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Home » Issues » Research Foundation Central Office Contract Campaign » RFCO Contract Recommendation

RFCO Contract Recommendation

Posted July 20, 2023

Dear Members,

The 2023-2027 contract ratification vote will be open this Friday, 7/21 at 6pm, and close on Tuesday, 7/25 at 3pm, done through Election Buddy. You can view the side-by-side comparison of the current contract and new contract here: Language Comparison 2018 to 2023.docx

 

After a long and difficult series of negotiations with management that including information pickets, meetings with Hector, reaching out to the board of directors, a strike authorization vote, and navigating the “state of emergency,” we reached a settlement that may have fallen short on wage increases relative to the recent historic inflation, but protected and added many benefits for the members.

 

Based on a member survey from the summer of 2022, our goals from contract bargaining were: 1) a significant economic package in the face of historic inflation, 2) retention of a 50% remote work schedule, 3) a freeze to the health insurance premium employee contribution to 21%, 4) additions/improvements to compensation for vacancy coverage, 5) a protection of 20 family sick leave days, 6) an increased dental reimbursement to $250 per covered family members, 7) address workload issues, 8) make changes that prevent potential bullying from management.

 

After more than 20 bargaining sessions spanning from November 2022 through June 2023, the bargaining team reached an agreement that includes:

  • Salary Increases:
    • 3.5% retroactive to January 1, 2023
    • 3.5% on January 1, 2024
    • 3.25% on January 1, 2025
    • 3.25% on January 1, 2026
    • 3.25% on January 1, 2027
    • $1000 signing bonus
  • Longevity increment increases for the 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 year milestones. The reason these specific milestones were targeted was because in the last contract, management only agreed to modify/add the 3, 5, and 7 year milestones. Note that except for those who received their 30 year increment in the last contract period, we will not receive a retroactive longevity increase for an increment received prior to this year like in the last contract agreement.
  • Remote Work: the RF will maintain remote work schedules while reserving the right to change or eliminate such practices upon 60 days’ notice to the PSC and allow for impact bargaining.
  • Grace period for lateness: an employee who is late to work 15 minutes or less shall not have his/her annual leave balance charged, and if late by more than 15 minutes may have his/her annual leave balance charged OR may, at the supervisor’s discretion, make up the time.
  • The side letter providing the use of up to 20 days of family sick leave has been made permanent. (These are not additional sick leave days but reduce the need for documentation if caring for a sick family member)
  • Dental expense reimbursements will be expanded to $250 per year for each covered family member, rather than per employee.
  • Life insurance will be increased to double the employee’s salary, up to $300,000. Note there is a small tax implication when employers pay for life insurance that go over $50,000; a fraction of the life insurance will be counted as regular income for your tax purposes, even though you did not directly receive the money.
  • Health Insurance Waiver Plan: for those who are using health insurance outside of the RF’s offerings, the health insurance waiver plan will be increased to $1500 for individual coverage, and $2000 for family-style cover. 

 

*For more details, please see the side-by-side comparison: Copy of Language Comparison 2018 to 2023.docx

 

As you know, the bargaining team constantly reached out to the members, especially towards the end of negotiations when we were assessing whether you were willing to continue fighting for a higher salary. In the end, more than 80% of the members who responded to our last survey indicated that they would ratify the current proposal as long as it had full retro pay, and we were able to get it back on the table and avoid the state of emergency situation that would have been devastating to those relying on a 100% remote work accommodation to care for a loved one.

 

The bargaining team, including department reps and “activists,” put its blood, sweat, and tears into negotiating and organizing–we grew from around 10 active participants to 20, which is over 20% of the membership! It was not easy to make all of the meetings, as we met 2-3 times a week, but many members did their best to join and help out!

 

That is why the bargaining team strongly recommends ratifying the contract. We acknowledge there was a large discrepancy in what we wanted in salary increase in light of inflation and what management believed was fair, but otherwise we were able to negotiate a very beneficial contract thanks to the power we built and member participation!

 

Thank you,

Your Bargaining Team


Published: July 20, 2023

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