Teachers quietly win health and pension rights

Feb 2, 2010

Sometimes victories are won through intense action and noise, but other times they’re won quietly behind the scenes. By examining your current situation and looking at the union’s history with your employer, we can find the best way to deal with the issues that are most important to you.

This is a recent example of a victory through a quiet behind the scene approach. Members, working with the union, were able to markedly improve their working conditions by winning enrollment in health and pension insurance.

At this small employer we had the perfect formula for victory – a group of union members who were already in regular contact with union headquarters, and an employer that already offered above average wages, and had a history of contact with the union.

Our first plan was to teach the union members themselves how to ask to be enrolled in health and pension insurance. This approach had worked in the past at the company but due to the current economic climate, our members were not successful this time around.

Our next step would usually have been to submit demands for collective bargaining, but because of the regular communication between all the parties – members, union, and the employer; we tried a different approach.

Using our past relationship with the employer we were able to talk discreetly with the president of the company and ask him what he was planning to do about health and pension insurance, especially because of the new link between health insurance and visas. We let the employer offer the enrollment (we were quite clear about the company’s obligation to enroll), and they found a way to enroll union members requesting it. Solved!

If you’re a current union member or someone who hasn’t yet decided about joining, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open so that we can work together to map out a plan that’s suited to your workplace. Let’s talk.