A Union Contract is an agreement between your employer and the Union on behalf of you the employees. It sets the wages that will be paid for each job. It lists the holidays and the terms of vacations. It guarantees such things as health insurance and pensions. It sets up a system of seniority and provides an orderly plan for settlement of complaints or grievances.
The contract also provides for such things as sick leave, jury duty, funeral leave, military service, hours of work, overtime, safety regulations, and many other conditions of employment and benefits we shall receive.
Union contracts are alike in principle but they vary from plant to plant to suit both local conditions and the desires of the employees.
So, one of the first things that we will do after our Union is certified, will be to call a meeting with all employees to start the process of negotiating the contract. We will have a contract negotiating committee made up of employees from each department and shift. This negotiating committee will sit in on all meetings and play a vital role in directing the chief negotiators throughout negotiations.
Employees then will be free to make requests and suggestions (proposals) as to what we are looking to gain in our new contract. With the help of experienced Local 621 representatives, the negotiating committee will then put these requests into a written "Contract Proposal". The committee will then get feedback from fellow workers at a meeting to approve the proposal before it is submitted to management.
The negotiating committee, again with the help of the Local 621 representatives, will then go into negotiations with the officials of the Company. The Company will probably have proposals of their own. The negotiating committee will negotiate with the company representatives until they have the best deal they can achieve.
The negotiating committee will then come back to the Membership and you will have the opportunity to review and vote on the final offer to determine if it is approved (ratified) or not approved (turned down).