Labor Contract is set to expire on 4/1/2016. Negotiations will begin officially with the Company on 2/22/16 and are being held at the Wingate hotel in Bridgeport WV.
The Union's negotiating team is planning on providing updates to the membership in a variety of ways. They will post updates here on this page as well as on the Union's Facebook page. They are also committed to providing atleast (2) conference calls weekly with the Union's Stewards to update them so they can in turn hold meetings with the membership.
We are scheduled to begin negotiations February 22. The Negotiating committee is working diligantly to prepare including utlizing our UWUA National representative Jim Lewis (photo left). "Jim has negotiated over 90 Contracts for differant locals and has been a wealth of knowledge for our Union over the years" Craig Bradford President. The team is also utilizing subject matter experts including our own membership. We have incorperated the proposals submitted in Steward council from the members into our plan. We will be providing updates on facebook and the webpage as well as two conferance calls per week to the Stewards in order for them to directly update the members in their locations. Make sure you have the Stewards contact information. Listed below are the members of the Unions Negotiating team...
Willard Swiger Region 1 Director, Derek Metz Region 2 Director, Dave Hammond Region 3 Director, Jim Safranyos Region 4 Director, Cliff Garman Region 5 Director, Jenny Davis Region 6 Director, Kevin Parsons Treasurer, Connie Baston Secretary, Jason Boyce Vice President, Craig Bradford President, Attorney Sam Pasquarelli, Jim Lewus UWUA National representative.
Opening Day of Negotiations
Negotiations commenced on 2/22 at 1pm with opening statements by both sides as well as a list of negotiating items were submitted by both groups. The Union made proposals concerning Medical Premiums, Social Security Suppliments, and Doctors slips. The Company made no formal proposals. During discussions the Company did mention several future proposals and concepts including POST 65, Vacation, Job families, VEBA, Wages, Call out, Pensions, Retiree medical, and more. Bargaining will take place today starting at 9am. Contact your Steward for further detais as a conferance call was schedued last night. Updates will be provided as details develope..
Over the last two days both the Company and the Union have passed proposals and held extensive discussions on many issue's including Vacation, FRC clothing, Medical premiums, Dental Premiums, Vision premiums, Hearing Aids, Social Security Suppliment Language, Doctor's Excuse, Pension Plans, POST 65, Military Leave, Bidding Procedures and more.
We have agreed to the following issues: Doctor's Excuse, Social Security Suppliment Language, Job Bidding and length of time being held once awarded a Bid job.
Negotiations will continue tomorrow, as we work towards obtaining a fair and equatable contract.
Today's discussions between the Union and the Company included 12hr shifts, FRC, Job Familes, Contracting of Work, Temporaries, Wages, Vacation, Pension Plans and much more. We agreed to several issue's as well including:
Deductables and Out of Pocket increases will based on the CPI
Open enrollment will be the same
Diabetic Supplies will go through Express Scripts
Dental and Vision Premiums will not increase over the Contract
Hearing Aids will be Supplimented
Flexable Spending Account, Liife Ins for Active, Retirees, and Dependants will remain the same
We will continue to bargain tomorrow for a fair and equatable Contract. Conferance calls with Stewards are scheduled for tonight so get in touch with your Steward for more details
We did not meet with the Company today in formal discussions concerning negotiations. The Negotiating Committee spent the day meeting with our attorney. No additional proposal were passed or discussed. Next week we will be negotiating Monday through Friday. We appreciate the support the membership has been providing and we will continue to negotiate for a fair and equatable contract.
In today's meetings there were discussions on Well-On-Your-Way, Clerical Pay Schedules, Pensions, Overtime, Job Families and more. Nothing was agreed today but we are hoping further discussions will produce agreements on proposals as the week progresses. Negotiations are still in the early stages and are very cordial and respectfull. Conferance calls are scheduled with Stewards and Directors, so make sure to speak with your Steward to obtain further details.
Negotiations continue to be cordial and productive, proposals and discussions have been extensive and have included Leesburg Housing Stipend, F.R. Clothing, Dispatching, Mileage, Job Classification, Job Families, Upgrades, Non-Productive Time, Bidding Units, E.R. Co-Pays, Parental Care, Well-On-Way, and more. We have agreed over the last two days to Clerical Pay Scale, Dispatching, Mileage, and Leesburg Housing Stipend. As you can see there are many issues being negotiated and we continue to work towards a fair and equatable contract. Directors will be holding conferance calls with their Stewards on Thursday night and Members should contact their Stewards on Friday for more details...
Today's negotiations were not very productive as both sides have submitted many proposals and hand many discussions this week and needed time to work on and digest the issue's on the table. We did discuss Parental Care, Dependant Care, Sickday Requirements and Well on Your Way, we agreed to proposals on Civic Duty and FRC Clothing stipends for Hope gas. Tomorrow's discussions will include presentations by the Company on POST 65, we have invited a retiree to attend (Neil Blankenship). This will be the first time since negotiations have begun that we will be discussing POST 65 in any detail and we thought it would be good to include a retiree. We will provide an update at the end of the day tomorrow.
Today's negotiations focused on POST 65.The Company brought to the table their full gambit of experts including a representative from One Exchange, two representatives from Towers Watson and several attorneys as well as their full negotiating team. Our team consisted of the Union's Negotiating Committee, Jim Lewis (UWUA AFL-CIO National representative) and a very special guest, Neil Blankenship, retiree from Grantsville. Neil has been a warrior for the retirees and a big inspiration for our Negotiating team. The Company submitted the details of what they intend to propose during negotiations on POST 65, both Active employees and Retirees from 2003 will be included in their proposal. The Union fully understands the details and now will begin to digest and assess what we are up against and how we proceed. A meeting is scheduled with our attorney and the Company's legal council to discuss the legalities of POST 65 on Thursday of next week. Mr. Blankenship has offered to discuss his experience today from a retiree perspective with anyone who is interested just give him a call, but gave this comment to our Union Negotiating team at the end of the day. "I would go to war with this group if you need me, its obvious you are doing your best to protect everyone and are doing a great job it was good to be part of today's meetings and see first hand what the Company is trying to do" Neil Blankenship. The day produced no other discussions on any issues. Further negotiations are schedued for Monday. I ask for our members and retirees to continue to support not only the Negotiating team, but each other as well and stand strong going forth.
The Company and the Union met and held discussions on the Natrium agreement expiration, Well on your way, Vacations, Call out, Overtime, and more. At this time we have no additional agreed to proposals. We have agreed in principle that Job Families are off the table for both sides as we could not agree to any kind of resolution, both sides reserve the right to bring them back up if needed. Both sides have presented their full gambit of proposals and this week is shaping up to be a week of hard discussions on some of the bigger issue's. We have meetings scheduled with both sides legal representatives to work out legal details and attempt to resolve outstanding issues.
Discussions were held with the Company on Parental Leave, Well on Your Way, Come Along, Call Out and Bidding Units. We agreed to extend the Natrium agreement 6 months for the employees who are left. Today we have invited several Hope members to attend to discuss callout issues. Negotiations have slowed considerably as several large issues are being considered including POST 65, Wages, VEBA, New Hire Retiree Medical, New Hire Retiree Pensions and much more. Tomorrow we have meetings scheduled between each sides legal representatives to discuss POST 65 and Pensions. Updates will be posted as they develope and contact your Stewards for further details..
We did not meet with the Company today. We are scheduled to meet and bargain Monday 3/14. The negotiation process has slowed as both sides process some of the bigger issues that are left on the table including POST 65, Vacation, Elimination of Medical Plan D, Wages, New Hire Benefits, and much more. Continue to support the negotiating team and each other during this process. Our current contract expires April 1st.
I wanted to provide a list of the things we have agreed to over the last 3 weeks:
1. Social security language change- Current language says until age 62, the change says "Social Security eligible"
2. Employee selction language- Will speed up bidding process
3. Doctors slip language- Will allow Nurse practitioner and PA to sign slips
4. Diabetics supplies- Change from Anthem to Express scripts
5. Dental and Vison premiums will not increase
6. Hearing Aids- Will be given a stipend amount towards the purchase
7. Eliminate Tracer and make Draftperson Senior a 3 year progression
8. Hope Dispatching become Clerical and a higher pay grade
9. Leesburg housing- Added Myersville
10. Eliminated mileage reimbursement language for Well tending for using personal vehicle
11. Civic Service- National Guard required duty will be compensated for all required time (not the 15 day as it is now)
12. Natrium employees (4) will continue their rate of pay for an additional 6 months
13. FRC Clothing for Hope will have a stipend and employees will select their clothing
14. Boot stipend increased by $25
Today's negotiations produced no further agreed to proposals. Discussions were very brief and were concentrated on VEBA, POST 65, Medical plan D and premiums, and Pension combining.
Tomorrow the Union will be meeting with several independant Insurance experts as they will be providing consultations on several issues. Stay strong as we approach the Contract expiration date of April 1st. The negotiating team is doing a great job in the face of the adversity we and the members are facing.
We did not meet with the Company today but did spend the day meeting with several insurance experts seeking answers and advice on the insurance aspects of Negotiations. "We gained some very valuable insight and education today and are prepared to protect our members and retirees." Willard Swiger Region 1 (Hope gas Director). Mr. Swiger was interviewed Monday concerning negotiations and can heard on the Mike Queen radio show on WAJR 1440.
The Company and the Union met today and held discussions on Callout, Job Classifications, and Pensions. An agreement was reached on Parental leave.
We met briefly with the Company today and had discussions concerning Well on your way, Vacation, Service Awards, and Bidding Units. No additional issues were agreed to. Conferance calls between Directors and Stewards are scheduled for tonight members should contact their Steward for further details.
The Union and the Company met today and held discussions concerning Vacation, Well on your way, Pension plans, Medical premiums, Medical Plan D, Employee service awards, Retiree service award, and more. We were able to agree on the Well on your way in which the Spouse and a points system will be added. The points system will remain the same for the 4 years of the Contract. We are scheduled to meet on Monday 3/21 and continue negotiations.
President's Message to the Membership
Make no mistake concerning negotiations, we are in a battle and have several issues still on the table that will affect our Local negatively, if not bargained for. The Negotiating team is doing a great job at the table and the membership has been very supportive. I could not be more pleased with both at this time. Jim Lewis (UWUA National representative) was at the table today in support and indicated the team had a very good grasp of the issues and had a good plan for success. We have been able to negotiate some very good things so far including, Parental Care, no increase in Dental and Vision Premiums, Civic Duty, and more. There will be some items that are not positives, such as the Well on Your Way proposal, which will be an additional burden upon the spouse and the points system. Both sides have needs and we will continue to work in an effort to obtain a good contract for our Local. We hope to have some movement at Monday's negotiation session on several issues and will notify the Stewards on the conference call as well as provide updates here on Facebook and our Webpage. Please continue to support your Local 69 and stay positive, we are in this together.
Craig Bradford President UGWU Local 69
Monday 3/23 negotiation discussions included Vacation, Retirement Awards, Bidding Units, E.R. Copay, Dependant Care, Sickness Benefits, Medical Premiums. The Company and the Union did agree on the Bidding Unit Changes. Conferance calls were held yesterday evening with Stewards contact them for details.
The Union's Negotiating team is providing an agreed to list and a brief explaination of each item.
Supplemental Retirement Allowance: Change the language from age 62 to earliest social security age. This is to allow for any potential change from the government.
Employee Selection: Unless the employee pulls their job bid during the 15 day bidding period, the job would automatically be theirs (no offering). Also Company can only hold an employee for a maximum of 6 months and be paid any applicable travel time or mileage, if triggered.
Doctor’s Slip: Language will now allow for a Nurse Practioner or Physician’s Assistant to sign a return to work slip.
Diabetic Supplies: Moving the coverage of Diabetic Supplies from Anthem to Express Scripts.
Dental & Vision Premiums: No change in the premiums for the life of the contract.
Hearing Aids: Provide up to $2500 total or $1250 per ear, every 3 years, for the purchase of hearing aids.
Draftsperson Progression: Eliminate the Tracer position and create a 3 year progression from Draftsperson to Draftsperson Sr.
Hope Dispatcher: Move the Dispatchers from Physical to Clerical on 1/1/17 and pay them Clerical grade 9.
Leesburg Housing: Add Myersville Station to the Leesburg housing stipend.
Mileage Language: Eliminate the old well tender mileage language and any employee using their personal vehicle would be reimbursed the I.R.S. rate.
Civic Service: Change language for Reservist and Army National Guard from 15 days paid time off to whatever is needed with proper documentation.
Natrium Agreement: Extend the Natrium agreement for the 4 remaining employees until October 1, 2016.
Hope FR Clothing/DTI Boot Stipend: Hope Gas employees will now get a yearly stipend to purchase through Tindell, their own FR clothes including boots. DTI Boot Stipend was increased to $100.
Parental Leave: Employees (Mother, Father, or both) will receive up to 3 weeks of paid time off for “bonding time” of any new born child or adopted child. Leave must be taken consecutively and within 4 months of the birth or placement of the child.
Bidding Units: G.O.B. eliminated Project Teams I, II, III, and IV and created Project Team Clarksburg I. Southern Area eliminated Natrium as a location. Western Area added Ardell, Big Run, G&P Luthersburg, JB Tonkin, Luthersburg, Punxsutawney, Rural Valley, South Bend, Gas Environmental Services and South Oakford. Eliminated Central Area. Created Eastern Area which includes Ashland, Centre, Chambersburg, Leidy, Finnefrock, Greenlick, Leesburg, Loudon, Myersville, Perulack, Pleasant Valley, and Quantico. Changed Northeastern to Northern and added Brookman, Horseheads, Sheds, Silver Springs. Clarksburg City Plant had Dispatching removed from Physical Bidding Unit and added to Clerical Bidding Unit.
Well on Your Way: Beginning in 2018 add any covered Spouse or Domestic Partner to the Well on Your Way program. Beginning in 2019 implement the Point System. You would have to obtain 200 points each to be eligible for the $400 annual premium credit. Point system is as follows:
Health Screening and Health Assessment
Lifestyle Telephonic Coaching
Cholesterol Level < or = 200
Blood Pressure < or = 120/80
B.M.I. < or = 25 or waist 35” for women 40” for men
Glucose < or = 140 non-fasting < or = 100 fasting
Complete Health Challenge
Participate in a community event
Physical exam and or dental exam 25 points each Max of 50
Age related exams and immunizations
Dependent Care: Employee is eligible to use up to 40 hours of their sick time to care for a sick immediate family member and/or any medical appointments. Immediate family members are spouse, child, Parent or Step-parent.
Sickness Benefits: A doctor’s slip will now be required for sick absences that extend beyond 4 days. This will not be required of a shift employee if they take a sick day the day prior to their long break.
Today's discussions included ER Co-pay, Upgrade, Retiree reward, Dependant care, Sickness benefits, and Medical Premiums. Negotiations will continue tomorrow. We have provided todays agreed to items with a brief discriptions below.
Dependent Care: Employees are eligible to use up to 40 hours of their sick time to care for a sick immediate family member and/or any medical appointments. Immediate family members are spouse, child, Parent or Step-parent.... Will not go against resetting your 6 months sick time.
Sickness Benefits: A doctor’s slip will now be required for sick absences that extend beyond 4 days. This will not be required of a shift employee if they take a sick day the day prior to their long break.
Today's negotiations have concluded, discussions were held between the parties and included New Hire Pension and Retire medical, Medical premiums and Plan D, Job classifications, ER Co-pay. Listed below are the issues that were agreed to with and explaination for each:
Service/Retiree Awards: Beginning January 1, 2017 the Service Award Cards will be increased (see chart below). Along with the increase, the cards can now be used for the purchase of merchandi...se and services at most businesses that accept VISA. Retirees will be eligible for a separate card of $50
Service/Retiree Awards: Beginning January 1, 2017 the Service Award Cards will be increased (see chart below). Along with the increase, the cards can now be used for the purchase of merchandise and services at most businesses that accept VISA. Retirees will be eligible for a separate card of $50 per year of service with a maximum of $1,000
• 5 yrs. - $100
• 10 yrs. - $150
• 15 yrs. - $200
• 20 yrs. - $300
• 25 yrs. - $400
• 30 yrs. - $500
Medical Premiums: Beginning in 2017 Medical Plan D will no longer be an option. Medical Plans A, B, and C will be calculated annually using a formula to include the Medical C.P.I. and Local 69’s actual usage with a capped maximum increase of 6% per year. The average increase to premiums over the last 3 years have been 9.5%. Capping the premium increases is a major success and will be a massive savings for the members over the life of the agreement and futuristically.
The negotiating committee fully realize many members still selected D as their medical plan but this change will accomplish something that has been a goal of the Union for years in that it will provide stability and fairness to increases in medical premiums and will be a tremendous savings for members. With the current plan D premiums vs C premiums members could utilze Plan C and still save money even with maxing out Plan C due to the differance in premiums.
This week will be the last week of negotiations before our Contract expires April 1st. It will be a busy week for the negotiating team as we work to obtain a fair and equatable contract. We have meetings scheduled on Monday with the Company's attorneys and representatives from the Company's accounting firm Towers Watson. Sam Pasqarelli the Union's attorney will be present for these meetings as well. We are scheduled to negotiate the full week and will continue to provide updates as much as possible. We have made some very good progress but have several issues on the table that will need addressed before we can reach an agreement by the deadline. Conferance calls are scheduled for Monday and Thursday of this week with Stewards, make sure you stay in contact with them each day. Stay strong as you have and continue to support the Negotiating team and each other. Proud to be Union!
Today's discussions included POST 65 and the merger of the pension plans. No proposals were presented or anything agreed to. We continue to bargain in good faith for a fair and equitable contract. Conferance calls are scheduled for tonight between Stewards and Directors. I realize this was a very short discription of the days events but little movement was made today.
Negotiations for today have concluded. Discussions between the Union and the Company included:
Terms of the Agreement
Clerical and Physical classifications
No proposals or issues were agreed to today. Negotiations are scheduled for tomorrow and the rest of the week.
The Union and the Company met briefly today only to clarify several passed proposals. Today was a very unproductive day to say the least. We are scheduled to negotiate tomorrow and any updates will be provided as they develope.
The Company has posted on DOM.NET that Local 69 has agreed to a Contract extension. At this time, we have not agreed to an extension, and we will continue to bargain for a fair and equitable Contract. The Company admitted the mistake and have agreed to remove the posting relating to Local 69.
Today's discussions included the following:
New Hire retiree medical and pensions
No issues were agreed to.
The parties have not agreed to an extension at this time and the Union and the Company are scheduled to meet tomorrow for further bargaining. Employees should report to work as scheduled.
The Union has informed the Company that UGWU Local 69 members will continue to work under the provisions of the current contract. We also agreed to continue to bargain. Members are to report to work until notified by the Union leadership.
The Union and the Company met today and held discussions on the following issues:
New hire retiree medical and pensions
Pension combining and more
No issues were resolved or agreed to. We are scheduled to continue discussions on Monday. Make no mistake there are major issues on the table that stopped any tentative agreement from being reached. Contact your Steward for details.
Local 69 News
The Union's media spokesperson Wilard Swiger, was on the Mike Queen show this morning, go to around the 32 minute mark and hear his comments.
Today was a slow day in regards to negotiations. The Company only met the Union briefly to ask some clarification questions. The Union's intent is still to bargain a fair and equitable contract but there are still the major issues on the table keeping us from reaching an agreement. We are currently scheduled to meet the rest of the week. Remember continue to work as normal until you would hear something different from your Steward, Director, or Officer.
The Union and the Company held very limited discussions today. No issues or proposals were settled or agreed. We are scheduled to meet and negotiate tomorrow.
The Union and the Company held no face to face discussions today. We are scheduled to continue negotiations tomorrow updates will be provided as they develope.
The Union and the Company met today briefly and held discussions on the following items:
New hire pension and retirement
We are sheduled to negotiate tomorrow with the Company.
The Union and the Company met today and held discussions on the following issues:
Members will be pleased to know in today's negotiations it was agreed that the pension merger proposal would be withdrawn and would not continue to be part of bargaining going forth. The next day of bargaining is scheduled for Tuesday 4/12.
Negotiations aside from last week have been very fast paced with many issues being agreed to. Going forward negotiations will seem to slow down as the ones that are left are very important and very complex each must be evaluated and studied carefully before decisions are made. Our team continues to process information requests and work closely with our attorney as we cannot afford to make mistakes at this point. We need members to educate themselves on the issues and provide feedback to their Stewards and the Negotiating team. We will continue to provide any details as they develope but keep in mind there will be days ahead when it seems no progress has been made. I ask each of you to be patient and continue to support the team, our Union and each other. Listed below are some of the issues we still face. We live and die together!!!!
Vacation changes- Company has proposed to adopt the Company structured vacation package.
Er Copay- Company wants to include a $100 copay for Emergency room visit unless admitted.
Wages- We have not agreed to any wage increase.
POST 65- Change current and future retirees to a supplimental insurance after age 65.
VEBA- We have not agreed to any VEBA contributions to continue to fund the VEBA.
New hire retirement insurance elimination
New hire pension- Would be replaced with a cash balance fund.
There are more issues left to negotiate that are not listed
Negotiations today were not very productive, we did meet with the Company and held brief discussions on the following issues:
NEW HIRE PENSION
NEW HIRE RETIREE MEDICAL
Today we met the Company briefly with very little discussions. No movement by either side on any issues was accomplished. We are scheduled to continue negotiations tomorrow. Again the issues left on the table are complex and are being evaluated by both sides. " If we get movement by the Company on several key issues a tentative agreement can be reached " Jason Boyce Vice President Local 69. We continue to bargain in good faith for a fair and equatible contract for the membership.
Negotiations for today have concluded without a tentative agreement being reached. We met with the Company briefly but no issues were resolved. The Company continues to persist in proposing POST 65, Elimination of New Hire Retirement Medical Insurance and replacing New Hire Pension with a Cash Balance Fund as well as we have not agreed to a Wage Increase or VEBA contributions and more. We are scheduled to meet and on Monday and negotiate.
As your President I am informing each member that negotiations are not going very well from an aspect of reaching a tentative agreement. Frankly the Company is attempting to harm the New Hired employees as well as the current retirees with the proposals they are demanding. Our negotiating team began negotiations with a mindset of obtaining a fair and equitable contract as we felt with the job our members have done for this company has been outstanding, but the company seems oblivious to that fact and have refused to negotiate with fairness or reason. I am very proud of the team as they are fearless and smart but reasonable members. Going forth we will continue to negotiate in good faith but we will need your support more than anytime in the history of our Union during the process. Stay strong and continue to support each other, our team and our Union and keep everyone in your prayers including our Brother and Sisters of Verizon. Thank you Craig Bradford President Local 69....
Negotiations yesterday were very extensive and intense. Both sides had attorneys at the table as well as the Union had UWUA National representative Jim Lewis present. Bargaining included discussions on the following issues:
POST 65 for current retirees
New hire pension
New hire retiree medical insurance
Wages and more
A special conferance call was held with the President and the Stewards yesterday evening to guage the membership on the issues we face and help determine the direction the negotiating team should go. The calls were very helpfull and the team continues to negotiate for a fair and equatable contract.
We are scheduled to continue bargaining today, contact your Steward for further details.
We met the Company for a brief period with no issues resolved. We continue to bargain in good faith and will provide updates as they develop.
The Union and Company met today and discussed Post 65, New Hire Medical, and New Hire Pension. Nothing new was agreed to or resolved in today's meeting. Conference calls are being held with the Stewards tonight. Negotiations are scheduled to resume tomorrow.
The Union and the Company met today and held discussions on POST 65. No issues were resolved and today's talks have concluded. Both sides have agreed to not meet Wednesday and Thursday with possible meetings on Friday 4/29.
By mutual agreement the Union and the Company did not meet today, we are scheduled to meet on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Below are listed the issues that are preventing an agreement from being reached:
1. Post 65 medical insurance
2. VEBA contributions
3. New Hire retiree medical insurance ...
4. New Hire pension
5. Wage increase
6. Misc contract language
The Union's negotiating team would like to share a press release that is going out today. It summarizes the current state of negotiations...
United Gas Workers Local 69 News Release May 3, 2016
The contract between UGWU Local 69 and Dominion Resources expired April 1, 2016. The parties have continued to bargain in an effort to reach a tentative agreement for the Local 69 members to vote on. Since the expiration of the contract, talks have been very stagnant with the Company presenting several proposals that would damage the structure of the Union and harm retirees. These include proposals to eliminate a newly hired person’s pension and retiree medical insurance. Another proposal that is clearly harmful to a current retiree is a concept called Post 65 in which at age 65 a retiree would lose Company provided medical insurance and be forced onto a Government sponsored supplementary medical insurance and many current retirees would be harmed. The Company acknowledges this fact but refuses to bargain for the retiree’s protection. “Retirees left under an agreement and are expecting Dominion to simply honor its commitment” Neil Blankenship. Dominion has also rejected a counter proposal made by the Union concerning merging pension plans that would have saved the Company $200,000,000.00 in future contributions to the pension funds. “Mind blowing to say the least, we made a major move to help the Company financially and they rejected it, when you hear phrases like corporate greed, it’s clear why”, Connie Baston UGWU Local 69 Secretary. Dominion Resources continues to be a very sound energy company with profits last year of 5.48 billion dollars and a 3.88% dividend payout equal to $2.80 that is unheard of in today’s economy. “Our workforce constitutes 9% of Dominion’s employees and produced 22% of the Company’s profit, even so we simply are trying to keep what we have and protect our retirees while Dominion is trying to destroy our current retirees and devastate any new hired individual’s future. This is a contract that a bankrupt Company would be seeking not a lucrative, solvent, very profitable Company like Dominion.”, Craig Bradford President Local. The Union and the Company are scheduled to continue to hold discussions but the Union isn’t very optimistic going forth as it expects the Company to continue to assault the retirees and the New Hired members often referred to as “Bookends” by the Company. The United Gas Workers represent 1000 members in 6 states (WV, VA, MD, PA, NY, and OH) including over 500 members in West Virginia.
Please contact the following with questions or comments:
Willard Swiger 681-209-2043
Jenny Davis 304-838-3611
Craig Bradford 304-282-4897
We have not negotiated with the company since Tuesday afternoon due to the fact the Wingate hotel had no available meeting rooms. We are scheduled to meet with the company in the morning. Members must realize the issues that are left must be dealt with and include:
Post 65- a concept affecting both.current and future retirees medical coverage. ...
VEBA contributions- The companys last offer is well below the needed ammount even by their own accountants calculations.
New Hire pension elimination- To be replaced by a Cash balance fund which is a tremendous negative change.
New hire retiree medical insurance- Company proposes to eliminate this option declaring "We dont know what the insurance climate will be in 20-30 years"
We continue to meet and bargain for a fair and equitable contract and we fully understand the frustration members have with the Company as they are making very good profits even in tough times. One reason they are is directly due to the working people of UGWU Local 69... We were asked early on in negotiations by Pat Branch the company's chief negotiator "As the leader of your Local do you think members should automatically be given a wage increase?" I (Craig Bradford President) responded "Our members have earned a fair raise as I can proudly say they have worked hard, safe and are a highly trained, efficient and professional workforce and have made the Transmission and Hope side of the Company very solvent and we deserve it". The effort and work our members have done make it easy for our negotiating team to justifiably negotiate in good faith for fairness and the team appreciates that. We ask the members to continue to support the team and the Union as zealously as they have been and we will commit to the membership to continue to fight for all members, retirees and new hires.
The Union and the Company met today and held discussions concerning several issues including:
POST 65- The Company presented several new concepts for the Union to consider. The Union explained that Post 65 for current retirees was an item of permissive bargaining.
Wages and VEBA were also discussed in which the Union provided counter proposals to the Company on both issues.
New Hire pensions and retiree medical were also discussed with no movement by either side made.
Talks are scheduled for Wednesday 5/11 updates will be provided.
The Company has requested to cancel our previously scheduled negotiations meeting that was to take place tomorrow. We have scheduled our next negotiations meeting with the Company for Monday 5/16. Members are reminded that we have a meeting scheduled for Friday 5/13 from 4:30pm to 7:00pm to provide updates on negotiations. Members and retirees are encouraged to attend.
We are currently scheduled to meet the Company on Monday 5/16 to negotiate with further meetings possible during the week. We also have conferance calls scheduled with all Stewards on Monday and Thursday of this week. As a member, make sure you contact your Steward for updates and feel free to have them ask questions on your behalf during the calls. Communications are essential as many of the issues that are currently being negotiated are very complex. I would like to assure you that the Negotiating team is working hard to bargain a fair and deserving contract. The Union's attorney will be in attendance on Monday and possibly a UWUA Representative.
Update #49 (5/17/16)
The Union and the Company met on Monday 5/16 and the day's discussions centered around a POST 65 offer presented by the Company for both active and retired members. The offer presented was considered by the Union and at this time we plan to prepare and give a counter proposal back to the Company. The Union continues to discuss Post 65 for current retirees as a progressive item of bargaining. No discussions were held on any other issue. We are scheduled to meet and negotiate with the Company on Friday 5/20.
Update #50 (5/20/16)
The Union and the Company negotiated today with discussions dominated by Post 65. The Union provided the Company a Post 65 proposal that included current retirees as a permissive item of bargaining that if accepted will provide equal or better insurance for all current retirees. Its up to the Company at this point to accept the proposal time will tell as to if the Company will do the fair thing or not. New Hire issues were also discussed with both sides providing each their positions on those issues, discussions were not very productive. Further bargaining sessions will possibly be schedued for either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.
Update #51 (5/24/16)
The Union and the Company have agreed to meet and negotiate on Wednesday 5/25/2016 with the possibility of further talks throughout the week. Updates will be provided as they develop.
Update #52 (5/25/16)
The Union and the Company met this afternoon for a session of bargaining. The Company presented a counter proposal on POST 65. The Union is assessing the counter and will give it consideration. Also discussed briefly were the two new hire issues with no resolution or counter to either. The Union made clear its position concerning negotiations stating "we are here to bargain a fair contract and if the company is there to do the same an agreement can be reached in a short period of time". We are scheduled to bargain tomorrow and any updates will be made available. Also conference calls are scheduled with Stewards tomorrow night, members should consult their Steward for details.
Update #53 (5/27/16)
This update will be for both Thursday and Friday of this week. The Union and the Company met yesterday evening and today. The Company provided a counter to the Unions Post 65 proposal that was given last week. Several discussion on the issue have taken place and some progress has been made. We are not where we need to be on the Post 65 but continue to discuss the issue. The Company has indicated they are "just about out of gas on the issue". We also discussed the New Hire issues and not much progress was made on those two issues. We will possibly meet for further negotiations on Tuesday or Wednesday.
We are at a point in Negotiations that a Contract could be reached in a very short period of time if several issues could be resolved, members need to continue to be supportive and stay informed. Try and enjoy your weekend and we will continue to keep everyone updated. Thanks
Update #54 (5/31/16)
Today the Union provided the Company a full counter proposal that we feel would address both sides needs and would be fair for our membership. The Union and the Company are scheduled to bargain tomorrow. Updates will be provided as they develop.
Update #55 (6/2/16)
The past two days of negotiations have not produced a tentative agreement for the membership to vote on. We have made some progress but still have several important issues to negotiate on before a tentative agreement can be reached. On Wednesday both sides were at the table for most of the day presenting proposals and discussing many issues. Both parties had their attorneys at the table and talks were brisk and constructive. Issues discussed included wages, new hire pension and medical, VEBA, and Post 65. Thursdays negotiations were very limited as we only met for a brief period of time with the Company.
We have made major progress on Post 65 and this issue is very close to being resolved. It does include both new and current retirees. The new hire issues are still not resolved as well as the VEBA and wages. Both parties are available to meet tomorrow but no official meeting is scheduled. Conference calls have been held with Stewards this evening and they can provide further details. Updates will be provided as they develop.
Update #56 (6/3/16)
Negotiations for the week have concluded, we did meet the Company several times today in small venues with very brief discussions. No issues were resolved and the Company at the end of the day informed the Union they were pulling up their negotiating team and going back to Richmond and to work. We explained we were here to bargain and would be at the table next week. Members need to contact their Stewards for details.
Update #57 (6/6/16)
We did not meet with the Company today but did discuss several issues via telephone. Nothing was agreed to and communications still continue. Tonight's conference call has been re-scheduled for tomorrow. Members need to be patient as we fully realize it has been a long journey and we need to continue to be supportive and educated. We will keep everyone updated on any developments. Also we will have a letter of rebuttal very soon as the Company's letter is incorrect and does not describe the current state of negotiations or provide an accurate description of the proposals and responses. STAY UNIFIED.....
Update #58 (6/9/16)
No face to face meetings have been held yesterday or today, we are scheduled to meet with the Company tomorrow to review the agreed to items and the what the Company considers there final package. The negotiating team will consider the package and our options going forth. Conference calls are scheduled with Stewards tonight.
Update #59 (6/10/16)
The Union and the Company met today and discussed the status of negotiations as well as some of the outstanding yet to be agreed on issues. The Union is still in the process of evaluating the issues and will keep the membership updated on any developments. The Unions negotiating team is scheduled to meet on Monday.
This update is to explain the process that will be followed if and when a contract is negotiated that is going to be voted on.
The membership will be notified an agreement will be voted on.
The Representative counsel will convene to make a decision as to what recommendation will be made to the membership on how members should vote, NO. NEUTRAL OR YES.
The counsel will consist of the Stewards and the Executive board.
Once a recommendation is made the membership will be mailed a copy of all changes to the contract one week before voting begins.
Members from the negotiating team will visit locations throughout our area of representation for all members to vote.
A majority of the votes will decide if a contract is ratified or not.
Votes will not be counted at the locations but at a central location after the last vote has been cast. (We will make every attempt to have a UWUA National representative at the vote count).
This process is in accordance with the United Gas Workers Local 69 By-Laws
Update #60 (6/14/16)
The negotiating team has voted to take a tentative agreement out to the membership to be voted on. Members need to realize that a tentative agreement does not mean the Union agrees with the issues it means we have reached a point in negotiations that it is time for the membership to vote on the contract we have at this point. The process will be as follows:
Representative counsel is scheduled for 6/16.
The complete contract changes will be mailed to the membership on 6/17.
Contract explanation meetings for voting will begin on 6/24 and will conclude on 6/30.
All votes will be counted after the last meeting on 6/30.
Members need to remember the Representative Council will consist of the entire negotiating team and the Stewards, the council will gather to have the contract changes explained, hold discussions, debate and vote on a recommendation to the membership as to how the council feels they should vote on the tentative agreement. The negotiating team is working on preparing for council and developing a voting schedule. We will keep the members updated on any developments.
Update #61 (6/16/16)
After a long and exhausting day, the Union's Representative Council meeting has concluded. The Council has voted to bring out a contract for the membership to vote on. They also voted to recommend a NO vote on this package. The membership is being mailed out their copy of the proposed changes, as well as a copy of the voting schedule. The first set of meetings to explain and vote on the package will be held on 6/24/16 and will conclude on 6/30/16. Contact your Steward for any additional information.
Update #62 (6/20/16)
With the Representative counsel voting to bring the final package out for a vote by the membership with a NO recommendation the negotiating team wanted to provide a letter of endorsement from the Union's attorney Sam Pasquarelli. Please read this letter very carefully and absorb the message as it fully describes the Unions negotiations teams position and voices the same concerns we have expressed throughout negotiations.
Update #63 (6/23/16)
Contract explanations meetings and voting begin tomorrow, make sure you fully understand the schedule as we have combined locations in order to vote in a timely manor. The explanation meetings will be very complex and will take more time than normal as there are a lot of changes to explain. Members need to respect each other and the Negotiating team members, make sure to ask questions and be clear on all issues before voting. The Representative counsel has voted to recommend a NO vote and you will hear that at the meeting with an explanation of why. Votes will not be counted at the meetings but will be counted after the last meeting has concluded on Thursday 6/30 and the results will be announced when the totals are calculated. Good luck and GOD Bless.
Update #64 (6/24/16)
Todays meetings and voting are complete, from all indications things are going smoothly and members seem well informed, this shows the Stewards were doing a good job communicating with members. The negotiating team appreciates that. Voting will continue on Monday. Keep our WV members in your prayers especially in Southern WV as the area is flooding very badly.
Update #65 (6/27/16)
Day two of the voting is complete, members seem well informed and on top of the issue's. The Stewards have obviously done a great job keeping the membership informed during negotiations. Meetings and voting will continue tomorrow. We do appreciate members showing respect and support during meetings and asking questions and giving feedback. Voting will conclude on Thursday evening.
Update #66 (6/29/16)
Day 4 of Contract voting is completed many good meetings today, it still is very impressive to see the members informed and up on the issue's, Stewards have done a fantastic job and members are engaged. Tomorrow will be the last day to vote and the outcome will be communicated as soon as we complete the vote counting. Thanks to PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF MY UNION.
Update #67 (6/30/16)
THE CONTRACT WAS VOTED DOWN 766 NO TO 75 YES!!!
Todays voting is complete and the votes are counted thanks to two great tellers from the GOB who worked very hard. I am proud to announce that the membership has voted NO to the package that was presented. The Negotiating team and the Representative counsel greatly appreciate the support the members showed by following the recommendation given to them by the counsel. "The members have spoken w...ith this vote, its clear the contract provided is not acceptable as is". Craig Bradford President. We have contacted the Company and provided the news as well as the vote count. Initial conversations between the parties indicate a willingness to go back to the table and attempt to negotiate further. Details will be provided as the develop.
It is a proud to day for all members of Local 69, this is a clear indication of how far our Union has come and we all should be PROUD TO BE UNION AND ESPECIALLY PROUD OF OUR UNION.
Update #68 (7/3/16)
The Negotiating Team will be meeting on Tuesday 7/5/2016 to determine how we are going to proceed with negotiations. Members need to be communicating with their Stewards as to what issues they have with the Tentative agreement we voted down. We will hold a conference call with the Stewards Tuesday evening and hold discussions with them as to how we are going to proceed. Thanks to all for the Unity our Local has shown over the last week. Its a true indication of the state and strength of our Union. PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF OUR UNION.
Update #69 (7/7/16)
There have been no direct talks between the Union and the Company this week with none scheduled for the remainder of the week. We are attempting to hold meeting between the parties sometime next week if scheduling permits. The Unions negotiating team has met over the last two days to discuss the voting and the issues of importance to prepare for further negotiations in the event we are able to schedule meetings with the Company. Both sides have agreed to bargain further in an attempt to gain a fair and equitable contract. We also are planning to release location totals for the voting as soon as we can certify the ballots, hopefully next week. I would also like to thank Jim Lewis UWUA National representative for attending and overseeing our vote counting process. PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF OUR UNION.
Update #70 (7/11/16)
We are scheduled for a session of bargaining with the Company on Friday 7/15. With the help of the membership and the Stewards we have good handle on the issues that were a cause for the rejection of the Company's offer. Our plan is to try and gain a fair and equitable contract that the membership can ratify. Updates will be provided as they develop. We will be posting individual location results of the voting once we certify the ballots sometime Thursday. Please continue to support the Unions Negotiating team as you have over the last few months its been a big help to us.
Update #71 (7/15/16)
The Union and the Company met today at 9:30am at the Wingate in Bridgeport WV. This was this was the first official meeting since the membership voted down the Company's contract offer. The Union opened talks with a statement explaining why the Contract was rejected and what we felt it would take to obtain a ratification vote of yes from our Union. The Company followed with there own statement concerning there position on the issues at hand. After a short exchange that included the legal parties from both sides the Company left the meeting and did not return to the table for the remainder of the day. At the end of the day the Company informed the Union they were finished for the day and they did not feel that talks were needed for next week. At this time we are not scheduled to meet with the Company. We have informed the Company that we are available to negotiate and wait there notification. Members should continue to work unless notified by the Union until further notice. Contact your Stewards, Director or an Officer for further details.
Update #72 (7/21/16)
It seems the Company has mailed another letter to the membership in which they have informed the members that the Company is filing a Labor Charge against the Union. What the basis of the charge seems to be is "for failing to accurately present the Company's position to the members during the ratification process" saying we failed to include the signing bonus, increased wages and extra money in the VEBA if the Union went out with a neutral or yes recommendation to employees voting to ratify either A or B proposal offered by the Company, This charge has no basis as the option you voted on A with a NO recommendation did not include the additional raise, VEBA money or signing bonus as we recommended a NO vote. The choice for option A with a NO recommendation was done in accordance with the Unions BY-LAWS and voted on by the Representative counsel to do so.
As to the other content of the letter concerning negotiations it is the Company who left negotiations and declared there was an impasse the Union contends there is no impasse and openly stated we are willing to negotiate and have provided dates for further bargaining only to be told by the Company that their was no further need to negotiate. The letter provided is another attempt by the Company to divide the Union, I as President am confident our Union will continue to stand United against this attack, the membership is to smart, educated and informed to fall prey to this propaganda. In closing we will defend the Union on the charge and welcome the Mediator to the table. PROUD TO BE UNION AND PROUD OF MY UNION!!!!!!
Update #73 (7/25/16)
We have no meetings with the Company scheduled for this week and will update the membership of any developments as they happen. Stay strong, we live and die together!!!!!!!!!!!
Update #74 (7/29/16)
There has been no discussions with the Company as to dates to continue bargaining. The Company has sent another letter to the membership and below is our response which includes clarifications and facts that clearly show what has actually occurred over the last few weeks. We are still willing to negotiate for a fair and equitable contract for our members. Click on the 2 links below to read a letter from President Bradford and a letter from the Union's Attorney.
Update #75 (8/3/16)
As of today we have held no new discussions with the Company and we do not currently have any scheduled. We have conveyed our desire to bargain a fair and equitable contract and are willing to continue negotiations. We realize the process is frustrating for our members and we ask for you to continue to show the overwhelming support as you have. We will continue to provide updates as they develop. Stand strong, PROUD TO BE UNION
Update #76 (8/10/16)
The Company has contacted the Union and indicated they would like to resume contract negotiations. The Union responded by clearly indicating its willingness to return to the negotiating table as we are wanting to reach a fair and equitable contract for our members. Both parties are in the process of providing dates of availability. Updates will be provided as they develop. Stay strong and United..
Update #77 (8/14/16)
We are attempting to set dates to return to the table and hold negotiations with the Company, We have agreed to August 31 as a solid meeting date. We are trying to schedule earlier dates if possible, both sides are requiring there Legal representatives at the table which has caused some scheduling conflicts.
We have contacted the National Labor Board to see the status of the case the Company filed against Local 69, at this time the Board required no action by our Union.
The Union has withdrawn its Labor charge against Dominion for improperly taking members vehicles during negotiations, it was withdrawn conditionally based on the settlement provided by the Company which will make all harmed members whole. A copy of the settlement will be posted on Union bulletin boards.
Update #78 (8/16/16)
Many rumors are developing, most of these are not founded but some are. I as President would like to update and inform you on several facts.
The Company has brought in many rental cars to their GOB location over the last two days, those vehicles are being issued to Dominion security people "They were over heard stating they were here in case of a ruckus"?
The Company has increased contractor usage and utilization this past week.
I have been notified directly by the Company that as they put it "due to cold weather coming on and the fact we have been without a contract for 4 months and economics the Company may utilize a lockout against Local 69 in the near future" I have responded by stating "the Union is here to bargain for a Fair and Equitable contract".
The Company may very well lock the Union employees out at any moment. The Union would clearly view a lockout or implementation as illegal and obviously bad faith bargaining. If either occurs we are fully prepared to defend the local to the fullest including several labor charges. If the Company does choose to lock us out we have contacted all state unemployment offices and have been assured that employees who are locked out are eligible for unemployment. We also are taking steps to be able to issue our Strike fund monies as needed. Directors are working to shore up picket schedules and have the membership prepared. We are scheduled to meet and negotiate on August 31 and the Union fully intends to honor that commitment and attempt to bargain a fair contract.
I realize this is a frustrating time for all as we have indicated this should be a time for rewarding the hard working members instead of focusing on trying to punish us for making a stand for our future. If the Corporation would treat us this way shame on them, can you imagine how they would treat us if we were not organized. Going forth we need to stand together and support the Union and each other. We live or die together, PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF MY UNION.
Update #79 (8/18/16)
The Unions Executive board held a meeting today and voted on several issues.
In the event of a lockout--
Executive board members will NOT receive any wages from the Union for performing their duty's. This was motioned and voted on and approved by unanimous vote by the board.
It has been decided that we will be providing members a payout from the Strike fund if we are locked out. The amount has not been determined at this time. Each member will be required to fill out W-4 form for tax purposes. We are mailing the form along with a letter to each member that must be returned in order to receive a check from the fund. Make sure you return the form in the addressed stamped envelope that will be included in the mailing. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!
We are pre-emptively contacting each states unemployment offices to help members understand the process and to do everything we can to make the process go as quick as possible.
We are scheduled to meet with the Company on August 31 to negotiate. Stay strong and continue to support the Union and each other. The membership should be very proud of the Union morality we have shown. PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF MY UNION.
Update #80 (8/22/16)
I have received notification that IBEW Local 50 has ratified there Contract. No vote totals are presently available at this time. We are still scheduled to meet with Dominion on August 31 to hold a session of bargaining. The Unions Executive Board is scheduled to meet internally on Wednesday 8/24, members are encouraged to voice there opinions, concerns and support to any Steward or Board member for discussion. Stand strong and United.
Update #81 (8/26/16)
In a meeting today between the Company, UWUA National, and the Local, the Union was notified officially by the Company we would be locked-out at 12:01 a.m. midnight. Discussions utimately resulted in a tentative agreement being reached between the parties. The Union's Negotiating Committee agreed to present the agreement to the Representative Council for a recommendation in accordance with our by-laws. In order for this agreement to be ratified it must be voted on and passed by a majority vote of the membership. The changes that were discussed are as follows:
• 2.75 wage increase for the last 2 years of the contract
• $1,000,000 additional into the V.E.B.A.
• Potential of an additional $500,000 (or what is left from the Post 65 fund) added to the V.E.B.A. upon the expiration of the contract
• Guaranteed at least 30 additional jobs and staffing of the A.C.P
• Minimum of 4 inspector jobs created at Hope Gas in addition to the already discussed positons
• Within 90 days of the ratification of the contract Company will agree to discuss the option of a H.R.A. to replace the V.E.B.A.
* The Company agreed to no lockout as we are presenting agreement to Representative counsel.
Update #82 (8/31/16)
The Unions Representative counsel has voted not to take the August 26 Tentative agreement out for vote to the membership. We have informed the Company of the decision and clearly indicated our willingness to continue negotiating going forth. Our hope is to return to the table and bargain a fair contract. Consult your Steward for details, we had 100% attendance for the counsel. PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF OUR UNION..
Update #83 (9/5/16)
We have been in contact with both the Company and the Federal Mediator concerning a date to return to the table for a session of bargaining. We hope to set up a meeting this week. An update should be available sometime tomorrow.
Update #84 (9/6/16)
The Union and the Company have agreed to hold a bargaining session on Thursday September 8th. The parties have also agreed to incorporate the services of the Federal Mediator and he is scheduled to attend. As most of you are noticing the Company seems to be taking steps to lock the Union out which could occur at any moment. The Company has expressed concerns to the Union about the potential of a Strike we have made it clear that we do not intend to stike in the near future. We have even offered to the Company an agreement to not strike while we are still negotiating if they will not Lock out the Union. This was done as a good faith effort to help reach an agreement. I want the membership to fully understand if a work stoppage occurs it will be in the form of an unjust lockout implemented by the Company not by the Union. If a wok stoppage occurs it will clearly be on the Company's hands and is not necessary but done as a vindictive act. Continue to go to work until notified. We stand together. PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF MY UNION.
Update #85 (9/8/16)
The Union and the Company met today for session of bargaining with a Federal Mediator, The Union made a proposal to the Company which they rejected. The Mediator held extensive discussions with both sides but no agreement was reached and members will continue to be locked out until further notice. Both parties agreed that neither side walked away from the table and the possibility of further negotiations exists and communication lines are open going forth. Members are encouraged to contact their Stewards for further details as conference calls were held this afternoon with each of them.
Update #86 (9/14/16)
LOCKOUT IS OVER!!!!!
It is with great pride and relief we are announcing that affective 9/17/2016 at 6:00am the lockout of all UGWU Local 69 members will end!!!!
The Union and the Company have reached an agreement that ended the lockout of our members. The agreement reached will fully back pay each member for any lost wages during the entire lockout as well as no break in our insurance. This agreement also continues until April 1, 2017. We have agreed to return to the table and continue bargaining to reach a fair and equitable contract for both sides. Tentative dates to bargain are set for October 3,4,5. "The membership should be proud of their efforts as they played a major role in this agreement being reached" Craig Bradford President. Members who were scheduled to work on Saturday should report to work. Starting immediately we are asking the membership to end all picketing. Contact your Steward, Director or Officer for further details. PROUND TO BE UNION PROUD OF OUR UNION
Update #87 (9/21/16)
The Union and the Company confirmed today dates to continue contract negotiations. We will be meeting on October 3, 4, 5 in Clarksburg WV. Both parties have committed to make a good faith effort to reach an agreement within the 3 days of scheduled bargaining. The Unions negotiating team is working diligently on proposals that will aid in reaching a fair and equitable contract the membership can ratify. We will continue to provide updates as they develop. PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF OUR UNION!!!!!
Update #88 (10/2/16)
The Union will be meeting with the Company tomorrow October 3rd starting at 1:00pm to begin the first of three scheduled days of bargaining. The Federal Mediator will be attending the 3 day session. Steve Vansluten and Mike Coleman from the UWUA AFL-CIO will be in attendance to provide support concerning the Health and Welfare fund. The Unions full negotiating team including Sam Pasquarelli the Unions attorney will be at the table. Our plan is to make a valiant effort to obtain a fair contract during the 3 days.. Directors will be scheduling conference with Stewards to provide updates for the membership. We will also provide updates to our Facebook and webpages. We ask the membership to pray for our Union to be treated just and fairly as well as provide strength to our Negotiating team. PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF OUR UNION.
Update #89 (10/3/16)
Today's discussions focused mainly on New Hire Retiree medical insurance. No proposals were passed by either side. Talks are still planned for tomorrow starting at 10:00am. Updates will be provided as they develop.
Update #90 (10/4/16)
Today's talks again focused around New Hire retiree medical insurance. Discussions were very informative and engaging as both sides used subject matter experts to present their positions. The Union provided a proposal to the Company which was not accepted. At this time both sides are scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss open enrollment and to set up future dates to negotiate. The past two days were very productive and hopefully set the tone to reach a Contract that can be ratified. Directors are holding conference calls tonight with Stewards so be sure to make contact with them to get further details.
Update #91 (10/5/16)
The Union and the Company held negotiation discussions today and talks focused on Open Enrolment and future meeting dates. No agreement was reached over the 3 days of talks but the ground work for a possible agreement has been put in place as both sides are very interested in developing a VEBA type account for New Hires. The issue that seems to be the hurdle at this point is funding for the account. Both sides have agreed to return to the table and continue bargaining on October 19 and 20. "We are confident that an agreement that is fair for both sides can be reached as talks over the last 3 days gave a clear indication of each sides position but also that a compromise could possibly be reached" Craig Bradford President
Update #92 (10/13/16)
The Union's negotiating team will be meeting on 10/17 and 10/18 to prepare for the upcoming bargaining session with the Company on 10/19 and 10/20. The goal of the team is to bargain a fair contract the membership can ratify. "The Union's team is very prepared and confident an agreement can be reached if the Company comes to the table to bargain in good faith, we were able to make some good progress at the last session and hope to complete negotiations during the upcoming session" Craig Bradford President. We will provide updates to the members during the bargaining session and conference calls will be scheduled with Stewards.
Update #93 (10/20/16)
The Union and the Company met for a session of bargaining 10/19, no agreement was reached during this session. The Company provided the Union a proposal late in the day in which the Union rejected and reiterated its position on the funding of a new VEBA for New Hire's retiree medical Insurance. The Union provided clear SPD language for the Company to review as well. The parties have agreed to continue to bargain and future dates will be set up through the federal mediator. We continue to be optimistic an agreement can be reached in the near future that is fair and equitable for our Union. On a positive note both parties agreed on how Open enrolment would be handled for members since we have missed the October enrolment period. Basically members would follow the same language and level of benefits for 2017 as we have now until a contract is ratified. At that time any increase in premiums would be paid based on the agreed to premium amount. Plan D would remain in place through 2017 as well. No actual change to the Contract would occur until any negotiated changes are ratified.
Update #94 (11/10/16)
Negotiations have been scheduled between the Union and the Company. Those dates are 11/17 and 11/18. The Mediator will be in attendance during these discussion.
Update #95 (11/17/16)
The Union and the Company held a full day of bargaining today, the Company provided a counter proposal which they called their best and final offer. The proposal did not address the New Hire issues in an acceptable manor. The proposal did remove POST 65 for current retirees. We explained to the Company that the New Hire medical retirement issue must still be addressed. Conference calls are scheduled for this evening with Stewards and Directors providing further details to be shared with members. Tomorrows bargaining was cancelled as both sides consider their positions. We are still willing to bargain in good faith for a fair contract that can be ratified. We will continue to provide updates as they develop.
Update #96 (12/8/16)
We have not met with the Company since November 17th and at this time we have no new dates scheduled to meet. We have indicated to the Company that the Union is willing to continue to meet and bargain for a fair contract and await their response. By now everyone should have received a letter from the Company and viewed the Union's rebuttal. Members are educated and smart enough to see the real issues we face but most importantly how easily a Contract could be reached that is fair for both parties. We ask the membership to continue to provide support and refrain from entertaining any rumors as we will continue to provide updates to the membership as they develop. Stay in touch with your Steward, Director and Officers with questions and comments. Lastly we ask members to remember what we have accomplished and endured by standing together and exhibiting Union morality, we fight not only for New Hires but for each of us. PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF MY UNION.
Update #97 (12/12/16)
The Union and the Company have agreed to hold a session of bargaining. The dates are January 12th and 13th in Bridgeport WV.
Update #98 (1/12/16)
The Union and the Company met today and held a session of bargaining. Talks did not produce a Tentative agreement between the parties. Both parties presented information and explanations as to their positions of the last offer made by the Company that the negotiating team rejected. Neither side varied from their previous positions and talks for the day ended. Both parties agreed to post-pone tomorrows scheduled talks until a later date. The Union and the Company agreed to continue communicating as well as remaining open to further bargaining in the next few weeks. Presently no dates are scheduled. Conference calls were scheduled for tonight with Stewards and Directors with further details. We ask members to refrain from posting comments on this update and contact your Steward, Director or an Officer directly to do so.
Update #99 (02/09/17)
The Company and Union have agreed to meet for negotiations on 2/23. We are also tentavily scheduled to meet on the 27th and 28th, if needed. Please look for updates from your Steward, Director, or Officer as they arise.
Update #100 (02/27/17)
As you know by now the Company and Union have reached a tentative agreement and we wanted to provide some key factors. This does not include the entire tentative agreement and full details will be given at a later date...
* NO Post 65 for current retirees...
* 2.5% for the first year, 2.75% for the remaining 3 years
*New VEBA created for new hires appropriately funded with deferred wages (.25% for each of the last 3 years) and a $1,000 payment per new hire contributed by the company to the new VEBA
* 5.5 Million into the current VEBA in 2 lump sum payments
*Plan D will continue through 2017
The process going forth, in accordance with the by-laws, will be to convene Representative Council on 3/7/17 in which your Stewards will vote to decide if the Tentative Agreement will be sent to the membership for a ratification vote, If the Council votes to do so, each member will be mailed a complete Tentative Agreement given the appropriate time in accordance with the by-laws to review at which time voting by the membership will occur. If ratified by the majority of the membership, the agreement will be final. Members are encouraged to contact their Stewards, Directors, and Officers with any questions or concerns.
Update #101 (02/28/17)
We will be convening the Representative counsel on Tuesday 3/7/2017 at which time the Stewards and Executive Board will vote to determine if the Tentative agreement will go out to the membership. If the Representative counsel votes to do so it will then decide a recommendation for the Executive Board to consider Yes, No, or Neutral. The membership will also be mailed the Tentative agreement to review one week in advance of voting. This is in accordance with the By-Laws. We are currently working to provide more details for the members and we ask for you to be patient as we must be accurate with dates and content before further information is provided. Consult with your Steward, Director or Officer with questions. PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF MY UNION
Update #102 (03/07/17)
The Representative Council has voted to continue the ratification process and the Tentative agreement will now go out to the membership to vote on. The membership will receive a packet in the mail that will include the Tentative Agreement an explanation sheet and a voting schedule. Contact your Steward, Director, or Officer for further details.
Update #103 (03/23/17)
The Tentative Agreement has been ratified by the membership. Final vote totals will be provided after they are certified by the Union Executive Board. Congratulations go out to the membership after a long hard fight to protect each other and our future members. "I am very proud of each and every member for showing the Union Morality needed to garner the agreement we were able to reach" Craig Bradford President UGWU Local 69 We will now begin the task of putting together a Contract to provide to the membership. Further details will be provided as they develop. PROUD TO BE UNION AND PROUD OF MY UNION.