South St. Paul, MN – American Red Cross workers in three Midwestern states have overwhelmingly ratified their first union contract. The deal, announced Aug. 11 by AFSCME Local 3931, runs through September 2018 and covers almost 300 phlebotomists, couriers, material coordinators, and other frontline workers in Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and eastern South Dakota. It gives them higher starting pay, across-the-board raises, “consistent and collaborative work schedules,” and a fair grievance process, AFSCME Council 5 said in a statement. “A big issue with us was constantly changing schedules and inconsistent hours,” collection technician Michael Peterson, a member of the negotiating team, said. “We won language that requires our employees to provide a three-week notice of schedule changes and to form a scheduling advisory group to collaboratively work on weekends, holidays, and out-of-district scheduling.” The workers voted to join Local 3931 last October. The Red Cross signed an agreement in 2015 called the National Addendum with the eight major unions that represent its workers, which prohibits the organization’s managers from discouraging employees from forming unions. Read more


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