Three years after a 15-day strike grounded operations at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, OK, IAM members of Local 898 ratified a new contract by 426-84, an 84 percent margin. The three-year agreement covers nearly 800 members employed at Vance by prime contractor CSC Applied Technologies LLC and three subcontractors.
The new agreement includes wage and pension increases as well as improved health, dental and vision coverage. Members working at all four vendor companies at Vance will have the option of choosing coverage by IAM Benefit Trust at a lower cost than under the previous contract, where each company had insurance with separate carriers.
“Our insurance proposal will benefit members and save the government thousands of dollars,” said District 171 President and Directing Business Representative Jerry McCune, who was quoted in the Enid News crediting long hours and hard work by both sides of the bargaining table. “It was based on trying to get an agreement, to find the middle of the road and reasonable wages and benefit increases. On this negotiation, you could just feel an air of respect for both sides. It was a different atmosphere.”
The presence of a High Performance Work Organization (HPWO) agreement between the union and company at Vance is another reason cited for the successful negotiations. “Under the HPWO, we’ve done a lot of projects together,” said Local 898 President Rick Boardman. “They understood what we were going for in the negotiations. It wasn’t adversarial at all. We got a good contract.”
“This agreement was three full years in the making and proves the value of strategic planning and coordination between the Southern and Aerospace Territories,” said Aerospace GVP Mark Blondin.
“News of this contract will certainly fuel our organizing efforts in the Service Contract arena and is particularly noteworthy for the improvements it won for the part-time workforce at Vance,” added Special Rep Jody Bennett.
“Local Lodge 898 has a long history of partnering with the contractors at Vance AFB to fulfill their mission in support of the Air Force,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, Jr. “Congratulations to the Negotiating Committee for a job well done.”