To: All BMRF/B&P Employees
As you may already be aware, the Company and the Union commenced contract negotiations on January 11, 2021. The Company bargained in good-faith with the Union throughout January. We met with the Union nearly thirty times, established sub-committees to address specific proposals, and answered Union questions regarding the Company’s proposals (including forty formal requests for information).
While the Company hoped to reach a tentative agreement prior to January 31 contract expiration, the parties were still far apart as the deadline approached. Consequently, on the night of January 31, the Company offered the Union its last, best, and final offer to settle all outstanding bargaining items (highlights of the offer provided below).
Terms of the Agreement / Economics:
- Three (3) year term of the agreement (February 1, 2021 through February 1, 2024)
- Upon ratification, all active Union-represented employees will receive a lump sum bonus of $1000.
- Refinery-specific increases of 2% in 2021 and “me too” wage increases in 2022 and 2023
The above increases will be applied to the Process (excluding Clerical), Mechanical (excluding Material Specialist), Lab, and Safety pay progressions.
Considerations for Refinery Process ‘A’ Operators:
- As part of the Company’s proposal to reclassify all Refinery ‘A’ Operator and Assistant Operator posts to general Process Operator posts (listed below), the Company will “red circle” all current ‘A’ Operators and ‘A’ qualified Assistants / Trainees at the current ‘A’ Operator rate.
- The Company will continue to pay these employees the 2020 ‘A’ Operator hourly rate of pay, $45.92, until the general Process Operator rate of pay surpasses $45.92.
- Employees in the Business Support Specialist (Timekeeping) and Material Specialist (Storehouse) classifications will receive 0% increases for the term of the agreement.
- A “me too” offer means that the Company will match National Oil Bargaining Pattern (NOBP) wage adjustments (i.e., percentage increases) in 2022 and 2023.
- LOBP (Blending & Packaging Plant) employees will receive 0% increases for the term of the agreement.
National Oil Bargaining Letters of Agreement
- The Company agreed to the following new 2019 NOBP Letters of Agreement: Routine Maintenance Craft Utilization, Fatigue Management, Health & Safety, and Training & Curriculum.
- The Company agreed to renew the following Letters of Agreement where such letters exist: Layoff Notice, Plant Closure, Rate Retention, National Healthcare Insurance, Health & Safety, Successorship, and Job Security.
Revise all Wage Progressions to Reflect a 54 Month Top Rate
- All employees that are currently at the top rate within their job classification’s wage progressions will continue to earn the top rate regardless of their tenure in the role (Ex: 1).
- All current employees will continue to follow their job classification’s current wage progression (Ex: 2).
- The change above will exclusively apply to new hires and employees that transfer or promote into a new job classification after February 1, 2021 (Ex: 3).
- Example 1: The Mechanical Department currently has a 42 month wage progression, so a 45 month Piping Equipment Specialist would already be at the top rate of pay. The 45 month employee would continue to earn the top rate of pay after the implementation of this change.
- Example 2: Under the current 42 month Mechanical wage progression, a 30 month Piping Equipment Specialist would be eligible for the top rate in 12 months. This employee would still be eligible for the top rate in 12 months.
- Example 3: If an employee were to hire into Mechanical after February 1, 2021, the Company would apply the proposed 54 month wage progression.
Reclassification of all Refinery ‘A’ Operator and Assistant Operator posts to General Operator posts.
- Tied to this proposal, the Company has also proposed the elimination of declination language and expansion of overtime distribution language to apply to all qualified employees.
- Please see the pay considerations listed in the above economics section.
Elimination of “Senior Bidding” Language
- As part of the Company’s proposal to eliminate job bidding, the Company has proposed a work process for employees to express their interest in transferring into vacancies across the Refinery and Blending & Packaging Plant; however, this proposal does not contemplate seniority as a determining factor in employee selection.
Revision of Layoff and Hiring Language
- The Company has proposed that, in the event of a layoff, employees covered by this agreement would be laid off in inverse order of their effective site (either Refinery or Blending & Packaging Plant) seniority.
- Please note, as part of the renewal of the NOBP Job Security side letter, the Company and the Union agreed that no employee represented by the Union will be subject to involuntary layoff, except for decreases in the level of operations caused by a sale of operating unit(s), complete or partial closure, a merger or joint venture resulting in a change of management control, or an act of God.
Additional proposed contractual changes include but are not limited to:
- Expand paid parental time off benefits, from 3 days to 1 week, following the birth or adoption of a child
- Extend probationary period, from 6 months to 18 months, for all new hires after February 1, 2021
- Extend strike / lockout notice period from 75 days to 105 days (applies to benefits language as well)
- Reduce the meeting frequency and attendance of the Company and Union’s regular meeting
- Revise process lines of promotion to merge the Ethyl Plant and Lube Pumpers
- Revise process lines of promotion to reflect the addition of Crude C
- Revise grievance and arbitration language to reflect current practices
- Remove volunteer language from the 12 Hour Agreement
- Eliminate questionnaires language
Additionally, the Company has proposed the parties continue to meet for the purposes of:
- Reviewing the options available through MOH for pregnant employees
- Continuing discussions on the 4×10 Agreement
- Cleaning up grammatical and formatting errors from the contract
The Company believes that our offer both recognizes the current market environment and is still pro-employee. This offer provides guaranteed increases to the majority of the Beaumont Refinery workforce. Additionally, through the renewal of the National Oil Bargaining Pattern Job Security Side Letter, this offer creates assurances of employment for our Union-represented employees for the next three years. We are confident that this offer will advance the competitive position of our site within the oil and gas industry (both at the Refinery and LOBP).
This offer will expire February 15, 2021. It is our sincere hope that the USW Local 13-243 will allow its members to vote on the Company’s proposal and that employees will vote to ratify.