UPS/Union ?'s from new hire

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Muttley45, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. Muttley45

    Muttley45 Guest

    I had the chance to go through a lot of the info I got this week at work & from this web site. My dad & I spent a couple hours talking about the job this AM but unfortunately neither of us have Union experience and are not familiar with a lot of what I was given. Any help on any of the following is appreciated (or direction to a site where I can finf the info):
    1.where can I find job descriptions & pay for all the jobs (sorter, loader, porter, car washer, air driver, air walker, combo jobs, etc)
    2. am I automatic a member of union or will I have to join? when will I hear something? when do union dues start coming out; how much & how often.
    3. where does ups stand in creating the 10,000 ft jobs for pt people? it looks like they have to do this by next summer-my hope is that they haven't hit quota & I have a better chance at f/t
    4. I know my start date (1st day of work) but what does "seniority" mean-when does it start/measured?
    5, what does "red circled"mean?
    6 when does a p/t start getting benefits
    7 what does "hi vol direct & lo vol direct" mean? it looks like they make more $ to start
    8 does anyone start as a preloader/sorter? they make $1 more than loader/unloader. Does it make sense for me to want to move there if possible? What can I do?
    9 is p/t limited to 25 hrs/wk MAX? can I work other jobs and/or get OT as pt pkg handler? how?
    10 what is vesting schedule for p/t pension plan?
    11 am i correct that all pt & ft ee's get free health care at retirement? it looks like ups does that but what about teamsters?
    12 does my seniority change if i ever go from p/t to f/t and do i lose anything i built up as p/t

    Sorry for all the ?'s but i reakly have no clue & this board seems to be the best resource since i haven't mey any union person yet. thank You.

    PS 1 more, with just 2 weeks working p/t is there any chance that i will be allowed to miss a week of work at the end of aug for a prior family commitment? If i have any shot at them saying yes, how do you recommend I go about it. Is it a bad career move?
  2. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    You know alot of ups lingo for only being there two weeks! If you truly are a ups p-timer ask some of your other part time buddies whos the steward and direct these questions to him/her.
  3. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    705 is right,advice here is diversified.Every center seems to have thier own rules.Ask locally.
  4. Muttley45

    Muttley45 Guest

    red, if I have the"lingo" down it's only from checking out the "cafe" for the past couple weeks & going over the union contract my dad found on-line. unfortunately, knowing the words is not the came as knowing what they mean. it's easier to ask this stuff here and not have to ask someone who either doesnt know or doesnt care. I will try to get answers at work. I guess my only problem is that workers like me seem to get in & get out once the shift is over & i didn't figure that these were ques's my supe would want to answer. Maybe this week we'll here more from the union person. Answers to ANY of the ques's that are not unique to my location is appreciated.

    PS what do 3rd shift guys do on the weekends? my sleep is all screwed up now. do you try to keep the same sleep schedule all week?
  5. hondo

    hondo promoted to mediocrity

    This is going to be a long post but I'll answer what I can:
    1. Sorter-a "skilled" worker that has memorized a large list of states/zip codes so they can send a package to right area of the bldg., gets $1/hr premium pay over package handler. Loader-stacks pkgs floor to ceiling (up to 9' high) in semi trailer with help of a step stool, has to memorize a short list of states/zips and verify package belongs in that trailer and scans its bar code. Porter-a janitor/maintenance position keeps premises neat and may do some equipment setup and storage for each shift. Carwasher-cleans vehicles inside & out, may also be responsible for refueling and checking/filling underhood fluids. Air drivers-pickup and deliver "air service" pkgs only. These are generally, but not always the smaller/lighter pkgs. This area of the contract (Article 40) is really vague. There is provision for full-time air drivers (they'll make less than regular package drivers), but I believe most air drivers are part-time (make less still but if you qualify it'll get you a quick raise). Air walkers appears to be a part-time position similar to seasonal driver helper, probably only in a congested business district where you'll ride with an air driver and you'll split up delivering the air packages, probably aren't many of these jobs. Combo jobs are where you work 2 part-time jobs for the equivalent of a single full-time job, e.g. unloading a trailer from 3-7AM then air driver from 7-11AM. You didn't ask, but Preloaders are the ones who load the delivery trucks early in the morning, used to have to memorize local street address ranges hence they're "skilled" positions under this contract, but there is a new system going in place that eliminates the need to memorize anything.
    2. Don't know about "right-to-work" states, but if you're not in one of those you'll either become a member or could opt to be a service fee paying nonmember of your local union. There will be a large (compared to what you're making) initiation fee, probably spread out over several paychecks. Once that's covered your regular monthly dues should be 2.5 times your hourly wage (maybe a lesser flat rate until you progress to a higher wage), around here it's broken down into 4 deductions from the first 4 weekly paychecks each month. A service fee paying nonmember pays the equivalent amount, because you're benefitting from the negotiated wages/benefits/working conditions, less what the local union spends on charitable and political contributions. Here it's 94% so if I did that I'd save $1.32/mo., really not worth it IMO. When?, you're going to have to ask somebody there.
    3. Don't know how they're doing nationwide on creating jobs, but jobs are filled by seniority or sometimes at a ratio of 6 current employees to 1 person "off the street". Ask your Human Resources office *and* your local union people (a steward might know, you may have to ask the "Business Agent") what the current wait for a f/t job is estimated to be.
    4. Your seniority should be your start date, once you make it through the probationary period, did anyone mention anything like having to work a 30 calendar period with no major screwups or attendance problems? Or 45 or 90 days?
    5. I'm not entirely sure about red-circled but I believe it's something like the contract in effect when you were hired is a minimum standard, you can never lose ground under future contracts while you're in that job classification.
    6. check with HR & local union. Should be under Article 22 sections 12-14 and any local supplements and related to end of probation/achieving seniority.
    7. High Volume Direct is the last sorter before the loader, Low Volume Direct is a sorter who also loads some, if not all the packages sorted.
    8. Unless you have a good reason like a school conflict, you're going to have a hard time transferring to the preload shift and may be subject to some time period restriction before allowed to do so. But by all means, once you've achieved seniority, start pressing your part & full time supervisors for sorting study guides/tests to get that raise. Talk to your HR & union people to get your name on waiting list for "preferred/skilled" jobs list-see Article 22 section 4 & local supplements.
    9. You're not limited to 25hrs/wk and come *PEAK* season (officially Thanksgiving to Christmas) you should have much more than that. OT(time and a half) should kick in after 5 hours each day (not after first 25 hours each week). You should always get your minimum 3.5 hours/day once you have seniority, don't let them send you home early unless you want to go. Your work area should be fully staffed until the workload starts to wind down, remaining work (wrap-up) should be done by employees in declining order of seniority (I like to think of it as a right of first refusal), showing proficiency and learning other load charts and letting part & full time supes know you want the hours helps. There should be an extra work list each month you can sign so if another shift is shorthanded they should call you in (in seniority order of course). I believe if you work two 3.5 hr(minimum contractually) in one day you'll be paid for 8 hours (worked 7 so the last 2 are OT). This works best if you have back to back shifts in your building, if all you have are twilight & preload it could get very tiring, very quickly. Also, you may have to file grievances if the supes are sneaky and try to send too many people early or try to perform work themselves when understaffed. There shouldn't be any problem getting another part-time job as long as you have time to travel between them & eat, until you get into a driving job which may have DOT hours of service restrictions.
    10. I wouldn't count on too much from the p/t pension, contributions and vesting info. just isn't there, only an address in Atlanta (corporate HQ) to write to. And some of the f/t pensions have issues. Pension & insurance benefits seem to be the big concerns everywhere, not just UPS. It's possible we employees at UPS could end up being the last to even have a pension.
    11. Don't know.
    12. If you go f/t, you'll start over seniority wise in your job classification, but you should retain your p/t seniority with respect to vacation-see Article 22 section 7.
    13. You can ask, and if you have seniority and your local supplement negotiated for it you may even have a few Optional Paid Days (paid vacation days) you could use. Or you could ask for the time off unpaid but excused, if they like you they might go for it. But if they say no, I'd recommend sending your regrets to your family unless it's really important to you. Welcome to the working world.
    Some other thoughts: look around your building for the union bulletin boards, you'll find out which local you're under, their address/phone, should have a list of stewards names. Before or after your shift, ask some coworkers or maybe a driver (delivery truck or semi) to point out a steward & introduce yourself. You really need to know about your probationary period right now. Once you are a seniority employee, get yourself a copy of the contract book from a steward or the union hall and any local supplements. The National Master Agreement is on this site (runs through July 31,2008-I think this was the longest ever, 6 years). You sound like you're seriously considering a UPS career and have asked many good questions. Generally speaking, your main choice will be a delivery truck driver (long days), then after some time maybe semi driver(long nights). Also, you must look at where you want to live your working life, as you really can't transfer to any other part of the country. You don't want to have worked 2-3 years part-time in state X only to decide state Y is where you want to live. And you might want to start sleeping the same schedule all week for a month then slowly try to vary it slightly on the weekends to see what you can handle.
  6. Muttley45

    Muttley45 Guest

    Unbelievable Hondo-thanks a million for the info! Believe it or not Red, these are the questions that a new hire has and is difficult to get (at least early on). Hondo, I do have some follow-up ?s but I don't have time right now. Hopefully you can reply to them in the next couple days. Thanks again-I really appreciate your help.
    PS Moderator-i think Hondo's reply is an excellent resourse piece if there's any way to label & categorize it for new hires.