UNIONS BEGIN WITH YOU
When working people come together, they make things better for everyone. Joining together in unions enables workers to negotiate for higher wages and benefits and improve conditions in the workplace. There are millions of union members in America from all walks of life. These individuals know that by speaking up together, you can accomplish more than you could on your own.
You deserve fair treatment at work – and that means the protection of a union contract. Most people don’t know that without a union contract they can be fired for almost any reason or no reason at all. Having a union means you always have someone that has your back if you feel you are being unfairly disciplined or targeted.
‘Collective bargaining’ is how working people gain a voice at work and the power to shape their working lives.
Almost everyone has at one point felt unheard or powerless as an employee. Joining Local One SOU means that you and your colleagues have a say because you negotiate important elements of employment conditions together. That could mean securing wage increases, better access to health care, workplace safety enhancements, and more reasonable and predictable hours. Through collective bargaining negotiations, the union also works with management to develop a process for settling disputes that employees and their managers are unable to settle individually.
Once a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is agreed to, union representatives work with employees and with management to make sure the rights and obligations spelled out in the agreement are honored. And they represent workers in high-stakes situations, such as when a safety violation has resulted in injury. By these means, collective bargaining gives workers a say in the terms of their employment, the security of knowing that there are specific processes for handling work-related grievances, and a path to solving problems.
Unions Raise Wages
Working people in unions use their power in numbers to secure a fairer share of the income they create. Employers who have to bargain with workers collectively cannot pursue a strategy of
“divide and conquer” among their workers. Workers who are empowered by forming a union raise wages for union and nonunion workers alike. As an economic sector becomes more unionized, nonunion employers pay more to retain qualified workers and norms of higher pay and better conditions become standard. For example, if a union hospital is across town from a nonunion hospital and the two hospitals are competing for workers, then the nonunion workers will benefit from the presence of the union hospital.
*In 2022 Local One SOU had an average raise of 4.5% annually across our 10 different sites and over 1000 members.
Unions support strong families with better benefits and due process
Each and every contract of ours is catered to their specific needs and wants. We fight tooth and nail for what you deserve. Whether it’s having your employer contribute more so you can save or adding supplemental insurance so you can be covered if you’re out for an extended period, Local One keeps you at ease with a contract you deserve.
What is a Grievance?
A grievance is an employee complaint that the employer violated the worker’s rights under the law, pursuant to a contract, or as set forth in the employer’s workplace policies and procedures. In a union workplace, a grievance generally involves the employer’s breach of the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. Both individuals and groups of employees can file a grievance. Common examples of grievances include disputes involving the payment of wages, unsafe working conditions, changing job duties, improper disciplinary actions, and other issues.
Worker’s compensation/Supplemental Insurance
Laws governing workers’ compensation are primarily made at the state level (with the exception of federal longshoremen), but they generally form an insurance system in cases where a worker is injured or becomes ill at the workplace. The employer is liable in the system, regardless of fault, and in return they are protected from lawsuits and further liability. Lack of information about eligibility and the necessary procedures for filing a claim forms the greatest obstacle to receipt of benefits. Fear of employer-imposed penalties and employer disinformation are important other factors weighed by workers deciding whether to act.
As with unemployment insurance, unions provide information to workers through their representatives, and they often negotiate procedures to handle indemnity claims. Through grievance procedures and negotiated contracts, unions protect workers from employer retaliation and, furthermore, act to dispel the notion among workers that employer retaliation is commonplace.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Passed in 1993, the FMLA grants workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period to care for newborn or newly adopted children, or in case of a personal or family member’s health condition. The leave taker is guaranteed the same or equivalent position upon return. One of the most striking characteristics of the act is that less than an estimated 60% of employees covered by the FMLA are not even aware that it exists. There is also widespread misunderstanding on the part of the employer about whom the act covers and when it applies. There is evidence that this leads employers to reject legally entitled leaves (Budd and Brey 2000).
According to Budd and Brey (2000), union members were about 10% more likely to have heard of the FMLA and understand whether or not they were eligible. Union members were found to have significantly less anxiety about losing their job or suffering other employer-imposed penalties for taking leave.
And although the authors did not find union membership significantly increases the likelihood that a worker would take leave, they did find that union members were far more likely to receive full pay for leave taken.