Creative “Premium Pay Program” Demonstrates True Employer/Union Partnership and Cost Management
OAKLAND, CALIF. — Feb. 25, 2013 — After 6 months of negotiations, Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc. (WMAC) and the Machinists Local 1546 (Local 1546) announce the ratification of a new 6-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on Feb. 23, 2013.
WMAC and Local 1546 leadership reached a comprehensive understanding on several key issues including providing competitive wages and affordable benefits with employees sharing in increased cost of Health & Welfare benefits. The new CBA will affect approximately 80 Waste Management employees in Alameda County located at the 98th Avenue facility in Oakland, the Davis Street Transfer Station and Materials Recovery Facility in San Leandro, and the Altamont Landfill in eastern Alameda County. The agreement is retroactive to July 2, 2012.
“Our efforts have been to find a balance between the needs of our employees in terms of rising compensation cost and the needs of the company to remain competitive and continue its investments in Alameda County, while protecting our ratepayers and franchise cities,” said Barry Skolnick, President of Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc. and Area Vice President for Northern California-Nevada.
“We recognized the economic difficulties faced by WMAC over the last several years, the need for our Machinists members to have competitive wages and to have skin in the game and to shoulder more of the cost of rising health & welfare,” said Don Crosatto, Area Director for Machinists Local 1546.
WMAC and Local 1546 demonstrated a true “Employer and Union” partnership and strong working relationship to secure jobs and to increase opportunities for advancement as both parties agreed to a creative Premium Pay program.
“The Premium Pay program is tied to our members obtaining and maintaining certain National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications and tools,” said Crosatto. “This allows WMAC to bring work in-house and reduce third-party cost.”
The reductions in third-party vendor expenses will more than fund the ASE Certification/Tool program.
“By diversifying our training and ladders of opportunities for our employees, we secure current jobs, add jobs, and incentivize them to improve our business,” said Skolnick. “In addition, we eliminate the uncertainty of sending the work out, are able to repair our trucks and equipment quicker and better, and save the company by internalizing the cost… everyone benefits.”
“Machinists Local 1546 is proud of our employer/employee relationship and the professionalism demonstrated by both WMAC and Union bargaining committees throughout negotiations,” said Crosatto. “The negotiations were tough, honest and thoughtful by both sides but at all times professional. Issues remained at the bargaining table, where they belong, until both sides came to agreement.”
Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc. currently serves more than 194,000 residential households and 14,000 commercial customers throughout Albany, Emeryville, Oakland, Hayward, San Ramon, Newark, and unincorporated Alameda County, including the Castro Valley Sanitary District and the Oro Loma Sanitary District.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT OF ALAMEDA COUNTY
Waste Management of Alameda County is a community-based provider of environmental solutions. We offer residential and commercial curbside collection for recycling, composting and disposal. Our fleet of natural gas vehicles are powered with gas made from trash at the Altamont Landfill. WM EarthCare (www.wmearthcare.com) is our closed loop solution to organic waste. We deliver local solutions with the knowledge and resources of the nation’s largest recycler, Waste Management.