Local 32035 bargainers recently achieved a new contract for a half-dozen Guild members at United Way Worldwide’s Department of Labor Participation. The agreement runs through April 30, 2018.
Highlights of the contract include raises of 3.5 percent each year and a signing bonus of $1,000. The employer is increasing its share of the cost of health-insurance premiums from 75 percent to 80 percent.
“There also was an enhancement to the 401(k) plan,” said Local Representative Paul Reilly. “But this was only partial compensation for the freeze in the pension benefit” that has been gradually diminished in previous agreements.
The philanthropy’s labor participation staff serve as AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison to workers and their families across the nation. The primary mission of the department is to coordinate federation support for the United Way.
The United Way unit was organized by WBNG in 1997, with an initial five-year agreement. Successive Guild contracts were achieved in 2002, 2005, 2008, and a four-year deal in 2011. In September 2015, the 2011-2015 agreement was extended one year.
United Way staffers Nancy McCormick and Josh Cezares, along with Reilly, comprised the shop bargaining team.
The 100 Guild members at Radio Free Asia have ratified a three-year agreement providing January wage hikes that will be 1 percent above the increases realized by federal employees. At United Way Worldwide, six WBNG-represented employees have secured a one-year contract extension featuring a 3 percent pay boost.
United Way Worldwide has signed a card-check agreement with The NewsGuild. The action is a result of negotiations taking place since May, when about three dozen UWW “associates” voted against forming a WBNG unit.
Under the new neutrality agreement, both the professional associates and support staff will be able to more easily organize a Guild shop.
UWW’s chief operating officer had led a vigorous anti-union campaign in the run-up to the election. “Some of the letters that management sent to employees were made public and unions around the country contacted United Way and questioned their continued participation in United Way campaigns,” said Guild Administrative Director Tim Schick. In a report to the WBNG Executive Council near the end of April, Schick said he was confident of a WBNG victory.
United Way employees in regional offices nationwide had begun talking with WBNG in late 2014. Following unit-determination hearings, an election was held May 13. “We lost the drive after UWW used some bad tactics,” said Guild President Bernie Lunzer. But by late summer, the relationship had been repaired. “They made a mistake and acknowledged that. We believe we’re past that now that the card check agreement is in place. I believe UWW and TNG-CWA share many of the same social justice values.”
WBNG has represented professional staff in UWW’s Department of Labor Participation since a first contract was signed in 1997. Successive Guild contracts were achieved in 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2011. The 2011 contract – under which the six-covered associates based in Alexandria are receiving 3 percent wage hikes – was recently extended to April 30, 2016..