Why thousands of UPS Teamsters didn't get a 70c raise

May 9, 2014: “All UPS Teamsters get a 70c raise.” Many Teamsters were told this, but now find out they got a 50c raise. Apparently, this contract is proof of an old adage, “figures don’t lie, but liars do figure”.

And figure they do. The company is well-aware that many of the 120,000+ part-time Teamsters are actually getting a 50c raise, and they bargained accordingly.

This is because the progression rate for many part-timers only went up 50c. This applies to sorters and pre-loaders as well as the “all others” category, and to part-time air drivers and to full-time air drivers in the progression.

Example: Tanya Teamster has a seniority date of November 1, 2011. After two years seniority under the old contract, in November 2013, her pay went up to $10.50. The two-year progression rate under the new contract is $11.00, only 50c more. Tanya was expecting a 70c raise, but got a 50c raise, because of the inadequate bump in the progression chart (See Article 22 of new contract).

The company and Ken Hall can say they didn’t lie. Tanya did get a retroactive 70c raise from her $10.00 rate on August 1, 2013, for three months, until her November 2013 anniversary date. She is entitled to three months of 70c retro pay. Then her pay went from $10.50 to $11.00. So she gets 50c retro pay since November, and a 50c raise over the old contract rate.

The problem is not new and goes deeper. The contract has too many wage rates, too long of a progression, and it works to divide Teamsters to the benefit of the company.

And this contract made the situation even worse: a longer progression period (four years) and a lower percentage pay rate during the progression.

Understanding pay rate increases can be difficult, especially when you are in the progression or you bid to another classification with a different rate of pay. It you have a split pay rate, it’s even more confusing.

Stewards and union reps need to understand this process and help Teamsters learn how it works, and to enforce the contract.

Here is a two page chart (one page for pre-loaders and sorters, and one for all others) produced by the International union on part-time pay rates under the new UPS contract.

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