In this edition:
City reminds us that direct action gets results
The bargaining team responded to the City’s “supposal” by trying to remove some items that we believed were relatively easy, and had little financial impact. The City politely accepted our proposals (described below), with relatively few questions, then took a minute to discuss them among themselves. Shortly thereafter, the City’s chief spokesperson asked to speak with Rob Wheaton and Donna Hammond in the hall way. They expressed concern that we did not respond with an entire package. We explained that we hoped to address some of the outstanding non-economic issues, reducing the scope of disagreement so that we can focus on the stickier issues. We also reminded them that it took the City 70 days to respond to our package offer. At this point, the City bemoaned the amount of increases we are asking for, and suggested that they have not seen the level of activism on the part of our members that would warrant such an increase.
We promised to change that. The City informed us that they had no further questions, and left for the day.
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HELP US SHOW THEY CITY THAT YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR CONTRACT
By joining us at our next rally:
July 19th, 2017
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
At Chapman Square
The following is a summary of what we proposed.
The Union proposed language that would clearly state that union work should be done by union members. Over the last few years there has been an increase work traditionally performed by our members being handed off to non-represented employees, or employees belonging to other unions.
Additionally, the City has agreed to our proposal allowing employees to return for 30 days after retirement to bridge the gap between the last City paycheck and the first PERS check. Unfortunately, the City has proposed employees who have received discipline, counselling or coaching be ineligible for the program. Coaching and counseling are not considered discipline, and can be issued for any reason. Therefore, we are proposing to eliminate coaching and counseling from the language.
New Article on Career Development, Working out of Classification, and Promotions
The City has proposed eliminating the preference for internal candidates from our contract claiming it will help with their efforts to diversify the work force. The Union disagrees and has proposed an alternative package of proposals.
According to the Office of Equity and Human Rights, we see the following demographics as of June 8, 2017:
|Temporary, Casual, Limited Duration & Employees||66.08%||42.44%||57.56%|
This information makes two things abundantly clear: 1. In the case of Managers, where the City is free to hire whomever they wish, there is LESS diversity. 2. The bulk of the City’s diversity is within the lowest ranks of employment.
In response, we proposed a Career Development Program, Working out of Class and Promotions Articles that attempt to provide equal opportunities for advancement. Our concept is to provide employees with an opportunity to identify career goals within the City, funding for training to achieve that goal, and opportunities to work in higher classifications to gain experience and qualifications.
Shifts, Overtime and Reporting Pay
We have proposed increasing the Shift Differentials from the rate established 20 years ago. The City has countered by increasing the hours of the “Day Shift” that does not qualify for the differential. We are open to considering the change, but want to provide some protection for our members with families that may encounter difficulties with Childcare if their shift begins at 5:00 am.
Additionally, we are seeking to provide a minimum period of rest before an employee starts work on the following day. Many collective bargaining agreements contain a provision that if an employee does not have sufficient time to rest and recuperate, the employee will continue on overtime until such time as sufficient time to rest is granted. We have proposed the same for the City.
Finally, we have proposed eliminating several of the “Stand By” letters of agreement, each specifying different terms and conditions, in favor of uniform language in the collective bargaining agreement.
The City is proposing that we add language to the Contract that would consider non-protected sick leave (as in not covered by FMLA, or the Sick Leave Law) use in excess of 64 hours as sick leave abuse. Under this language, an employee who exceeds the 64 hour limit may be considered a sick leave abuser, even if the sick leave is used for a legitimate illness.
Additionally, the City is proposing we retain the language that defines a pattern of sick leave misuse as more than 25% of the absences occurring on a Monday or Friday. Since Monday and Friday compose 40% of the work week, if an employee misses one full week of work, they would be considered to potentially be abusing sick leave.
The Union’s proposal is to make sick leave abuse like any other rule: not specifically listed in the contract and subject to just cause.
Overpayments and Underpayments
The Union is proposing that the City write off any overpayment that is less than $50. Currently, we have had entire work crews brought in from the field so that the City can collect what amounts to pocket change. We estimate that it costs at least $50 to collect on an overpayment, so our proposal is designed to save the City some resources, and our members some headaches.
We also proposed to apply the underpayments to situations where the employer may not have agreed that an overpayment occurred, but documented evidence (and most likely an arbitrators’ ruling) suggests otherwise. Our point is to add some fairness to the process. Currently, the City believes they must collect for overpayments regardless of how long ago they occurred. However, if we prove that an employee has been underpaid before a neutral arbitrator, the maximum relief the employee is entitled to would be 30 days prior to the filing of the grievance, regardless of how long the underpayment has been occurring.