UAW's Largest Local Makes Wage and Benefit Concessions

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Union reaches tentative agreement with state

By Amy F. Bailey / Associated Press

Highlights of state's tentative deal

Highlights of a tentative agreement reached between the state and UAW Local 6000, which represents about 17,000 state workers:

* Members are to work 40 hours and get paid for 38. The unpaid hours could be used toward vacation time or go into a retirement account if there are leftover hours when a worker leaves a state job.

* Dec. 26 would be a paid day off.

* Jan. 2 would be an unpaid day off.

* A pool of unpaid hours is to be set up for UAW Local 6000 members so that some could take fewer than the average 16 unpaid hours, or two days, if others take more than the average.

* The deal says there will be no layoffs or reduction in hours.

* Nurses in the state Department of Corrections no longer will be required to work overtime on their regular days off unless there is an emergency.

* A high-level committee is to be formed to review caseloads, discipline and work production in the Family Independence Agency and state Department of Corrections.

* A committee, that includes the lieutenant governor, is to be created to look at contracts.

Source: UAW Local 6000.

LANSING -- A union representing about 17,000 state employees has reached a tentative agreement with the state, a big step for the state's effort to save money on payroll in its already tight budget.

According to an e-mail sent to members of the UAW Local 6000 on Wednesday, union leaders agreed to a plan that would require state employees to work 40 hours, get paid for 38 and put the remainder in a bank that can be used toward vacation time or go into a retirement account if there are leftover hours when a worker leaves a state job.

The deal must be ratified by union members.

David Fink, director of the Office of the State Employer, helped negotiate the deal.

"We are grateful to the leadership of the UAW for working with us to find common ground in this difficult process," he said Wednesday in a telephone interview.

Union president Mary Ettinger wasn't immediately available for comment Wednesday morning.

Under the deal, union members would have a paid day off on Dec. 26 and an unpaid day off on Jan. 2.

The agreement also includes a provision for unpaid hours not in deals previously negotiated with smaller unions.

The UAW deal would set up a pool of unpaid hours for its members. The average number of unpaid days for the group would be two days, or 16 hours. By pooling the hours of its members together, some could take fewer unpaid hours if others take more than two days.

Fink said the UAW deal would save the state about $60 million.

The state already has a tentative agreement with two unions: the Michigan State Employees Association and the Service Employees International Union Local 517M. Each represents about 4,000 state workers.

The MSEA was expected to tally the ballots from its members later Wednesday to find out whether they supported the agreement, which would save the state about $14 million.

Deals reached with the MSEA and SEIU would their members to operate under the same banked leave time as included in the UAW deal. But their deals wouldn't allow members to pool together unpaid hours as the UAW agreement.

On the Net: Michigan Office of the State Employer, UAW Local 6000,


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