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.