Why Organize? Without a union, you are an “at will” employee. This means that an employer can fire and can change an employees pay, pension, wages and benefits without just cause. In a unionized workplace, management is legally required to bargain with the union to provide a fair and equitable legally binding contract. The contract would spell out an employee’s rights, benefits and the due process for addressing grievances.
The employer knows that if there is not a contract, they can change or take away anything they want at any time. Many workers call Teamsters Local 445 wanting to organize to create fairness in the workplace and to gain some control over their work life. The rights, benefits and process for addressing grievances would be included in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The first thing you must do is realize what this is all about: winning the right to negotiate a contract that improves and guarantees your wages, benefits, working conditions, job protections and time off.
It is a LEGAL DOCUMENT! It is enforced by your Teamster, elected Shop Steward and Business Agent, and by Local 445's professional attorneys.
To win this right, you must first gain the support of your co-workers. The best way is to form a CONTRACT COMMITTEE that will lead the effort.
The federal National Labor Relations Act protects from retaliation or harassment all private sector employees who lead such efforts. (search NLRB.GOV). Municipal workers are protected by the state Public Employment Relations Board (search NY PERB). The key to gaining this protection is being able to prove that management knew you were active in the contract campaign. (This is usually done with an official document listing the names of the employees involved in the effort).
Once your co-workers have all the information, they will be asked to sign confidential AUTHORIZATION CARDS authorizing Teamsters Local 445 to be their bargaining representative. These cards are not shown to management. When at least one-third of the employees sign the cards, the Union files them with the NLRB or PERB. The NLRB or PERB then conducts a secret-ballot election at your workplace. One more than half of those who vote must vote "Yes" for the Union to win the legal authority to begin negotiations.
By that point, the employees will have been surveyed regarding what they want in their contract. The employees will then elect contract reps from among their co-workers to join with the Union professionals to negotiate the contract. A contract is anywhere from 30 to 60 pages long. It usually takes at least three months to complete negotiations.
You pay no dues unless and until you and your co-workers vote by secret ballot to approve the contract presented to you (that way, if the contract is not worth the dues, you can vote no!) There is no initiation fee, except for a small one for those hired after the contract is negotiated. Monthly Union Dues are only two-and-a-half times your hourly rate for Private Sector employees (so if you make $20 per hour, you pay $50 per month). Public Sector employees pay only two-and-one-fourths times their hourly rate once a month. Dues are NYS tax deductible.
Nearly 99 percent of all contracts nationwide are settled without strikes, according to the federal Department of Labor, so don't let management scare you about voting for a strike. There are many non-strike strategies in the Teamsters' arsenal.
NOW PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO CLICK ON THE BOX ON THE LEFT MARGIN ENTITLED "ORGANIZE TODAY". FILL THIS BOX OUT AND YOU WILL BE CONTACTED WITHIN A DAY. ALL INFORMATION WILL BE KEPT STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.
Remember: it's all about winning the right to negotiate a contract, for your sake and the sake of your family.
THE TEAMSTER FACTS
What is a Union? A group of people working together to improve their work lives through Collective Bargaining… YOUR CONTRACT!
NO dues are paid until you vote to approve your contract. Why would you vote on a contract that wouldn’t cover the cost of dues and put money in your pocket? Whether it takes three months, six months or longer to negotiate a contract, you will not pay anything until your contract is voted on by you! Dues are not retroactive.
This is your union. You vote on your contract committee, stewards, and union officers. You and your co-workers set the priorities for your union contract. You and your co-workers vote to ratify (approve) your union contract.
Less than three percent of all Teamster contracts are involved in any kind of strike. Strikes in the school bus industry are rare. The union will not tell you to go out on strike. YOU, as a unit, will decide by voting if you want to go out on strike, and a strike vote requires a two-thirds majority.
We are honest and open! If you wish to read the Teamster constitution, you can find it at www.teamster.org. Contact your local union for a copy of local by-laws to review.
You are the team; we are the coaches. This is your campaign. We are here to help you reach your goal of forming your union. You are the union; it is your future. Get involved!
It is not true that if you form your union, you will lose what you already have. If this was true, companies would be calling us to organize all of their workplaces. This is a scare tactic because companies know that once you have a union, they lose their absolute power over you. They have to start dealing with all employees fairly, giving everyone the respect that they deserve and engaging in good-faith negotiations for your union contract.
Page Last Updated: Apr 12, 2022 (11:40:00)