As we reported in the last national bargaining update, the Union Coalition made a comprehensive economic counterproposal to the American Red Cross at our last national bargaining session, June 19-21. (We reported this previously in our Call to Action bargaining update following that session)
The Union Coalition’s Bargaining Team has now received the Red Cross’ response, and it isn’t good.
Unfortunately, from what is reflected in the Red Cross response, management is not taking workers’ issues seriously. Red Cross continues to try to simply shift costs from one area to another hoping this will get an agreement.
Here are some details:
• Several of the favorable changes to TeamCare health insurance that the Union Coalition secured is estimated to save Red Cross $5 million a year. But Red Cross still insists on trying to pass along increases in premiums, deductibles, etc. to bargaining unit employees.
• In response to the Union Coalition’s proposal to apply late end penalty pay to fixed sites, the Red Cross proposed changing the end of belt line definition at mobile sites. The Red Cross proposal would actually decrease the number of bargaining unit employees now eligible to receive penalty pay for mobile late end drives! So, instead of resolving the issue with late ends at fixed sites (which the Red Cross says does not exist), management proposes to make things worse at mobile sites, through their attempt to change a working definition of late ends for mobile sites, which the parties have been using since 2016 and have already agreed to use in over four proposal exchanges.
• The Red Cross has also sent several proposals that it had previously withdrawn from its initial comprehensive economic proposal, while offering the Coalition nothing to get the parties closer to an agreement. Essentially, with the exchange of these comprehensive economic proposals, the Red Cross failed to take the opportunity to advance negotiations and are trying to take us back to multiple open issues.
Meanwhile, Red Cross workers in many areas struggle to get by, worker turnover remains high, and scheduling and unstable hours in many areas makes it hard to plan for family obligations or our financial future.
We are disappointed to see Red Cross not taking these negotiations as seriously as we are, and seem to not understand the gravity of not reaching an agreement by September 30th. The Coalition’s Bargaining Team continues to reiterate that it is not granting any extensions.
National bargaining will resume on August 28, 2018 at American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where the Coalition will continue to fight sustainable wages and improve employee morale and work-life balance, and attempt to reach a national agreement.
In the meantime, local bargaining will move forward on all topics not addressed in national bargaining. Coalition members are committed to supporting each other’s local bargaining and remain UNITED in ensuring fair contracts at both the local and national levels.
Keep wearing your UNITED! buttons!
We will stay united until we reach an agreement that works for everyone.
For additional information on bargaining, please contact your union representative