*Agreement Ratified* Vote on September 21st in the 96 auditorium
UPDATE 9/21/2022 6:05pm The votes are in, the agreement is ratified. Lynn is down to a 6 year progression.
Read the Boston Globe "GE workers in Lynn reach tentative agreement to boost pay faster" article here.
Read TA ↓
201 Bargaining Committee and GE Reach TA on 6-year Progression
In 2016, the Market Based Wage System was brought to Lynn. It included a 10-year progression which could be extended by years when you upgraded. On Upgrade, you went to the closest step on the next rate's progression, which could land you back at Step 1 out of 10, after years of already being on progression. Imagine having to work a 14-year progression? Thankfully, no one will ever have to do it.
The 2016 MBW agreement was passed by a democratic majority vote. A very vocal minority opposed the 2016 MBWA, led by former LCM E-Board member Bill Holm, the LCM Stewards, and others. That opposition began taking leadership in the Local in 2019 through democratic elections. Many people ran, and likely won office due to being part of this opposition. Some lost. We have sought to claw back concessions, and the membership gave the mandate to do so.
First our Union fixed MBW progression extensions on upgrade. Then our Union knocked off 3 years of the 10-year progression. Now, if the membership ratifies this Tentative Agreement, we move to a 6-year progression - all before a single member ever had to do a 14, 10, or 7 year progression to get to the top of the rate.
The MBW structure is a fundamentally flawed system, and we all want to abolish it. However, after the Company again refused Union proposals to do away with the system in 2021, we focused on reducing progression length and getting our say in Top of Market calculations that control EVERY MEMBER'S national wage increases. This Tentative Agreement will make improvements on 2 of the biggest issues members had as indicated by survey responses, decreasing the progression, and Top of Market Review (the 2016 mechanism that can trigger Lump Sum bonuses that replace nationally-negotiated General Wage Increases). The 2016 MBWA was not like a National Contract with an expiration date where we can just walk if it isn’t working out. It is the Bargaining Committee’s job to improve what cannot be destroyed. According to the terms of the 2016 agreement, in order to modify the MBW agreement both the Union and the Company must agree, or no changes will be made. That means we didn’t get everything we wanted, but neither did the Company. The Bargaining Committee is confident we left nothing on the table, and this is the best agreement GE was willing to make in the current modification period. If this agreement is not ratified by the membership, we do not get any of these important changes, including the 6-year progression. We also understand that in 2016, GE stabbed us in the back with a 10-inch knife, and none of us are thanking them for pulling it out 4 inches.
The Bargaining Committee recommends a concerted campaign of all GE workers until the IUE-CWA has a fair National Contract, and our offshored/farmed out work returns home where it belongs.
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)
Progression will be reduced from 7 years to 6 years. Members new rates shall take effect not more than 30 days after the ratification vote. This will result in a range of increases on steps of every progression. See chart for increases as a result of the 6-year progression.
Top of Market (TOM) Review:
If ratified, the Company agrees that their Top of Market review will go through bargaining, and they will provide the necessary information. In 2016, the Company hired a third-party vendor, Mercer, to calculate a Top of Market figure for each rate in the plant. Mercer has refused paid work from unions to provide the same analysis. Therefore, we know their numbers cannot be trusted. The Union is entitled to all information under the law including Mercer data, and if ratified we can have a stronger say in what the Company calls the Top of Market.
Modification Period of MBW:
The Bargaining Committee and the Company agreed that having MBW negotiations timed to extend into the National Contract was less than ideal, but we differed with the Company on the remedy. The Union refused the Company’s proposal to set the modification proposal period to 1 year following the National Contract. Top of Market and other issues with the MBW system need to be reviewed before this National Contract. We agreed to move the modification proposal period to the beginning of the year in 2023, and in 2-year intervals following. If ratified, we have a stronger ability to negotiate TOM and fight for adjustments. This is extremely important since due to the 2016 MBWA, 201 members are at risk of lump sum bonuses instead of nationally-negotiated General Wage Increases next contract. We let the Company know 201 members will not pass a National Contract where negotiated raises are replaced with lump sums.
Low Impact Consolidation:
The Tentative Agreement includes the following consolidations and changes to jobs.
M/R 17 Sheet Metal and M/R 17 Bench into Bench M/R 17: These 2 classifications perform like-work and do not exist within the same cells or even buildings. Therefore, the only impact of this consolidation would potentially be during a large layoff, where they would now be the same classification. Seniority would control.
M/R 25 Tool Maker combined with R/M 25 Die Maker into Tool/Die Maker R/M 25: If ratified, Tool Makers and Die Makers would be the same classification. The business would be responsible for arranging cross-training as needed. The Company initiated a Transfer of Work a decade ago that nearly decimated Tool and Die. We want to keep it around.
In Blue Cell only, Production Machinists may be assigned full time to Dual Purpose machines such as the Okuma: Production machinists will now be able to be assigned to operate the new Okumas that are currently in the development process for A/B casings in Blue Cell. The Company wanted PMs to be assigned full time to the Dual Purpose machines throughout LCM. The Bargaining Committee was unwilling to give the Company a blanket agreement, and restricted full time PM use on Dual Purpose machines to Blue Cell in Building 66 only. We wanted to maintain our right to negotiate when new equipment comes into our plant, as we have done in Punch Press with the laser cutter, and Blue Cell with the robotic spot welder.
Mechanics will now be able to disconnect and reconnect Hydraulic lines on production machines only for the purpose of replacing pumps, removing chip conveyors and similar type work without the need for a plumber to be present and as long as they feel like they are capable and it is safe to do so. This is strictly Hydraulic lines only. NOT Coolant, Air, Water, Gas, ect.
The Company repeatedly asked for additional consolidation to reach agreement. The Bargaining Committee was able to push them to withdraw the rest of their consolidation proposals. We asked if the Company demanded non-union GE shops to consolidate for reduced progression; they indicated GE has and can consolidate, or make other large changes, whenever they please in the non-union shops.
$251.60 (before taxes) Payment to All Members on Step Progression:
The Company will provide a partial retroactive payment in the amount of $251.60 to each member on step progression. If you are at the top of the rate (hired before MBW in 2016) you do not receive the payment. The formula used shall be 40x.37x17. If you are out of work for example on Workers Compensation, Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, etc. you will receive the payment upon your return.
The Company knew our position from negotiations last year, we wanted a reduced progression if they were going to get anything out of negotiations this year. The Company concocted a plan to announce a 6-year progression at some non-union sites right as bargaining began in late June 2022. They did this to try to create leverage, so the Bargaining Committee would be tempted to agree to large concessions or risk having a year-longer progression than some non-union sites. Their plan failed. We told the Company they needed to pay up for pulling an anti-union move to interfere with Local negotiations. We understood it as retaliation for when, in solidarity, we shared the details of our 7-year progression with non-union GE workers that were still on 10-year progressions in 2019. The Bargaining Committee requested a retroactive payment going back to the beginning of negotiations. Of course, it should have been higher, but the Company would not budge at the end of negotiations.
Due to the efforts of you, the Union, GE workers at at least 3 sites around the country have been moved from a 7-year to a 6-year progression. Local 201 is, and will remain, an ally to all GE workers across the world in their struggle for dignity, fair treatment, and a Union. Solidarity is how we win. And unlike the non-union shops, we have the right to vote to ratify our 6-year progression and the other changes. We vote on September 21st.
Vote September 21st:
Voting will be in-plant September 21st in the Building 96 Auditorium 6AM -5PM.
Informational Meeting September 20th:
We will meet to discuss this Tentative Agreement during the regularly scheduled membership meeting on September 20th at 12:30pm and 3:30pm at the Union Hall 112 Exchange St. Lynn MA.
The 201 Bargaining Committee, Policy Board, and Stewards Council endorses this Tentative Agreement and recommends you
Vote "Yes" to ratify these changes
Below: new rate sheet showing the percentage value of the wage increases.