Margot Finkel ’09 of USLAC writes in with depressing news about the contract negotiations between Physical Plant workers and the University:
Their situation is really serious and the negotiations aren’t going well. The fact they have been working this long without a contract and that a federal mediator had to be brought in yet again to a Wesleyan bargaining table is shameful. If Wesleyan gets what it’s asking for, Physical Plant workers will be losing thousands of dollars a year to health care costs, rather than getting the raise they deserve.
A statement prepared by the union’s business agent:
Local 153 of the Office and Professional Employees Union (OPEIU) representing Physical Plant employees, and the University have reached out for a Federal Mediator to assist in their ongoing contract negotiations.
The Union reports that in addition to wages, the parties remain far apart on a number of other issues still on the table. In addition to economic give backs the other issues include more than doubling the employee premium contribution for healthcare coverage, and implement drug testing program.
Although the contract between the parties expired on June 30, 2007, negotiations have been ongoing under an extension agreement until the parties meet again on Tuesday December 18th.
The Union’s bargaining committee believes that with what is on the table as of now it is not likely the parties will reach a settlement. However, they remain optimistic that as long as the parties keep talking, there is always the possibility of reaching a settlement. One that both parties can live with.
If you want to show your support, show up to the aforementioned contract negotiations:
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 18
Time: 10:30 (AM, I’d assume)