On Tuesday and Wednesday, convention delegates considered resolutions on fighting racism and standing up for the rights of women, LGBTQ+ people and immigrants. These resolutions drew some of the most passionate comments of the whole convention.
UE NEWS Updates
In their discussion of several resolutions throughout the week, convention delegates made clear their desire for a just economy and society, where all people have decent working conditions, adequate social support, a dignified retirement, health care and education. They were just as clear that making that vision a reality will require independent political action by working people.
On the final day of the convention, delegates heard remarks from Molly Greenberg of the Moving Forward Network and Tommy Carden of Warehouse Workers for Justice.
When Dhananja Dassanaike, Local 1004, rose to speak in support of the resolution, “For Peace, Jobs, and a Pro-Worker Foreign Policy,” he drew specific attention to its mention of the situation faced by the Palestinian people.
Angaza Laughinghouse, a founding member and three-term president of UE Local 150, received the Discount Foundation’s 8th Annual Legacy Award at the 2023 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Celebration, held last night by Jobs with Justice. In his acceptance speech, he spoke about fighting for justice in North Carolina. He also called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
With one hour to spare before the expiration of their collective bargaining agreement, the Local 684 negotiating committee reached a tentative agreement with their employer on October 4. Two days before the contract expired, Local 684 members voted overwhelmingly to strike if the negotiating committee could not reach a tentative agreement before the contract’s expiration. The new contract, which was ratified by Local 684 members on October 12, includes some of the largest wage increases the local has ever negotiated.
UE Local 221 members who work at the Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA) Head Start program won a new two-year contract with significant wage increase for their lowest-paid members, janitors and food service workers. Classroom teachers will also see increases that bring them closer to what their public-school counterparts earn.
Licensed nursing assistants and medication nursing assistants at the Grafton County Nursing Home will see a $6 per hour increase to their wages thanks to a reopener negotiated by Local 278 in September, which establishes a new Licensed Nursing Staff Wage Chart. All other workers covered by the contract will receive a $2 per hour increase, and shift differentials will increase by $1 per hour, to $2.75 for evening and weekend shifts and $3.75 for night shifts.
On August 29, UE Local 625, whose members build high-quality circuit breakers and high-voltage equipment, ratified a new one-year contract. The agreement includes a six percent general wage increase and a freeze on healthcare costs. It also eliminates one step of the contract’s wage progression, meaning that newer hires will now make it to the top rate one year sooner. Members also received a $500 bonus.
Members of UE Local 155 who work for the Passaic Free Public Library have extended their contract for two years, through June 2025. Workers will receive a three percent wage increase each of the two years, and Juneteenth was added as a new holiday. Current employees will maintain the same plans, options, and reimbursement rates for health insurance.
The Local 155 Passaic Library negotiating committees consisted of Stephanie Fernandez and Dawn Rodriguez. They were assisted by International Representative Tara McCauley.
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