Givebacks for Pension Improvements?
Western UPS Supplement Tentative Agreement Update
Should our negotiating committee give concessions to buy improvements in our contract? Or should we expect to win improvements without give-backs? Thats an easy question. James Hoffa himself stated There will be no give backs, not at the national level or at the local level.
While the union officials have not released details of the tentative agreement on the Western Supplement, apparently they are proposing give backs to get an improvement in pension hours.
The reported improvement is that UPS will now make pension contributions for up to 2080 hours per year, rather than the maximum of 173 per month. This means if a member misses a significant amount of work due to extended illness or injury, they can make up that pension time with overtime hours. This will definitely help those members who miss a chunk of work.
The problem: in exchange for this improvement the union has made big concessions, including that management would only contribute 10c (instead of about $3.00 at present) for the first 90 days for part timers, and 60 days for full timers.
This may not sound like much to an individual member, but thanks to the high turnover rate of part timers, this would mean reducing money coming into our Pension Fund by tens of millions of dollars per year. This means less money to pay out when we retire, and will make it harder to improve our pensions.
It also gives management another incentive to get rid of Teamsters to create even more turnover.
We should not make positive improvements by undercutting our pension fund or making concessions.
Also, some other supplements require the company to pay pension contributions while a Teamster is off on workers comp. Why not the Western?
The national negotiating committee should protect the improvement to allow members to make the 2080 hours per year, while blocking the concessions given to the company for it.