Veolia Contract Report #4

          IUE-CWA LOCAL 201/ VEOLIA

           MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010
On Friday, April 23 the Company made their first counter proposal from their original position.
The Union reviewed the proposal for quite some time. Both sides withdrew
some smaller contract language proposals and reached agreement on a few such proposals.
The Union then responded as to what was acceptable and not acceptable
in the Company’s counter offer. Here is a brief summary.
The sides remain significantly apart in terms of the size of the General Wage increase percentages and there is disagreement on who gets the wage increases. The Company wage increases are real low. Although the Company dropped their “termination in one year for operators not possessing any license” proposal, the Company proposal does negate all general percentage wages for any operator (9 members) that does not have at least a Grade 4 license. There is also disagreement on the base rate of the Grade 5 and Grade 6 operators and how wage increases get applied to 2 such individuals. The Company contained no improvement in the Night Shift Bonus. There was improvement in the Maintenance Start Rate and some progress in compensation for some individuals holding a CVM and/or Hydraulic license.
The Company proposal contained no improvements in the 401K or IUE pension Plan contribution.
The Company Insurance proposal goes backwards from our current contract. It contains no coverage improvements, no co-pay “caps” and takes away the employee contribution premium “cap’ formula without offering any mechanism at all to protect members from the potential of huge premium increases. In addition, the Company has not been able to confirm d what improvements may result in the Veolia Health Plan, due to the recent National Health Reform Plan mandates, and the dates members may see any  potential improvements.
The Company “TIME-OFF” proposal also goes backwards from our current Contract. It takes away a potential of up to 6 extra paid days off for a lump sum annual bonus, while ignoring union proposals for increased sick, personal and vacation time.
The Company current job security proposal does not address this #1 concern from our Membership surveys. There was some minor improvement in their proposed subcontracting language and they did withdraw their proposal to remove the lead operators from the union. However, their proposal still sends us backwards by eliminating our no layoff clause. We are not interested in going backwards. We want to go forward. We are short handed at the plant due to attrition and it is likely attrition will hurt us more in the next month. Union proposals address this issue. Company proposals do not.
This Friday, April 30 is the last scheduled day of negotiations. The Company stated they would present another counter proposal.
Given how far the sides are apart, it is not likely that any agreement will
be reached before the official expiration of the current agreement at midnight Friday, April 30. The Union continues to be hampered by the denial of important bargaining information requests.
 However, Article 42 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) provides for the contract to “continue in full force and effect until either party gives written notice that the Agreement shall terminate” and that such “termination shall not occur fewer then five (5) days after such notice is given to the other party.” It is NOT anticipated that the Company or the Union will issue any such notice before the Friday negotiation session takes place. Members should keep their schedules as free as possible during the next 2 weeks, as members may be called on to take some further actions to secure a fair and decent Contract.
Jeff Crosby             Ric Casilli            Alex Brown             Roger Moreau
President                   BA                          VP                       Chief Steward