New Year — New Contract

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RATIFICATION BONUS TO BE PAID IN JANUARY UNLIMITED MERIT, SPOT BONUSES 401(K) IMPROVEMENTS
DOUBLING OF PARENTING LEAVE

In late December, Guild members overwhelmingly approved the tentative agreement the Guild bargaining team reached with management, triggering the payment of a $425 signing bonus to each employee and an improved 401(k) match for employees not covered by the traditional pension.

Because of the 401(k) improvement bargained by the Guild, BBNA will now contribute $0.75 for each $1 an employee contributes to his or her 401(k) account, up to a maximum 5.666% of earnings. The change makes it eas- ier for employees to get the full company match without having to contribute as much of their own money.

Only employees who are not covered by the pension (those hired after September 2010) get the match. Em- ployees hired before that date are vested in the defined benefit pension — which the Guild was able to preserve with no changes. BBNA had threatened to slash both the pension and 401(k).

With the new year comes unlimited merit pay increases as well as unlimited spot bonuses. That means man- agers aren’t restricted by any caps on either the number of increases and bonuses they can award, or the amount of those increases and bonuses.

That is on top of automatic pay increases ranging from 2.5% to 4.0% for the next three years, as well as im- provements in the payouts under both the corporate and individual sides of the pay-for-performance program.

Also starting this year, new parents have at least 20 days of paid parenting leave that they can take in con- nection with the birth or adoption of a child. Employees who are the primary caretaker can take an additional 10 days of paid leave, for a total of 30 days—a doubling of the parenting leave that was previously available.

The Guild additionally was able to hold off most of the cuts in overtime pay.

BBNA had demanded ending cash overtime payments for almost all employees in Grade 8 or higher. In the end, only employees who are exempt from federal overtime regulations AND who are Grade 9 or higher AND whose salary is above the maximum of Grade 9, Band B ($88,510 as of 3/1/16) won’t get cash overtime. Instead, they get compensatory time at the time and one-half rate.

All employees remain on the 37.5 hour week, but time and a-half (either pay or comp time) kicks in after 40 hours in a week. From 37.5 hours to 40 hours you get straight time. Annual leave, personal days, and sick days do not count toward the weekly hours worked.

What happened to the sick leave bank?

The answer: We don’t know.

BBNA demanded that it take over the sick leave bank (which had been successfully administered by the Guild for years), but as of early January, BBNA had not set up a replacement. The contract language demanded by management calls for a 60-day transition period during which the two sides would “meet and confer” (not bargain) about the transition from the Guild bank to the management bank. But in the meantime, management says there is no longer a sick leave bank, leaving employees who need the leave out in the cold.

Units in this article: Bloomberg-BNA