As the Teamsters National UPS and UPS Freight Negotiating Committees prepare to resume contract negotiations on February 19, members are continuing to take an active role and asking questions.
More than 20,000 Teamsters joined the UPS and UPS Freight contract negotiations update call on January 28, and scores of members left questions after the call.
Many of the questions addressed health, welfare and pension benefits, part-time pay, full-time jobs, harassment, excessive overtime, managers taking bargaining unit work and other important topics. Members were able to ask questions and then leave a message with a question after the call for the Division to review. Below are the most frequently asked questions.
Q: Will we address health and welfare and pension benefits?
A: Our negotiating committee sees this as a top priority for our members. Our surveys and feedback from members back this up. The IBT will continue to fight for the best benefits possible. We have received many proposals from the membership on these issues. Economic issues such as health and welfare and pension contributions, wage increases and wage progressions are discussed after many of the language proposals dealing with conditions are addressed. It is difficult to tell exactly when that will occur but we will let the membership know when that time comes.
Q: What is the IBT doing about the fact that there are not enough people filling part-time jobs?
A: Addressing understaffing in all classifications is a top priority. We will attempt to address this by bringing the part-time wage scale up. This will help with retention of part timers already working and allow UPS to hire a sufficient number of employees to staff its operations. We consider the current wage scale to be outdated, and UPS will have a hard time saying otherwise.
Q: Will more part-time jobs be converted to full-time in this contract?
A: We are proposing 10,000 additional full-time jobs over the term of the new contract. This is another way to address the chronic understaffing.
Q: How are we addressing harassment on the job?
A: We have a strong proposal under Article 37 Section 1 that addresses this ongoing problem. Currently, the union and the company have proposals that are far apart on this issue. However, this is a serious concern for many of our members and we will continue to fight for strong language.
Q: When will the IBT address the 70 hour/8 day work week and excessive forced overtime?
A: We have a proposal under Article 37 Section 1 (c) that essentially revamps the “9.5” process. As the negotiations proceed, the hours of service issue will be dealt with as part of an overall discussion on overtime. The committee’s position is very clear: the 70 hour/8 day work week does not work for Package Drivers.
Q: Are you going to push for one-line seniority at UPS Freight?
A: The Union has proposed “work rules” to either be negotiated on a local or regional basis and this is where that particular issue would be addressed. According to input from the negotiating committee, not all locations want a single/one-line seniority board.
Q: We continue to see road runs being moved by subcontractors at UPS Freight. Are we going to address that?
A: Yes. This has been an ongoing problem at UPS Freight. We have specific proposals to deal with subcontracting – It is the number one issue at UPS Freight.
While the committee cannot answer every question, a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section has been added to the UPSrising app under the UPS Rising news category (see information on how to download the app below.) As negotiations continue, the FAQ will be expanded to include more questions and answers.
“We appreciate all the members who left questions for the committees and we will continue to provide answers to these questions as negotiations move forward,” said Denis Taylor, Director of the Teamsters Package Division and Co-Chairman of the National UPS Negotiating Committee.
The next round of negotiations will take place Feb. 19-22.
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