As contract expiration approaches, wire-line members of the Mid-West contract should check on our site often for updates. This will be one of the most pivotal contracts ever negotiated!
From District Staff and lead bargaining member:
As you know by now, the Bargaining Committee is in the process of packing and moving to Hoffman Estates for who knows how long. Bargaining will kick off Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at 10:00 am CST, with opening remarks from our Vice President, Linda L. Hinton. As always, we would love to be able to bring the contract in on time. However, we have reason to believe, and fully expect, the Company to start in the basement again. If that’s the case, it will take some time to get them back to the ground floor to start real bargaining.
We all need to continue to remind members that this is their contract, and if they’re not “all in” then, unfortunately, we get what we get – it’s a pretty simple concept.
I don’t know yet what the Company has on their wish list, but it is undoubtedly the usual long list. Since some of the other contracts, as you know, have already agreed to higher health care cost shifting and expanded duties in some titles that will undoubtedly create additional headaches for your committee. As always, we will focus on our Midwest contract and our members’ requests. We do have the national items identified by the Bargaining Council Meeting last fall. As you already know, most all of them are things any bargaining committee at any table goes for anyway. They pretty much line up with the agenda we already developed. Just as a reminder, Legacy T bargaining will be at the same time as ours, since neither of us changed from what was our common expiration date of April 11, 2015.
I will stress again how important it is to get our members involved. You, as local leaders, need to continue to educate and engage them. Most of you remember all the misinformation and pure garbage that went through different social media outlets in 2012. The key is if you haven’t heard it from the District or the Bargaining Committee through the mobilization network, then it’s probably not true.
One last thing for now is bargaining reports. We learned a long time ago that we will never be able to satisfy everyone — either too many reports that say nothing, or not enough. What we are going to attempt to do is put out meaningful reports as there are things to report. No set schedule. You already know with this Company the first couple weeks are the dance steps and positioning. We will make every effort to get all reports out through mobilization and may limit what goes on the District web site. That, I believe, will help keep the mobilization structure in your local geared up and ready. I already know I will be getting nasty emails about a lack of information. I will refer them to the local, which will help you identify who is not involved or of breakdowns in your structure.
In summary, the Bargaining Committee needs your support and your continued efforts to get all members to understand the importance of their support for everything in bargaining, not just the issue or issues that may concern them individually. As always we get angry and our members get angry about lots of things. All we can do is remind our members that what ever we do or what ever fight we have is the result of something the Company most likely has done. Bargaining is the time we all put our personal issues aside and be united around our common goal of improving the lives of all of our members and families.