More Than 1,500 Teamsters Keep Health Care Benefits, Win Higher Wages
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(WASHINGTON)– With 93 percent voting yes, Teamsters at the American Red Cross (ARC) voted to ratify a strong new contract protecting more than 1,500 health care workers. The agreement affects Teamsters working in a variety of health care roles and remains in effect until 2024.
“We exceeded turnout from the last national agreement from four years ago by 16 percent, which I think is a reflection of the fact that enthusiasm for our union is growing at the Red Cross,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “We now have united contract expiration dates to give local unions greater bargaining power and we retained our neutrality language to organize more locations. This agreement is a blueprint for the future.”
“The pandemic has shown all of us just how invaluable health care workers are, and this now-ratified agreement honors their service,” said Jason Lopes, Teamsters Health Care Director. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to bargain on behalf of members who are literal lifesavers.”
The agreement was the first negotiated bilaterally and the first with rank-and-file members who served on the negotiating committee. Most notably, the members kept their current health care plan after the threat of a strike. Some improvements in the contract include increased wages and paid days off, better family leave and scheduling policies, and higher safety and health standards.
Marya Woodget has worked as a Collections Tech at ARC since 2015 and is a member of Teamsters Local 728 in Atlanta.
“I think it’s important to unionize every Red Cross location because we could stand for more things that workers want and need as a whole, throughout the entire country,” said Woodget. “If we’re all part of a union, it will be a bigger, more intact unit on the things that we fight for.”
A few local unions remain in negotiations, but seek to ratify supplemental agreements within the next 90 days. The national agreement will become binding once all local supplements are ratified.
You can watch the ballot count below…
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.