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October 2, 2019 - Today, the 492 Teamster members working for NCRTD voted 31-3 in favor of ratifying the 2019 agreement. Congratulations and thank you to all that voted. We were also able to organize 14 new members today for this public sector unit.
Local 492 B/A’s Trey White, Tracy McCarty and Melissa Malcom and the NCRTD Teamster Negotiating Committee obtained a Tentative Agreement with NCRTD (Blue Bus) on September 26th, 2019 which included a record wage increase of about $1.00 (6.6%) in the first year, which is more than double the increase this group has EVER seen! This was a long, drawn out process that started in May of 2019. After a lot of back and forth, the Local 492 Negotiating Committee reached a great deal that will greatly benefit the NCRTD members. We then had a 2.5 hour meeting on Sunday, September 29, 2019 in Espanola where we went over the details of the Tentative Agreement and answered questions.
Three years ago, negotiations took an unfortunate turn over safety partitions for drivers. This year, we were able to finally secure terms that included any new busses purchased after ratification will have partitions installed behind the driver seat for their protection. We also made a lot of headway getting some of the other big issues addressed that the members told us they had with their contract which includes:
- A record 6.6% increase for CDL Positions; Driver II, CSR II, Driver III/Lead and CSR III in the first year! That’s about a $1 raise for most drivers, and even more for the higher grades. A total wage increase of 11.6% by July 2021. (Previous couple of years were 2.7% raises)
- Health & Welfare increases for year FY2021 will be paid by the District
- Increase in pension rate paid by the District
- New Performance and Promotion language to allow for higher rates paid beyond the contract minimums
- Increased Longevity Award
- $15 per month laundry allowance and new uniforms each year, if needed
- Cleared up several issues regarding bidding
- Warning notice improvements & progressive discipline was introduced
- Made the grievance procedure more efficient and added mediation
- Partitions to keep drivers safe on all new buses
- Added safety clause regarding driving defective equipment
- Air conditioners must be repaired within 4 days
- No outside bus washing during inclement weather
- Higher pay when temporarily reclassified to higher rated job
- Several Cell phone issues cleared up
- District will not force you to use annual leave to make up for short work weeks
- Ability to cash out up to 40 hours of vacation
- New process to improve vacation bidding
- Now only one Probation period (even if promoted/demoted)
Family Attendance Rebounds at NM Teamster Appreciation Day 2019
Family Attendance at NM Teamster Appreciation Day 2019 Rebounds after 2 Year Decline
September 28, 2019 - Today, on a sunny Saturday, 625 people came to the 2019 New Mexico Teamsters Appreciation Day reaching another new all-time high for the amount of active 492 Members attending. This is the 7th year Teamsters Local 492 has hosted an event to celebrate the Teamsters of New Mexico.
Last year, in 2018, we had another increase in member attendance, but far less of their family accompanied them to the event compared to 2017, so we had about 120 sandwiches left over. But this year, we actually had so many people show up, that we ran out of food towards the very end of the event and were unfortunately about 10 Firehouse Subs short. A total of 500 have come to the event in 3 of the last 4 years. The exception was when our previous record was set for overall attendees (members & family), 3 years ago in 2016. We have finally surpassed that 2016 record this year and it was wonderful to meet so many family members of our great Teamsters!
Local 492 Teamsters came from a wide variety of crafts and companies which included a vast majority coming from the Freight and Package industries (in order of highest member turnout); UPS, ABF, YRC, 492 Movie Drivers & Movie Wranglers, Sysco, Creamland, LANS/Triad, AmeriPride Linen, OMI/Jacobs, Chiulista, Penske, American Airlines, ATF, Franklins, NCRTD Blue Bus, Sandia Labs, TeamOne, and Sara Lee Thrift Stores. There were Teamster Retirees that also attended and Brother Phil Tuff had a booth set up for info on the Teamster Retiree Club.
Attendees were treated to special event speakers Moe Maestas (NM State representative), Maggie Toulouse Oliver (Secretary of State - New Mexico), and ABQ Mayor Tim Keller.
Members enjoyed the perfect weather, free Firehouse Subs, a free Teamster shirt and other gifts. The kids enjoyed the face painting, a 5 in 1 Jumper Castle, and free Teamsters Local 492 Frisbees. There were also some games provided which many enjoyed, plus Rafael Trujillo (ABF) and Rafael Trujillo Jr. (ABF) treated the attendees to their wonderful singing for a second year and the Cactus Flowers Band also performed.
The Teamsters Joint Council #3 Truck was there again this year thanks to Retired 455 Vice President, Jim Adams who drove it down from Colorado. Jim and his wife Maria also helped set-up, during and clean-up after the event! Thanks so much!!!
Those of you that attended were able to personally congratulate Secretary-Treasurer Walter R. Maestas, who announced his end-of-the-year retirement date. The other members of the Teamsters 492 Executive Board attending the event; President Mike Butler, Vice-President Richard Martinez, Recording Secretary/BA Trey White, Trustees Joseph Carrillo, Andrew Palmer and Aaron Powell, along with Business Agents Melissa Malcom & Tracy McCarty. You may have run into some of them busy working to make sure the event ran smooth. We apologize if we didn’t have much time to talk as you could see, we had our hands full this year.
There were 32 volunteers that helped with the event this year!!! Volunteers (in alphabetical order) who came in early on Saturday to help set up the event were; Randy Archer (ABF), Shane Barrows (YRC), Anthony Boswell (Sysco), Robert Delgado (ABF), Kevin Keever (YRC), Easter Maestas (ABF), Sonia Rodriguez-Ortega (UPS), Robert Sanders (ABF), Daniel Sanchez (UPS), Frank Sandoval (Movies), Robert Sanders (ABF), Scott Scavinsky (Sysco), William Sorci (YRC), Lawrence Standard (YRC), Kirk Weis (ABF), and Donald Wood (ABF).
A special thanks to Rori Hall (ABF) and Brittany Thorpe who both volunteered at the check-in/food table and went Wednesday to shop for those great raffle prizes.
A special thanks to Chad Sullins (ABF), who volunteered to photograph the entire event from set up to clean-up. View Chad's Great Photos Here!
A special thanks to Brian Chavez (Husband of Film B/A Melissa Malcom) who showed up early to help set-up. For the second year, Brian also picked-up the first order of delicious Box Lunches from Firehouse Subs before the event and the other half of the order in the afternoon, which enabled everyone to enjoy a fresh sandwich. Brian has been helping this local for years now, including donating his time, skills and tools to help remodel various sections of the union hall including 3 business agent offices and the 492 entry way. Thanks so much Brian!!!
Other volunteers that helped during the event; Melinda Delgado (ABF) was a great help at the check-in desk, office secretary Darlene Archuleta ran the 492 Teamster store with help from Marie Wilson and Maria Adams. The Face painting was done by Silvana Cufré (ABF), Albert Lujan (ABF) and Savannah Tafoya (daughter of ABF Steward Melinda Delgado). Theron Graham (Movies) did a great job for a second year keeping the sodas & water cold and trash cans empty all day.
Thank you to the 492 Volunteer Event Committee (Joseph Carrillo, Melissa Malcom and Trey White) for all of their hard work and the countless hours of their personal time they donated to this great Union over the past months again preparing for this day. This team came in at early Saturday morning to prepare the outside and then worked the entire event to insure the Members would enjoy themselves. In addition to the planning and event day, they worked most of this week setting-up the inside of the hall while also working late into the night doing their regular jobs along with Tracy McCarty, who was also our supply runner on the day of the event.
Thank you to all who participated and attended this event, we truly enjoyed seeing all of you and meeting your families. We are encouraged that attendance is on the rise again. On behalf of the Teamsters Local 492 staff, Business Agents and Executive Board, we truly appreciate the Members of this Local Union and everything you do to make this Union great, and all the hard working Union Stewards that do such a great job helping their fellow Members, thank you Teamster Brothers & Sisters!
Go down memory lane below:
Sysco NM Contract Ratified, Member Participation Key to Good Contracts
The ballots were counted on September 13th, 2019 for the Sysco NM Tentative Agreement (T/A). The T/A passed with 63% voting to ratify the contract by a vote of 79 to 46 with 86% of eligible members voting. We want to thank all the Sysco Members who voted and congratulate them on their new contract. Teamsters Local 492 would also like to thank the JC#3 President Steve Vairma, and IBT representatives Tamlya Edwards, Denny Toland, Sean Rudolph, Tom Erickson, Dave Hawely, Kathy Tiihonen, Michael Manley and all of the 492 committee members that helped negotiate the new agreement.
This was a long battle and we want to thank members for their patience while we worked to get an agreement. Local 492 Staff started preparing for this Sysco battle in October of 2018, which included getting the IBT involved. Before our first meeting with the stewards in December, Local 492 B/A’s Trey White, Tracy McCarty and Melissa Malcom had already done a lot of work and research to get ready for the fight because of Sysco’s history with the union. Local 492 has negotiated 7 CBA’s this year but by far has put more time and resources into the Sysco CBA than any other 492 local agreement.
In December, we sent out proposal surveys to the Sysco Members and then in January, we held a proposal meeting with the Sysco members. IBT representatives Tamlya Edwards, Denny Toland and Sean Rudolph were present to answer questions about DIP/WHIP and negotiation preparation. In April, IBT Vice President Steve Vairma and Kathy Tiihonen joined us for two more meetings with the Sysco members to explain how to work under an expired contract. For the first time in 492’s history, Local 492 chose not to give the company a contract extension due to Sysco’s propensity to drag out negotiations. In June, Local 492 had another meeting with members and a strike authorization vote was taken (which was unanimous among the 57 Sysco Teamsters that showed up) due to the company not willing to budge on many items the members said were important to them. This seemed to help because Sysco’s attitude at the table quickly changed and we were able to make significant progress with the non-economic issues. In July, we attempted a practice picket, and had two sticker/button days. Two weeks later, we had a Tentative Agreement (T/A). Local 492 then had another meeting in July with the Sysco members to discuss the agreement and answer the members’ questions. The 25 members that attended informed us that they were not satisfied with the economic package.
In August, the Sysco members rejected the T/A by a vote of 44-29. When threatening a strike, this very low voting turnout (150 member unit) is a concerning issue for the Union because the Union needs full cooperation from all of the members to have a productive strike. Regardless of the voting participation issue, the 492 Teamster Committee Members knew we needed to get more from the company. Along with IBT representatives Sean Rudolph and Dave Hawley, the 492 committee met with the Company again in September and were able to secure a $500 signing bonus for members and a .90¢ wage increase in the first year for drivers, which is about double what they have received in previous contracts.
Communicating with the Sysco Members was a high priority for Local 492 and we tried to get as many members engaged in this fight as possible because we know that when all of the members are united, it sends a clear message to the company. We sent out dozens of email blasts and for the first time, Local 492 also text the members directly. From January thru July, Local 492 held 6 meetings with the members in ABQ and even traveled to the southern area of the state 3 times (March, July, and September) and twice in the northern area (July & September). The 492 Sysco Teamster Committee met with the Company 25 times over a 6 month period. Local 492 B/A’s had countless calls with the dozens of IBT experts to guide us a through this long journey.
After nearly a year between start and finish working on this CBA, we now have a ratified agreement. With 46 members still voting against the second tentative agreement, there are obviously some that believe there was more to get from Sysco. These members deserve every penny we can squeeze from Sysco and we made great progress during this negotiation, even if it wasn’t all everyone had hoped for. The key to putting pressure on companies like Sysco is the unified front from all of the members. We saw a lot of unity this year and we hope to build on that momentum in the future with these great Sysco members and at least double the member participation that we had this time around to get an even better contract next time.
Below are some of the highlights of the new agreement:
The New Ratified CBA will expire on April 25, 2025 and now includes a signing bonus of $500.00 for every fulltime employee (even those on DIP/WHIP).
The new wage package includes a record setting large increase upfront in the first year of .90¢ for Drivers and .70¢ for whse.
The company has also made a verbal commitment to correct loading issues regarding not giving drivers enough space around the back of the door and the freezer door so drivers can safely unload at their first stop.
We made a lot of headway getting some of the biggest issues addressed that the members, told us they had with their contract. Some of the issues resolved include;
- Several improvements to the vacation language, including: (1) An increase to 2 weeks’ vacation after only 6 months seniority, (2) a 5th week for those with 25 years or more, (3) The option to cash out all weeks of vacation, (4) Company will now cash out all unused vacation upon voluntary quit, retire, resign or layoff, (5) Paid vacation will now show as “time worked” when calculating overtime hours.
- Part-time employee’s improvements include preventing future overuse of using part-timers and terminating part-timers at will.
- The Union gave the Company the ability to post driver bids as single day (They are not forced to do so but now once again have the ability)
- The Company must now notify the Union before changing WHIP or DIP
- Increased the meal allowance for overnight drivers
- Added new language to the grievance procedure we hope will help better resolve issues that come up in the future.
- Added language to stop the abuse of supervisors working, including requirement to exhaust all those wanting overtime.
- Paid Holidays and Paid Vacations will now be included as “time worked” when calculating overtime hours.
- Multiple issues resolved regarding posting bids
- Posting overtime sheets
- Driver protection if bid is abolished
- Restructured night differential in the whse
- Extra break for whse employees working long hours
Take The Teamsters 2020 Presidential Survey
The Teamsters unveiled a new national 2020 presidential election survey Thursday that will allow members to give the union input on the issues that matter most to them so that the Teamsters in turn can get answers from contenders that it can then share with the membership.
By going to www.teamsters2020.com Teamsters can access an online version of the survey. It is all part of the union’s effort to find out what is on the mind of members. Using that information, the union will then query presidential candidates interested in receiving the Teamsters’ endorsement.
“We’ve got to shape the debate about what this election is about,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa told attendees at the 2019 Teamster political coordinators meeting, where the survey debuted. “Candidates are going to come to us and ask for our support. But at this time, I’m not hearing what we should be hearing on the issues.”
Over the next two months, the Teamsters will gather opinions from members, which in turn the union will use in its ongoing conversations with the presidential candidates. Those responses, as well as candidate video interviews and participation in pro-union activities, will all influence the Teamsters’ endorsement decision.
Candidates seeking the blessing and support of the Teamsters must understand the importance unions play in the working lives of the American worker and the economy as a whole. Supporting organizing efforts and standing for fairness and respect in the workplace is essential.
The survey also serves as the start of the Teamsters member engagement and education effort for the 2020 election. Would-be voters must educate themselves. What are the candidates’ views of the future for working Americans? And how will they affect not only workers today, but their children and grandchildren who will need to support themselves in the decades to come? That is something the Teamsters plan on helping its membership discern in the months ahead.
"The Teamsters want to hear from members about what their issues and concerns are as the nation prepares for this pivotal election," Teamsters general President Jim Hoffa said. "This union will be putting on a full-court press to demand that any candidate for president listen to our members and address our concerns. The Teamster 2020 survey is an important step as we hear directly from our members on what issues they'll be voting on."
Workers deserve politicians who are partners that realize that it is not just jobs, but the quality and dependability of those jobs that matters. U.S. leadership should realize that those who worked hard and played by the rules should have the ability to provide a comfortable life for their loved ones, and retire with the benefits they were promised. That needs to be the goal of anyone seeking to be president Working Americans are facing numerous challenges.