Local 251 is awarding ten $3,500 college scholarships to children of Rhode Island Hospital Teamster employees. This benefit was negotiated in our union contract with Lifespan. A drawing will be held to determine the scholarship winners. Applicants must be the son or daughter of a Teamster member in good standing at Rhode Island Hospital to be eligible to apply.
Applications should be returned to the Union Hall or submitted to a Liaison, Union Representative, or the RIH H.R. Department. Only one (1) application per student. Applications must be received by July 31.
Contract Provides Wage Increases, Quality Health Insurance and Retirement Options
The more than 2,500 Local 251 Teamsters who work at Rhode Island Hospital ratified a new five-year agreement yesterday by a 97.5 percent vote.
“The 2,500 members at Rhode Island Hospital should be proud. It was their solidarity that led to this agreement,” said Matt Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “This contract wasn’t won at the table; it was earned through months of organizing by our members. They stood strong in the face of the company and achieved a contract they deserve.”
The bargaining unit includes nonclinical and clinical support and skilled maintenance workers.
After months of member to member organizing and surveying the needs of the members, the union negotiating committee set out to satisfy key demands of the workers. This contract addresses the important issues of fair wage increases, a $15 minimum wage, Teamster health care benefits, retirement security, quality jobs that support families and job security. Highlights of the contract include:
- Three percent raises in each year of the contract;
- Retirement choice between the Lifespan Core plan or matching contributions to a 401(k) up to six percent;
- Strong improvements to pay differentials (on-call pay; weekend differential; evening differential; and night differential);
- Inclusion into the Teamsters 251 Health Services Plan;
- Extended “No Layoff” protections; and
- A mechanism for creation of more permanent positions.
Located just south of downtown Providence, Rhode Island Hospital’s main campus occupies more than five blocks. Additionally, the Teamsters represent workers at the hospital’s numerous satellite buildings throughout the state of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.
Voting took place throughout the day at the local union’s hall.
“This is the best contract I’ve seen in my 25 years as a Rhode Island Hospital Teamster,” said Paul Santos, Local 251 President and an over 30-year veteran hospital employee. “We should be proud of the entire negotiating team. They stuck through months of hard bargaining, but ultimately it was the strength of the membership that made this victory possible.”
Local 251 members voted to approve their new five-year Teamster contract at Rhode Island Hospital with an overwhelming Yes vote of 97.5%.
Congratulations to members for sticking together and winning three percent annual wage increases, a $15 minimum wage for every Teamster by the end of the contract, Teamster healthcare for every benefit-eligible employee, and other improvements.
In 2015, Local 251 hired Dennis to run its Driving School. As the lead instructor, Dennis trained dozens of truck drivers helping them expand their skills and career horizons. He was elected Local 251 Trustee in 2016. He passionately served the membership as Assistant Business Agent for the Local 251 for the last two years.
Although Dennis was wildly successful in all things he did, one thing he never won any awards for was his ability to get anyone he represented out of a jam. He was passionate, smart and fought until the end. He was always one step ahead of everyone else. Dennis had an innate ability to make people understand his point of view. If you were ever in a situation and needed help, there was no one better to represent you then Dennis Lavallee.
Dennis also worked diligently as a Local 251 Charity Fund Trustee, helping on events that benefited children of Teamsters and those in need in the community. In 2017 Dennis (along with two co-workers) volunteered five days of his personal time to drive a Teamster semi filled with donations to Houston’s victims of Hurricane Harvey. Dennis twice ran for Rhode Island State Senate falling less than 200 votes short in his second attempt. As evidence of his grit and determination, he was mulling a third run.
Throughout his career, Dennis fulfilled his dream of helping Teamsters, fellow workers and his community. Local 251 staff and members will miss his strong work ethic, vibrant personality and sharp wit.
The Teamsters Local 251 Charity Fund is proud to continue its annual scholarship program for dependent children of active Teamster members in good standing.
Those interested in applying are required to complete the form and return it to Local 251 by December 31, 2018.
Click here to download the application form.
The Teamsters Local 251 Charity Fund is proud to honor the following children of Local 251 members, each of whom was awarded a $1,500 scholarship for 2018.
Teamsters Local 251 and First Student reached an agreement Friday, October 12 that provides the key driver demand of retirement security. After unanimously ratifiying the agreement Saturday night, the drivers returned to work to provide safe transportation of Providence school children and passenger transit needs.
“It is clear from the unanimous ratification vote and solidarity among the drivers through this difficult process, that collective action by workers is the single most effective method for improving living standards for working class families,” said Matthew Taibi, Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “I commend the team effort by the drivers on the negotiating committee, the dedicated staff of Local 251 and the leadership of New England Joint Council 10, led by Sean O’Brien.”
The agreement ends a difficult labor dispute that was felt by children, parents, striking drivers, First Student, the City of Providence and the State of Rhode Island. The drivers were forced on strike on September 27 following months of negotiations.
The new agreement provides fair wage increases that continue to set the standard for the region and allows Providence to attract and retain the most qualified bus drivers. Currently, Rhode Island is experiencing a statewide shortage of bus drivers. The job’s qualifications demand, part-time nature and the split shift are largely due for the shortage. The new contract addresses some of these issues by increasing morning and afternoon pay guarantees and improving driver healthcare benefits.
Providence drivers have long set the standards for dignity and respect on the job in the industry. A 24-day strike in 2000 secured healthcare benefits for the first time. Now Providence sets the standard in retirement security.
Driver retirement security was addressed in the contract by the establishment of a new pension for the drivers. The New England Teamsters established a new plan that addressed First Student’s concerns about unfunded liability. The constant issue of 401k funding and matching will be a thing of the past. And all drivers will benefit from this enhanced retirement benefit regardless if they make any contributions with their own hard earned money.
“The drivers were committed to securing a fair agreement that rewards them for safely transporting our most precious cargo, our children, to and from school every day,” said Nick Williams, Local 251 Business Agent. “A secure retirement and more guaranteed hours further encourages long term loyalty to the job and care for the children.”
“This is a strong first contract for workers willing to fight for one,” says Matt Maini, Teamsters Local 251 Business Agent. “These brave workers went on strike for nine weeks and demanded the respect that they deserve.”
“We faced poverty wages, unsafe working conditions and disrespect by the company,” said Sarong Rath, a Local 251 DHLNH steward. “The solidarity we built over the last 14 months delivered a strong future.”
DHL Express clerical workers voted to join Local 251 separately, and were negotiated into the national agreement between the Teamsters and DHL Express. Their local agreement calls for strong wage improvements and fully-paid Teamster-sponsored healthcare.
“Honoring the picket line of our brothers and sisters at DHLNH tested our commitment,” said Steward Bethany Stamp. “But the Teamsters national contract and Local 251 contract delivers big improvements in working conditions, wages and benefits.”
“Teamsters 251 welcomes these 30 new members who stuck together in their righteous fight for fairness and decency in the workplace,” says Matt Taibi, Local 251 Principal Officer. “DHLNH had a history of wage theft, state wage & hour law violations and labor law violations. Forming a union is the only real way for workers to fight against these abuses.”
Local 251’s Matt Taibi and Mike Simone speak out on the fight for a fair contract on Labor Vision TV. UPS and UPS Freight contract negotiations continue on March 19. Local 251 is fighting for a strong contract with no givebacks.
Skilled maintenance workers at Roger Williams Medical Center represented by Teamsters Local 251 in East Providence, R.I. unanimously ratified a first contract following more than a year of fighting for improvements on the job.
The workers joined Local 251 on January 6, 2017, but faced an uphill battle during negotiations that led to the union filing five unfair labor practice (ULPs) charges against the company. The ULP charges included failure to bargain in good faith, failure to provide a scheduled wage increase and unlawful surveillance. The workers stood together in solidarity throughout the fight, staging an informational picket in front of the medical center in September 2017 to raise awareness of the company’s behavior.
“There’s a myth in America that as workers we have to just be thankful for what employers give us. But it’s just a myth. With a union you can have a say in your wages and working conditions,” said Matt Taibi, Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “We’re proud of this group for standing together. Their solidarity shows what workers can achieve when they collectively bargain.”
The three-year contract, ratified on February 4, 2018, includes strong language regarding seniority, equipment and safety, job security and protections against the expansion of per diem employees. The contract also includes wage adjustments for shift differentials, on-call pay and wage increases of an additional 5 percent over the life of the agreement.
The members also received an immediate wage increase and bonus triggered by the contract ratification. The skilled maintenance unit at Roger Williams Medical Center includes the boiler operators, electricians, HVAC techs and mechanics, carpenters, plumbers and pipefitters, painters, mechanics and maintenance engineers.