We met with the Company today and presented language proposals. Our proposal combined an increase in vacation days, carryover language, increase to single day usage and prorating of vacation for new hires. The Company stated that they had done an analysis of other Utilities as well as other employers in the Madison area. They said the analysis showed a short fall on the defined contribution pension but they are above the curve in regard to vacation and lucrative in health care. The Company stated that given the current economic situation, they cannot provide an improvement to vacation or vision.
We had dialogue in regard to the Kronos Payroll/Time Attendance software. The Company provided us with an overview and there are many unanswered questions and processes they have not worked out. They will begin testing for payroll purposes in May and intend to go live with the first paycheck in July 2009. Time entry personnel will be given training on its use.
In November 2008, the Company presented us with a safety shoe agreement and stated that it would be added to the contract during bargaining. The Company did not state at the time that we could not make changes to the agreement. We made a proposal on safety shoes and because we increased the benefit and proposed changes to the agreement the Company accused the Union of regressive bargaining and threatened the Union with an Unfair Labor Practice Charge.
We discussed Family Medical Leave Act and were provided information on how the Company handles accumulated leave. When the employee uses FMLA for their own use they can use any time off benefits they have accumulated up to the limitations of the Act. When an employee uses FMLA for a family member they can use up to 80 hours of accumulated leave. The Company is not interested in expanding on accumulated leave usage for FMLA.
We had discussions on both inclement weather language and reducing the amount of time a discipline remains in an employee's personnel file.
The Company made a counter proposal on lay-off language and the Union will be making a counter proposal which we hope to have completed for our next session on Thursday, April 2nd.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns please talk to a member of the bargaining committee.