CLERICAL BARGAINING: A NEW DAY, A NEW GAME
Preserving our standard of living will be a major challenge as Local 1245 gears up this year to negotiate a new Clerical labor agreement at Pacific Gas & Electric.
At a massive PG&E stewards conference held Jan. 14 in Sacramento, Business Manager Tom Dalzell said the union was prepared to fight hard to defend our Clerical agreement in negotiations this year and to defend the PG&E Benefits agreement when those negotiations open up in 2011.
“We’re fighting back in ways we’ve never fought back,” said Dalzell, referring to the current battle for a new contract at NV Energy in Nevada, where the union has staged massive rallies, run full-page newspaper ads, deployed extra staff members, and mobilized members on an unprecedented scale.
“This is not the way we usually are, but you push us into a corner this is what we are going to turn into. We will use everything we have to use. It’s a new day and a new game and a new way to fight,” Dalzell said.
In the afternoon, Clerical stewards went into a special breakout session where they reviewed the timeline for negotiations and discussed strategy for involving Clerical members in the negotiations process. More than anyone else, it is stewards who have credibility with the members, and the union will be relying on stewards to inform and involve the members they work with.
“I know I can do a lot of networking if I can get the information,” a steward from north of Sacramento said.
You will get the information you need, Dalzell promised, saying that the union’s redesigned website would focus on making resources available in a timely manner.
Historically the union has taken bargaining proposals only at regular unit meetings, but Dalzell said the union was exploring the possibility of special meetings to widen participation by Clerical members.
The union anticipates exchanging opening proposals with PG&E in June. Full-scale bargaining will probably begin right after Labor Day in September.