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201 Bargaining Committee and Veolia Reach TA on 2022 Contract

26 Oct, 2022

↑ Click the link above to read the agreement in its entirety. 

At the start of negotiations, the Union and the Company were miles apart from each other; the Union was focusing on the biggest issues brought forth by the Membership through contract surveys, discussions with stewards, and the bargaining update held last week in-plant, and the Company was very slow to move on these issues. The Union focused heavily on wages and negotiating better compensation for the members, but the Company was clear, through countless economic discussions, that they believe the members at the treatment plant are paid well and that the wages are attractive.

The Company was extremely reluctant in the final hour of negotiations to budge on wage increases, but the Union relentlessly pressured the Company to give the Members more, earning an increase on the shift premium and an additional wage percentage increase in 2024, from what appeared to be their last, best, and final proposal given just minutes before. The Company wouldn’t even discuss wage percentage increases until the second to last session, proposing a total increase over three years of just 6% (9% including the increase given May 1, 2022). The Union fought hard to get that number up from 6% to 13% (16% including the increase given May 1, 2022).

In addition to wages, it was evident that vacations and time off were an important issue to Members. The Company proposed that the 3 Floating Holidays given must be used in 4- or 8-hour increments, but after hearing about how important the ability to use them in 1 hour increments was to the Members, for emergency or unforeseen circumstances like a car accident, inclement weather, and more, the Union pushed the Company to change the language to allow Members to use their 3 Floaters in 1 hour increments with 24 hours’ notice, with the ability to give less than 24 hours’ notice in emergency situations. Members will gain an additional day off with this contract.

The Bargaining Committee recommends a “Yes” vote to ratify this agreement.

Summary of Tentative Agreement

(The entire Tentative Agreement is available at www.local201.org)

Time Off:

The Bargaining Committee negotiated an additional vacation tier: members with 15 or more years’ service will now accumulate 7.69 hours on a bi-weekly basis (5 weeks), starting on their anniversary date.

Holidays:

There have been some changes to Holidays. Members will now have MLK Junior Day, Juneteenth, and the day after Thanksgiving off. Members will not have Columbus Day off. In exchange for Columbus Day and the Personal Day, Members will be granted 3 Floating Holidays (24 hours) with ability to use them in 1-hour increments with 24-hour advanced approval with the exception of emergency situations. In emergency or unforeseen circumstances, Members can use the Floaters with less than 24-hours advanced approval.

Call Backs:

The Bargaining Committee negotiated an increase in minimum hours Call Back pay. Call Back pay increased from 3 hours to 4 hours.

Pager Premium:

The Bargaining Committee negotiated an increase in the Pager Premium. Members will now get $200 instead of $125 for each week in which they carry the pager/mobile communication device.

Shift Premium:

The Bargaining Committee negotiated an increase for the Shift Premiums. The second shift premium has increased from $1.35 to $2.00, and the third shift premium has increased from $1.60 to $2.25. The Company wanted to only grant shift premiums to those employees regularly assigned to those shifts, but the Union fought to keep the language the same, granting that premium to any Member who works an off shift.

Perfect Attendance Award:

The Perfect Attendance Award has changed from additional personal days to payments on a 6-month basis. The changes are as follows:

Sick Leave Incentive (Starting 1/1/23): Regular full-time employees who have accrued sick leave
and who utilize one (1) or less days of sick leave and not more than one (1) instance of tardiness
for the periods of January 1 – June 30, or July 1 – December 31 of each year shall be eligible to
receive additional compensation from the Company as follows:

Zero Sick days used: $1000
One Sick day used: $500

Certifications:

The Bargaining Committee negotiated increases for all Members who hold the following certifications:

CMV: increased from $250 to $300

Hoisting 2A: increased from $500 to $600

Hoisting 3A: increased from $500 to $600

Wages:

Wages were the biggest and most contentious issue of these negotiations. The Bargaining Committee was able to push the needle as far as they could to get the following increases for the next contract:

May 1, 2022: 3% (already received)

November 1, 2022: 3%

May 1, 2023: 5%

May 1, 2024: 5%

Health Insurance:

Health Insurance will remain unchanged.

Informational Meeting This Thursday October 27th:

We will meet to discuss this Tentative Agreement October 27th in the union break room at 6:30 AM and 2:30 PM.

Vote This Friday October 28th:

Voting will be October 28th. Voting will take place in-plant in the union break room at 6:30 – 8 AM and 2:30 - 4 PM and at the Union Hall from 8 AM – 5 PM.

The 201 Bargaining Committee and Policy Board endorses this Tentative Agreement and recommends you vote “Yes” to ratify these changes.

 

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