May 23, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Alameda, California – At 8 a.m. on May 22nd, 160 health and pension plan customer service representatives and support staff went on strike against the Associated Third Party Administrators (ATPA), located in Alameda and Contra Costa County, California. The employees are members of Local Unions 29 and 3 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO.
At issue was the company’s refusal to offer a viable union pension plan for the Local 29 employees. The members have sacrificed much on behalf of the company, accepting an $.80 hourly wage deduction and loss of holiday pay for three years beginning in 2009, and yet the company refuses to recognize the legitimate demands of its Local 29 employees. “The members’ voice is loud and clear,” said Local 29 President/Business Manager Tamara R. Rubyn. “They want a contract now! We were left with no choice but to strike.”
Contract negotiations have dragged on since June 30, 2013. Additional OPEIU local unions represent members employed at ATPA, including Local 11 in Portland, Oregon, and Local 537 in Southern California. Local 537 is currently the only group to have settled its contract with ATPA.