Contract Negotiations (ongoing)
Status Update: April 27th, 2022
Status Update: March 29th, 2022
The Bargaining Committee met with the Company on Friday March 25th for our 70th day of negotiations. We discussed the package and the Company’s positions on each item and presented cost of living data showing the precipitous decline in our buying power because of these lengthy negotiations without a raise. We reiterated once more the high level of demand our membership had for flexibility in the form of parental leave. We countered with a proposal that offered a 5-year contract (up from 4), and wage increases that, while higher than the Company’s offer, still fell short of the increased cost of living since 2017. We also offered a 30-day grace period on any changes the Company would have to execute regarding their subcontracting positions once a Contract is signed. We also responded with a tentative agreement on the floating holiday language as it would eventually exist in the contract, which we felt was great progress.
The Company did not respond to our counter formally but indicated that they felt we were moving further away from them. We explained that we were meeting the Company’s ask for a contract that extends to 2025 by agreeing to a 5-year contract that is retroactive to June 1, 2020, but it fell on deaf ears. The fact that this also came with our first new mutually agreed provision in many sessions (regarding the floating holiday) was also not acknowledged.
The Company has responded by declaring another partial impasse on their proposal to outsource work to third parties without limitations to its effects on union positions. We can only assume that they intend to use this provision at some point in the near future. They continue to choose to spend a tremendous amount of shareholder money on expensive legal conflicts rather than make any real effort to settle with us.
Status Update: January 29, 2022
Juneteenth - a portmanteau of June and Nineteenth - has been celebrated by African Americans in Texas since Emancipation reached the city of Galveston in 1865. Before the 1960s, Emancipation was celebrated on many days throughout the country, varying widely on the calendar state-by-state. In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign held a a June Teenth Solidarity Day, connecting the civil rights struggle with the holiday. In 1980, the Texas Legislature made Juneteenth an official state holiday. From there, the holiday continued to grow to be celebrated around the country. Today it's grown into the single most widely recognized day to celebrate Emancipation in the US. On June 17th, 2021, it was signed into law as a federal holiday.
During bargaining and until we reach an agreement, as long as it is a benefit the Company is offering to its employees, the fourth floating holiday will be available to ILEU represented employees the same as all employees at the Clinton Site. While the new floating holiday was created in recognition of Juneteenth, it can be utilized the same as the other floating holidays. As a reminder, floating holidays are absolutely guaranteed on the day of your choice if you provide at least 30 days notice to your supervisor (Article XV, Section 10 of the contract describes this in more detail).
We are pleased that we were able to reach this agreement with the Company to recognize Juneteenth for its employees. We hope this news improves your weekend, and please stay safe during the winter storm.
Status Update: January 19th, 2022
The National Labor Relations Board Inspector General has found that one of the previous members of the board, William Emanuel, violated a criminal statute because of his ownership of a conflicting financial interest in a sector mutual fund.
The Board has accepted that member Emanuel should have been disqualified from the ruling and has found that the presumptively appropriate remedy be to vacate the Board's Decision and Order and to re-adjudicate the exceptions the the administrative law judge’s decision de novo.
In other words, the decision made by the NLRB which found no merit in the ALJ decision that the Company was bargaining in bad faith, among other charges, will be vacated, and the ALJ decision will be reconsidered by the new Board on its own merit anew. Both parties (us and the Company) have a chance to file exceptions to this decision before February 11, 2022 (an extension from the original due date of January 28 was requested by the Company and granted).
We have a general membership meeting scheduled January 20th to go over this in more detail. This is a very significant development.
The Board Decision and summary of findings is viewable here.
C2 - What is it?
C2 is the Company’s proposal for contracting. Originally it was simply a proposal to eliminate the administrative requirement for the Company to notify the Union if it lets contracts over a certain dollar amount.
On May 25th, 2018, Arbitrator Joyce Klein concurred with the Union’s assertion that the Company violated the CBA by permanently filling bargaining unit positions with contractors and directed “that the Company cease and desist the permanent contracting of bargaining unit positions”.
Six days later, during what was originally the last scheduled day of bargaining, The Company drastically altered C2. Since that day, the Union and the Company met an additional 54 times. The Company has described C2 as their “most important item” and “the reason we are all here [at bargaining]”.
The Company has been describing this proposal as seeking “flexibility” in all of their communications to the employee base.
We only ask that you consider the proposal for yourself.
Status Update: August 26, 2021
- Filed in 2016, won in 2018. The Award was that EMRE must cease and desist the permanent contracting of bargaining unit positions
- Confirmed in the District Court of Appeals in 2019
- The Company appealed that confirmation and was denied today by the Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals
C2 - The Company proposes the following side agreement regarding contracting:
The Company may, across all job families, utilize contractors to staff relative to projects, work fluctuations, and other short term or discrete business needs. For the duration of this agreement, the Company may also continue any contracting of work and/or positions done prior to the date of this letter and the Company is not obligated during the term of this side agreement to replace those contractors with employees. The Company may contract any job families, for which it has proposed to permanently contract, without objection from the Union for the length of this side agreement. Those job families are: Mechanics, Material & Services Coordinator, Maintenance & Operations, Audio Visual, Graphics Design, Senior Repro Tech, Repro Services Tech Asst., Services Trainee, Sr. Admin. Tech, and Tech/Asst. All employees currently in these positions will retain their jobs until they retire, are promoted, are terminated according to the provisions of Articles XXVI or XXVII, or leave on their own accord. The provisions of Article XVIII pertaining to demotions, layoffs, repromotions, and recalling of employees remain in effect.
Notwithstanding the above paragraph or Article XVIII of the CBA, the Company has the right, without limitation, to have any work of a type customarily performed by bargaining unit employees performed offsite by third parties.
The notification amount in under Article XVIII has been changed to $250,000 for the length of this agreement.
To the extent there is a dispute between this side agreement and any other provisions of the CBA, this side letter shall govern.
Any arbitrator ruling regarding what positions may be contracted and/or the duration of contracting (e.g., temporary or permanent) shall be limited to the express terms of this letter and Article XVIII. Any arbitrator ruling on these contracting matters shall not consider prior arbitration awards, custom, prior practice, industry standards, or any other provision of the CBA.
This agreement will remain in effect until the expiration of the CBA, and it may be modified with the mutual consent of the parties hereto.
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