"The views and opinions in this Blogspot are expressed by me in my capacity as an individual member and not in my capacity as a Union Officer. Likewise, comments by the other members on the Blogspot are individual expressions of their views. The views stated herein are not necessarily a reflection of Local 602. The Local has not seen or adopted my comments or the comments of others prior to posting. The Blogspot includes no expenditures of Union Funds."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Approved Package

The meeting deciding on our wage distribution reaffirmed my belief that the membership can and will decide wisely when properly guided. It was a good meeting.

The Business Manager proposed a five cent per hour increase in the Medical Fund. He assured us that was all that was necessary to guarantee our current coverage and possibly lead us to be able to make some positive changes in our coverage. I thought that the number was low but I went along.

The BM proposal for the Pension Fund was to increase our contribution by fifty cents an hour. He assured us that no changes in our plan would be necessary if we went along with his recommendation. I know that our losses over the last year were significantly higher than could be covered by his recommended contribution. But again, I will wait and see if we were led properly.

The members balked at the BM's recommendation to put no further money into the RSP Fund at this time. They amended his proposal and added twenty cents to the contribution into our individual annuity fund.

The vote on increasing the Apprentice Fund contribution was contentious. The BM proposed an increase of fifty cents an hour. That was a proposed increase of over 135%; 3 Million more a year than what we had been budgeting. I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard that. What kind of spending is going on in the Apprentice School? Well it seems that the Coordinator and his many assistants have been granted a most generous package. Their deal now includes an inflated hourly wage, a second pension and a pickup truck. It appears that we are now paying them more than our Business Agents.

The members rebelled and cut the BM's proposal in half. Still, that adds up to an increase of 1.5 million a year. We need to follow up on this.

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