$8.50 'till 2013? What are they thinking?

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by KTB, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. KTB

    KTB New Member

    Hello, BrownCafe. I am a part time UPS employee that will have 10 years seniority in a couple of months. Like most part timers I’ve spent the past several years working other jobs to supplement my income, but UPS has always been my bread and butter. Thankfully between my pay rate and ability to work doubles I am now able to work only at UPS. Barring something seriously unforseen happening I should be eligible to go full time during this contract. All and all UPS has been a decent job, and aside from the ridiculous amount of time it takes to get a driving job at my location I have very little to complain about. Now that the introduction is out of the way I’ll move on to the reason I’m posting this...

    I find it unacceptable that the proposed contract (according to makeupsdeliver.com) does not raise the starting pay for part time employees. $8.50 in today’s dollars is chump change. Some of the old timers around here can correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it the starting pay in 1985 was $8.00 an hour. That’s a $.50 increase in 22 years. On July 24, 2009 the federal minimum wage is going to be raised to $7.25 an hour. What are both UPS and the Teamsters thinking? No one in their right mind is going to do entry level hub/center work for $1.25 more than minimum wage. A year in to this contract fast food and mall jobs will pay more than that. Most of our NON-UNION competitors now have a starting rate higher than $8.50, and any that don’t will raise their starting pay in 2009. If the leaked details are true UPS won’t even have the benefits argument to fall back on since new hires will have to wait a year for those.

    Let me break down what $8.50 is in real dollars. When I was hired 10 years ago at $8.50 that was $10.68 in today’s dollars. To flip that on it’s head asking a new hire to come in at $8.50 now would be like asking me to come in at $6.76 in 1998. Since starting pay went up $.50 in the 1997 contract, I feel this should give everyone an idea of how much things have changed since the last increase.

    It gets more outrageous when you compare the $8.00 starting pay in 1985 to $8.50 now. In today’s dollars an entry level part time job paid $15.53 in 1985. That means that in actual dollars UPS’s starting pay has went down $7.03 in the past 22 years.

    I’d like to urge any of my union brothers that read this to vote “no” on this contract, and let your local reps know that this is a factor in your “no” vote.

    I would also urge any UPS management that reads this to understand that a $7.03 decrease in the starting pay (in real dollars) over the last 2 decades as well as delaying benefits for a year is a recipe for disaster. Once 2009 comes around there is no way you will get anyone to work for $1.25 an hour more than minimum wage. You get what you pay for, and $8.50 an hour starting pay without benefits will get you employees that cannot find a better job at Walmart or McDonnald’s. Is that what you want the future of your company to be based on?

    *all numbers come from halfhill.com’s inflation calculator.
  2. retired2000

    retired2000 Active Member

    just vote no on the contract if you do not like the wage packet.
  3. Damok

    Damok Member

    First, nothing is for sure and I would advise against forming a defined opinion until we get official word. Next, in general, I believe the starting wage is stagnant for more than one possible reason.

    1) High turnover rates of new hires. Most of the turnover I see at my location (8 years there) is due to kids coming in and finding out that the work is a lot more physically demanding than they had thought it would be.

    2) Some turnover, to a lesser extent than #1, is due to low pay. However, you know what your pay will be when you start... it would seem that one would make arrangements to supplement that pay somehow until you are in a position to not need a supplement. I came to UPS knowing full well what the pay was and how long it would take to improve - it just so happened that it fit my needs exactly at the time.

    3) Kind of a catch 22 here - The company doesn't want to spend a ton of money of new hires when the majority don't make it but on the other side you have to look at the quality of employee you'll get, as a general rule, for $8.50 per. I understand the need to keep labor costs in check but it's hard to balance that against exorbitant managerial pay and incentive packages as well as escalating top hourly pay. I don't believe there is a dispute about the disparity in pay level at UPS. I'm not sure what the best way to address it is though.

    I'm sure I'll think of more - feel free to discuss :)
  4. HazMatMan

    HazMatMan New Member

    Are you making 17.75 per hour, or 16.75 per hour???
  5. nhguy

    nhguy New Member

    It continues to amaze me how people keep forgetting about the hourly cost to UPS for all those benefits you get.

    $8.50/hr + $14.00/ hr benefits adds up to $22.50 /hr.

    In addition, in some places where the jobs are only 2hrs per day, the company contributes 4 hrs of benefit pay/ day.

    If all you want is the money, then you should have told the Teamsters that's the most important thing. UPS doesn't care how it gets divided up, it costs them the same no matter what!!!

    Just remember it's not an $8.50/hr job! Why is this so hard for people to understand.

    Remember the big fish always eats the little ones!
  6. Keepingthemhonest

    Keepingthemhonest Bring'n sexy back

    It is if this next contract passes....remember the 1 year+ wait...by that time a new employee would have said screw this and quit, leaving ups to have never contributed to their healthcare.
  7. KTB

    KTB New Member

    The point I'm making here is that it isn't $8.50 plus benefits. It's more like $4..37 without benefits for a year compared to where wages were 20 years ago. There's been an incredible loss in the real wages that a new hire makes. $8.50 an hour is a joke considering what the typical new hire is expected to do. Loading and unloading for UPS are some of the most physically demanding jobs you can have. It's bad business for the company to think that they will be able to maintain employees at that kind of wage, and it's disgraceful for the union to think it's acceptable to hire people at that rate.
  8. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    What I got out of reading the makeupsdeliver.com thing was after you pass your part time probation the pay was 10.50 an hour. To me this would seem fair. That is about what other part time jobs in my area pay to start with no experience.

    Has this changed or does anyone know for sure?
  9. nhguy

    nhguy New Member


    Your making my point. To be a sound business that operates within some costs parameters, UPS would gladly pay a higher wage rate if they didn't have to pay an additional $14.00/hr in benefits. That $14.00/ hr pays for your sick days, vacations, medical insurance, dental care, vision, retirement plan, social security match....

    I understand $8.50 is a low wage and I understand that our people work hard, the point is you can't have it both ways. I can assure you the Teamsters don't ever want the benefits taken away and the money paid in wages. Think about it, how many of those part timers ever use their medical, how many will ever draw a pension, this is money that helps the teamsters keep your benefits level where it is today.

    The teamsters love the low pay rate because turnover is a good thing for them. Every dollar paid into the benefits that are never used by a young kid is gravy. The Union doesn't care how many people UPS has to hire. They get the initiation fee for everyone of these people that do come to work here. Ask the leadership if they would be willing to absolve the benefits and go for a larger part time hourly rate and see what they say? They'll twist it and say that UPS should be able to offer both, it's just not economically feasible.

    Remember the big fish always eats the little ones!
  10. KTB

    KTB New Member

    My hub rate is a bit more actually. You forgot that there's a COLA adjustment or two in there. My hourly rate isn't all that bad since I've been at UPS for 10 years. Ideally I won't even be making hub rate for long during this contract as I point out above. My post has less to do with me personally than it does with the outrageousness of trying to hire people on for hub work at $8.50 and hour. Having said that my wage (again in real dollars) is only a few dollars more an hour than a new hire would get in 1985.
  11. thom1842

    thom1842 New Member

    This may be a stupid question, but I am not a great labor relations mind.

    How will the new contract effect us who are already part-timers? I'll use my self as an example. I just finished my probation period as a PT Air Driver, will my prgression to "top rate" be lengthened by a year once the new contract is in place?
  12. Fnix

    Fnix Active Member

    Troubles pass and they will go.
  13. GuyinBrown

    GuyinBrown Blah

    I would expect that you'll remain in your current progression.
  14. Griff

    Griff Active Member

    I've changed my stance a bit on how I feel about the 1 year wait (18 months for family) for P/Ters (if its true) and I support the new wait for benefits. I remember when I was in doing P/T work at night having seen quite a few people come and go because they were there just to get benefits for their wife being pregnant and they split very shortly after. The majority of companies don't offer benefits for P/T work period, so what's worse?

    I strongly believe there should be an option whether to take benefits or not for P/Ters. You should be able to opt out of benefits and receive a much higher hourly rate inside, this would create a waiting line for inside jobs since most college age kids are already covered under their parents.
  15. MR_Vengeance

    MR_Vengeance United Parcel Survivor

    this is what i had in mind as well. if the options were there then it would be much more attractive to p/t people.
  16. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    This is a great idea.It also covers the transient workers that dont intend to stay.It would also eliminate the people that take advantage of the benefits.

  17. Exactly, Like you said in your 3rd point. "it's hard to balance that against exorbitant managerial pay and incentive packages as well as escalating top hourly pay."

    We don't need our top hourly pay to go up any more than it already is. Maybe a cost of livng type system at most.

    We need to draw in better quality part timers and the reality is, $$$ talks.

    Maybe keep the start at $8.50 but after 30 days seniority bring it up .50 then another 30 up it $1.00 then after 90 maybe up .50 then after a yr. bring em up $1.00

    So after a yr. in the part timer is at $11.00 hrly. Then from there.... You get the picture exelerate the 1st year or 2 in raises to draw in people with potential to last and work well and these early raises will reduce the risk of lossing them. Make them prove themslve's the 1st 90 then give them a reason to stay.

    The drivers know how important it is to keep good quality and long term pre-loaders and sorters. It can help in many ways and a crapy below Mcdonalds grade part timer can make your sort's in the truck a real nightmare!!

    Plus the part timers will 1 day be taking up into driven positions cause they will have 1st bids before outsiders so do you want a lower class of drivers moving in during the next 10 yrs or so or do you want a secure future with good potential drivers???
  18. VTBrown

    VTBrown Member

    Wise one Brown - did you even read your post?

    The RUMORS of the new contract already do that with the part-timers pay.

    You do understand that increasing the pay for part-timers DOES NOT keep ONLY the GOOD preloaders. It will KEEP the BAD at the same rate.

    It also will have absolutely no bearing on who is going to become a driver down the road.

    Even now at this CURRENT time we get a good share of crappy drivers and good drivers coming through. Some how this is going to magically get worse? Why hasn't it since the beginning, when the part-time wage was essentially frozen? Hmm......:rolleyes:

    I'm also sorry to tell you.....the emphasis on keeping long term preloaders in regards to making a driver happy? Going way down bud. PAS has taken area/route loading knowledge right out of the equation.
  19. RedThunder

    RedThunder New Member

    I often see this said but it's simply not true. UPS doesn't pay any money for part time benefits/pensions to the teamsters.
  20. VTBrown

    VTBrown Member

    Really? Look at article 34. Covering Health + Welfare and Pension.Sure looks to me like they do.