A Message from Local Union 776 President Ed Thompson
Hello again, I hope everyone is enjoying the summer season, we certainly had a good kick off to summer at the Local Union Family Picnic held at Knoebels Amusement Park in June! There’s more information and photos from the picnic later in the newsletter and also on the Local Union Website.
I would like to update you on some Local Union information:
With the various National Contract Negotiations that the Local Union was involved in completed and new agreements in place we will enforce these new agreements so that the members covered by them get the contractual benefits afforded them.
We began negotiations with Hershey Medical Center in June on a new 3-year agreement covering our members at the Medical Center. The Hershey Medical Center contract is the largest “White Paper” contract that the Local negotiates, covering approximately 1170 members employed throughout the Medical Center. I’m happy to report that an agreement was reached with Hershey Medical Center and approved by the membership. Please see the article on page 1 of the newsletter for more details.
We continue to negotiate various white paper contracts covering our members in county government, corrections, nursing home care, and warehousing to name just a few of the contracts Local 776 negotiates and enforces on behalf of our members. Also we are continuing negotiations for newly organized bargaining units at Asplundh, Lower Swatara Township Police, and Veritiv.
At this time I would also like to take a moment to welcome our newest members who recently ratified their first contracts and are working at Cumberland Township Public Works and also the Surgical Technologists working at Hershey Medical Center.
As we progress through 2019 the Local continues to grow, becoming stronger. It’s been one year since the Janus court decision changed the way we do business in the public sector, but we continue to grow there; adding new members to our ranks as we continue to organize in the public sector.
We all work hard to maintain a successful Local Union that we are proud of. There are many factors that contribute to our success but there are three main components that stand out.
First is our size; we are the largest Teamster Local Union in Pennsylvania with a diverse membership in the private and public sector. The Local negotiates and enforces over 85 contracts covering our members working in the public and private sector.
The second component is strength; the size of our Local also translates to strength, financial strength. We have the resources to take on employers with the tough issues when we believe our members’ contractual rights have been violated. Also financial strength affords us the ability to maintain an adequate number of experienced Business Agents with the skills to serve this diverse membership. With many of our members working under national contracts in Freight and UPS our Business Agents are well versed in these respective contracts. It is because of this experience and leadership demonstrated by the Business Agents that lead to appointments to various national negotiating and grievance committees. These positions keep our Local strong; we have direct input at the national level on matters that affect our members. Additionally our financial resources allow us the opportunity to present educational and training seminars as well as recreational activities for you and your families to participate in.
The third component I’d like to discuss is solidarity; our solidarity is the glue that holds this Local together The Teamsters are not a “top heavy” organization; we are not an inverse pyramid with more officers at the top than members at the bottom. Our Local’s strength is you. The members are the base that supports us in our endeavors to represent you. Included in the member base are our Union Stewards; highly trained, dedicated members who go to work each day with the members in mind and are the Local Union’s eyes and ears on the jobsite. The Local Union Officers and Business Agents are the next level of our organization. Fifteen individuals who were elected by you, supported by you, and are working for you. With close to 9,000 members this group is able to get the job done because of your support of your Stewards and the Officers and Business Agents. Finally we can’t forget our staff, loyal employees who come to work each day to serve you, the members, and support the Officers and Agents so that they can concentrate on serving you.
It is this group, united and focused on the membership that stands united with you. We are one, you the members, the Officers and Agents, and the staff. From our dedication and support of each other; from the jobsite on up to my office, where everything eventually rests with me as your President.
I’ve been told I say this to often but it bears repeating because it comes from the heart: I am Proud to be a Teamster, proud to be the person you elected to serve this great Local Union, and proud of each and everyone of you who put true meaning in the name of our Union; The International BROTHERHOOD of Teamsters.
President Teamsters Local 776