As the heart of Garden City and Milpitas Sanitation, the clerical unit is responsible for the accounts and is at the forefront of customer service as they answer customer questions and concerns. After months of negotiations, the nine members in this hard-working clerical unit voted unanimously to ratify a new 5-year contract that will raise wages, protect the employees, and reward them for the hard work they do every day.
Virginia Jimenez, an 18-year Teamsters Local 350 member, was part of the negotiating committee. “The negotiation process was interesting and enlightening,” she says. “I was able to see firsthand how difficult a negotiation can be and how hard our union representatives work to make sure that we are getting the best possible contract. I feel the biggest challenge was getting the company to recognize that the clerical unit also deserves to make fair wages. Although we are not drivers we are just as important to the company.”
Larry Daugherty, Teamsters Local 350 President and Field Representative for the Solid Waste Division, was at the helm of the negotiating process.
“The negotiations took quite a while and were very contentious at times,” Daugherty says. “However, with Local 350’s strong political program and our members staying united, we were able to deliver the best contract ever for these members.”
The unit’s top priorities were wage and pension increases and, most importantly, protection from the company.
“We were able to get over $7 in wage increases, $2.70 in pension increases, Maintenance of Benefits for their Teamster insurance and we included strong contract language that protects our members’ rights over the 5-year contract,” Daugherty says.
“This was a strong victory for the members. We plan to take these improvements to other employers as those contracts come up for negotiations,” Daugherty added as he thanked the negotiating committee for calling the employer out on their attempts to downplay issues in the workplace and for keeping them honest.