January 18th, 2023 Bargaining Session Update

The Union Bargaining Team met for the seventh overall bargaining session today in Madison. The Union was able to engage the Company in a detailed discussion regarding the Union’s proposal on Promotions and Job Descriptions. The proposal was the result of weeks of planning and preparation by the Bargaining Committee and in consultation with the unit. It calls for an automatic promotion from QA I to QA II after no greater than one year, with quicker promotion based on qualifications, skills, and demonstrated job-related knowledge. The proposal also calls for written job descriptions to be agreed upon with the Union for QA I, QA II, QA III, and QA IV, as well as a flow chart for promotion opportunities.

The most positive aspect of the Union’s proposal was the apparent sincerity with which the Company listened to and engaged the Bargaining Committee regarding the proposal. Unlike past proposals, the Company bargaining committee members engaged regarding the proposal, including detailed feedback. The Company did not have a detailed reply, but promised to get back to the Committee with a response. 

The Union Bargaining Committee explained to the Company that an interim agreement, in order to clarify job duties and arrange for proper promotional opportunities, would be met favorably. The Union Bargaining Committee also raised with the Company our concern, also being investigated by the NLRB, that bargaining unit work was continuing to be reassigned to non-bargaining unit employees. The Company provided data that reinforced this fact.

If our work is reassigned at will to others, it makes it exceedingly difficult to engage the Company in good faith negotiations. We thank all members of GWA again for their support, including the unprecedented solidarity maintained at the last bargaining session, where about half of the unit observed the session. We are hopeful that this outward showing of support led the Company to return to the table today with a new sense of urgency toward making meaningful changes to improve your terms and conditions of employment. 

The rest of the bargaining session today involved discussion over the proper confines of a fair grievance procedure; whether there was a hiring freeze for Raven QA employees; why certain work is not being assigned to Raven QA employees; why Company pay ranges vary widely in documents that have been generated by the Company during and since the union election; and a request for information regarding health insurance coverage, including the availability of gender-affirming care.