Today Local 503 and the Company agreed to extend the current collective bargaining agreement until midnight February 5th. We will not meet with the company this weekend.
Negotiations proceeded over the last few days with progress on a number of fronts. However, we believe we are still well apart on some issues of vital importance. Issues involving your future as employees of this corporation.
We also continue to make progress toward a resolution of the issues regarding our assignors. Both sides have been open and cooperative in our attempt to reach an as satisfactory as possible conclusion. A major part of this process will be hearing from our assignors next week. We will resume negotiations and related meetings with the company after that.
There is probably no better way to say this than to say: “This is crunch time, folks”. The daily work lives of all of our members come to the table next week. Nothing less.
Keep in touch with this site for further updates.
Bargaining continued today. Both sides continued to exchange proposals and counters. There have been some agreements and there remain differences on issues, some of which we consider major issues. Once again, the expiration of our current contract is next Monday. We continue to work hard for a fair contract for our members. Please stay in touch with this site over the next few days.
We also continue to work on the issue of our assignors. The Company and the Union are exchanging information and ideas on this subject prior to the meeting with the assignors next Monday. We know the members of our assignment group have many concerns and questions regarding their status. This meeting Monday should be an opportunity to present those. We urge them to do so.
Again, please stay in touch.
Today was spent reviewing proposals and counter proposals from the company as well preparing our own next set of positions. While we can’t necessarily report any progress or lack of progress, it was in fact a productive day. We meet with the company again tomorrow.
I would remind you all that our contract expires this coming Monday. With that in mind we ask that you stay in touch with the website and tape for the latest information.
We have to say we were encouraged today to hear that the company had scheduled a meeting with our assignors for this coming Monday. We are told the purpose of this meeting is to clarify some of the information released on January 24th and to address questions from the assignors. We hope both of these ends are accomplished at this meeting.
Again, please stay in touch with this site for the latest information we can provide.
Bargaining continued today. We received counters to many of our original proposals and we presented new ones. We are negotiating issues of your job security, the transfer of your work, compensation and your earned time off.
While talks have been business-like and somewhat productive it is safe to say we remain at odds with the company position in some very key areas. We have much ground still to cover here and that means you still have much ground to cover. Do not underestimate the importance of where you are right now.
Another important factor seemed to come to light in recent hours of these negotiations. It appears some of the representations made to our assignors on Monday may not be entirely accurate. I would think our assignors had at least earned the right to be dealt with forthrightly on a matter as important as this.
Be assured we are trying to get to the bottom of this. There will be more to come.
By now all of our members have heard the news regarding our assignment department. A potential loss of one-third of our members is obviously very serious news. Be assured this has caused us to re-evaluate some of our negotiating positions.
We have presented more than half of our proposals to the company as of Monday evening. As of yet we have had very little in the way of counters from the company. We expect to start receiving counters Tuesday morning.
For eighteen of our members, talks with the company have reached a very serious point. All of our members should feel the same. It is becoming very apparent how much your support of each other means, especially now.
Don’t hesitate to show that to each other and to the company.
We are scheduled to resume contract negotiations on Monday, January 24.
Late in the day on Friday the 21st we received word from the Company that they will make an announcement relative to 503 members on Monday morning. We expect management to make this announcement in person at Monroe. If this remains true, the Local’s Business Manager, Business Agent and the Unit Chairpersons will be on hand in Monroe.
There was no formal negotiating session scheduled for today. Contact between your negotiating team and the Company today was supposed to take place by conference call.
We have prepared our next series of proposals and questions or counter-proposals to those presented by the company so far. In short, logistically, this conference call never happened today. Whose fault that is is much less important than the fact that none of the important work we are here to do for you got done today. We would add that the company has declined to schedule any meetings for the rest of this week.
Your contract expires in 20 days. You have every reason to be dismayed by what you have heard here. The Union has a comprehensive list of proposals to present to help protect your jobs and hopefully secure your future contributions to the services the Company provides. We hope it can be of some comfort to inform you that we used the time today to bolster our case for those items.
Patience is a tough thing to ask for in these circumstances, but it is that we ask for. You stay strong, we’ll stay strong, and, together, we’ll get this done.
Today we met with the Company for a second day of bargaining. The major portion of business was the Company’s presentation of the proposed medical/dental/vision benefits package.
In our message yesterday we said our stated goal was to achieve a fair and just contract that recognized the value of your contribution to the business and the needs of your families. Based on the Company’s proposal today, it is safe to say we are far from that. In a word: we were not happy with what we saw today.
It is very early in the process. Both sides continue to exchange ideas. We are working here for you. We will continue to do so until we can bring you a contract you can live with.
Again, we thank you for your support.
Keep in touch.
My hands were steady, My eyes were clear and bright
My walk had purpose, My steps were quick and light
And I held firmly to what I felt was right
Like a rock
Today your negotiating team had its first comprehensive meeting with the company in our attempt to reach agreement on a new contract. This initial meeting consisted of an exchange of goals that both the Union and the Company hope to achieve in these negotiations. There was also an exchange of specifics on a number of proposals by both sides.
Our second session is scheduled for Friday morning.
You can be assured that your negotiating team is united in its effort to achieve a fair and just agreement that recognizes your contributions to the business and the needs that the current economy places upon our members and their families.
We have been in contact with our brothers and sisters at Locals 1170, 363 and 320 who, you can be sure, support you in this struggle as we support them in theirs.
As is always true, the most important part of this negotiation is you. Your solidarity on the “home front” is what makes this go. The strength you show will be reflected in the bargaining room.
Please keep in touch with this site and the tape for the latest updates.