Purple Communications bargaining bulletin #7

Union represented ASL interpreters and Purple Communications came to an agreement on two more key building blocks for a contract during the latest bargaining session.

The final language remains to be worked out, but under an agreement reached Friday employees in all four centers will be paid overtime after working eight hours in a day. Video Interpreters in California are already paid that way under state law, but Arizona and Colorado employees receive overtime only after they have worked 40 hours in a work week.

Another facet of the negotiated hours-and-overtime provision is that employees will be able to work a flexible schedule of up to ten hours in a shift if they so choose. Employees opting to work such a schedule must execute a temporary, revocable waiver of their right to overtime after eight hours, but will still be paid overtime after 40 hours in a week or ten hours in a day during the period covered by the waiver.

Both sides tentatively agreed to a provision that provides for seniority to be the deciding factor in retaining employees should the company find itself in a layoff situation, unless the “less senior employee … is demonstrably and substantially superior to the senior employee in qualifications, specialty skill areas, years of experience, timeliness and attendance, or the senior employee has a Final Disciplinary Notice … within the previous six months.”

The company fought hard to have “performance metrics” included in that list, but the union team was adamant in its refusal of that proposal.

Included in the reduction-in-force article are clauses that prohibit the company from considering a center’s union status in a layoff, and protect against the company using non-benefitted employees to replace full-time laid off employees.

A benefitted employee dismissed in a layoff will be entitled to two weeks severance pay and will be placed on a rehire list for one year.

Other agreements reached on Friday were:

  • A provision to allow union-covered employees to participate in the Visiting VI/Working Vacation Policy in exchange for the union agreeing to allow employees from non-covered centers to work in the four union centers under that same policy;
  • a requirement that the company “notify the union of any program that constitutes surveillance of employees or their workplace…”
  • and a clause that allows employees to take unpaid leave to accept a temporary position with the union or to attend national or local meetings of the union or an organization with which it is affiliated.

We will next meet in San Francisco on Thursday of this week. We have also agreed to meet in San Francisco on July 9-11.

PMWG Purple Communications Unit National Bargaining Team includes:

Mary Jane Moore, Arizona: National Unit Chair

Lindsey Antle, Denver: National Vice Chair

Margie Brooks, Oakland: National Vice Chair

Michelle Caplette, Arizona: National Vice Chair

Martin Yost, San Diego: National Vice Chair

Bruce Meachum, PMWG Representative: Chief Spokesperson

Serving on the committee for these meetings was Denver AVC Jo Linda Greenfield. Sarah Spencer and Liz Keyser also attended part of the meetings.



Author Image
Pacific Media Workers Guild

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.