October 17, 2007: When the proposed UPS tentative agreement was presented to Local Union officials, the big selling point was “$9 an hour,” which sounds like a big increase in wages and benefits.
Five dollars out of this goes to full-timers’ benefits. That should be enough to maintain health and welfare, and in some areas, pension accruals will go up. That’s the most positive part of the monetary deal.
Here are other facts to consider when evaluating the monetary package.
- The $9 is actually a lower percentage increase than the last agreement: 4.4 percent per year for full-timers, compared to 4.6 percent in the last agreement. And the last agreement didn’t have all the concessions to go with it.
- The wage increases are less than the last contract, and will be split so half the increase is held back six months. August 1 this year the increase was $1. Next August it will be 35¢, with another 35¢ in February 2009.
- UPS gets big monetary givebacks in the tentative deal. One is giving away the creation of 10,000 combo jobs, so no new full-time combos will be created.
- For part-timers—the majority of UPS Teamsters, the monetary package is nothing like $9/hour. Part-timers’ pensions are cheap and their healthcare benefits are actually cut. This is not balanced out on the wage end where the starting rate is frozen and the progression goes up by just 50¢ over the next six years.