Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I have some updates for you. We have a full schedule ahead. But first allow me to wish you and your family a safe and healthy Labor Day weekend. This holiday recognizes all of those that work hard every day. I hope that you have time for some well-deserved rest over the next few days.
Contract Negotiations were held in both New York City and Washington, DC over the past two weeks. I participated at the main negotiating Fleet Service table and we worked on several outstanding articles including Overtime, Temporary Assignments, Holidays, Sick Leaves, Vacations, and Part Time Employees. The team at our table includes 6 members from the IAM and 6 members from the TWU. As we work on the language being passed back and forth with the company, we are also in communication with our counterparts that are negotiating the Maintenance and Related Agreement. That team also consists of 6 members from each the IAM and the TWU. There are several “Flow Through” articles that must be coordinated with both negotiating teams. These articles are essentially identical in all the different contracts, although some of the language may vary; this due to the different work groups that are involved. A time-consuming part of the process is actually combining the language from two separate and distinct contracts into one new Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA). The existing IAM Fleet Service contract has 31 articles. Our existing TWU Fleet Service contract has 47 articles. Consequently, the end resulting JCBA will not resemble what we are accustomed to, yet, because the language contained in the final agreement must be complete and accurate, the actual process of formulating the contractual document must be done in a methodical manner. The TWU/IAM Association provides updates after every negotiating session. The next bargaining sessions are as follows:
• September 19-22 in Washington DC
• September 26-29 in Dallas/Fort Worth
The annual TWU Benefits Conference will be held in Dallas on September 7 & 8. Rick Friedman will also be attending this year. The meeting is a comprehensive overview of the retirement benefits and insurance products offered to our membership. Presentations will be made by the vendors that offer the various products, as well as the brokers that manage the plans. Several people from Headquarters in DFW will be there to address the company-sponsored benefits as well as the costs for next year.
As a member of the TWU Benefits Committee, I will be attending a meeting in Hammonton, NJ on September 12 & 13, with Union Benefit Planners and Univers Workplace Solutions, in preparation for our annual fall benefits enrollment. Final arrangements will be made for the Enrollment Counsellors that will be here in ORD to assist with your Jetnet enrollment. As soon as the details are available, they will be passed along.
I have been assigned as the TWU Representative on the Sick Leave Harassment Panel by ATD Director Mike Mayes. The panel is comprised of a TWU and company representative and hearings are conducted for those that dispute the issuance of a 90-day doctors note requirement. There are several cases to be heard and the tentative schedule has been set for the week of October 17 in DFW.
The continuation of our 29(d) Drug and Alcohol Testing Arbitration case is being rescheduled due to conflicts with Contract Negotiations. The company witnesses include those in management that are at the bargaining table. As soon as the date is finalized, we will inform you.
The company is hiring Fleet Service Clerks here in Chicago and we expect the full-time headcount to increase by 24 and the part-time headcount by 47 on the fall bid. The bid is tentatively scheduled to be posted in the last two weeks of September. The bid is expected to start on October 29.
Trevor Chalcraft and I are attending a one-day class offered by the University of Illinois on September 24. This class is one of several offered in their Labor Education Program. The topics that will be covered include advocating before the National Labor Relations Board and procedure and substance of the National Labor Relations Act. The classes in this program are predominately attended by representatives in organized labor.
During the upcoming Annual Fall Benefits Enrollment, we will be circulating Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity (QPSA) forms for our membership. The Defined Pension Benefit Plan defaults the monthly payment that your spouse would receive to 50% in the event of your death prior to the commencement of your pension. Having a QPSA form on file with the company will provide your spouse with 100% of your pension should you die before collecting. We will also be providing you with the instructions on how to find this information in Jetnet.