I had an interesting conversation with one of our brothers from Lift. I had asked him how the contract situation was going. He said that there is a hang up concerning bonus money; I said “wow, that’s all.” He said “yep”. He went on further, and told me that the other unionized Lift contract was settled. I said how can that be when we are all one union and two companies (Trimet and First Transit)? Why one was fully negotiated and the other wasn’t? Why didn’t both fall under the same contract resolutions? Why were they done this way? They (our brothers and sisters) stood together in solidarity during the rally, and got the companies attention, only to be separated again by the settling of one contract as opposed to the other’s contract? Who would have done this and thought it was a great idea???? Why is it now put on our new president’s lap, to solve this problem when it should have been done properly the first time??
Maybe our president could try and get a COLA, added. Not including in their annual raises, setting them up for a minimum of 5% up to a maximum of 7%, (or 90% of CPI). Kind of like what we have. The benefits to both union and the company are as such:
1. Instead of giving bonus’ in one lump sum, they can be included at a smaller rate over a longer period of time, outside the regular increase in salary up to the maximum at 5 years (where they get their last big bonus, I think that’s what our brother said.)
2. The employee can increase their yearly salary at a faster rate. This will lower the time it takes to get to the maximum salary. Thus shortening the rate to get to the maximum salary from 5 years to about 3 or 4 years.
3. This type of program can benefit the union and the company (all three Lift garages) in a balanced long term co-existence, without squabbles over money and or benefits.
4. Ultimately, including COLA could possibly keep and retain employees.
5. Lastly if there were a chance to keep the COLA increases beyond the 5 year period, it would be a preferred benefit, for the union side, if negotiated in good faith, maybe it could benefit the company as well.
Lastly, I feel bad for our brothers and sisters at Lift; they work hard and have to deal with all the uncertainties. This mess should have been handled after the “big” rally for them; unfortunately this “is” the union we live in. We still have a tough road to go, but we need “everyones voice”, we need to give our support to President Bruce and help him, help us, for OUR future!
YOU CAN’T HAVE A REVOLUTION WITHOUT REVOLATION!!!