the savings of the change from HMO to HDHP we could have funded the stipend in perpetuity.
THE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT in these unbalanced proposals was the change in Article 22.10 b. They want to pay you your contribution at the rate of 1/12th the annual contribution each month. You read that right, they want to fund
your insurance at $250 a month, while you get hung out to dry and buried in medical bills. Forget about getting hired on mid-year!!! In subset E. they want to pro-rate healthcare for new hires. As if waiting 45 days to be eligible for healthcare was not bad enough, when you do get insurance, you will be thousands of dollars behind, just trying to take care of yourself or family.
Management’s response to the Wages proposal of the Union was odd considering they had just tried to take nearly 20% of annual pay for some of our employees. Whereas our Union proposed a 5% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for each of the five years that encompass 2018-2023, Management’s proposal was a COLA of 2.0%, 1.5%, 1.5%, 1.5%, and 2.0%.
What happens next?
Future bargaining sessions are still to be determined. In the meantime, here are some ways to help the Union:
Employee Engagement Sessions – If you are a member of an Employee Engagement team, you have a unique opportunity to speak to Management directly. And in those sessions, you can make it known that some of the core reasons that Union
employees find employment at the City worthwhile are fair wages, benefits and the Medical Stipend. Let Management know that you feel let down by Management’s proposal. Attend a Bargaining Session – Visit the sessions during your non-work time (i.e., breaks or outside of your regular work schedule) and be a presence for the Union. You know that it must make Management uncomfortable to see Union members
united. Good, that’s the idea. This isn’t a kindergarten sandbox, this is a very important time for Union members. Management needs to see that we will not shortchanged. And there are times when it can be extremely entertaining. Here is an example: When Management’s hired gun attorney told us “I really care about all City employees”, our AFSCME lead negotiator responded “That’s good, Todd. That’s why I’m looking forward to Management’s proposal for Wages and Benefits”. It was priceless. You could hear a pin drop in the room for the next 30 seconds. The lesson as always – Don’t try to match wits
with Antonio, you will lose every time. Big shout out to Library staff who have been representing at the sessions. Thanks to all of you.
You can also contact a member of Team AFSCME directly. We don’t bite. At least not that it leaves a mark.
Adam Womack, Carlos Lopez, Shilo Anway (alternate), and Tim Bates (Public Works)
Bonnie Brzozowski (Library)
Luke Cotton (IT)
Jon Pywell (alternate) and Natalie Summerlin (Parks & Rec)