Thursday, March 28, 2013

Woot! Mich. Teamsters ratify great 1st contract before RTW4Less takes effect

Marcine Washington: "It feels good to finally have a structure."

Today is a sad day in Michigan tempered by joy for 1,500 Teamster men and women. No Rights At Work takes effect, but Teamster nurses and support staff at Genesys Convalescent Center in Flint ratified first contracts. Genesys Health System employees also ratified a strong contract just before the No Rights At Work deadline.

Best of all, the Local 332 members ratified an 8-year union security agreement that strengthens the bargaining units. All Genesys Teamsters must pay dues as a condition of employment. The agreement, which covers 1,535 employees, was ratified just before Michigan's anti-union law would have made the security agreement illegal.

Alison Smith: "Thank God for our union."
The first contracts (there are two bargaining units) were ratified just six months after Genesys Convalescent Center employees voted overwhelmingly to become Teamsters in October. Marcine Washington, a ward clerk, says she's happy with the outcome:
It took 10 years. Ten years. I'm just glad that people stayed strong and organized. It feels good to finally have structure.
"Thank God for our union," said Alison Smith, an LPN. "We now have a voice."

Latrice Henderson, a dietary aide, said she felt the Center needed more organization. And,
I'm extremely happy to be part of Teamsters.
Nina Bugbee, president of Local 332, said the union had been burning the candle at both ends for the last week to get the contracts ratified. Bugbee thanked General President James P. Hoffa, Joint Council 43 President Greg Nowak, labor attorney heroes Sam McKnight, Lisa Smith and David Radtke, along with Local 332 officers, agents, office staff, stewards and members.
We all make one hell of a Teamster team! 
Latrice Henderson: "I'm extremely
happy to be part of Teamsters."
Bugbee said the plan now with Local 332's mobilized members to put boots on the ground to knock Gov. Rick Snyder out of office -- and "turn this thing back around to head in the right direction for workers.

Local 322 Business Agent Chris Cates shared details of the Genesys Convalescent first contract with Michigan Live:
The major component of the contract was to fix an issue in staffing, Cates said. When negotiations began there were 28 vacancies for nurse aids, she said. Throughout the negotiation process all the vacancies were filled and a process was agreed upon to fill vacancies in a timely manner. 
A charge nurse was also added to each shift to help out with any extra responsibilities that are needed, Cates said. 
"That is an extra pair of hands they get every shift, weekend, and holidays to help them," she said. "They very much want someone to listen to them." 
Employees were also wanted something done with how employees were disciplined, Cates said. Employees were being disciplined differently for the same offense, so the contract includes a process to follow for certain actions.