Union worker in Arizona says UPS deal touting $170K a year is misleading

Union worker in Arizona says UPS deal touting $170K a year is misleading
Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 8:23 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- After lengthy talks of better pay and working conditions, UPS workers have reached a deal, avoiding a potential strike. The five-year agreement is touting salaries of up to $170,000 for employees.

The president of the local UPS union here said the deal is a significant improvement and will improve working conditions, but wants potential applicants to know the $170,000 covers both pay and benefits and not all workers qualify.

Karla Schumann, the president of the local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters here in Arizona, says before people rush to apply, she wants people to know that number is for the last year of the five-year contract. It’s only for workers who hit about 60 hours of work per week.

“It’s kind of misleading. It’s not 170,000 solely in wages. I think they’re alluding to the neighborhood of 170,000 at the last year of the contract at the highest classification, which would be a feeder driver, inclusive of working 60 hours every week and their benefits. So while it is true, it tends to be a little misleading when you say it that way,” said Schumann,

Full-time workers would see their top salary hit about $49 an hour and at least $21 an hour for part-time workers. It’s the highest hourly rate for drivers working with a national delivery service.

“I think, all in all, it’s a historic agreement. It is certainly one of the most lucrative, if not the most lucrative of our negotiations. I mean, it’s a 30-billion-dollar agreement. And it certainly does a whole lot of lifting not just for the full-time people but for the part-time people as well. So, it’s epic in proportion,” Schumann said.

Workers here must be able to last in the heat and lift 70 pounds, and the new deal ensures all trucks have adequate air conditioning.

“So that’s a big thing for our folks here in Arizona because it’s hotter than anything out there. So that’s a big deal. To air condition the cabs of the trucks, it’s not that they are going to retrofit all existing vehicles. But all new vehicles will have AC, and they will rotate them depending on what zone you are in. We are in a hot climate here. We are in Zone One, so we will look to be at the front of the line for that offering,” Schumann said.

The tentative deal prevented a potential strike, but before the agreement is passed, the union will have to take a vote. The union’s contract ends on August 22.

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