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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Saturday, April 11, 2009

SPSE-UPTE and LLNS Management Reach Tentative Agreement

SPSE-UPTE and LLNS Management Reach Tentative Agreement on First SPSE-UPTE Contract for Skilled Trades Bargaining Unit

The SPSE-UPTE bargaining team has reached tentative agreement with LLNS management on a first contract for the Skilled Trades Bargaining Unit, i.e., those employees who by majority signup in 2007 chose SPSE-UPTE to represent them. The Skilled Trades are a subset of 800-series employees that includes air conditioning mechanics, locksmiths, boiler and pressure system mechanics, carpenters, electricians, heavy equipment mechanics, maintenance mechanics, painters, plumbers/fitters, riggers, sheet metal workers, trades helpers, and welders. It also includes shop leads, but does not at this time include first line supervisors. Contract bargaining began in July 2008. SPSE-UPTE members within the bargaining unit will have the opportunity to vote their approval or disapproval of the contract's content sometime this week.

Within the contract's provisions, management and SPSE-UPTE have tentatively agreed to the following:

1. Wage increases for bargaining unit members as follows
3.6% retroactive to 10/1/2008
2.5% as of 4/1/2009
2.0% as of 10/1/2009

These add to 8.1%, however when the raises are compounded, the unit members will be making 8.3% more on 10/1/2009 than on 1/1/2008, the date of their last increase.

2. UPTE unit fees (known informally as union dues) will be automatically deducted and remitted to UPTE's systemwide treasurer. Unit fees each month amount to 1.3% of one's gross wage or $35, whichever is less. (In most if not all cases, unit members will be paying the $35 cap for dues rather than the 1.3% fraction. For those at the top of their wage scale, the $35 fee will be a little over 0.5% of their gross wage.)

3. All flexible-term employees within the unit will be converted to career indefinite status on 4/1/2009.

4. Any future flex-terms hired into the unit will be limited to a 3-year term.

5. SPSE-UPTE has the right to negotiate with management on any subcontracting that directly threatens the job security of unit members, by, for example, idling one or more members of a shop.

6. SPSE-UPTE likewise has the right to negotiate with management on behalf of unit members any changes to the LLNS Defined Benefit Pension Plan / 401(k) Savings Plan (TCP1) and the LLNS 401(k) Retirement Plan (TCP2).

7. Grievance and arbitration rights obtain for any contract violation not specifically excluded in writing in the agreement. The contract describes the procedure to be followed for each.

8. The Health and Safety article codifies the Lab's "stop work" safety policy and makes it arbitrable. In other words, any retribution by management for stopping work will now be a contract violation.

9. The High Voltage Electricians will receive a grade increase to grade 13 on 4/1/2009. This will help narrow the disparity in compensation between them and their counterparts at PG&E.

10. Rules for hours of work, overtime, reasonable accommodation, holidays, performance review, employee development, promotion and transfer, premium pay, and temporary/limited duty are reproduced from satisfactory LLNL policies, either past or present.

11. Corrective action may occur only for "cause". SPSE-UPTE bargainers made clear during negotiations that we interpret this as "just cause" and expect progressive discipline to be followed in all corrective action.

12. An affirmation of beryllium safety practices in the ES&H manual, and an agreement by both sides to follow them. Any future failure of LLNS to observe these safe practices would be a contract violation. Management has agreed to meet and discuss significant changes it makes to the relevant sections of the ES&H manual.

Any circumstances not covered by the contract will be governed by default to LLNS policy and procedure as it applies to all other Lab employees.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

God Bless those guys and gals; they stuck together and are now in a much better position for themselves and there loved ones. I can’t feel sorry for the rest of the lab (including me); they had their chance to become unionized. I have work for companies with and without unions and in the private industry you are much better off working where there is a union; and clearly we are working for a private company who care more about profit than workers.
LLNS can pass all these extra costs onto programs and NNSA/DOE and still collect their incentives on their contract. Since ULM get big bonuses from these incentives, I don’t see any reason that the unionized workers shouldn’t flex their bargaining rights and take a little of what they can get for themselves. Besides, the lab will be closing within the next 5-10 years; these unionized guys and gals might as well get what they can while the getting is good. The rest of us will just get what they give us; and that all I’ve got.

Anonymous said...

This is a hell of a lot better then us non unionized people got. Mybe all 500 & 300 should join today. I'm sure a lot of them didn't even get close to this level of a raise.

1. Wage increases for bargaining unit members as follows
3.6% retroactive to 10/1/2008
2.5% as of 4/1/2009
2.0% as of 10/1/2009

Anonymous said...

Wow, an 8.3% wage increase during the middle of a deep recession when most wages are being cut! That's pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to SPSE-UPTE!

Just wish more people had voted for a union. What was listed by the OP certainly looks better than what most workers are getting.

Anonymous said...

Yes and rank group 4 and 5 got no raise last year, which coincidently makes up most all the people working on projects. Rank group 1 and 2 are managers, and guess who got all the money? There is at least one group at the lab that isn't getting f***ed anymore.

Anonymous said...

Engineers and scientists like myself are in a different and difficult situation in terms of unionizing than tradesman.

If we strike then WFO funding will just go elsewhere, and much of the Lab will then go under. No doubt a similar situation exists elsewhere. Otherwise, we would see more engineers and scientists forming unions.

Anonymous said...

This just shows how incompetent LLNS management is.

The craft workers outside the Lab are filling up the union halls with not much work in sight. Really good people would work, yes actually work, for much less than we pay those in Plant Engineering.

These increased wages are paid by the programs that are trying to reduce costs. I would give anything to be able to contract all my work outside the Lab.

FR, where was Rechtel on this one?

Anonymous said...

These are "tentative" agreements.

Unless LLNS is really stupid, it will find loopholes to make them non-binging.

Anonymous said...

Damn, these seem to be both thoughtful and useful guidelines.

We sure could have used negotiated contractual conditions when Bodman raped us off our working conditions, leaving us table scraps....

Anonymous said...

April 12, 2009 8:44 PM

No brains, no pain and I'm not saying this because I work for plant because I don't. We have tried to get some repairs around here done based on your so called outside contactors but because some dip has wriiten the rules and requirement to do work on site so hard, NO outside vendor can do the job on time. How's a 1 yr and 2yr delay sound to you because PE wasn't used right off the bat. As far as I'm concerned every 500 and 300 needs to join SPSE today and get what they got, instead of .2% or less for doing three peoples jobs.LLNS is screwing them bigtime and laughing all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

April 12, 2009 9:07 PM
As the contract was ratified over a month ago, the agreements are no longer "tentative" .

Anonymous said...

April 16, 2009 9:44 AM

Does this mean you got the raises shown here? If so please tell the 500 and 300 since they're all getting the royal shaft year after years except for some of the good old boys who suck up to anyone and everyone any time. They're special in many ways, if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

yes april 16 944am we did receive a 6.1% raise this year and 2% next year. My base pay jumped $2+ moore an hour this year while the 500 and 300 went back wards.

UPTE LOCAL 11 LLNL SKILL CRAFTS

Anonymous said...

April 18, 2009 5:44 PM

I know many of a 500 / 300 that have never seen a $2 hour raise in the 27 years I've known them. I guess power is in numbers. Unfortunately you can't get the 300 and 500 to join together for their fare share as you guys did. Job well done PE / trades.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your raise because the party is ending in 2 years - when the SuperBlock rolls up the carpet and the fences come tumbling down. You were given a 2 year contract just to shut you up until the RIFs begin in earnest again . . .

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