Local 893 Members
The Urbandale School District used claims of declining enrollment and
skyrocketing insurance premiums in an attempt to bully union members into
concessions on benefits, but the UE Local 893-16 negotiating committee stood
Workers at Urbandale receive a flex-pay cash benefit or use their flex-pay
dollars to purchase the schools group health insurance policy. The District
insisted that flex pay be cut in half for those not taking insurance a
$1,860 pay cut for one third of the bargaining unit. Further, the District
told union members that the teachers, who have similar benefits, had already
agreed to the cut.
WILLING TO FIGHT
UE members made it clear that regardless of the teachers, they were willing
to fight for their benefits. After months of stalling and refusals to back
away from the cut, the Districts position began to crumble. Through
mediation the union discovered that the teachers had a guaranteed raise to
make up for losses in flex pay. Realizing that their cutbacks could not be
justified to an arbitrator, the District caved in on the flex-pay issue.
The union went on to negotiate a 28-cent increase on the base pay plus 2
percent between steps on the wage schedule. Flex pay will increase to $3,900
for workers taking insurance. The contract ratification vote was unanimous.
Negotiating committee members were Pres. Tom Dale, Sec.-Treas. Shelley
Thomas, Vice Pres. Dale Bohall, Lester Smith, Mark Van
Baaken and Carol Hamilton. Local 893, IUP Pres. Bill Austin
acted as chief spokesperson.
UE News - 07/00