|LOCAL UNION NEWS
(continued from News page)... As you continue to work the frontlines, we continue to thank you! The spread of COVID-19 has governors mandating strict rules in attempts at social distancing, which has led to business closures and leaving many people jobless for the first time in their lives. It has caused remote schooling, travel restrictions, and people feeling despair trying to figure out a means to support themselves and their families. As this crisis continues, many are experiencing isolation and hardships leading to depression for the first time as I spoke about in my last article. If anything good can come out of this crisis, it will be a new social commitment to transform and strengthen the rights and conditions of workers everywhere. It will be a new awareness of our physical and mental health. We cannot dwell on things we can’t control, so we need to look ahead and find ways to survive and thrive. As your Union, the Teamsters are committed to working for and with our members who may face layoffs, poor safety conditions, and other challenges as we enter 2021. The staff of Local 223 continues to wish you and your families wellness and safety.
If dealing with the pandemic isn’t enough, now we hold our breath as our nation braces itself for a peaceful transition of power. Normally the inauguration of a U.S. president is a joyful event that brings thousands of people to Washington to celebrate, and it is admired around the world. But the terrifying scene during the violent riot at the US Capitol on January 6, and the unsettling signs of potential future threats, has turned our Nation’s Capitol into a fortress at the writing of this article. Some 25,000 National Guard troops have been deployed, military vehicles are blocking some of DC's streets, the National Mall is closed, and tall fences and barricades protect this country's sacred buildings. I believe Americans are resilient, particularly Teamsters, and we will inevitably cope with change whether you are for it or against it.
Highlights from Labor Representative Dave Tully: 2020 has been a remarkably interesting year for a lot of my members. Many of my members are on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic. American Medical Response Paramedics and EMT’s transport the sick of the sick each day in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties. A lot of the patients transported are extremely sick with Covid-19 and there is great risk of exposure to our members with every transport. The employer’s V.P. of Operations here in Portland asked the Oregon Health Authority and the hospitals in the network to share enough vaccine to vaccinate all AMR employees when the first vaccines arrived in Oregon. Time went by when those vaccines arrived in the State and the vaccine was not being shared with AMR. The V.P. himself went out and secured enough vaccines for his complete staff in both counties. Vaccination of all employees of AMR has now been conducted. If not for the insistence of the V.P. of Portland Operations, our front-line members may still be awaiting to get vaccinated. Our American Red Cross members are also running into problems with donors coming in with the virus. We have had numerous members being sent home to quarantine due to exposure. We are diligently working with the affected members and local management. As previously reported we have been in negotiations with American Red Cross for a first-ever local agreement for the recently organized apheresis members, and we have come to a tentative agreement. We are now working to put together a vote of those members. Negotiations with the William C. Earhart have begun. This company is the administrator for the Oregon Teamster Employers Trust Benefits. Our members who work for the Earhart Co. also administrate a lot of other local union pension and health benefits. We look forward to bargaining a successor agreement for our members at the Earhart Company.
Highlights from Labor Representative Brent Jensen: Disappointing news - we lost on an ERB decision regarding a unit clarification filed by the employer against the Klamath County Sergeants Office bargaining unit. The ERB Administrative Law Judge ruled that the Sergeants’ position can be excluded from the bargaining unit under the statutory supervisory exemption. Currently in mediation with Lake Health District regarding the employer’s refusal to pay contractual overtime and standby pay to a Mental Health Provider. Negotiated a settlement agreement on behalf of a Grants Pass Public Works employee. Currently negotiating a settlement agreement on behalf of a Lakeview Town Hall employee. Filed a Demand to Bargain against Lake Health District over employer insisting on conducting a vote among employees on whether to switch health insurance carriers. The issue will likely be resolved during successor agreement bargaining.
Highlights from Labor Representative Michael Mann – I recently attended the following training: Teamsters Public Services Division Virtual Conference, Diversity and Discrimination and Business Agent Skills. I also attended a Webinar on Covid-19 presented by Kaiser Permanente. For our criminal justice members, I spent time researching the new Oregon use-of-force laws to stay current on this vital topic. Three successor collective bargaining agreements are open for negotiations this year; financial analysis for each of the employers have been requested from the International. The financial fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic on public employers is as of yet unknown which may have a large impact on bargaining financial matters. There are on-going COVID issues including quarantine, vaccine, testing, impact, etc. Several disciplinary grievances have been filed on behalf of members; those have either been successfully resolved or are still working through the process. A grievance regarding dispatcher scheduling and other dispatch issues has been filed with Coos County. A resolution was reached with Morrow County regarding the implementation of longevity pay. Continued thanks to all active members and stewards! We are part of a team and I am thankful for each of you!
TEAMSTERS TRAINING: QUARANTINE! According to the Oregon Workers’ Comp agency, many Workers’ Comp carriers are covering lost work time due to workplace-exposure Covid-19 quarantines. If you lose work time due to a workplace exposure and quarantine, consider inquiring with your employer about the possibility of filing a workers’ comp claim – remember, workers’ comp is usually not taxed but is paid at a lower rate, so check with your HR and make an informed decision!
TEAMSTERS TRAINING: CDL DRIVERS! The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a recently-enacted Federal requirement. The database is to track drivers with alcohol/drug issues or test refusals. Employers are required to ask each CDL holder to consent for the employer to have access to their information in the clearinghouse database. If a CDL employee does not give consent then the CDL employee cannot drive; which means cannot work. All CDL drivers need to give consent to be employed as a CDL driver, but only people who fail or refuse a drug test must register in the clearinghouse. Info is kept for five years, but the clock stops when a driver is not driving. Make sure you give consent for employer access!
Highlights from Labor Representative Karine Trowbridge - Tillamook County Sheriff’s has had some very significant changes this January, 2021. Josh Brown, a former Teamster member and patrol officer, has been voted in as the new Sheriff. Our congratulations to Josh! Fernando Silveira, our shop steward for the jail for 15 years, has accepted a promotion to Jail Lieutenant. Congratulations Fernando! We will certainly miss having them in the Teamsters unit but look forward to working with them in their new roles. Washington County begins their first year of celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday for the members at Land Use & Transportation. I am happy to report that all following units have done a great job of keeping our members safe and still working during this COVID pandemic: Washington County, Clean Water Services, City of Fairview, City of Gresham, City of Molalla, Tillamook Sheriff’s and Tillamook 911. Teamsters 223 is opening contracts this year for City of Gresham, City of Fairview, Clean Water Services and Tillamook Sheriff’s.
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.