Local 2

October 2017

Stewards hear IBT speakers

EXECUTIVE BOARD
Bill Rowe, secretary-treasurer
Karen Bouley, president
Aaron Ralph, vice president
Terry Bartle, recording secretary
Chris Conway, trustee
Shawn Fontaine,trustee
Milan Kubla, trustee

BUTTE — Local 2 hosted a steward seminar on September 9, 2017. Joe Saroli from the International DRIVE department gave a presentation on the importance of DRIVE and how contributions to the department are used. He explained that DRIVE is involved in things like voter registration, and voter guides that show the records of our senators and representatives in Congress. While Joe was at Local 2 we were able to visit some of our members with DRIVE language in their contracts and get some new folks signed up for the program.

Shawn Ellis from the IBT Education Department was also here to give a presentation on the role stewards play in the workplace. The course was a valuable tool and gave new and seasoned stewards a greater understanding on how they can make a difference in the workplace. We had a great group that was very active in the discussions. It was a good time and there was generally positive feedback on the materials presented from the stewards.

We would like to thank everyone who took time out of their busy weekend schedules to attend the seminar. We would also like to extend a thank you to Joe and Shawn for coming out.

Report from Erin Foley, business agent

Summer was fast and the smoke was very thick in Montana, and we are hoping to see the end to the horrific fire season we have had. Thank you is not enough for those who bravely risked their lives every day working on these fires and those who worked behind the scenes taking care of those on the front lines and also those at home worrying about their loved ones every day.

It has been a busy season for me with a good amount of contracts being negotiated. Contracts that I have worked on and settled in 2017 are: St. James Healthcare, Anaconda Deer Lodge County (clerical, detention, and road), Copper Ridge Health and Rehabilitation, Industrial Towel, Genesis Healthcare, Crest Nursing Home, McGree Trucking and Community Hospital of Anaconda.

Negotiations went smoothly and for that I have to thank members of our great negotiating team for their hard work and dedication, not only as stewards but also for helping to negotiate good contracts. Without them involved it would make the process more difficult than it needs to be. So hats off to all of those who get involved and are active in their union!

Report from Shawn Fontaine, business agent
A 72-hour notice of intent to strike was sent to UPS Kalispell on Tuesday, September 5. Although no action had been taken as this column was written, the members are preparing in case the company doesn’t make the needed changes. Another unfair labor practice charge was filed to protect the members if a work stoppage does occur.

In July and August, I filed a total of 164 UPS grievances. Supervisors working and excessive overtime make up the majority, with numerous seniority violations as well. We are getting through these as quickly as possible but the sheer volume makes it slow to review.

I would like to welcome our newest group to Local 2. Employees at Garden City Compost elected Teamster representation in August. We are working to get the proposals put together and start the negotiations process.

August 2017

School contracts OK’d

EXECUTIVE BOARD
Bill Rowe, secretary-treasurer
Karen Bouley, president
Aaron Ralph, vice president
Terry Bartle, recording secretary
Chris Conway, trustee
Shawn Fontaine,trustee
Milan Kubla, trustee

Report from Jim Stone,
business agent

BUTTE — Negotiations have taken place with Cut Bank Schools on three separate agreements–aides, cooks and maintenance. Each of these groups voted their contracts and ratified new 2-year agreements.
Construction agreements have been negotiated with Sletten Construction and contracts have been sent to the company for signatures.

I had negotiations with Fergus County on a back longevity for the one member who has yet to be paid. I will meet again in July to try and settle this issue.

Negotiations have started with Great Falls Pre-Release, Great Falls Transit District and Teton County Road and Bridge.

Proposal meetings were held in Poplar (Poplar school bus drivers) and Valley County (sheriff’s office).

I sat on two grievance hearings for Local 190 – FSA in Billings. One was deadlocked we were able to settle the other.

I hope everyone has had a great summer.

June 2017

Unity vital in UPS talks

EXECUTIVE BOARD
Bill Rowe, secretary-treasurer
Karen Bouley, president
Aaron Ralph, vice president
Terry Bartle, recording secretary
Chris Conway, trustee
Shawn Fontaine,trustee
Milan Kubla, trustee

Report from Terry Bartle, business agent
BUTTE – The year has passed and we have moved from the Internationals Convention to the Unity Conference. With the passage of time the message presented to the membership takes on a new note.

At the convention lines were drawn and sides occurred. Some aligned themselves with the Hoff/Hall campaign; others placed their allegiances with Teamsters United. Unity calls on all to become one body. The message was clear throughout the conference. Teamsters must present a single and solitary front to accomplish the work we need to move forward.

What is it that we need to accomplish? UPS contract is soon to open and this is our largest contract in terms of membership and monies. Call it our benchmark. This contract will be viewed by everyone, union and non-union alike. Success will be noted in how this contract provides for the members as well as how it provides for the future of UPS. With a labor force that has seen continuing tightening of size and diminishing available bodies this will be a contract that truly will call on all to craft a workable model. Following this work will also bring us to a new place in using the media available to all.

Facebook, Twitter and the World Wide Web all play into the transparency of these negotiations. “UPS rising” is the title that follows the process. These sites will enable members to see in a timely manner the constant work of your negotiation team. With this social media we will see actions and reactions to the process of negotiations. Some will be positive and many will be negative.

I personally hope those who post will remember we are one union and we need to unite to prove that. If you see problems in the process proffer solutions not just demeaning comments or flailing rants. Every Teamster in the workforce will be needed to bring this contract from the table to the workplace. I’m not just looking for those wearing brown when I term “every Teamster.” This contract will bear on all of our contracts, so we all need to support the work.

Pensions will be another daunting task. With some trusts failing to be able to provide the benefits earned–and expected–action on this front is vital to all. Every failure will intrude on trusts that we view as solid and capable to provide for retirees. Solidarity may have a price in this. But, we need to provide for the legacy that is part of being organized labor. Just like punching the time clock it is all our job to see to our brothers and sisters secure in retirement.

Rounding off all this is the need to be aware of legislation, local and national that is moving to turn back the clocks on labor. Right-to-work for less is only one of these. Congress is acting right now to remove overtime from the work place. Instead employers would be able to provide compensatory time at straight rates and still they control when that time could be utilized. The entire Federal Labor Standards Act of 1938 is being dissected and re-apportioned.

Unite! Be aware, be active, be one Teamsters Union. Solidarity is salvation to the labor force.

Report from Erin Foley, business agent
St. James – ED/BHT Techs will receive a $.50 increase for the combining of their jobs, still working on this issue. Currently in contract negotiations, no changes from last update, did have a phone conference call which was a waste of time.

Broadwater Road Department – Had another meeting and gave back our counter offer. Because of scheduling conflicts we don’t meet again until May.

MSU – We had 7.5 hours scheduled on campus for a proposal meeting, and sent notices to all 130 members of the group. We saw approximately 10 of them, but I do have a team assembled for negotiations and proposals. I met with a member over a wage pay issue and warning letter in file. We were able to come to a settlement on it.

Industrial Towel – A member who has not signed the settlement documents and has retained an outside attorney per McKittrick’s request because it deals with medical issues. They have filed a complaint with the Human Rights Bureau and we are just waiting to find out what they rule on it. Reached out to get in contact with Joe but have not heard back.

Gilmans – The contract is opened, and we are waiting to hear what Southwest Pavers settle on. If they don’t settle soon Gilman may give an offer to push them to settle.

Butte Silver Bow – The contract is open, and proposals are ready, waiting on BSB. The Boot ULP was stayed and deferred to the arbitration procedure. Waiting to see what the grievant decides to do.

Report from Jim Stone, business agent
Great Falls Public Schools (foodservice and warehouse) have ratified new 3-year agreements.

Charges have been filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Eagle Beverage for “not bargaining in good faith,” and we are awaiting results of the charges. There has also been a decertification petition filed for Eagle Beverage that the NLRB has put in to abeyance until the charges filed are completed. We are still waiting to hear from the NLRB.

Proposal meetings have been held for Blaine County R&B, Great Falls Pre-Release, Great Falls Transit District and Cascade County IT Department.

I have filed for arbitration with Sysco Foods on the termination of a member. This will have implications throughout Sysco as a nationwide company. We are still working on dates for this arbitration.

I have filed for arbitration with Northern Rockies Medical Center on the termination of a member. Dates have been set for October 11.

Grievances have been filed with City of Glasgow (termination) and Cascade County (termination).
A Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust representative was in Great Falls meeting with members who had requested to meet about their pensions.

Report from Shawn Fontaine, business agent
Too often I am surprised by members who don’t involve themselves in the contract they work under. Meetings, proposals, negotiations, and union activities are dismissed. We all have busy lives outside of work and spending time with our families and loved ones becomes paramount. However, having a voice in your wages, benefits and working conditions is not something that should be taken for granted.

Without a collective bargaining agreement your right to such a voice would be muted. Reading your contract and asking questions is the easiest way to get started. In many of my recent meetings, I have been surprised that many members either dismiss or aren’t aware of the rights they have in their respective contracts. I would challenge the members of this great union to read their CBA and ask those questions.

Knowledge is a powerful tool for all to use.

April 2017

Snowplow drivers appreciated

EXECUTIVE BOARD
Bill Rowe, secretary-treasurer
Karen Bouley, president
Aaron Ralph, vice president
Terry Bartle, recording secretary
Chris Conway, trustee
Shawn Fontaine,trustee
Milan Kubla, trustee

By Bill Rowe
Secretary-Treasurer

BUTTE — While traveling the State of Montana in blizzards, icy and snow packed roads, we all need to give a large Thank You to the Teamsters who work for the Montana Department of Transportation. These folks work all hours of the day and night and in terrible conditions to make the highways safer and help all travelers get to their destinations.

Snowplows are on the road for every traveler’s safety. When you are following a snowplow remember not to crowd the plow; the driver has limited visibility, so never assume that your vehicle is in the plow driver’s line of sight. Be sure to maintain a safe following distance as the drivers are not only plowing but sanding and may be applying liquid chemicals to the road surface. Always slow down plows are large vehicles and move at slower speeds.

Please be considerate to the plow drivers. They are doing the best job possible for the conditions.These dedicated professionals deserve courtesy and respect. From Bill Rowe and the staff at Teamsters Local 2 thank you for all that you do and all of you are truly Montana’s unsung heroes.

Report from Erin Foley,
business agent

It’s that time of year again where I think most people in Montana start to get tired of putting on their winter jackets and brushing the loads of snow off their vehicles. I believe spring is just around the corner but you never know with Mother Nature and Montana weather. I for one am ready for spring, green grass, and Sun!

As spring approaches, several contracts are scheduled for negotiations. So please pay attention to your union bulletin boards and watch for meeting flyers. If you want to make a difference or a change, get involved and show up to your meetings and be an active participant!

Report from Jim Stone,
business agent

Negotiations with Eagle Beverage, Great Falls Public Schools (foodservice and warehouse) and Valley County are moving forward.

Mediation is scheduled with Great Falls Public Schools (foodservice and warehouse).

Charges have been filed with the NLRB against Eagle Beverage for “not bargaining in good faith.” We are awaiting results of the charge. There has also been a decertification petition filed for Eagle Beverage that the NLRB has put into abeyance until the charges filed are completed.

Proposal meetings have been held for Sweet Memorial Nursing Home CAN’s and LPN’s, Unified Disposal, Teton County Road and Bridge, Roosevelt County 911 and sheriff’s deputies.

I have filed for arbitration with Sysco Foods on the termination of a member. This will have implications throughout Sysco as a nationwide company.

Grievances have been filed with Northern Rockies (termination), Meadow Gold (termination) and City of Glasgow (termination).

Watkins/Gusto members have decertified from the union.

Utah/Idaho Security Fund will be sending an administrator for a meeting with the Meadow Gold members later in March.

I will be opening 24 contracts this year.

Report from Shawn Fontaine,
business agent

Members are ramping up across the local for UPS negotiations. I will be sending surveys and having proposal meetings this spring. Look for more information on updates soon.

Opening letters are being sent in March and April for many of the public-sector CBAs. With uncertainty at the state and national level for funding, these negotiations are looking to be difficult as the stream of revenue is not clear at this time.

Please drive safe and look out in construction zones as many members are repairing and maintaining the roads in this great state.

Report from Terry Bartle,
business agent

Voices
Times seem to be moving in a crazy and concerning way. Politically we are all aware of this. In our communities, some are aware of this, but others bury their heads and continue about their own business. At times, concerning oneself with only what affects him or her is the best idea one can have.

However, as a union member, that may be the worst idea for you. We are a collective body. Things that we do affect others and, as such, they need to be considered as part of any problem or solution.

Sometimes the easiest solutions are the last to be considered. Why? Maybe it just doesn’t occur to people. Possibly it isn’t the answer one wants in totality. It fixes the problem, but it doesn’t grant one person all they wanted.

At times I sense the articles and discussions that I am part of are just words among the choir. We are all present and taking part but we don’t take the discussion outside of the room. We hear ideas and have provoking discussions on remedies. Filing all this away for what?

Recent discussions with members of other unions indicates this is not singular to us but applies to all unions. The level of involvement is incredibly low throughout. Everyone expects amazing things to happen and they expect someone else to do it. Nothing happens that isn’t driven by majority and, unfortunately, we seem to have a silent one. Except when things don’t go as they wrote in their script Most often this happens when it is simply too late.

Yes! If you’re reading to this point, I am preaching to the choir! And I’m glad you are there. Now I would ask you to speak up to our brothers and sisters who are the silent ones. It can be as simple as suggesting that they attend a local’s meeting with you or with a group from work. Maybe it is just asking them for their ideas for proposals or solutions to a work group problem. Sometimes people feel excluded because they were never asked to participate. And participation is what will deliver us all in these times.

February 2017

Two contracts settled as new year begins


EXECUTIVE BOARD

Bill Rowe, secretary-treasurer
Karen Bouley, president
Aaron Ralph, vice president
Terry Bartle, recording secretary
Chris Conway, trustee
Shawn Fontaine,trustee
Milan Kubla, trustee

Report from Erin Foley, business agent
BUTTE — Happy New Year! I finished up the year negotiating with some hardworking Teamsters at Community Hospital of Anaconda in the housekeeping department. This membership has seen many changes and growth through the last couple years with the expansion of the hospital and other services offered to Anaconda and surrounding areas.

The hospital and Teamsters recognized the added work load and made adjustments and increases to many areas of the contract along with a wage increase of year one, $.50; year two, $.60 and year three, $.70 per hour for all members.

Another successful contract settlement early this year was in Livingston, Montana at Big Sky Services. The employees will see a wage increase of year one, $.45; year two, $.45 and year three, $.50, along with an added personal day after 20 years of service to the company.

Teamsters Local 2 consistently strives to better the relationships with employers while keeping the members best interests in mind by continually working hard to get the best contracts, wages and working conditions for all members.

Report from Shawn Fontaine,
business agent

As times have changed, our modes of communication have also. Social media has created a sometimes harmful way for employers to pry into our personal thoughts. I see more and more discipline cases involving members posting remarks regarding management and other union members that have led to discipline, including discharge.

Without getting into a debate of freedom of speech, I can only advise that we need to watch what we post and when. Never post or comment on anything while on the clock, and be cautious when commenting about work or co-workers, hourly or management, even on your own time. The most innocent comment may be taken completely out of context, or misperceived as a threat, thus leading to discipline. Remember that once you hit “send”, it can always be found!

Report from Terry Bartle,
business agent

Labor’s Winter – As you open this edition of the Rocky Mountain Teamster there is hope that winter is nearing the end of its long hold on our days. Along with that hope is the promise of warmer days and longer periods of light.

I hope that by this time our political solstice too has come to be a promising time. With the election results being what they are, many things went well for labor, and many things remain a question. I personally am holding that with our many brothers and sisters voting as happened, their interests will be served and those elected officials will prove worthy of the votes they garnered.

On the state level, money will certainly be a contentious issue for public employees. Funds are being reduced in places normally thought of as safe havens. The general feel of the 2017 legislature is very akin to last session. Labor costs are a leading factor for all departments to consider reducing or capping.

Capping or freezing that expense is never an element that gives promise to retention or recruitment.
However, the other idea, the reduction of labor, is a far greater concern for everyone. The last legislature made cuts in every department by removing vacancy savings that have long been part of personnel. Further cuts were made by defunding Montana Development Center, Boulder. Neither of these ideas show concern with Montana families, only Montana finances.

As we move into the period of negotiations, many of our union families will show support and solidarity by being involved with our elected officials. I again ask everyone to be active in the process. If you are not in a position to travel and join in, then find avenues that will serve you in being a part of the discussions necessary.

If you are unsure what those might be, contact your union reps and ask for information and ideas. Remember that you are the union and it is by your activity and efforts that union business moves forward, and with that motion you fulfill the legacy that is your contract.

Others were here in these same conditions and made changes we have all held as ours. Others will face a future that will require them to again assert themselves in the interest of solidarity and our contracts will endure by their hand.

December 2016

Best wishes for the Holidays

TEAMSTERS LOCAL 2
EXECUTIVE BOARD
Bill Rowe, secretary-treasurer
Karen Bouley, president
Aaron Ralph, vice president
Terry Bartle, recording secretary
Chris Conway, trustee
Shawn Fontaine,trustee
Milan Kubla, trustee

BUTTE — May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year. Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

Report from Jim Stone,
business agent

Negotiations with Eagle Beverage, Great Falls Public Schools (foodservice and warehouse) ,City of Glasgow and Valley County are moving forward.

Teton County Road & Bridge Members have ratified a new one-year agreement.

Proposal meetings have been held for Greenfields Irrigation District and Watkins/Gusto Distributing and opening letters have been sent out along with proposals.

The crafts have been having issues with Cascade County Public Works contracts and we have been having meetings with the members.

I was in Billings for a grievance hearing put on by Local 190 against Food Services of America. The union prevailed and we will negotiate over an overtime sign-up sheet.

Report from Shawn Fontaine,
business agent

As the year closes out, I reflect on how much was accomplished and how much more there is to be done, not only to protect the local, but to continue to grow and strengthen in numbers. Active participation in meetings, proposals and negotiations by the membership is key. Get involved. It’s your voice that needs to be heard!

As the year closes, I thank you all and wish you safe travels wherever the road takes you.

Report from Erin Foley,
business agent

‘Tis the season to be thankful and spread Joy to all. However, it has been a year of reflection for many of us, full of extreme highs for some along with extreme lows for others. So I ask you this simple question “Are you happy with how this year turned out?” If the answer is “yes” then I encourage you to carry on.

If your answer is “No” then ask yourself why, and how can you make it better. How can you become part of the solution to make things better, and change your answer to “Yes”?

So my challenge to you is do something, make a change, get involved. Go to your monthly membership meetings and participate. No more sitting back and ignoring the change. Change happens whether you want it too or not. So why not be involved and help make the changes that will make you say Yes!

Happy Holidays to you and all your loved ones!

August 2016

Standing up for good wages, conditions

TEAMSTERS LOCAL 2
EXECUTIVE BOARD
Bill Rowe, secretary-treasurer
Karen Bouley, president
Aaron Ralph, vice president
Terry Bartle, recording secretary
Chris Conway, trustee
Shawn Fontaine,trustee
Milan Kubla, trustee

Report from Shawn Fontaine
business agent

BUTTE — As many of you know, the Mineral County Sheriff’s Department went out on strike on Memorial Day.

These brave members stood up for what is right in the face of adversity. They are fighting for better wages and working conditions. Going on strike is not something to be taken lightly, nor should it be.

If employers are unwilling to change how they treat their employees, this may be the only answer. At the time of this writing we have had two mediation sessions. Although we have gained ground, we have more to go.

I want to send a special thanks to the longshoremen, Local 98 of the ILWU of Seattle. Scott Guntle, who is a member of the ILWU is also a Mineral County resident. Scott and his wife came out in support of the striking workers. They bought five grocery carts of food for the striking Teamster members. This was followed by two additional members riding from Seattle to walk with us. What a great example of solidarity!


Report from Bill Rowe
secretary-treasurer

Every election cycle we always urge all Teamster members to register to vote and to cast ballots to make their voices heard. This year our state and national elections are even more critical than any in decades, we will be confronted with a real and fundamental choice on the direction of our state and nation.

Often I hear members complain that voting is a waste of time, but we all need to choose experienced leaders who can help keep our state and nation on point and moving forward. Do your own research. Find state and national legislators and senators who are labor friendly and have in the past voted in your best interest, and then choose wisely.

Make sure you are registered to vote. Together we can make a difference.


Report from Jim Stone
business agent

As this column was written, negotiations with Eagle Beverage and Valley County were moving forward.
Cascade County (juvenile detention), Cut Bank Schools (aides, cooks and maintenance) and Ryan’s Cash & Carry (SuperValu) have ratified new agreements.

I have begun negotiations with Great Falls Public Schools (foodservice and warehouse), City of Glasgow, Teton County (road and bridge, courthouse and sheriff’s office), Town of Valier and Zero Waste Solutions.

Negotiations are pending with Blaine County (road and bridge), Discover Moving, Hill County, Sweet Memorial Nursing Home (LPN’s and CNA’s) and Northern Rockies Medical Center.


Report from Terry Bartle
business agent

Timing is everything.

As this column was written, it was already well into our summer, a season in Montana that is too short and never organized enough to complete all that is planned.

Timing is something we all realize is important, but never seemingly important enough until it is too late. Our to-do lists seem to be adequately assembled to see them completed in a timely and productive manner. But then life happens.

Plans for the afternoon become part of tomorrow’s list, tomorrow finds an identity in next week’s plan, next week flows seamlessly into next month, next month gathers itself and leaps into next spring and so it goes.

Summer will end all too soon and for most, that end curtails some portion of everyone’s time-table. And with summer’s end, we find ourselves at last nearing the end of the campaign trail. Thankfully!
Here is where our timing becomes imperative. Don’t wait for divine intervention or some other mystical or magical source to guide your vote. Be informed of those candidates that truly represent you and your concerns. Namesakes often lead us to believe that the person or the party will take care of us.

Not true.

Does anyone really understand how the “hard rightwing” is akin to the “conservative moderates” or “leftists” have a shared desire to involve themselves with some other political group? I know I certainly can’t resolve myself to believe that there is a group that represents me solely. To that end we all need to look at the person and their record to guide us in an informed manner.

The internet makes this less formidable but leaves us to determine how and more importantly who presents this information. The truth is seldom a concern in politics. Often it is disregarded entirely for the sake of a partisan viewpoint. The “good guys” do it as well as anyone else. Focusing on one side of an issue and never mentioning the long term effects that should moderate an opinion. Union members have all seen this occur in contracts. Making a small change that appears harmless finds a bigger and often negative presence somewhere else in the same agreement.

Voting can certainly have the same effect on our lives. Many times our thought process leads us to believe that a benign candidate may be a more appropriate choice. They have never caused real harm or grief in our day by day dealings so they probably won’t cause us any great concern down the road. Fact is, probably more likely, they won’t prevent grief in our lives.

Bottom line is. Your vote is just that, YOUR, vote. No one should tell you how to cast it. Parties should not be a guide solely. Actions for your livelihood must prevail in this process. The time is NOW to research who is in your corner and determine for yourself that the privilege of voting is important. How the future will look, not only for you, but for those who choose not to vote, or have not attained that privilege, is riding with you.

Most people waited 18 or 21 years to earn their vote. Every two or four years they have the chance to put it to use. Don’t save it for something that might not ever be. Get up, get out, and be a part of the Democratic process. No one can represent you better then yourself. Everyone who reads this is intelligent enough to understand our lives are better because of our strength as a union. Now is the time to unite to keep our union strong.

Your vote is a right; and it is right to vote!


June 2016

County arbitration case heard

TEAMSTERS LOCAL 2
EXECUTIVE BOARD
Bill Rowe, secretary-treasurer
Karen Bouley, president
Aaron Ralph, vice president
Terry Bartle, recording secretary
Chris Conway, trustee
Shawn Fontaine,trustee
Milan Kubla, trustee

Report from Erin Foley, business agent

BUTTE — On April 7, 2016, I represented one of our detention officers in arbitration against the county regarding a hostile work environment charge. The arbitration went really well and I believe I was able to present a very good case on behalf of our member. He was very pleased with my representation and ability to go up against the county’s lawyer. Two officers are currently suspended.

St. James had a very productive LMC and are holding a vote regarding moving them to the PEER 84 program. Had a couple meetings for members training issues and they have been resolved.

City of Bozeman — I have met several times with the member and the stewards getting proposals together and a solid game plan for negotiations. I also filed a grievance regarding wages and the city not giving raises during their anniversary date.

MSU — I represented a member for a discrimination claim against him, which is still under investigation.

Took Ashleigh and April to lunch for administrative assistant week and thanked them for all of their hard work and dedication to the daily operations of the union and helping all the business agents.

Report from Jim Stone, business agent

Negotiations with Eagle Beverage, Fergus County Sheriff’s Office, Valley County and Ryan’s Cash and Carry (SuperValu) are moving forward. Roosevelt County 911 members have ratified their contract.

City of Great Falls’ negotiations have concluded and the members have ratified a new two-year agreement.

Proposal meetings have been held with Teton County (road and bridge, courthouse and sheriff’s office), Cut Bank Schools (aides, cooks and maintenance), Sweet Memorial Nursing Home (LPNs and CNAs), Blaine County (road and bridge), Great Falls Public Schools (foodservice and warehouse), City of Glasgow, Cascade County (juvenile detention) and Zero Waste Solutions.


February 2016


New executive board sworn in

TEAMSTERS LOCAL 2 EXECUTIVE BOARD
Bill Rowe, secretary-treasurer
Karen Bouley, president
Aaron Ralph, vice president
Terry Bartle, recording secretary
Chris Conway, trustee
Shawn Fontaine,trustee
Milan Kubla, trustee

BUTTE — The year 2016 is already shaping up to be a busy one at Teamsters Local 2. The new executive board was seated on Saturday, January 9, 2016. We are excited to begin working with our new board and want to congratulate them on winning the election. We would also like to give a special thanks to member Mike Mcnamara. He was kind enough to give up part of his Saturday to swear in our new board.

Report from Terry Bartle, business agent
As the year begins in January and moves slowly toward spring, we face new challenges and thoughts are developed about how things might be changed, new ideas for new times.

Yet the truth is that old problems will constantly be with us. As we enter this period, which should give us hope and promise, we are faced with recurring situations from our past. The belief is that we learn from our past but the reality is we never hang on to those memories long enough to put them forward.

I have recently recognized an idea that gives me great hope in what we stand for as a union. That idea is recognizing that each contract contributes to a legacy. Union negotiators who preceded us realized that what they accomplished in bargaining would make us stronger and more unified in the future. Looking forward to others’ futures and not centering on ourselves is an attitude often brought to the negotiating table. Hopefully, this is something more members will recognize when it happens, or better yet, make happen.

As you browse your contracts, study them for their strengths and weaknesses. Think of future members and how what we do today can affect them and provide for their success within the bargaining unit. We all consider what it is that we have inherited and should look to what we will leave for others.

With a commitment to others’ futures we become stronger in our own time. Those who choose to engage their contract and live within it are the ones who easily see what the future should be like, and move towards it becoming a reality for those yet to stand inside the four corners of a contract.

Leaving a legacy is what should, and will, drive us forward. Give it a thought?

In solidarity many things are probable and all things possible.

Report from Jim Stone, business agent
The Eagle Beverage arbitration was held September 24. We have heard from the arbitrator. It is my opinion that we received a 90 percent win from the arbitrator. Current and past employees will receive back pay from May 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. They will also have their pension contributions restored. We did not win the language issue that we were fighting for and will need to address this in upcoming negotiations.

Negotiations with Eagle Beverage, Fergus County Sheriff Office, Valley County, Poplar Schools, Ryan’s Cash and Carry (SuperValu) and Fort Peck Tribal 911 are moving forward.

Negotiations have been completed with Redi-Mix, Teton County Road & Bridge, Town of Valier and Great Falls Pre-Release. All have ratified their agreements.

Report from Erin Foley, business agent
With 2015 behind us now, I must say it was an extremely busy year. With the majority of my contract load all expiring at the same time, it made for a challenging year with travel all over the state to cover the many different and unique units we have.

One thing I took away from it all is to encourage our members to be involved everyday with union business. Pay attention to things that work and things that don’t, so that when we head into proposal meetings everyone has ideas and examples of things that may need to be changed. There are always the big issues such as wages, insurance, and retirement, but remember there are always other issues that are sometimes taken for granted during the contract years that could simply be fixed by adding or deleting language in the contract.

So, in closing, I encourage everyone to be aware and get involved. The members are the eyes and ears inside the facility for all business agents. We can’t be there day to day to see the operations working. Get involved, be alert and stay in touch with your stewards and business agents so we can unite and stay strong and continue the fight!