In the last OurUnited Newsletter the JNC told you about management’s intransigence in their commitment to aggressively pursue an agenda to replace the language in our current Contracts with their company policy.
Contract language is definite and solid. In contrast, policy can be changed on a whim.
Having company policy govern our work would result in us relying on the goodwill of management. How many times has management revised their “Working Together Guidelines?” How is management’s current revenue performance? How on-track is management with their promises of “synergies” to their shareholders in the state of their merger? Is this the group you want deciding how to administer their policy, a policy that would always favor them?
- Company policy is not durable.
- Company policy will be revised.
Contract language spells out specific details and defines the structure, which protects our time, work, pay and also provides the framework for the flexibility the company requires to maintain a successful operation. It balances the interests of all parties in a fair and equitable way that both sides agree upon. It is also something that ultimately YOU decide to approve or reject.
Keep in mind as well that there is a “history” to Contract language. The definition and application of that language has been tested and documented throughout the years and carries a great deal of significance. Removing or even drastically changing that language wipes out that valuable history. It’s a roadmap from our past and the key to our future.
- Contracts are specific.
- Contracts are detailed.
- Contracts have histories.
- Contracts protect us.
The principal role of our Union is to administer our Contract(s), ratified by our Membership(s). We have a Union and a Contract for a reason, to protect us. We are not about to give up that protection to management.
- Our Contract defines and protects our pay.
- Our Contact provides the structure and flexibility of our schedules.
- Our Contract protects our work from being assigned to another workgroup.
- Our Contract requires the company to provide adequate rest.
- Our Contract requires safe working conditions.
Reaching a new Agreement is not going to be easy. Management’s attempt to pursue this path of Policy vs. Language is unfortunate but not all that surprising. Their tools in negotiation are to divide us, blame us and delay us. They will push us as far as they can and see where and how strongly we push back. We will meet these and futures challenges and achieve an Agreement worthy of your consideration.
Our JNC’s next negotiations session with management will take place the week of May 13, 2013 in Chicago.