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.
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