Members of Local 208 in Vermont and Local 1008 in California will begin working for a new federal contractor, IT Coalition (ITC), on February 1. ITC presently employs UE members at Local 808 in Lincoln, NE. The handoff in contractors occurs while UE's SCA Service Center locals are working under the threat of increasing automation, which could decimate bargaining unit work over the next three years.
The award of ITC's contract was announced in late November. Locals 208 and 1008 approached ITC in early December and demanded that the contractor negotiate with them prior to February 1. The coordinated bargaining committee first met with ITC in mid-December and again on several dates in early January. On January 16, the locals signed off on bridge contracts that maintain the predecessor agreements, with no concessionary changes, until May 31, 2023.
In addition to maintaining existing standards and conditions, including current shifts and schedules, the bridge agreements permit workers to waive medical coverage without proof of coverage (and seek better plans on their state exchanges). Workers can now take 100 percent of their Health & Welfare earnings as cash wages, and Local 1008 members will be provided with employer-sponsored coverage through the popular Kaiser HMO network.
Locals 208, 808 and 1008 will begin coordinated contract negotiations with ITC in February.
The UE negotiating committee consisted of President Christine Brown, Chief Steward Kelly Levick, and Terry Ferguson from Local 208, and Vice President Fred Hatef, Financial Secretary Liz Perez, First Shift Chief Steward Robert Holland, steward Jesus Sandoval, and Michelle Hipolito from Local 1008. They were assisted by International Representative Zachary Knipe.