Bargaining Update #15 – 4/29/2024

Snapshot Summary

  • Takeaways: We did not reach any new tentative agreements, but we put forward many new proposals including Gender Equity. The company brought several counters but largely refused to interact with our newly introduced proposals.
  • Upcoming Sessions: May 20–21
  • Union Proposals: Gender Equity, Leaves of Absence (Paid), Paid Time Off, Holidays, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty, Sabbatical Leave, Life Insurance, Public Transit Reimbursement, Bicycle Commuter Program, Vending Machine Allowance, Remote Work Allowance
  • TCGplayer Proposals: Successorship, Attendance, Open Bargaining Unit Positions, Bargaining Unit Work, Stewards, Job Descriptions

Full Report

On April 29th, 2024, we had our fifteenth bargaining session for our first contract. Our team for this session included Briana Thomas, Ethan Salerius and Bob Guy, as well as staff reps Mike Garry and Deb Hayes.

This was the first day of a two-day back-to-back session. We introduced many new proposals in hopes of fostering a productive two days of bargaining. These proposals included Gender Equity, which would secure and improve vital protections for women and trans workers. We were disappointed to receive only silence in response to nearly everything we introduced. Management had several counters on pending proposals, some with minor amendments while others were outright regressive.

We started the session by asking follow up questions regarding recent changes to security policies and the proposed changes to AC teams and workflow. eBay continues to drag out the provision of information to satisfy our outstanding privacy concerns, with basic questions such as capabilities of the recently installed cameras remaining unanswered. Without this information, our team remains unable to effectively bargain over the effects of these changes on our coworkers. The company refuses to cease use of these cameras and security policies until we can bargain the effects.

Our Proposals

  • Gender Equity: This proposal would ensure that everyone at TCGplayer is treated equitably, no matter their gender identity or expression. We believe this goal requires substantial commitment from the company including equal pay for equal work, training opportunities, annual reviews of wages and hiring practices, guaranteed medical coverage for gynecological, reproductive and gender affirming care, and requirements to respect preferred names and pronouns. Additionally, we have proposed a continuation of current TCGplayer practices like access to gender inclusive restrooms and free menstrual products to employees. Read the full proposal.

    We were disappointed when the company refused to engage on this proposal in any capacity. Despite the company’s regular claims of providing an inclusive and welcoming space for women and trans workers, we know reality has often fallen short of expectations. All workers deserve equity on the job to ensure that no one loses out on benefits simply because of who they are or for shouldering the responsibility of family care. We understand the gender equity protections we have proposed to be essential in our first contract.

  • Leaves of Absence (Paid): This article seeks to establish 12 paid weeks of leave for all new parents, as well as an additional, optional, unpaid 12 weeks for new mothers. For Family Care Leave, 12 paid weeks can be granted for parents, partners, siblings, grandchildren, or grandparents. We also added language that locks in the current protections afforded to this kind of leave under New York law.
  • Paid Time Off: Our proposal aims to provide adequate vacation time commensurate with extended tenure up to 10 years. We included the ability to borrow up to 40 hours of PTO, as well as language that would ensure that bargaining unit members are paid out on separation from the company for any unused time remaining in their banks.
  • Holidays: We closely mirrored current company holidays, both in number and observances. Improvements we are aiming for include restoring time-and-a-half pay for hours worked on the actual or observed holiday.
  • Bereavement Leave: We included three categories of relationships to qualify an employee for varying amounts of bereavement leave, including immediate and extended family, stepfamily and in-laws. Non-standard family arrangements will be heard by the company and bereavement will be granted to such employees.
  • Jury Duty: Our proposal would ensure that employees receive 100 percent of their pay for any days missed for jury duty.
    Sabbatical Leave: Our goal is to lock in this benefit as currently provided by eBay for members of our bargaining unit.
  • Life Insurance: We have proposed a life insurance benefit that covers each employee for two-times their salary for both a standard life insurance policy as well as a separate Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) for the same amount at no cost to the employee. Additional life insurance benefits will be made available to employees for optional buy-up of coverage.
  • Public Transit Reimbursement Program: We want to maintain the $125 monthly reimbursement for employees who commute by public transit.
  • Bicycle Commuter Program: This proposal would continue reimbursements for employees who commute by bicycle up to $20 per month.
  • Vending Machine Allowance: This proposal covers the $25 quarterly vending credits that have historically been provided to all TCGplayers. 
  • Remote Work Allowance: We proposed to keep the $33 monthly remote work allowance currently paid to all AC employees.

Management’s Proposals

  • Successorship: eBay’s proposal does not offer sufficient protections for our contract to be honored in the event of any sale or merger. We plan to respond with a far more effective proposal to ensure that our Union and the terms of our contract remain secure in such an event.
  • Attendance: After many iterations back and forth, we are finally very close on reaching a TA. We have made sure that employees will have the option to make up time in the same work week instead of using PTO, and reached agreement on employees having an option of using paid or unpaid time when missing 25 percent or less of a shift. eBay’s team is working on a final draft of this that we plan to TA at the start of bargaining at the next day’s session.
  • Open Bargaining Unit Positions: eBay’s team continues to insist on prioritizing subjective and discretionary criteria for hiring decisions. We believe this creates too great an opportunity for unfair practices. We raised concerns regarding favoritism and nepotism, which the company refused to take seriously despite an apparent understanding that insufficient “networking opportunities” create a disadvantage for some AC workers. We will continue to push for fair measures and meaningful seniority to create better opportunities for all of us. We believe that the company should demonstrate stronger commitment to the growth of workers who have demonstrated commitment to the company.
  • Bargaining Unit Work: The company’s proposal is far too broad regarding the conditions under which managers and non-AC workers would be able to perform bargaining unit work. We cannot allow loopholes which would allow the company to replace our labor to skirt the terms of our contract. As such, we rejected this as written with plans to counter with our own at the next day’s session.
  • Stewards: eBay’s team brought a proposal to establish Union stewards, but we found it needlessly restrictive and insufficient. This proposal limits the functions of stewards, and only allows for three stewards to be recognized by the company to represent the whole unit. Given the size of our Union, we anticipate needing more stewards to perform Union business effectively. We rejected this proposal as written. We plan to counter with language which will adequately meet the needs of our bargaining unit.
  • Job Descriptions: Through discussion across the table, we reached an understanding that job descriptions should be readily available in physical and digital format. We have insisted that any changes to job descriptions be discussed with our Union, but their proposal failed to ensure that the company will provide our Union with a list of such changes. We will incorporate this conversation into a counter proposal.

Upcoming Dates

  • 5/19: May Members’ Meeting
  • 5/20: Bargaining Session
  • 5/21: Bargaining Session
  • 6/23: June Members’ Meeting