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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bruce Hansen has to go by Ron Heintzman



Ron Heintzman
ATU International President 2010
ATU Executive International Vice President 2009-2010
ATU International Vice President 2002-2009
ATU 757 President 1988-2002

 Mr Heintzman has unparalleled credentials when it comes to union affairs. Many of us were unable to recognize this in the last election and we voted for 'change'. Because we went with the 'outsider' we have suffered incredible damage to our benefit packages. In the essay below Mr Heintzman give us his unique insight into the state of our union today


Dear ATU 757 TriMet member                                                                                 May 26, 2015
Re: Bruce Hansen has to go!
As an ATU member for more than thirty years, and having negotiated five TriMet contracts between 1988 and 2012,  I have sadly watched local member’s collective bargaining agreements erode during the past three years.  The TriMet contract is a glaring example.  Members lost more in the recently negotiated TriMet contract than they have collectively in the past 40 years. 
The contract is an utter disaster and an embarrassment.

The contract is a product of a local union president, Bruce Hansen, who has no or little experience in negotiating contracts, but who thought he did.  The contract is a product of Hansen negotiating the deal himself, behind closed doors, keeping executive board and wage committee members in the dark.  The contract is a product of Hansen being co-opted by TriMet management, being duped and not smart enough to figure that out.  And this is clearly about the truthfulness with members.

Retirees were harmed for the first time in over 40 years.  

 It is unbelievable but Hansen wound up being suckered into a deal that actually represented TriMet’s original proposal laid down when negotiations began, just repackaged.  I could go on and on about what each change to the contract will mean to members in the future, and it will not be good.

What I will say is if members reelect Hansen again and he negotiates another contract with TriMet, members will lose more.  Any current employee that believes he or she will get health insurance coverage when they retire, is only fooling themselves.  I can assure you with Hansen negotiating the contract, there won’t be any health insurance when they retire.  

And there is another contract provision Hansen agreed to that will destroy member’s health insurance coverage.  It was not in the tentative agreement TriMet members voted on, but it appears in the official signed contract.  Article 1, Section 1, Par. 4(a) reads in part………”The parties have agreed to labor/management meetings to make recommendations to the District on health insurance plan design, benefit levels, and the possible utilization of a private healthcare exchange for plan year 2016”.

Hansen has been feverishly trying to negotiate this with TriMet before the upcoming union election.  Most of you might not even know what this means and it was clearly not in the tentative agreement that you voted on.  This is the plan that Walmart developed and has become known for.  It is designed for private employees, not public employees.  If Hansen is successful in negotiating this before he leaves office, your insurance plans in 2016 will be on the same par as plans offered by Walmart. Congratulations, for if this happens, we will have made it to the bottom faster than any other unionized workforce in recent history.

And seniority, that will go as well.  Look what Hansen did to operators when he conspired with TriMet to create “block runs”.  It would only be a matter of time before seniority at TriMet became meaningless.

Members clearly see how substantially they were harmed in the most recent contract, and they don’t know the half of it until some of the language Hansen doesn’t even understand will be implemented by TriMet.  The old saying certainly applies here.  Harm me once, shame on you.  Harm me twice, shame on me!
Fraternally,

Ron Heintzman
ATU International President 2010
ATU Executive International Vice President 2009-2010
ATU International Vice President 2002-2009
ATU 757 President 1988-2002

4 comments:

megaton said...

This comes from the same people who were responsible for the gaba decision.the same folks who took away your strike rights,without ever bringing it to the membership.

Al M said...

Agree on the right to strike issue. But people need to be reminded when that action transpired we had what we thought was a solid commitment from Trimet executive management to continue the status quo. That's how I see it anyway.

We didn't need a Gabba decision second time around. Bruce surrendered instead which was idiotic from my point of view

megaton said...

Once again,the contract is negotiated from contract to contract
The idea of paying 50% of our benefits was to risky.the real question is why as a union did we never memorialised our benefits?we are at a huge disadvantage.and your hero is responsible for that

Al M said...

I really do believe that if the slugs that call themselves the 'management team' attempted to cut our benefits that severely they would have lost in arbitration. Especially after they had already won in the 1st arbitration