December 16, 2011: UPS Freight Teamsters from a number of terminals including Akron, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Orlando, Austin, Portland and northern and southern California have met by conference calls to form a national network and prepare for the upcoming contract.
“The time is now to prepare for our next contract,” commented Paul Boegel, a city driver in Austin, Texas. “We need to find areas of the contract that affect us across job classifications and discuss how to get clearer and firmer language to put forward as proposals.”
“Let’s first focus on key issues that everybody can get behind and then tackle other issues that are important to certain job classifications,” he added.
The network, sponsored by TDU, is encouraging UPS Freight Teamsters to share ideas about how to prepare language for contract proposals.
Here are a few aspects of the contract that have been discussed:
- A clearer and speedier time line has to be established for arbitration as the last step of the grievance procedure, which is broken.
- Recall from layoff language has to be defined.
- TAW (Temporary Alternative Work) language needs to be addressed.
- The 10%ers have to be given better language protection on work guarantees and hours.
- We need five paid sick days at eight hours pay per day.
- We need clear language on the percentage of employees allowed per week for vacation.
There is also discussion of the important issue of subcontracting: management has cut jobs and union strength.
The lack of “work rule” language continues to be an issue. Questions regarding company and board seniority were also addressed.
The idea of the right to transfer from one terminal to another, provided a position was available, and determined by company seniority, is under consideration. Teamsters agreed that a transfer would have to go to the bottom of the board but retain vacation time, etc.
Future calls will continue to explore these and other areas of the contract. Members, stewards and locals need to be prepared for contract proposal meetings down the road.
Members also want to lay the groundwork for a member-to-member contract campaign that will enhance union bargaining power at the negotiations.
“These calls get us talking together about making the changes we need,” said David Williams, a steward from Indianapolis.
“Our goal is to get the membership active and involved in a contract campaign that puts our negotiating committee in the best possible place to deliver a far better contract.”
What Do You Think?
What are the improvements you’d like to see in the next UPS Freight agreement? Let us know what you think at www.tdu.org/upsfreight or call (313) 842-2600.