New UE Members in Glenwood Schools
Fight All Night
For First Contract
Glenwood workers celebrate
their organizing victory.
It took many meetings and a marathon 15-hour session, many trips for
snacks to the local convenience store and a state-appointed mediator, but the new UE
members employed by the Glenwood Community School District won their first contract on
The support staff workers who make up UE Local 865 voted for UE
representation last November. They are child care workers, custodians, kitchen workers and
teacher, library, printer and media aides and associates.
These workers brought to the negotiating table a call for fair wages and
benefits and respect for their years of dedication and service.
Benefits could differ significantly depending on the year of hire or in
what part of the district workers worked. "It was heartbreaking to put down
holiday on my time sheet when I knew the person next to me, doing the same
work, would not get paid," said Jeannie Wagner, kitchen worker.
The first UE contract made significantly advanced standardization of
benefits. Bereavement leave is expanded to a much larger group of workers with paid days
available per occurrence, not granted according to the total per year as previously. Two
family illness days are gained for all bargaining unit members and not just some. Also,
child care workers won the same 15 days of sick leave per year as the rest of the
Other highlights of the agreement include a three-step grievance procedure
ending in arbitration and recognition of seniority in promotions, transfers, and layoff.
The custodians are guaranteed an eight hour workday. A new shift differential of 15 cents
per hour is implemented; employer insurance contributions increase. Other key components
are excellent health and safety language, a call-back provision and an across-the-board
wage increase of 36 cents per hour.
The UE negotiating committee consisted of Michelle Bennet, Patti Briels,
Toni Hunt, Wess Hunt, Jeannie Wagner, and Linda Wray. They were assisted by UE Intl. Rep.
Greg Cross and Field Organizer Rick Hartmann.