Everyone in the labor movement knows that not all contracts are perfect, not all of them are even good. Sometimes workers can't maintain enough strength against the boss, sometimes something else goes wrong... But then there are the contracts that are truly horrifying, contracts that set dangerous precedents or where both the boss and "the union" benefit at workers' expense. These are contracts you gawk at like a bad car wreck, until you remember that someone is trapped and suffering in there, and it could just as easily be you or a loved one!
Here's one of those contracts... It's a new tentative agreement covering Kaiser security officers in Northern California. A quick summary...
- FIVE tier wages rates mean officers across the region will be paid at very different levels:
Tier 5: Central Valley: $10.50
Tier 4: Sacramento: $11.00
Tier 3: East Bay: $11.75
Tier 2: South Bay: $12.25
Tier 1: San Francisco $13.00
- TWO days of sick leave a year.
- During the first three years of employment the officers must pay for part of their own coverage and they must pay the whole premium for family or spouse coverage - hundreds of dollars most won't be able to afford (look at those wages again!). Starting with their 4th year of employment they must still pay part of their own coverage, and a smaller amount for family coverage.
- Security Officers will have to pay 2.3% dues per month, so that $10.50 per hour is really more like $10.24! Do you think SEIU are sorry this contract turned out so bad?
No other Kaiser worker pays as much in dues as these security workers, and no other Kaiser worker earns as little (Perez hopes there shouldn't be a "yet" on the end of that sentence)! Put that together with the five tier pay and the huge dues, and it's a real bad sign for Kaiser workers in Zombie UHW.