You talked about a comparison of the 22.4 combination drivers to the creation of 22.3 positions in 1997. I wasn’t around in ‘97 and I’m not clear on this. Can you explain the comparison?
First, you should be aware that there are full-time inside employees that existed for many years prior to 1997. These are “22.2” jobs. These jobs pay the same or almost the same as package drivers. In order to create more full-time inside jobs, the parties negotiated the 22.3 jobs with a lower pay scale than the 22.2. The controversy arose that we should simply create the new jobs under the 22.2 pay scale. UPS was not interested in that but we did create 22,350 full-time 22.3 jobs since that contract. These lower-paid jobs are now extremely popular and continue to pay an excellent full-time wage with full-time benefits. We feel that these new 22.4 positions will also fill the need for additional good-paying full-time jobs while addressing understaffing, excessive overtime and weekend ground deliveries.
I’m a package car driver. Will the new 22.4 jobs reduce my chances of getting overtime if I choose to work overtime?
For package car drivers who enjoy as much overtime as possible, does the union believe that we will continue to be able to work all the overtime we have been able to work under the current contract? Right now there are lower-paid employees delivering packages on a daily basis alongside regular package car drivers (RPCD); they are called various names: regular temporary drivers, utility, cover, etc. These are part-time employees doing delivery; in many areas every day, all year long, with part-time pension and benefits. In addition, there are many areas currently operating Tuesday through Saturday ground delivery (at straight time) as allowed in the supplements. Despite this fact, daily overtime for RPCDs still exists and will always be a part of the package driver job. 22.4 combination drivers will help relieve the excessive, unwanted overtime.
Regarding the 5,000 new jobs under the tentative contract, will any of those be new 22.3 jobs, or will they be exclusively sleeper team jobs and 22.4 jobs?
Nothing in the tentative agreement stops UPS from using 22.3 jobs to fulfill the 5,000 full-time jobs requirement; depending on the amount of weekend ground delivery that develops, many of the new jobs will likely be 22.4 jobs. Due to the higher progression, new 22.4 jobs will pay more than a new 22.3 job. A 22.3 job starts at $16.00 as opposed to a 22.4 job starting at $20.50. In fact, based on straight-time hours, a 22.4 job will pay $36,400 more over the 48-month progression than a 22.3 under the tentative agreement. The contract has allowed jobs created by taking loads off of the rails to be counted as 22.3 jobs since 2013. Sleeper team jobs are the highest paying jobs at UPS and it just makes sense to create as many of these as possible. We have a guarantee in the tentative agreement of at least 2,000 sleeper team jobs.
Do part timers have Article 37 protections under the tentative contract?
Yes, part-time employees have the protection of Article 37 Section 1 (a) on harassment and over supervision under the current agreement.
Will the language in the tentative agreement speed up the grievance process?
There is new language in Article 37 that will help address and accelerate the handling of repeated 9.5 violations, an issue that by its nature needs to be handled promptly.
Will the new sleeper team jobs create new opportunities for part timers?
Definitely. As these sleeper jobs are filled, vacancies will occur in the feeder and package operations. In addition, in areas that use 22.4 combination drivers, ALL regular package car driver openings will be filled from the part-time ranks; the “6 to 1” hiring ratio will no longer apply.
Is anything being done to improve the part-time pensions?
The UPS Pension Plan for part timers is improved in the tentative agreement. The 35 years at any age benefit improves to $2,275 per month; the 30 years at any age goes up to $1,950 per month; the 25 years at age 60 rises to $1,625; and the 25 years at any age increases to $1,325 per month. In local or regional pension plans that have part-time participants, benefits are determined by those funds.
Is there anything in the contract that prevents the company from forcing 22.4 drivers to work 70-hour work weeks at the expense of package car drivers?
Yes. Article 26 Section 5 of the tentative agreement restricts the use of the 70-hour DOT rule to peak season and, with prior approval of the Teamsters Package Division Director, emergencies that cause service disruptions. In these instances, UPS must first ask for volunteers from all package drivers in the affected center. Only after all work has been filled voluntarily will UPS be able to force, in the following order: seasonal drivers, non-seniority package drivers, part-time cover drivers, 22.4 combination drivers and then regular package car drivers.
At my building, the people who process the packages often work 10 or 12 hours a day. In the tentative contract, is there anything that addresses excessive overtime for part-time workers?
We believe that the increased start rates will help in the hiring and retention of part-time employees. A new hire will know that he or she will be making $15.50 by 2022, with outstanding full-family medical coverage after just nine months of employment.
I’m a part-time worker, and my co-workers and I are concerned that the new 22.4 jobs will threaten our jobs. What protections do we have to make sure our jobs are safe?
As we see from another question that was asked on the teleforum, there is a problem hiring and retaining part-time employees. The increase to the part-time pay and benefits should help with that; 22.4 combination drivers that work inside as a part of their job will also help with staffing. We do not see any negative impact to part timers from the 22.4 jobs.
Can you talk about the improved pay and progression for mechanics?
We have reduced the time a mechanic must be in progression before reaching top rate from 48 months to 24 months effective August 1, 2018. (contract, once ratified, will be retroactive to August 1, 2018). If you have more than two years under the current progression, you will go to the top rate. If you have less than two years, you will slot into the new progression on August 1, 2018, and receive top rate when you complete your 24th month.
I read that the tentative agreement changed our pension from a 10-year guarantee to a five-year guarantee. Is this true and, if so, what does it mean? Will UPS help make up the difference if Central States goes bankrupt?
For employees who were covered by Central States, Article 34 of the new contract does not change the requirement that UPS will pay the difference if Central States reduces its benefit. The tentative agreement guarantees that you will receive the full amount you’ve been promised when you retire, even if UPS has to pay a larger part of it.
For employees covered by all other pension plans, there has been a Memorandum of Understanding preventing UPS from soliciting locals or members to leave their local or regional pension plans. That was agreed to in 2008 for a 10-year period. That 10-year period was renewed in 2013, lasting until 2023. The new memorandum covers the remaining five years of the 10-year term. It will be subject to renegotiation in 2023, as are all contractual provisions. None of this affects the amount of your pension benefits under your particular fund or your eligibility to receive those benefits.