Another UPS Contract Loophole Exposed

UPS made $4.5 billion in profits last year. So why will some package car drivers make less than new hires under the new contract?

Before UPS contract negotiations, Ken Hall promised, “The more they make, the more we take.” So why will some UPS drivers make less than new hires under the new contract?

Starting pay under the new contract was raised for package drivers to $18.75 an hour. But incredibly, Hall is allowing UPS to continue to pay a lower rate to more senior drivers who were making less under the old contract.

Depending on where they fall in the progression, package car drivers will make 40¢ an hour less than drivers hired a year or more after them thanks to this pro-company loophole in the new contract.

New Package Drivers get screwed under the contract too. It now takes four years to get to top pay, instead of three.

Before the contract, Hall vowed, “We’re not going to be talking about concessions, we’re going to be talking about improvements.” But actions and results speak louder than words and promises.

The pay rate for Package Drivers who were in the progression as of last August 1 is spelled out in this chart from the IBT.

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Why thousands of UPS Teamsters didn’t get a 70c raise

“All UPS Teamsters get a 70c raise.” Many Teamsters were told this, but now find out they got a 50c raise. Apparently, this contract is proof of an old adage, “figures don’t lie, but liars do figure”.

And figure they do. The company is well-aware that many of the 120,000+ part-time Teamsters are actually getting a 50c raise, and they bargained accordingly.

This is because the progression rate for many part-timers only went up 50c. This applies to sorters and pre-loaders as well as the “all others” category, and to part-time air drivers and to full-time air drivers in the progression.

Example: Tanya Teamster has a seniority date of November 1, 2011. After two years seniority under the old contract, in November 2013, her pay went up to $10.50. The two-year progression rate under the new contract is $11.00, only 50c more. Tanya was expecting a 70c raise, but got a 50c raise, because of the inadequate bump in the progression chart (See Article 22 of new contract).

The company and Ken Hall can say they didn’t lie. Tanya did get a retroactive 70c raise from her $10.00 rate on August 1, 2013, for three months, until her November 2013 anniversary date. She is entitled to three months of 70c retro pay. Then her pay went from $10.50 to $11.00. So she gets 50c retro pay since November, and a 50c raise over the old contract rate.

The problem is not new and goes deeper. The contract has too many wage rates, too long of a progression, and it works to divide Teamsters to the benefit of the company.

And this contract made the situation even worse: a longer progression period (four years) and a lower percentage pay rate during the progression.

Understanding pay rate increases can be difficult, especially when you are in the progression or you bid to another classification with a different rate of pay. It you have a split pay rate, it’s even more confusing.

Stewards and union reps need to understand this process and help Teamsters learn how it works, and to enforce the contract.

Here is a two page chart (one page for pre-loaders and sorters, and one for all others) produced by the International union on part-time pay rates under the new UPS contract.

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TeamCare Update for UPS Teamsters

How will the transition to new TeamCare coverage work for UPS Teamsters? We bring you the latest info and a sneak peak at upcoming mailings from TeamCare.

Starting June 1, over 140,000 UPS Teamsters will see a change in their healthcare coverage; most of them will be moving into TeamCare.

UPS Teamsters across the country mobilized to Vote No and fight healthcare cuts under TeamCare. The Vote No movement won some important benefit improvements.

With the International Union imposing the new UPS contract, TeamCare benefits will go into effect on June 1.

UPS Teamsters have questions. Here are some initial answers and a preview of upcoming mailings that TeamCare will be sending out over the next two weeks with information on enrollment, coverage, and more.

You can get more information online at www.myteamcare.org or by calling the TeamCare hotline at 1-800-323-9257

The information provided here is from TeamCare.

Enrollment if You’re New to TeamCare

UPS Teamsters who are being moved into TeamCare will automatically be transitioned effective June 1.

TeamCare will send every new participant a summary of who in your household is covered based on the records provided by the UPS plan. If that information is correct, you do not need to do anything.

If you need to add a dependent or change information about who in your household is covered, call 1-800-323-9257.

The line is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m to 7 p.m Eastern time.

What If I’m Already Covered by TeamCare?

After members rejected a record 18 supplements and riders, Hoffa and Hall were forced to make improvements to TeamCare coverage for everyone, including for UPS Teamsters who are already in TeamCare.

UPS Teamsters who are already in TeamCare will be mailed a new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC).

Despite the enhancements won by the Vote No movement, UPS Teamsters who are currently under TeamCare will still have substandard benefits compared to UPS Teamsters who are being moved into TeamCare from the company plan

TeamCare Mailings on the Way

UPS Teamsters who are moving into TeamCare will receive mailings from TeamCare, including:

  • Welcome Packet, including a Summary of Personal and Family Information provided to TeamCare by the UPS Plan.

If you are new to TeamCare, you will also receive a mailing the week of May 12 from Blue Cross with a membership ID card.  TeamCare will send out additional cards for other family members, and TeamCare ID cards to use for Dental, Vision and Pharmacy coverage in a separate mailing.

If you are already covered by TeamCare, you will not be mailed a new TeamCare ID card. Use your old card to get the new coverage.

TeamCare is holding conferences calls for members during May. Click here to see the Call Schedule and Call-In Information.

Your Network

You can check to confirm if your doctor or hospital is in the TeamCare network, at www.myteamcare.org

Blue Cross: For most members who are currently in a Blue Cross network under the company plan, TeamCare’s Blue Cross network is exactly the same.  The exceptions are for Teamsters who in Ohio who will now be in the Medical Mutual of Ohio network and Teamsters in Springfield, Ill. Who will not be in the PHCS network.

Aetna: If you are currently in Aetna, you will be moving to a new network but TeamCare says that 96% of Aetna hospitals and 91% of doctors are covered .

Reimbursement Check for Overpayment of Out-of-Pocket Expenses & Deductibles

TeamCare representatives indicated on a conference call for Teamster officers that Teamsters will be reimbursed if they already paid deductibles this year which exceed the new deductible and will be reimbursed for payments made which exceeded the improved out-of-pocket limits which are now $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for a family.

This reimbursement does not apply to reduced co-pays. Those go into effect on June 1. The reimbursement check only covers payments that exceed the reduced deductibles and out-of-pocket limits.

TeamCare says they will get the information from the UPS plan within 90 days and issue the reimbursement checks at that time.  But TeamCare has not issued any written, detailed information on this reimbursement policy.

Retiree Healthcare

If you retired on or after January 1, 2014, your retiree healthcare coverage will be provided by TeamCare effective June 1.

Retirees and spouses will be covered until age 65.  So will child dependents until age 19, or until age 25 if they are full-time students.

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IBT says: Retro Checks in a Month

A memo sent today from Ken Hall to local unions states that retro pay checks will be issued on May 27, a month after the contract went into effect. The 70c raise should be in checks this week, according to Hall’s memo.

Click here to read the Memo.


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Wall Street Analyst: UPS got a cheap deal

Ken Hall promised, “The more they make, the more we take.” But Wall Street analysts say UPS will save $500 million in labor costs under the weak contract imposed by Hoffa and Hall.

Wolfe Research, specializing in analysis of the transport industry, has this to say about the new contract:

“UPS’s new 5-yr labor contract with the Teamsters is finally set to take effect on Fri. and we believe it’s a good deal for UPS, with only ~3% annual wage inflation versus ~4% in its past 2 contracts.”

The analysis continued: “UPS announced after the market on Thursday that its new five-year labor agreement with the Teamsters (which was approved on a national level in June of 2013) will go into effect today (Friday) after the national negotiating committee voted to override the last three chapters that had been holding out for supplemental amendments. We estimate wages and benefits for full-time employees will increase by a compounded average of  about 3.4% annually over the five  years of the contract, below 4.1% in the prior two deals in ‘08 and ‘02. We estimate wages will increase 2.3% annually (vs. 2.7% and 3.3% the past two deals), while benefits are expected to increase 5.2% annually. On an absolute basis, UPS will be paying very similar wage and benefit increases to the Teamsters; but, off of  a higher base, the percent increases are lower. Assuming 125K full-time Teamster members and roughly assuming $100K in average annual income (wages + benefits), 3.4% annual wage inflation would save UPS approximately $85M in labor costs in year one and closer to $500M in compounded savings by the end of the contract.”

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Hoffa-Hall’s Massacre of Right to Vote on Contracts

Hoffa and Hall have implemented the UPS contract, including concessionary supplements and riders that were overwhelmingly rejected by Teamster members.

According to an International Union memorandum, the UPS contract, including all supplements and riders, will go into effect on April 25 and the new Teamcare health coverage will take effect on June 1.

In the memorandum, the National Negotiating Committee repeats Ken Hall’s cover story: that the only issue holding up the rejected supplements is TeamCare. This is just a lie.

The Louisville Air Rider was rejected by a 94% No Vote because UPS’s second offer was even worse than its first offer and left unaddressed a whole series of pressing local issues: from members being forced to work off the clock to full-time jobs. (See Why Did Louisville Vote No?)

Of course, it is true that members in Louisville, Philadelphia, and Western Pa opposed cuts in health benefits, but that was just one of several issues at stake.

The International Union could easily have settled the supplements by telling UPS to bargain over the outstanding local issues. Instead, Hoffa and Hall have sided with the company and forced through concessions as political payback against the leadership of Louisville Local 89 and Vote No Teamsters.

Led by TDU, Teamster members fought for and won the Right to Vote on supplements and riders at the 1991 IBT Constitutional Convention to stop employers from imposing concessions in supplements and riders by pushing through a contract nationally.

Documents available: The IBT’s Memorandum of LiesThe IBT Letter to Members; the IBT “Talking Points” for officialsThe IBT Posting.

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Why Did Louisville Vote No?

The Louisville Worldport Air Supplement “final offer” from UPS management was rejected by a whopping 94% last week. That’s Teamster solidarity.

Why are the members there so united for a better contract?

Thousands of Teamsters at the Worldport are forced to work for free, up to 30 minutes or even an hour a day. They have to wait for a shuttle at the huge airport complex to get to their work station, before they clock in, then do the same at the end of the shift.

The shuttle system is inadequate and Teamsters, many of them underpaid part-timers, are the ones paying the price.

Local 89 members are also fighting for more full-time combo jobs. The Worldport employs more low-wage part-timers than any UPS hub in the country. UPS agreed to create more full-time jobs in other supplements, and Local 89 is demanding a reasonable number.

The company is counting on the International Union to force through a bad contract in Louisville as political payback because Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman has been a vocal critic of Hoffa and Hall.

At stake is a contract covering nearly 9000 Teamsters who are getting the shaft from UPS. Teamster politics needs to take a back seat.

Some Teamster officials have started a whisper campaign that Local 89 is “holding up the national contract” to continue a lost battle over healthcare. It’s true that Local 89 has called for enhancements in Teamcare coverage, so no members suffer any benefit reduction. But that is just one of several issues on the table.

UPS can easily settle the remaining supplements and ratify the national contract by bargaining over reasonable union demands.

When it comes to dealing with the company, all Teamsters should stand as one.

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Louisville UPS Teamsters: 94% say No

Louisville UPS Teamsters today voted No on the Louisville Air Supplement by a margin of 2,804 – 185, a whopping 94% No vote.

We call upon Hoffa and Hall to change course and back these Teamsters in their righteous stand for contract improvements: more full-time jobs, pay for all time worked, and no concessions on health care benefits.

Congratulations to Local 89 members and officers who are united for a good contract.

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Daily News: UPS Backs Down, Rehires 250 Drivers

NYC’s highest-circulation newspaper reports that after refusing to back down from its decision to terminate 250 drivers, UPS agreed to give them back their jobs. The Atlanta-based company faced criticism for its stance, but then reached an agreement with the union to re-hire the drivers.

Click here to read the full article at the NY Daily News.

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Campaign Stops 250 Firings at UPS in New York

UPS is rescinding the terminations of all 250 drivers according to a report posted by Teamsters Local 804.

The Union has also won the reinstatement of Jairo Reyes, the 24-year driver whose firing in violation of the grievance procedure led to a 90-minute walkout by Local 804 members on Feb. 26.

The Local 804 website reports that “All the terminations will be reduced to 10-day suspensions.” The union also agreed to pay undisclosed monetary damages to UPS.

When the company refused to come to the table to negotiate a settlement, Local 804 unleashed a community support campaign.

They collected more than 125,000 signatures on support petitions from Teamster members and public supporters.

Elected officials stood behind the Union and threatened to pull $60 million in contracts and deals that UPS has with the City and State.

Fired drivers reached out to their customers who spoke out on camera and in the press. UPS was flooded with thousands of phone calls and Facebook messages.

The grassroots mobilization brought UPS back to the table.

Ken Hall visited with fired drivers at Maspeth on Tuesday and mediated negotiations between Local 804 and the company on Wednesday.

UPS executives had insisted the firings were a done deal. Local 804 members proved otherwise by staying united, taking their case to the public, and mobilizing support.

For more information, go to www.teamsterslocal804.org

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UPS Faces Backlash in NYC

UPS has threatened 250 Local 804 members with termination. But politicians and the public are calling on the company to make a U-turn.

On Feb. 26, UPS fired a union activist in violation of the grievance procedure. Two hundred fifty Local 804 members walked off the job in protest. UPS issued notices of termination notices to all of them.

The company’s actions have drawn the ire of political leaders and the public.

On March 21, elected officials rallied with Local 804 members and delivered over 100,000 petition signatures to UPS management.

A resolution has been introduced to the City Council calling on UPS to revoke the terminations and settle the dispute with Teamsters Local 804.

U.S. Congressional Reps and State Senators and Assembly Members have issued support statements and contacted UPS management.

Elected officials point out that UPS does over $40 million in business annually with the City of New York and New York State and gets a $15 million break every year from the City in reduced fines on traffic tickets.

City Council leaders say they will call on UPS management to appear at an upcoming hearing and elected officials have called a Press Conference to press the case on the steps of City Hall.

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Will Hoffa and Hall Try to Impose the UPS Contract?

Hoffa and Hall are considering a secret plan to impose the UPS contract by taking away members’ Right to Vote on the rejected supplements.

UPS Teamsters in Louisville, Philadelphia, and Western Pennsylvania have Voted No and rejected their supplements.

Now Hoffa and Hall are considering a plan to take away their right to vote and impose the UPS contract.

Teamster members won the right to vote on supplements and riders in 1991 and have used that right in record numbers this year. UPS Teamsters rejected 18 supplements and riders, covering most of the country.

The Vote No movement paid off and forced Hoffa and Hall to improve TeamCare benefits, and won other improvements in some supplements.

Since then, Ken Hall has worked hand-in-glove with management to vote and re-vote the rejected supplements to get them passed.

But members in three areas have held out against concessions and for improvements in their supplements: Louisville, Western Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia.

These UPS Teamsters are ready to stand up and even vote to strike, if that threat is needed to bring the company to the table to bargain a fair contract.

The supplements could have been settled a long time ago if the International Union had stepped in and backed the members.

Instead, Hall has played politics and lashed out at the Local 89 leadership and the Vote No movement and tried to blame them for holding up the national contract.

The company has taken its cues from Hoffa and Hall and refused to budge at the bargaining table. In Louisville, UPS has even reduced its offer.

This is exactly why Teamsters fought for the Right to Vote on supplements and riders in the first place: to stop employers from imposing concessions in supplements and riders by pushing through a contract nationally.

Before we had this right in 1991, the master contract and all supplements and riders were voted on in one national vote. That gave employers a tool to push through concessions at the supplement level.

The Right to Vote on supplements and riders changed all that.

Hall is talking about imposing the UPS contract and abrogating members’ right to vote on the outstanding supplements. This plan has started to leak out from Hall loyalists.

All members need to be prepared to stand with these UPS Teamsters and to stand up for our Right to Vote.

UPS cannot operate without the  Louisville Worldport and Philadelphia Airport which together handle a huge volume of air packages. The Local 705 and 710 contracts covering 15,000 UPS Teamsters in Chicago, Illinois, and Northern Indiana are also not settled. These contracts are separate from the national agreement, still open, and vital to UPS’s operations.

With a united approach, our union has more than enough leverage to defeat concessions and win acceptable contracts in Louisville, Western Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and in Chicago Locals 705 and 710.  It’s time for Hoffa and Hall to act like Teamster leaders instead of UPS enforcers.

The Right to Vote gives working UPSers leverage. Hoffa and Hall should be using it to negotiate contract improvements, not threatening to take that right away.

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Support Growing for UPS Teamsters in NYC

UPS has put 250 drivers in New York on notice of termination for standing up to harassment and unfair discipline.

In response, elected officials and labor-community supporters are rallying behind the drivers. Political leaders are contacting UPS and a online support petition has been launched by community supporters.

Click here to sign the online petition to support Local 804 members who face termination.

On Feb. 26, UPS fired a package driver and long-time union activist and denied him his “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” rights under the Union contract.

It was the final straw for UPS drivers in Maspeth, Queens who are fed up with 12-hour days, relentless harassment, an epidemic of workplace injuries and a company that walks all over the contract and grievance procedure.

Teamster drivers walked off the job in protest. They returned to work after sending their message. Packages were delivered, the customers were serviced.

Local 804, which represents the drivers, sat down with the company to try to resolve the dispute and address the underlying problems.

Instead of reaching an agreement, the company retaliated against the 250 drivers and put all of them on notice of termination. The drivers remain on the job, but management claims it has the right to fire them at any time. The local is continuing to try to reach a negotiated solution.

Teamsters everywhere stand in solidarity with the drivers in Maspeth.

Click here to sign the online petition to support Local 804 members who face termination.

For more information and to show your support, go to www.Teamsterslocal804.org

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UPS Ohio Rider Ratified

The third time’s the charm for UPS management, the Hoffa-Hall leadership, and the Ohio UPS Rider. After being rejected by 55% of UPS Teamsters last October, it was approved by a narrow 52% majority.

In the nine months since the first rejection last June, members saw no help from Hoffa-Hall in terms of improvements to the rider. They can’t seem to do a thing for members, but they could wear down the members to tip the balance to a majority Yes. Does that count as good union leadership?

No. It’s taking members’ dues money and using it to be management’s sales team.

Two of the three largest Ohio locals voted No for a third time: Cincinnati Local 100 (4-1 No) and Columbus Local 413 (2-1 No), so did Dayton Local 957, Lima Local 908, and Zanesville Local 637.

The rider passed because Cleveland Local 407 full-timers are covered by Teamcare, and thus not facing benefit cuts. It passed by 7-1 in Cleveland.

The local by local votes are available here.

Ohio Teamsters are mad about health care cuts. Despite the benefit enhancements, which were won by the Vote No movement after so many supplements were rejected, Teamsters transferring into Teamcare will still face some benefit reductions. In addition, the Rider failed to win any guaranteed number of full-time jobs or make any improvements to protect against harassment or strengthen 9.5 language for drivers.

Western Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Louisville

Hoffa-Hall took a vote in Ohio, after doing nothing for all this time, because it was close last time. They know that tactic will not work in Western Pennsylvania or Philadelphia, where the rejection votes were overwhelming.

Ballots for the Louisville Air Rider will be mailed out on March 21. There is no doubt the 9,000 Teamsters covered will say No, loud and clear. The issues are laid out well on the Local 89 website.

The struggle continues, on the contract and beyond that, to change the direction of our union to one that fights for the members, not against them.

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UPS Plays Hardball Louisville Members say No

UPS management claims it has issued its “last, best and final” offer on a new Air Rider covering nearly 9,000 UPS Teamsters in Louisville.

UPS says they are done negotiating with Louisville Local 89 over the Air Rider, and they have thrown down an offer that is even worse than their previous one.

The International union has announced they will put the company’s offer to a vote, with ballots mailed out March 21 and counted on April 10.

Local 89 members rejected the company’s previous offer by 89 percent. Management’s new offer stiff-arms the local’s proposals for improvements, and even worse, management removed a $1,000 incentive bonus that was in its previous offer.

Louisville members are prepared to say No, and even Hell No, to this insulting offer.

Local 89 calls it “blind arrogance” by UPS. And they’re right.

It’s also a turn toward hardball tactics by UPS and the International Union who are trying to force through unpopular agreements not just in Louisville, but in Philadelphia and Western Pennsylvania where members have decisively Voted No twice.

The Hoffa-Hall administration doesn’t have a strategy for winning better contract offers in the rejected supplements. So they’re playing politics instead.

They are gearing up a campaign to try to blame Local 89, its President Fred Zuckerman and the Vote No movement for holding up the national contract and members’ retro checks. Hoffa and Hall are to blame: they heard from the members nine months ago and haven’t done a thing to fix the problems in all that time.

The Hoffa-Hall plan is to first push through weak agreements in the holdout locals and then to come after members’ Right to Vote on supplements.

TDU won the Right to Vote on Supplements at the 1991 Teamster Convention precisely to stop the International Union from forcing through substandard supplements in a national vote.

UPS Teamsters in 18 supplements across the country used this right effectively to Vote No to fight concessions and improvements in the rejected supplements.

What’s at Stake in the Local 89 Air Rider

Local 89’s website lays out the issues. Some of the problems are familiar to many other UPSers: adjustments to healthcare to offset negative outcomes in the transfer to Teamcare; more full time jobs; curtailing subcontracting; safety; and others.

One issue is a unique and critically important to Worldport Teamsters: unpaid travel time. Teamsters spend up to 40 minutes a day on their own time (!) using an inadequate shuttle system to get to their work station before they can clock in, and the same deal when they leave work.

Louisville Teamsters are standing up for all UPS Teamsters and deserve our support.

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