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MDUSD maintenance and operations workers join Teamsters Union

By Theresa Harrington
Saturday, March 8th, 2014 at 12:31 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

I have received a news release announcing that 500 Mt. Diablo school district maintenance and operations workers — who had been members of the Local One union — voted Friday to switch to the Teamsters 856 Union. Although the news release characterized it as an “overwhelming” vote, it did not disclose the percentage of yes and no votes.

“The vote to become Teamsters comes after months of stalled contract negotiations as the District has refused to address the issue of skyrocketing healthcare costs,” according to the news release.

“’The District’s decision to freeze healthcare costs at 2010 levels has had an alarming impact on these workers – many have had to choose between buying groceries and having healthcare,’ said Peter Finn, Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 856.

The maintenance and operations unit includes school bus drivers, custodians, food service workers, network technicians, as well as plumbers, electricians, painters, carpenters, groundskeepers, and other classifications working out of the maintenance department.

‘We drive children to school, prepare their meals, and make sure they have a clean, safe environment in which to learn,’ said Noven Feria, a custodian lead worker for the District. ‘We deserve to be able to take care of our families too and not have to choose between food and healthcare,’ he said.

‘It’s time for Mount Diablo to take care of the workers who take care of our children,’ Finn said. ‘We are committed and prepared to do whatever it takes to demand fairness at the bargaining table.’

Founded in 1949, Teamsters Local 856 represents 8,000 hardworking members in the San Francisco Bay Area, North Bay, Sacramento, and Central Valley communities.”

Do you agree with the maintenance and operations workers’ decision to switch unions?

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  • Doctor J

    Barbara Oaks and team just bought themselves an unlimited dance card with the Teamsters — enjoy and good luck. the Teamsters know how to strike AND get the other unions to fall in line.

  • g. de la verdad

    Maybe next time the district’s employees have a dilemma facing them, they’ll know not to send Cooksey running out to stamp her feet and tell people to “Get off our sidewalk!” Yeah, that worked really well!

  • Jim

    So now the Teamsters Union will be helping run our schools. Lovely.

    Can we finally dispense with the myth of it “all being about the kids”? When will the families under MDUSD’s thumb finally get an alternative to this increasingly dysfunctional educrat/union-run machine?

  • tmharrington

    For teachers looking for other options, Santa Clara County is holding a recruitment fair March 22: http://www.sccoe.org/newsandfacts/TRF/Pages/default.aspx

  • Doctor J

    Jim, maybe the Teamsters have some background in “bullying” that could teach the District a few things ? I am pondering how the Teamsters addition and the new administrator raises are connected ?

  • Doctor J

    G, the funny part is that the Teamsters didn’t think Cooksey ‘s temper tantrum was bullying. Cooksey will love cuddling up to the Teamster bosses –such a history of warm fuzzy teddy bears: Dave Beck, Jimmy Hoffa, Roy Williams.

  • Max

    Be prepared for the worst of the employees to only get worse and the teamsters to protect the bad ones! Teamsters are bullies and always have been. I’m sure the district boneheads will roll over and take whatever comes at them, as usual. Good luck!

  • Tk

    If the decision to freeze healthcare at 2010 levels had Ana alarming impact on these employees, then how would you describe the teachers who were provided only 3000 a year total for any benefits? The custodial workers have nothing to complain about here.

  • Flippin’ Tired

    The teachers voted away their benefits. Should M&O eat dirt because MDEA was short-sighted? That $3000 for benefits was a raise that MDEA won’t admit to.

  • g. de la verdad

    Do you have any public Home Page links to taxpayer Bond Measures? No. Go Fish.

  • tmharrington

    I’m hearing complaints about the district’s bus service for athletics. Will the Teamsters be able to help get the bus system fixed?

  • Doctor J

    What are the complaints and by which school ? Requiring the athletes to use district transportation AND PAY for it is a violation of AB 1575. As I understand it, the problems are too few buses and not enough drivers. Teamsters control neither.

  • tmharrington

    Complaint was from a Northgate HS parent. Not sure what team, though.