(FARMINGDALE, N.Y.) – In a secret ballot vote that was completed this afternoon, by a margin of 84 percent to 16 percent, Teamsters Local 1205 members working for Baumann/Acme Buses approved a new three-year union contract.
This new contract, with its complex details, was recommended by the elected rank-and-file negotiating committee for approval to the membership. The contract vote was conducted by secret ballot—the decision was made exclusively by the workers themselves.
In addition to dozens of improved worker protections, the new contract substantially:
- Improves the daily minimum guaranteed hours of pay;
- Improves the number of paid days off during a school year;
- Improves the method of accruing and taking paid sick/personal days;
- Improves the method of accruing and receiving paid recess days;
- Improves the minimum hiring rates for drivers and driver assistants;
- Improves the hourly wages for several hundred members this year, and for all members in years two and three; and
- Improves the employer contribution amounts into the union’s Health & Welfare Fund, protecting one of the best medical plans available.
These and other improvements represent an average increase in compensation—including benefits and paid days off—of four percent to five percent per year in each year of this agreement.
“The members succeeded in stopping the employer’s demands for three years of wage freezes; a gutting of the Local 1205 Welfare Fund benefits; an elimination of earned and owed sick days; a weakening of our fought-for seniority system—to give just a few examples,” said Timothy Lynch, President of Local 1205. “Local 1205 members were prepared to strike to protect and improve their union contract. Because of that, we forced the company to change its firmly and publicly stated position of weeks ago. The company had said at the time, ‘We are done with negotiations’!
”Our members increasingly saw the power working people have if they support one another in a fight for greater economic justice. These employees would not back down until enough progress toward that justice was accomplished. The majority strongly felt that considering this tough economy, we got what was needed.
“I’m very proud of our members for the courage and determination they showed, and proud of the hard work of our Local 1205 staff and the negotiating committee. And we’re grateful to the community-at-large, parents in particular. More and more, Long Islanders and other Americans are coming to realize this beautiful fact: Not only did unions create the middle class, but unions today are the largest force fighting to bring justice to people’s working lives. That is what our victory at Baumann/Acme is about.”