The last time both parties have met jointly was on March 12, 2015 in Baltimore, MD. The parties were not successful in reaching a full tentative agreement and not much has changed since then!
The Company and the Union Escalation teams recessed negotiations late that evening with the understanding that each party was to reevaluate the proposals that remain in contention. The issues are member contribution to healthcare, reductions in Sunday premium, overtime premiums, 401 K match for members with a pension, establishing a 2 tier Short Term Disability schedule, the use of contractors and a respectable general wage increase.
The Union Bargaining team finds it nearly impossible to consider any of the remaining issues as proposed. We have contacted a legal firm that deals with Interest Arbitration to recommend to us our best course of action. If it is determined by the Bargaining team and by the advice of this legal counsel that Interest Arbitration is the only avenue left available, we will need authorization from the System Council for the expenditure of funds should we select this firm to represent us in the Interest Arbitration case. Both sides have a great deal at stake should the choice be to proceed to Interest Arbitration. We ask for your patience as we work through this process.
A mutually agreeable resolution is not on the horizon anytime soon.
The old saying still rings true today, “United we bargain – Divided we beg.”
Support your Union, your Negotiating Team, attend your Union meeting, be informed and have a voice in the process.
Your IBEW Negotiating Team
IBEW Local Unions 71 – OH, 289 – NC, 1106 – MI, 1431 – SC