To: Board of Regents
From: Sue I. Hill, Director
Labor Relations and Personnel
Re: Approval of the tentative agreement with Montana
District Council of Laborers
Date: July 8-9, 2004
Attached is a summary of the tentative agreement with the Montana District Council of Laborers. The tentative agreement only includes the sections of the agreement where changes were made. The entire agreement can be accessed electronically at: http//www.montana.edu/wochelp/collbarg/collbarg.html. This bargaining unit covers approximately 130 employees performing maintenance, custodial, and food service jobs at Montana State University-Bozeman, Montana State University-Billings and The University of Montana-Missoula. After three attempts, the bargaining unit finally voted by a close margin to approve the tentative agreement.
The tentative agreement provides for a 25 cent per hour increase for all employees effective January 1, 2005. Just the employees in this bargaining unit who work at The University of Montana-Missoula have agreed to participate in MAP. MAP covered employees who receive an overall performance rating of “met expectations” or “exceeded expectations” will also be eligible for an achievement pay increase of .5% effective the last day of each fiscal year. The tentative agreement also includes a partial tuition waiver benefit for dependents in FY 2005 and refers to the new Regent policy on that topic.
Most of the language changes included in the tentative agreement are not very substantive. The prior agreement allowed employees up to one year of leave without pay in the event of a disability. The new agreement provides for six months of leave without pay and gives the employer the discretion to extend the leave for an additional six months. Employees have been eligible to receive four months of health insurance contributions during absences from work necessitated by a workers’ compensation injury. The tentative agreement added a requirement that an employee must be employed for four or more years before becoming eligible to receive this benefit twice in a two-year period. The grievance committee step in the grievance procedure was made mandatory instead of optional. In the section of the agreement governing overtime reference was included to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
I recommend approval of the tentative agreement with the Montana District Council of Laborers.