The Physical Plant workers’ union, the Office and Professional Employees’ International Union (OPEIU), reached an agreement with the University early this morning.
One detail of the new contract: health insurance payments will not rise until 2010, at which point they will increase to 18.5%. University negotiators had been demanding that workers pay 33%.
Though the terms of the contract are “nothing to brag about,” according to one Physical Plant employee, they’re much better than what the University was initially offering.
As of right now, it is unknown the extent to which President Roth’s recent meeting with union representatives influenced the new contract. It seems likely, though, that the deal was brokered with Roth’s support. As was reported in Tuesday’s issue of the Argus, President Roth has said he doesn’t “like the fact that the people who have worked here for a long time are unhappy with how we’ve negotiated.” Roth met with University negotiators last Friday, and sat down with University negotiators and union representatives yesterday.
P-Plant workers had been without a contract for nearly ten months.
UPDATE: President Roth has sent out an email to the Wesleyan community announcing the approval of the contract:
I’m pleased to announce that Wesleyan’s Physical Plant employees have approved a new three-year contract through a vote of the membership today. I’d particularly like to thank union representatives and the University’s negotiating committee for their patient and diligent efforts to reach an agreement. Everyone in the Wesleyan community is a beneficiary of the good faith efforts shown by all parties to bring their discussions to a successful conclusion.
—Posted at 11:17 AM; updated at 4:20 PM.