They seem to operate like Congress with spending bills. Wait until the government shutdown occurs, then try a pass a spending bill. I haven't been around for many new contracts but quickly noticed that the union and company are negotiating in the final weeks of the outgoing contracts expiration date and beyond. Like the last contract, we begin the new contract not knowing what our actual current pay is in which we are later owed back pay. The whole thing should be finalized and voted upon at about this point on the calendar. Am I too idealistic? The money the union strips from us for 5 years and we know nothing until the old one expires?