Presentation on theme: ".. Just a few of the many victories won by the Labor Movement for America’s workers 1) Health benefits 2) Sick leave 3) Pension benefits 4) Minimum wage."— Presentation transcript:
Just a few of the many victories won by the Labor Movement for America’s workers 1) Health benefits 2) Sick leave 3) Pension benefits 4) Minimum wage 5) Civil rights 6) The weekend 7) Social security 8) Parental leave
Why do we need a union? Imagine a workplace without a union…
Would your wages be affected? According to the U S Department of Labor, union members earn 30% more than non- union workers. Counting wages and benefits together, union members receive 36% more than nonunion members.
The wage gap is even greater for women and minorities Women in unions earn 33% more than nonunion women. African American union members earn 37% more than their nonunion counterparts. Hispanic union members earn 51% more than nonunion Hispanic workers. Publication Jan 2008
How are wages determined for non- union contractors? The lowest bid determines nonunion contractors wages and job condition. The union’s goal is just compensation – a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s labor.
What would happen to your COLAs? Each of the last several years, the union has lobbied for and won higher COLAs (cost of living adjustments) than the administration offered us. Due to successful lobbying from 2002- 2009, AFGE has successfully lobbied and put more than 9 % in your pocket (with compounding) each year.
What would happen to your health insurance upon retirement? Consider the health benefits for retirees - more important as you get older, right? … Don’t retirees have more pressing health issues?
Disturbing health insurance trend for retirees According to the Washington Post December 2004: “Less than a generation ago about 2/3 of large companies provided health coverage for retirees. Today, only about 36 percent do.” …and more than half of employers who still provide health insurance for retirees retain caps on those benefits.
AFGE won’t concede health care for their retirees Because of effective AFGE lobbying, all Census employees maintaining 5 continuous years on a Census health care plan shall upon retirement be eligible for full health benefits for the rest of their lives.
Would your retirement income be stable? More and more large companies (most recently IBM and Verizon) are opting out of pension plans. They prefer not to manage pension funds. As a result, they leave their employees with a less stable 401 K type plan … and put the financial future of their retirees at greater risk. 83% of unionized employees are covered by a pension plan, versus 33% of non-union workers. AFGE has made sure Census retirees enjoy three forms of financial support upon retirement: a fixed pension, fixed social security, and a variable TSP plan (a 401k type plan).
Do take advantage of your TSP! Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is similar to an IRA retirement fund that earns interest tax free until retirement. By the way, AFGE strongly suggests you take advantage of TSP matching funds… it would be very wise to take advantage of that offer! How TSP Matching funds work - If you contribute 5% of your biweekly pay to TSP, it’s advised you contribute an additional 5% to that fund.
Paid leave? AFGE has bargained and lobbied for paid sick leave and paid family leave … so that employees who are sick or have to take care of a family member continue to receive pay. AFGE has worked to make sure you receive paid vacation leave and paid holiday leave as well.
Would you get a decent health care package? According to BLS, only 67% of nonunion workers have health coverage provided by their employers. Many of those organizations have only one plan. AFGE has bargained and lobbied to make sure all Census employees have a broad range of health insurance options. Meanwhile, 85% of companies providing health care offer only a single plan.
Unionized workplaces are healthier A 1996 study shows 79% of unionized workplaces have high compliance with health and safety vs. 54% for non- unionized workplaces. Here at Census, the union is a partner at the table with management on the Health and Safety Committee.
Handling discipline on your own? Without a union, you can always hire a lawyer and defend yourself. The cost of a private lawyer starts at approx $200 per hour. EEO cases will cost you about $8,000. OPM cases will cost you about $6,000 Merit Systems Protection Board review of removal will run you about $7,000.
How does the union help out disciplined members? The union will defend you with a grievance process and even legal assistance if necessary. The union has strength in numbers and years of experience in dealing with Census specific issues. Sometimes even a simple phone call from the union office can resolve a problem.
Political Representation? Elected representatives determine your wages, benefits, compensation, and jobs. The union works closely and regularly with those representatives, working to protect you, your job, and your family. AFGE has a staff of well-informed, full- time lobbyist on Capitol Hill advocating on your behalf.
We have influence with Congress. Unions delivered more than 20% of the vote in recent major elections. The union working together with congress has been instrumental in winning major victories for Census – example, the new building.
How does the local union here work with management? Over the years, we have established a strong, cooperative working relationship with management and seek to avoid adversarial conflict. The local here has effectively bargained for numerous advantages that Census workers enjoy, including: AWS ( i.e. a 9 hour day), transit subsidies, a new on-site child care center, telework, and 4-10 (i.e. a 10 hour day).
Unions Backed by the Pope In the July 9, 2009 encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI he says: “ Trade union organizations experience greater difficulty today, partly because of Governments.. often limit the freedom of the negotiating capacity of labour unions…Repeated calls within the Church’s social doctrine.. for the promotion of worker’s associations that can defend their must therefore be honoured today even more than in the past.”
Don’t Believe the Myth Myth : Union workers are overpaid. Truth: According to statistical evidence provided by Dr. David Card of University of California at Berkeley, unions have consistently insured a more equitable distribution of wages from the top wage earner to the lowest.
Don’t believe the myth Myth one: Federal union employees are not as cost efficient as private nonunion contractors. Truth: According to Dr. Paul Krugman, 2008 Nobel Prize winning Economist and regular columnist for the New York Times:” I doubt if there’s a single politician or journalist in Washington who believes that privatizing much of the federal government is really motivated by a desire to reduce costs.”
Who is really overpaid? Truth: Top level executives in nonunion workplaces tend to be extremely overly compensated. In a 2003 study by Harvard’s Dr. Bebchuk and Cornell’s Dr. Grinstein, at least 1500 private companies blatantly overpay top executives to the tune of $8.7 billion, not including pensions. They also found from 2001-2003 that the pay of the top 5 executives of of those companies received 10 percent of those company’s earnings.
Are salaries of CEOs becoming more reasonable? According to Washington Post and Business Week: In 1965, the average Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a major corporations made 24 times the earnings of the average worker. In 1980, the average CEO made 42 times the earnings of the average worker. In 2007, the average CEO made 275 times the earnings of the average worker. Much of that overcompensation deserves to handed out to underpaid employees. Printed Washington Post Feb 6, 2009
Many would join a union if they could. According to the Washington Post editorial staff on Dec. 22, 2006: “polls suggest between 30 and 50 percent of nonunion workers would choose union representation if they have a chance to vote for it.” You are fortunate to have an opportunity to join AFGE here – even managers,HRD, and EEO employees have a way to join.
We need you to join…today if possible. We need more members in our local – additional members translates into more clout. Consistent anecdotal evidence points to the fact that a larger union base allows us bargain more effectively. Unions with larger memberships have proven more effective in achieving significant victories. Your membership status is private. We do a great job of preventing removals.
Another reason to join AFGE – member benefits A list of AFGE national benefits is too numerous to mention. However a list of member-only benefits is provided. As a member of the AFL-CIO, we are entitled to AFL- CIO benefits. We have a number of local benefits – scholarships, special funds, monthly luncheons, lunch and learns, holiday parties, etc.
…and other reasons to join AFGE Dues are amongst the lowest of any union in the region… or for that fact anywhere. Dues are eligible for tax deduction –Schedule A, line 21 of the Federal 1040. Sign up today and you instantly become a member. New members joining for the upcoming General Membership Monthly Meetings in Conference Rooms 1-4, or for that matter on any upcoming general membership meetings – held each third Thursday of the month- will receive an instant $50 rebate from AFGE. We also are offering a $50 rebate for anyone joining for any union event.
Job insurance … Another reason to join You would certainly have health insurance to cover medical costs in case your health fails you. Similarly, AFGE membership is very smart job insurance, which will cover you to protect the security of your job.
Still unsure? If you still are not convinced of the benefits of AFGE, talk to us privately about any reservations or concerns you might have.
By all means, visit us. Check us out and talk with a union representative personally. Phone us – our phone is 301-763-3175. Feel free to just drop on by and visit. We’re in Room 1H288 – near the cafeteria entrance, next to the open stair case. (see the handout for our phone number, room location, and web site) See how we work for you while you work for Census.