|LOCAL UNION NEWS
(continued from News page)... Another shout out goes to all the essential employees who continue to provide services to the public. Some of them find themselves unintentionally at risk on the front lines as well. They are Local 223 members of The American Red Cross, Oregon Nurses Assn., Teamsters Council 37 Fed. Credit Union; they are Local 223 members continuing to work in: administering our health & welfare and pension benefits, nursing, hospital support staff (supply chain, housekeeping, laundry, medical aides, long-term care staff, etc.), 9-1-1 dispatchers, public works, solid waste, mechanics, drivers, warehouse, city and county offices, and so many more. Your work does not go unnoticed and you are all appreciated more than you know during these challenging times.
As the number of reported cases of COVID-19 continues to rise, employers are increasingly confronted with the possibility of an outbreak in the workplace. Employers are obligated to maintain a safe and healthy work environment and must continue to comply with OSHA, ADA, and FMLA while dealing with COVID-19. While the crisis is rapidly changing Local 223 has been in contact with all employers to work through any contingency plans and ensure members are being properly trained to be able to do their jobs and avoid becoming exposed to COVID-19. We are taking every reasonable step to ensure the safety of our members as we are committed to continue providing the best representation to our members and their families during this difficult time.
Labor Representative Dave Tully is very proud to say that Local 223 was able to ratify a fully recommended one©year extension with the William C. Earhart Company. The one©year term will give the members wage increases retro back to January and a pickup of the members’ cost©share increase on the OTET benefits that they currently enjoy. The union fully expects to be back in negotiations later this year. Grievances have been filed at AMR regarding the changes in the prescription drug coverage from Express Script to CVS without notification to the local unions. Local 58 and 223 are involved in this matter as well as a grievance filed on the short©term disability carrier. We await the employer’s response to these grievances and continue to ask our members to keep us informed of the negative effects in order to help our cases. We will be sending out a questionnaire to all of our Apheresis members so their voices can be heard when we begin to bargain a first©ever Teamsters contract. With the Covid 19 pandemic ongoing, our local negotiations meeting dates and times have changed however, we still have a commitment from the company to negotiate and move forward.
Dave’s message: “I would like to pour my heart out and Thank YOU all of our front-line Teamster members for all of your hard work. From American Medical Response, and American Red Cross to all the rest of you out there on the front lines. Please wear your PPE and take care and stay healthy. God bless you all!”
Labor Representative Michael Mann attended a week-long training on negotiating strong public sector contracts in Oakland, California that was presented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The IBT also provided Local 223 with financial reviews of three public employers in preparation for negotiations. Two important events occurred for the Benton County Deputies Association – a new three-year contract was ratified and a terminated member was ordered to be reinstated by an arbitrator. We opened negotiations for Morrow County Sheriff’s Association, Lebanon Police Officers Association and Coos Association of Deputy Sheriffs; all three of these first sessions had a very positive vibe! After a pause, we will be getting back to the table for the McMinnville Police Association, where we also have a termination grievance in that group scheduled for arbitration in June. The struggle continues for the Douglas County workers (Road and Solid Waste) where we are filing another Unfair Labor Practice for actions taken during continuing negotiations. An already-filed ULP against Douglas County is scheduled for a hearing in April.
Teamsters Training tip from Local 223 Rep Michael Mann – Following up on last time’s reminder that your personal life and your job overlap but are not the same thing, please consider the following: Don’t be too comfortable in your work relationships! Here is a fictionalized example: A member does something at work and faces the possibility of discipline for that action. She is interviewed with a union rep present and then waits for a conclusion. The member asks a manager about the status of the investigation but then casually begins speaking about the same issue for which she is being investigated. Without thinking, the member mentions a detail that was not disclosed in the original interview…resulting in a follow-up interview not only to clarify the new information, but also to investigate WHY that detail was not disclosed in the original interview. In another hypothetical situation, a member sees another member’s work-related post on Facebook and he casually mentions it to a manager, resulting in an investigation against the posting member. Statements made outside of formal interviews can be used in investigations, so don’t be too comfortable in your work relationships!
Southern Oregon Labor Representative Brent Jensen filed grievances against Klamath Falls Police and the City of Grants Pass over employees who were termintated. Another grievance was filed against City of Phoenix involving failure of the City to recall employee laid off last summer. A tentative agreement for a new CBA was reached on behalf of police officers with City of Eagle Point to avoid impending interest arbitration. Brent has opened negotiations with City of Medford Parks Dept employees, Water Reclamation District employees, and the City of Shady Cove on behalf of City employees . Brent negotiated 3-year CBA with City of Medford on behalf of Municipal Mechanics and a 3-year agreement on behalf of Courthouse employees with Lake County. A tentative agreement was reached during mediation and subsequent ratification of an 18-month CBA with City of Phoenix involving General Employees.
Labor Representative Karine Trowbridge has had several changes in policies across accounts due to COVID-19. Washington County and Clean Water Services are working with skeleton crews and alternate shifts to try and keep everybody at a safe social distancing while still maintaining the quality of service to the communities. Tillamook 9-1-1 Dispatchers and Tillamook Sheriff’s are putting a hold on negotiations at this time just so they can get into a normal routine with the new 12-hour shifts for COVID-19 coverage. The City of Molalla and the Teamsters are attempting to negotiate through conference calls and emails in the next two weeks just to stay on schedule if possible. Lastly, the National American Red Cross has made some decisions regarding their employees’ safety. They have closed all blood buses due to the social distancing guidelines and all employees now have masks and better safety protocols in place to check donors’ temperatures before they give blood. As we all know keeping the blood supply safe and flowing is of high importance not only during the COVID-19 crisis, but indefinitely as we have many patients that rely on that blood just to live.
At the next scheduled membership meeting the membership will consider and vote on the proposed resolution made by Local 223's executive board to increase the initiation fee and re-initiation fee of Local 223. The membership will also vote to suspend the monthly membership meetings for the summer months of June, July, and August, 2020. Since the April membership meeting will be canceled due to the Governor’s Executive Order, we will attempt to reconvene in May.
I ended my last article by thanking the membership of Local 223 for staying strong and unified. My thanks to you for staying strong and unified rings true, and even louder today especially during this world-wide COVID-19 Pandemic. Strong and unified; we will get through this together!
On behalf of the staff of Local 223, thank you for doing your part; be well and stay safe!
WITHDRAWAL CARD INFORMATION
Please remember to contact the Local Union to see if you are eligible for a withdrawal card if you do not work any days in the bargaining unit during the current calendar month. Your dues must be paid current at the time of your request for the withdrawal card. It is very important to request a withdrawal card in a timely manner as dues can accrue until a withdrawal card is requested. If you return to bargaining unit work, please contact the Local Union to deposit your withdrawal card and return to “active” member status with the Local Union.
ADDRESS CHANGE: Please call us with any address changes. Thank You!
T-SHIRTS, JACKETS, AND HATS
T-SHIRTS, JACKETS, AND HATS are available to buy from the office of Local 223. The 100% cotton T-Shirts come in navy, black or ash starting at $8. We offer two styles of jackets: navy satin baseball (sizes L - 3XL); or the black poplin (sizes S - 3XL). The hats are $7.50 and come in solid navy or solid black and two tone, khaki & black or khaki & navy.