Major gains for 3,300 state worker Teamsters
It takes months of hard negotiations every four years but reaching agreements and securing ratifications for the state government contracts always represents one of the Local’s greatest accomplishments “Congratulations to all parties involved,” said J.P. Fyans, Local 916 President. “I was proud to negotiate with the various business agents and union members at the bargaining table and make such gains. We had many members involved in bargaining, and some at the bargaining table for the first time. Their viewpoints and energy were tremendous assets.” The contracts provide an average 12 percent wage increase over four years. Some members achieved free health insurance coverage and, perhaps the biggest gain – all Teamster working families now have access to better maternity and paternity paid leave. “It used to be four weeks total, and it had to be shared between the mother and the father,” said Fyans. “Arguably, that’s not even enough for new mothers so, essentially, it meant new fathers were rarely able to take leave to care for and bond with a new child.” The contracts now provide a full ten weeks of leave for each parent. “It is a quality of life benefit, and achieving that for our members is as much a part of our job as securing wage increases,” said Fyans. “We’re gratified we were able to make this happen.”