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Friday, May 18, 2018

Glens Ideas for Improvements

By now we're sure you've heard that Glen has promised additional benefits to employees who are not EDC Handlers. This was done in an effort to give EDC Handlers an idea of what they would miss out on if they voted yes for a union. For those that haven't heard about Glen's idea of improving quality of life, here are his plans for fixing MSA. Glens words are in bold below.

Unfortunately, because of the pending union election for EDC handlers, I am legally unable to make any changes to the employment conditions of the EDC handlers. For other MSA employees, the changes are as follows:

We've already dispelled this statement. Glen can enact any policies that MSA had talked about before the union petition was filed. The precedent was set in NLRB case Camvac International, 288 N.L.R.B. 816, 818-819 (1988). If MSA never planned on improving anything before the petition was filed then what are the chances they'd improve anything after a failed election? If a union isn't voted in, a full year must pass before another petition could be filed.

Increased PTO Accrual Rate - All hourly employees, with the exception of the EDC team, will start accruing Paid Time Off at the rate of 1 hour for each 25 hours worked for the payroll period.

This is progress but it falls very short. Many of MSA's contracts with Government agencies require them to give handlers up to five weeks of vacation time. They instead choose to break the law and not provide any vacation time.

Additional Paid Holiday – Since many of our employee population have prior military experience, all employees, with the exception of EDC team, will receive an additional paid holiday for Veteran’s Day.

That's great that Glen is giving more paid holidays to office staff. Did you know that office staff now get eight paid holidays a year? EDC Handlers have never gotten a single paid holiday. MSA has contracts with Government agencies that require they give handlers at least eleven paid holidays a year. They instead choose to break the law and not provide any.

Standardized Bereavement Policy – Effective June 1, all employees, with exception of the EDC team, will receive up to three paid days off for bereavement to attend the funeral of and/or make funeral arrangements for an immediate family member.

Glen uses the word "standardized" because this is what everyone in management has gotten for years.

Payments for Maintaining Key Licenses & Credentials – A new program will be put in place to compensate employees, with the exception of the EDC team, who maintain key licenses and credentials. The program will be rolled-out June 1, 2018, and will include those that maintain their SIDA, SWAC, TWIC and Waterfront Licenses. In addition, any employee who maintains their armed guard license (and is on a post requiring an armed guard) will also be compensated. Details of the program are forthcoming.

This one is interesting. We've received complaints from handlers that were forced to pay for their own SWAC, TWIC, and other credentials. They submitted expense reports but were denied reimbursement. On the other hand, some handlers have been reimbursed for these credentials. It seems to depend on who you are and who you submit the expense report to. If you need a credential to work, MSA should be paying for it.

Life Insurance – Effective in June 2018, all employees working a minimum of 17.5 hours, with the exception of the EDC team, will be covered under a new Group Term Life policy while they are employed with MSA Security for an amount of 1 x annual pay, up to $50,000, at no cost to the employee.

This one is actually a good idea. We'd have to see the fine print to make sure the award is paid to your beneficiary regardless of the location of death. For example, the benefit is only paid if you pass away during working hours or in a work related accident.

For all employees communicating directly with MSA’s executive management, I want you to know that your voice has been heard. I, along with my management team, will continue to spend significant time collaborating with our clients and employees, and will make decisions to benefit both parties. MSA is in a great position for sustainable future growth, and will continue to expand and improve our solutions in high consequence security.

We don't think any of the above benefits are worth voting no in the upcoming election. They are not worth sacrificing the ability for all of us to collectively negotiate with MSA to improve our quality of life. If Glen wanted to do the right thing for the handlers he would compensate us for off hours training as required by law, increase our stipend, and implement a system of raises. 

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