Leaders of unions representing Red Cross employees across America, who are part of the American Red Cross Union Coalition, met recently at Teamster headquarters to explore options for national bargaining. The Coalition represents over 5,000 vital health care workers in 24 states, and includes the Teamsters, AFT (HPAE and Oregon Nurses), CWA, the Steelworkers, AFSCME, UFCW and UAW.
Teamsters fulfill a full range of important Red Cross functions, such as: administrative assistants; ampheresis coordinators; collection specialists/technicians; clerks; donor assistants; drivers; building and fleet maintenance mechanics; inventory specialists; lab technicians; mail clerks; mobile unit assistants; and, tele-recruiters. They are members of 17 locals in 12 states: 25, 63, 71, 170, 223, 311, 337, 388M, 391, 507, 554, 580, 682, 728, 760, 839 and 929.
“In preparation for negotiations, we surveyed our members recently, which helped to confirm that healthcare, wages, and pensions are key issues, “remarked Michael Filler, Director of the Teamsters Public Services Division. “In addition to economics, staffing and scheduling are high priorities for Teamster members, as part of a first-ever, multi-union national contract with the Red Cross.”
During the three-day meeting in Washington, D.C., union leaders spent time drafting initial proposals, discussing ground rules for bargaining, and setting up tentative meeting dates with Red Cross management. Nina Bugbee, President of Teamsters Local 332 and Central Region Director of the Teamsters Public Services Division, who is serving as Co-Chair of the Coalition’s national bargaining committee said “we are united to improve the lives of Red Cross workers and to make history in the process.”