February 2016

New executive board sworn in

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!