|Following up on the email I sent Monday, there are several important updates on how the City and Local 1092 are handling the current Coronavirus situation.
We met with the Mayor’s Office yesterday evening to further discuss the suggestions we made to them earlier this week. As a result, they are rolling out several temporary policies today. These policies should ease the burden on those directly affected by COVID-19, and on those doing their best to slow the virus’ spread.
First, there will be paid leave (in addition to any time you currently have on the books) for employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or directed by their medical provider to isolate themselves because they’ve exhibited symptoms.
Second, there will also be paid leave (in addition to any time you currently have on the books) for employees who must be absent due to a quarantine order from their medical provider (even though they may not presently have any symptoms).
In both of these situations, the paid leave is in addition to any paid time off the employee has or will have on the books.
Third, Department Heads will be allowed to advance vacation/sick days to employees who are staying at home because of some other, non-COVID-19 illness, or because of their child’s school closure. If that employee has already used up their 2020 vacation time and any comp time they may have, this paid leave can come out of an employee’s 2021 bank. If you do not want to use your vacation time, just apply for FMLA to make sure the absences are excused.
Fourth, the City will temporarily stop using biometric screening (hand swipes). Instead, they’ll require employees to swipe their ID cards and then “waive” their hand over the prongs. This will register the employee as present and at work.
Fifth, the City has created a tele-work policy for people whose jobs Department Heads believe can be completed from home. In large part of course, this won’t apply to us. It’s hard to install a water main, repair a bridge, etc. from home.
Your supervisors should have details on the implementation of these policies very soon.
Additionally, from a local union perspective:
LiUNA’s General President has recommended that all locals nationwide cancel their regular monthly membership meetings for the months of March and April. Therefore, Local 1092 is canceling our regular March and April Monthly Membership Meetings. March and April Executive Board meetings will proceed as planned, and the Executive Board has been authorized to conduct any business of the Local that would normally occur at the membership meetings. The Executive Board will then report its activities in the minutes at the next monthly membership meeting, currently scheduled for May 18, 2020. This is similar to what happens when we dispense with our July and December meetings each year. This also means Apprentices will not be required to attend a meeting during this, the second quarter of 2020. These cancellations of the March and April regular monthly membership meetings are currently the only change to the meeting schedule and business activities of Local 1092. As always, we encourage all members to contact us with any questions or issues you may have. No need to wait for the May meeting to bring them to our attention.
This is a continuously evolving situation, and we will continue to do our best to stay on top of it. These are positive steps for our members and should significantly aid in slowing the spread of the virus and keeping our members and their families as healthy as possible. We are pushing for similar policies for our members at the County, the Park District, and Cicero, and will be in contact when we make progress on that front. Call with any questions or issues.
This morning the Department of Aviation put up a bid for 5 Construction Laborers at O’Hare. You can apply online at cityofchicago.org. Note that a driver’s license is required for the position. If you have questions about the position, or would like help entering your bid, give us a call. Some of the successful bidders will likely be assigned to days, and some to nights. The bid closes on August 11.
And as always, remember to read the bid instructions very carefully and follow them very closely. Otherwise your bid may get rejected for a silly reason.
Lastly, remember to call us to reserve your White Sox tickets so we can finalize our order soon.
The Chicago Federation of Labor is awarding 10 college scholarships, for $2,000 each, to 10 high school seniors. The deadline to apply is February 13. Applications can be found at www.chicagolabor.org/scholarship.
- The applicant must be a senior in high school and graduating in the spring of 2019.
- Either the applicant or the applicant’s parent must be a union member in good standing.
- All applicants must complete the personal essay that answers the question: How has the Labor Movement impacted my life?
Completed applications must be received by the Chicago Federation of Labor by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. The Chicago Federation of Labor is located at 130 E. Randolph Street, Suite 2600, Chicago, IL 60601. Applications may be dropped off at the office Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Mailed applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.
Early voting in all 50 wards and various locations throughout Cook County starts today. Find the hours and your location here (city) and here (suburbs). If you are not registered to vote, you can register to vote at ALL early vote sites. If you are registering to vote, bring two forms of ID, one with your current address. If you are already registered, you do not need to bring ID but it may be helpful.
Here is the list of LiUNA endorsed candidates. You can print this and bring it into the voting booth with you. These are the candidates who will best represent the interests of working men and women; who are in favor of building the infrastructure that keeps us employed; who are in favor of the collective bargaining rights that make sure our jobs are worth having; and who are in favor of giving us the voice and the power that is normally reserved for the wealthy. Vote for them like your livelihood depends on it.
And here are two lists of volunteer opportunities. A Phone Bank Schedule, and a Labor Walk Schedule. As you know, we have a volunteer raffle at our November meeting each year. As it currently stands, almost everyone who has volunteered will win something. So please put in a couple hours at any of these sites and make sure we know about it so you’re entered in the raffle. It’s like exercising; it’s not always fun while you’re doing it but you feel a great sense of accomplishment when you’re done, and you know you’ve worked to improve your life.
Call with any questions, and make sure to vote for the judges too!
1. Bid for Laborer as Estimator
A bid for 2 Laborer as Estimators is currently on the City’s website. The job pays the same as a Construction Laborer but has No Specific Physical Requirements. So this is a phenomenal opportunity for people who want to work inside in a lighter physical capacity, or guarantee their ability to stay inside. Everyone currently working inside should be bidding on this job. Call Phillis to set up an appointment if you’d like assistance bidding on this job.
2. Bid for Watchman
A bid for 10 Watchmen is currently on the City’s website. This job, aside from its own merits, also allows people to bid into our Apprenticeship Program. So if you know family or friends that want to work in security, or who have been trying to get into the Apprenticeship Program, tell them to apply to this spot.
3. Training Center is hiring
The Laborers’ Training Center is hiring seven Trainers. Resumes are due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 12. Trainers start at the same rate of pay as a Construction Laborer, and can go up slightly over time if certain benchmarks are met. If hired, your pension with the City would freeze and you would start in a new pension plan at the Training Center. Work is at the Homer St. facility and the Carol Stream facility. You need:
A. A minimum of 5 years’ experience as a Construction Laborer;
B. 30 Hour OSHA
C. Strong math, reading, and computer (Word/Excel/Power Point) skills;
D. A passion for teaching, great mentoring and communication skills
Resumes should be mailed or emailed to:
LiUNA Chicagoland Laborers Training Fund
1200 Old Gary Avenue
Carol Stream, IL 60188
The Training Center is also hiring two Administrative Assistants. Pay is much less than a Construction Laborer. Work is at both the Homer St. facility and the Carol Stream facility. Resumes should be emailed to Miranda.Maddie@chicagolaborers.org by 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, October 5.
4. Transfer Requests:
There have been questions about the Transfer Request procedure, so here are some tips for and descriptions of the process:
A. Transfer Requests are only granted when there is a vacancy to fill. Just because one person had a Transfer Request honored to go on a Hydrant Truck does not mean your Transfer Request to go on an Investigation Truck will be honored. One has nothing to do with the other.
B. Transfer Requests are granted on the basis of seniority. If there are 3 vacancies to go to South District (any assignment), then the three most senior people with Transfer Requests to go to South District (any assignment) will get offered to have their request honored. If one of those three says “No”, then the fourth most senior person with a Transfer Request on file will be asked, etc. etc.
C. You can always say “No” when DWM offers to honor your Transfer Request.
D. Transfer Requests expire each year. So you need to continue to put in a Transfer Request each June for your Request to remain valid.
E. There is no limit on the amount of Transfer Requests you can put in each year.
F. There is no limit on the amount of Transfer Requests you can deny or accept in a year.
G. If you are not in an assignment you got by the Transfer Request process, you can be moved. So it’s always advisable to put in a Transfer Request.
H. Transfer Requests cover the assignments and locations that are on the Transfer Request form. 1092 has negotiated for decades to get those assignments put on the form. There are other assignments in DWM that are not on the form. Superintendents can assign people to those spots as they see fit.
I. Usually, there are many more vacancies for locations than there are vacancies for specific assignments. So people who put in a Transfer Request to get to a District have a much higher chance of getting their Transfer honored than someone who puts in a Transfer for a specific assignment within that District. For example, there’s only one Monday-Friday Investigation Truck on days in Central District. But there are over a hundred laborers assigned to Central District. So we always advise, and the Transfer Request form instructs, that if you want a location change, don’t select a specific assignment.
J. If you hear that someone with less seniority than you gets a Transfer Request honored to an assignment or location to which you also have a Transfer Request on file, please let us know and we will ensure DWM did the process fairly.
K. There is no agreement to send everyone from the “Class of 2014” to New Construction. But we are working with DWM to have them honor the Transfer Request procedure, which means filling spots in the Districts and elsewhere based on who has the most senior Transfer Request on file to fill that position. This is for the long term benefit of everyone in the Bargaining Unit, and honors the seniority our members build up.
Please call us with questions, that’s what we’re here for.
Sunday, September 9, is “Union Day” at Guaranteed Rate Field. The White Sox play the Angels at 1:10 pm. Local 1092 will purchase tickets for all members and their immediate families that want to attend. Please call or email 1092 to reserve tickets and let us know the names of your family members that are coming. We will also have a tailgate with food and drinks in our parking lot before the game. It should be a great day to enjoy with our families and our work family. One note- if you reserve tickets but don’t use them this year, we won’t be able to buy them for you next year.
In other news, today is the beginning of our new member benefit package. In the next couple of weeks, you will receive a booklet outlining each benefit, but the benefits are effective today so I wanted to run over them quickly:
1. Life Insurance- non-retired members still have a $50,000 life insurance policy, but we are changing insurance companies to allow members to buy up to $120,000 more in life insurance without any medical test if they choose to do so. The new company needs 60-90 days to implement the program and we will have instructions for everyone that wants to buy the additional insurance soon. You will also be able to buy up to $30,000 in life insurance for your spouse, again without a medical test.
2. AD&D- non-retired members have a $5,000 policy that pays out amounts in the event of Accidental Death and Dismemberment.
3. Legal Services- for all members and their entire household, we’ve contracted with Union Legal Services to allow members to call and speak with an attorney or retired judges about any issue a member may have, whenever they need to, for free. We have also negotiated very low rates for legal representation in matters ranging from Real Estate Closings, to Divorce, Wills, Criminal Matters, and others. Many issues, like Criminal Expungements and Property Tax Appeals, are free. There is even a 24-hour emergency line for criminal matters.
Union Legal Services: 1-877-694-2663
24/7 Emergency Hotline for Criminal Matters: 630-567-5849
4. Identity Recovery Coverage- all members and their entire household retain $25,000 in coverage for attorney fees, credit reports, etc; $5,000 in lost wages for time spent recovering your stolen identity, and another $1,000 in any out-of-pocket expenses.
5. Roadside Assistance- for all members and their households, we have switched this benefit to Allstate Roadside Services. Each household gets 3 free services per year, from jump starts, to towing, to flat tire repair and more. Download the Allstate Motor Club app or simply call 855-256-6019. The Allstate Motor Club app also provides huge discounts on hotels, restaurants, shopping, and more.
6. The Coalition of Union Labor Credit Union- for all members and their households, is a member-owned credit union that provides mortgages, vehicle loans, home equity credit lines, direct deposit, and many other banking services. Because it’s member-owned, there is no profit motive and the loan rates reflect that. If you are buying or refinancing a house, or a car, or just want great service from your bank, I highly recommend you open an account. The Coalition of Union Labor Credit Union is a member of the Allpoint ATM network, meaning you can use over 55,000 ATM’s worldwide without a fee. The network includes all ATM’s at CVS, Walgreens, Target, Costco, Mariano’s, and more. Call 708-482-9606 or visit www.moecu.com for more information.
7. Sun-Times- We originally had tried to get all members free digital subscriptions to the Sun-Times. However, the Sun-Times insisted on having the ability to solicit our membership. We guard our membership list very closely and do not give it away to anyone. So we had to draw the line and cancel the deal. However, we did negotiate with them a discounted rate for both home delivery and digital subscriptions. Go to suntimes.com/midwest-labor to sign up.
We have joined with almost 100,000 other union members to negotiate these benefits. As more members are added, we hope to expand the benefit package. We can’t improve it without feedback, however, so please let us know how your experience is when working with any of the above providers. And as always, call with any questions.
On June 6, DWM will post for 25 Laborer Apprentices and 6 Subforemen at cityofchicago.org. If you have a friend or a family member you think would make a good member of Local 1092, please encourage them to apply for the Apprentice spot. If you are bidding, please make sure to follow every instruction.
For instance, if you are a Construction Laborer applying for a Subforeman spot, do not assume that the City knows the duties of a Construction Laborer. List them in your application.
Another common issue: your employee ID number for purposes of a bid is the number on your pay check. It is not the number on your ID card.
As always, if you would like assistance putting a bid in, you can call the hall to set up an appointment with Phillis.
For those of you in DWM and Aviation, be sure to turn in your transfer requests this month and keep a time-stamped copy of the ones you turn in. There is no limit on the amount of requests you can put in. There is also no limit on the amount of requests you can accept.
I always advise people to choose “Any” whenever they can. When you choose specific shifts or assignments instead of choosing “Any”, you narrow the opportunities you have to get a transfer granted.
Monday, May 21, Aviation will be posting a bid for Chief Storekeeper. If interested, you must apply online at www.cityofchicago.org and completely follow ALL instructions or your bid will be rejected. Please contact the hall with any questions or to set up a time to sit with Phillis if you want to get assistance completing your bid.
On June 5 and June 12 at 5:00pm, 1092 will be hosting a presentation on your retirement and financial well-being at the union hall. Dinner will be provided. To attend, please RSVP at www.metlifeplansmart.com and type “Local-1092” in the company field.
We will have a pension fund trustee on hand to answer questions, and will also go over investing your money, your Deferred Comp plan, long term disability insurance, and other tools you can take advantage of to improve your financial security. You should plan to attend both sessions, some great information will be shared and it’s likely you will benefit directly from the advice given. Please call with any questions.
As you know, our local is made up of members who work for the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, Cook County, and the Illinois Secretary of State. Our contract with the City will end June 30, 2022. We just agreed to a one year extension on our Park District contract, which will now expire June 30, 2019. Our District Council’s contract with union contractors ends June 1, 2020 . Our contract with the County ends November 30, 2020, and our contract with the Secretary of State expires June 30, 2019.
Some of our members, mainly Watchmen, make a wage negotiated directly with the City. These members will receive a 2.25% raise on 1/1/19, a 2% raise on 1/1/20, a 2.25% raise on 1/1/21, and a 2% raise on 1/1/22. Additionally, some members, mainly Traffic Enforcement Technicians, Safety Specialists, and District Clerk positions are on the City’s salary schedule, These members get the same raises as the Watchmen but they also move up the salary schedule as their seniority increases. Most of our members make the “prevailing”, or “area standards” wage, which is a construction wage historically based on the wage negotiated between our District Council and the union contractors in the Chicagoland area.
The prevailing wage is based on the rate negotiated between our District Council and union contractors because a huge percentage of the construction work in the area is union work. Therefore, our union wage “prevails”. It is the area standard because we are a strong union and do our best to make sure almost all construction work in the area is done by union laborers. If our union is ever weakened, we would lose our ability to enforce the prevailing wage. Fly-by-night contractors would get away with paying laborers less money (the prevailing wage in Texas, for example, is $10.35 an hour), and since we make whatever the prevailing wage is, our wage would immediately go down.
This is no joke. Our salaries and the livelihoods we provide for our families are at stake. Every year, big money groups on the right wing try to turn us into Texas. If you want to make $10 an hour, head to Houston. This is Chicago, and we stand together and make sure we are paid what we are owed.
The prevailing wage is certified by the Illinois Department of Labor in June of each year, and then appears on our checks in July. Some of our groups, like our members at the County, receive a pay check sometime this winter that covers the raise retroactive to July 1.
Now for the good news: at our District Council allocation meeting this morning, an additional $1.00/hour was allocated to wages. Therefore, effective July 1, members making the prevailing wage will get a raise of $1.00/hour. The raise for Apprentices will be based on what level the Apprentice has attained. For instance, an Apprentice making 80% of the full prevailing wage will see an increase of $0.80/hour.
Please remember that Bruce Rauner wants to drastically cut our pay, and will continue to make multiple attempts to do so. We must stand together, prove our value to the citizens we serve, and work to elect candidates who recognize that value. United we will continue to move forward.