APWU, Serco Open Talks In Detroit Over New MTESC Agreement

January 20, 2006

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The APWU’s Detroit District Area Local and the privately-owned Serco Corporation have begun negotiations over a successor contract at its MTESC site in suburban Detroit.

Serco purchased RCI (Resource Consultants Inc.) last March. In 2003, RCI negotiated the first Detroit MTESC (Mail Transportation Equipment Service Center) contract, which covers about 160 APWU-represented workers.

During negotiations Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, the APWU indicated it was seeking wage increases, changes to the disciplinary system, better leave provisions, and improved contract language on issues such as using seniority for holiday and overtime scheduling.

The union also submitted a 32-item information request. “We need this information to develop our proposals,” said Bill Manley, the National Business Agent for APWU’s Support Services Division. “The company has responded to our request in good faith.”

The company also submitted several proposals, and the parties reached tentative agreement on several issues in the first two bargaining sessions. “The most significant,” Manley said, “is an agreement that discipline will be active only for 12 months maximum rather than for as much as two years.”

Serco and the union next meet on Jan. 31. There are five other bargaining sessions scheduled for the first 15 days of February.

The APWU bargaining committee consists of Manley as lead negotiator, and Serco employees Dana Brown, Larry Bailey, Donna Davies, Sue Humphreys, and Moe West. Also on the committee are Detroit APWU President Pat Chornoby and Vice President Gwen Glover.

Serco also operates the MTESC facility in Pittsburgh, where APWU members were unable to reach an agreement with RCI. Serco and the APWU have been negotiating there as well.

Serco has a large number of federal contracts, primarily with the Department of Defense. According to www.serco-na.com, the company’s range of activities include “the day-to-day operation of public services, including transport systems, air traffic control and aeronautical services, scientific establishments, defense facilities, justice and local authority services.”

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