Last year, Teamsters 856 started the Fight Outsourcing campaign to draw attention to the negative impact all forms of outsourcing — offshoring jobs, contracting out work, and privatization of public services — has not only on workers, but also the public. Since then, Local 856 members have not hesitated to push back against outsourcing in their workplaces.
In November, Teamsters 856 reached a settlement with Contra Costa County requiring the County to pay a lump sum to 72 employees in the Environmental Services (EVS) department at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC). The win is a direct result of members in the department standing together to fight back against the outsourcing of their work.
EVS Workers at the CCRMC are responsible for the custodial work in the hospital. Amongst their many and varying responsibilities is cleaning the floors throughout the facility.
One day, Local 856 members came across workers they did not recognize cleaning the floors. It turned out, that rather than properly staffing and filling bargaining unit positions, the County contracted out the work.
Mark Jones, an EVS Worker and Local 856 shop steward, took pictures and contacted his Teamsters 856 representatives, Richie Andazola and Corey Hallman. “If you see something wrong you bring it to your rep’s attention,” he said. “And in this case, it was wrong and violated our contract.”
“The EVS managers were very uncooperative and were sneakily trying to bury the outsourcing of Teamsters jobs using the purchasing order process,” said Corey. “The correct process would have required the Board of Supervisors to approve and then provide the Union with written notification.”
After notification, Local 856 would have had the opportunity to meet and confer with the County regarding the outsourcing of work and would have fought to prevent it from happening.
“After multiple requests, we finally got all the facts from the County, and it was apparent that this was a clear violation of the contract,” Corey continued.
In the settlement, the County agreed to take the $38,132.64 that was paid to the company, Finished Flooring, and divide it by 72 — the number of EVS employees working in the hospital. The amount came out to $529.62, which the members saw on their December paychecks.
Mark says the victory has been a good boost to morale.
“I think a lot of people took notice of the value of being a Teamster,” he said. “I’m proud to be a member of a union that won’t back down and will fight for its members.”
Learn more about the Fight Outsourcing campaign at www.StandWith856.com.