Saturday, December 2, 2017

Bargaining to be Thankful For

It was a year of contract bargaining, and I am thankful that the bargaining team and supporting members were able to bring home a present for everyone of us. A pay raise, new tree falling differential, and maintaining steps and our health insurance benefit were all big wins.  It was no small feat, considering the economic condition that our Oregon was in, with virtually no revenue to keep employees wages up with the rising cost of getting by.

This holiday give thanks that we have our Union and were able to organize to negotiate the contract.  Bargaining this time was limited to a wage and benefit re-opener as part of our four year Contract.  Next time it will likely be different, all of the articles will be open for review.  Fairness has never been a successful line of reasoning at the table, but strength in membership is.  It is a time to be thankful.

Below is a sampling of changes made benefiting employees as a result of collective bargaining:

Article 26 – Differentials •  Creates a Tree Faller differential of $1.25 per hour for employees who hold a current Advanced Tree Faller certification for time spent working on Advanced  level trees.

Article 27 - Salary Increase •  Effective June 15, 2018, a 1.85% COLA.

Article 31 — Insurance •  Maintains that for plan years 2018 and 2019, for workers enrolled in a    medical plan that is at least 10% lower in cost than the monthly premium of the most expensive medical plan, the State will pay 99% and the worker will pay 1% of the premium. •  Maintains that for plan years 2018 and 2019, for all other workers the State will pay 95% and the worker will pay 5%.

No comments: