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UE News Updates

Big Gains in Wages and Benefits In Local 329 Kennedy Valve Contract

11 June, 2014

For the second consecutive contract, UE Local 329 members employed at Kennedy Valve have made substantial gains in wages, benefits and working conditions. On June 7 members overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year agreement which was the result of careful work by the local leadership and UE staff. Kennedy Valve, a foundry, is a leading producer of fire hydrants and water valves.

The agreement raises hourly wages by $1 immediately and 50 cents in each of the last three years of the contract. The first year wage increase alone is more than 5 per cent. 

Union Coalition Bargains Healthcare For Five Groups of Berlin Town Workers

11 June, 2014

A coalition of unions representing employees of the Town of Berlin has reached agreement with the town administration on healthcare covering all the workers. The coalition includes two units of UE Local 222, the statewide public employee union. These are Sub-local 52, the blue collar workers, and Sub-local 28, white collar workers.

This is the second coalition bargaining agreement on healthcare between the town and the alliance of five unions, which also includes the Home Health Care Workers-AFSCME, Berlin Police Union-AFSCME Local 1318, and Middle Management Association.

Paras and Nurses Win Pay Raises, Reduced Healthcare Co-Pays

25 April, 2014

Long before their contract expiration last June, the bargaining committee for UE Local 222 Sub-local 43 surveyed their members to learn which issues needed to be addressed in negotiations. The most important issue for all members was maintaining the current Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO health insurance plan, and limiting the cost increase for these hard-working, underpaid professionals.

Local 150 Members Meet with DHHS Secretary, Issue Report Blasting Unsafe Conditions and Low Pay

20 March, 2014

Members of UE Local 150 employed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) met on March 19 with the head of that department, DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, about many serious workplace issues. On the same day, the union publicly released to the public and the media a 25-page report on issues facing DHHS workers. (You can download the full report as a PDF file from the link below.)

The Working-Class Origins and Legacy of International Women’s Day

28 February, 2014

March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD), an annual tradition that began over a hundred years ago. While celebrations continue worldwide, few people remember that the holiday was first initiated by American Socialists. As legend would have it, they were inspired to hold a demonstration in order to mark the anniversary of an 1857 female garment workers’ strike in New York.

Local 1004 Wins Raises, Other Gains at Henry Mayo Hospital

25 February, 2014

On February 5, members of Local 1004 overwhelmingly approved a new three-year agreement with their employer, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. The agreement includes increased raises over the last contract and higher hourly evening and night shift differentials, and also protects members' health insurance benefits and retirement plan matching contributions.

California Renzenberger Drivers Vote to Join UE

19 February, 2014

In February, by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 over the incumbent company union, Renzenberger rail crew drivers at more than 30 rail yards covering the length of California voted in a mail-ballot election to be represented by UE. Like Renzenberger drivers who have previously joined UE in Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and Ohio, these workers suffered from low wages, outrageously unfair work rules, abusive bosses, and lack of benefits.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Jim Crow - A Legacy of Injustice

14 February, 2014

Since the birth of UE Local 150, the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, in 1998, one of its central goals has been the repeal of North Carolina General Statute 95-98, which outlaws collective bargaining and union contracts for all state and local public employees. Local 150 delegates and leaders often tell other UE members that this law is a “Jim Crow law.” For Black History Month 2014, the UE NEWS asks, “What is Jim Crow?”