URS Negotiating Committee Completes Bargaining Prep

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The week-long Bargaining Prep class at the Winpisinger Center is a signature advantage of IAM membership, providing first-time bargaining committees with the training, skills and practice needed to get the best contract possible.

Members of an IAM Negotiating Committee representing more than 350 employees with defense contractor URS Federal Services Corp. at Joint Base Lewis McChord in western Washington state have completed a week of intense training at the William W. Winpisinger Center in Maryland – with the focus on moving forward toward a first contract.

The workers, who reset helicopters and do site maintenance for active-duty military personnel, voted in December by 71 percent in favor of joining the IAM.

During their week at the Winpisinger Center, the committee developed a plan to ensure the first contract would address members’ issues, including wages, health care, time off and pension. The committee also identified ways to improve communication to the membership.

“We spent considerable time discussing the important issues and concerns of our brothers and sisters at JBLM Reset Program,” said negotiating committee member Kyle Lynch. “We also developed our strategic plan to resolve these issues and concerns.”

The week-long Bargaining Prep class at the Winpisinger Center is a key benefit of IAM membership, providing first-time bargaining committees with the training, skills and practice needed to get the best contract possible.

“This experience, coming to Maryland, has really opened this group’s eyes and minds of what possibilities the future has in store for our URS employees in the upcoming negotiations,” said bargaining committee member Dave Anderson. “We are really looking forward to negotiating a collective bargaining agreement for our people.”

The Bargaining Prep class provides new members with tips and insights from experienced negotiators while helping the committee develop a strategic plan for the overall negotiations. A highlight of the class is a mock bargaining session that gives members a taste of the frequently- intense atmospherics of the bargaining table.

“I am so impressed with the level of commitment from the URS JBLM members,” said IAM District 751 Business Rep Jon Holden. “They were eager to learn everything possible about the process, working as a team and formulating strategies for negotiations, and they didn’t hesitate to put in some very long days.”