This is the online edition of the print newsletter we circulate at Metro.
Teamsters 695 Election: Ballots NEXT WEEK
Elections for our union’s officers are this fall. Ballot are being mailed Friday, 9/30 and will start arriving the first week of October. This is a critical election: our local’s officers choose and direct our Business Agents, decide on union policy, decide if and when to hold meetings, and set the tone of how our union acts.
This election is your chance as a Teamster member to choose: your vote is your voice. The choice is between status quo with Larry Wedan, Rick Roeth, and the current administration, OR a democratic union with REBUILD695.
Rebuild695 has put together these newsletters for the last three years, something that the union should have been doing. We ran for election in 2019 and got just under half the vote of the union’s 3800 members at 60+ worksites. We fought for COVID relief & bathrooms. We put together videos for the last two contracts. If that’s the stuff you think the union should be doing, vote REBUILD695.
Ballots will be counted Wednesday, 10/26/22. Your last day to mail your ballot and sure its counted is 10/21/22.
Open Enrollment on Health/Dental/Vision 9/26 -10/21
Open enrollment for insurance benefits started 9/26/22 and will go through Friday, 10/21/22. Flex Spending enrollment will be 10/31/2 to 11/18/22.
GHC is the lowest bidder in the plan again this year, so GHC is the free plan for Teamsters. Rates for the other plans are listed in the table below. (The contract says that the employer will pay 100% of the lowest bidder—employee pays the remainder if they select another plan, so if you want Quartz, Dean, or something else you have to pay the difference.
DENTAL RATES (monthly):
- Employee Only: $36.60
- Employee + Spouse: $83.73
- Employee + Child(ren): $84.42
- Family: $127.10
Mayor Giving Everyone $1,000 Jan 1
The Mayor announced last week that due to a budget surplus, she will be giving every City employee $1,000 at the start of 2023. (That is, if the council approves it…)
Its not a “retention bonus”, and its not “hazard pay”. They have extra money and they’re giving a one-time payment. As far as its been explained, there’s no stipulation on how long you had to have been here, whether you worked through COVID, how long you have to be here after you receive it.
Mayor is up for reelection in 2023. Coincidence?
LABOR BEAT: UW Nurses; Rail; UPS
Nurses at UW hospital were set to strike September 13 to 16th for recognition of their union and to start bargaining. Nurses there were represented by the union SEIU before 2011 and the hospital stopped dealing with them. The hospital is weird because its not “public” or “private”, it’s a joint-authority so there’s not a clear place in the law.
UW nurses have been organizing for the past five years and decided they would strike to get the hospital to recognize them. At the last minute on 9/12/22, the hospital and union agreed to take the case to the WERC to see what they say. If the WERC gives them the thumbs up, they will have a union vote and bargain.
Rail unions have been in dispute with the rail employers conference for about three years now. Biden intervened to try and come to an agreement: rail workers get no paid sick days and are on call 24/7. The Biden agreement got them some excused unpaid days. Rail workers, including Teamsters, vote on that and may still strike if they reject the offer.
The largest Teamster employer has their contract up next year. The union has been talking about striking over part-time jobs that have been replacing full-time benefitted positions as the company reports record profits. UPS workers have been pushing for air conditioning in delivery vehicles & facilities after drivers died in this summer’s heatwave.
The UPS local near us is Teamsters 344, with facilities in Middleton and East Madison.
Leo Vargas (shop)
Vacation carryover requests must be submitted by the end of September. Unless there’s an agreement with the City, they’re sticking to one week carryover. Any updates on that would come from Rick / 695.
EPL Rules Changed in July
Mayor changed the rules for EPL so that you can no longer get it while seeking a diagnosis. You have to have evidence of a positive test, like a picture. (At-home tests are acceptable.)
New Ops Supervisor: Will Henthorn (was a driver)
New Shop Manager: DeAndre Newson. Newson comes from Traffic Engineering where he was a manager for radio comms.
No flu shots at Metro this year.
If you want one, you have to go to a pharmacy or your doctor.