Workplace Issues Today
Daily News for Monday, December 9, 2013
Selected by the Catherwood Library Reference Staff each Monday through Friday, excluding University holidays, WIT is a free alert service, providing abstracts and links to workplace-related news stories covered in the major media. Subscribe to WIT »
Established in 1999, this service also includes a searchable archive.
Pratt & Whitney's final offer in Connecticut likely to be rejected by IAM
Pratt & Whitney, a division of the United Technologies Corporation, has made its final offer in its negotiations with the IAM in Connecticut. The offer includes increased medical costs after the first year of the contract and cuts of 140 jobs, but protects commercial engine work in Middletown as well as a promise to bring a new manufacturing unit to the state. The offer, which includes 2.5% pay increases each year and increases to pensions and 401k contributions, is expected to be rejected by the 2,800 employee union membership at the advice of their leadership. If the union votes to reject the contract it could lead to a strike of thousands of workers.
See “Pratt: Negotiations Ended With Union Unsatisfied, Planning To Reject Offer,” by Brian Dowling, Hartford Courant, Dec 09 2013 (BCS)
Budget battle puts federal employee's retirement at risk
The Budget Conference Committee was set up to resolve differences between the House and Senate spending plans, but the latest plan offered by Republics may be unpalatable for federal employees. The plan calls for more than doubling the percent of income that employees would contribute to their retirement programs as well as cutting the Federal Employee Retirement System Annuity Supplement, a program designed to build retirement for new employees, and changing the measure of inflation for retirement benefits to the chained CPI. The moves would mean workers would get approximately $20 billion less in retirement. The presidents of the two largest federal employee unions, the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union, will jointly denounce the plan in a press conference on Thursday. The Republican Congressmen who proposed the plan are defending the cuts as part of Obama’s reforms in his 2014 budget and by saying that the cuts would delay the sequester cuts by two years.
See “Federal employee retirement could be affected as rivals prepare for the battle of the budget,” by Joe Davidson, The Washington Post, Dec 09 2013 (BCS)
Loophole leaves UM Medical Center employees without collective representation options
The Maryland Attorney General’s November opinion cleared up a loophole which kept the University of Maryland Medical Center employees in Baltimore from unionizing. The discrepancy occurred because while the employees are not state employees, the facility is state-run. This meant that the NLRB did not have jurisdiction over the Maryland State management employees, but also, the State Labor Relations Board could not rule on private sector workers. The Attorney General’s opinion suggested several options, which include removing the governor from the selection process of the Medical Center’s board of directors or making the entire hospital a public institution, similar to other hospitals in the University of Maryland healthcare network. The Service Employees International Union has campaigned to help many of the employees at the Medical Center unionize for several years, but because of the technicality have been unable to raise enough support to hold a union certification vote.
See “Union renews push for labor protections at UM Medical Center,” by Scott Dance, Baltimore Sun, Dec 09 2013 (BCS)