Bargaining Update #16 – 4/30/2024

Snapshot Summary

  • Takeaways: eBay’s team met us at the table for a total of only 37 minutes, far less than typical sessions despite the amount of unresolved work from the previous day. We at least made use of the day to prepare additional counters beyond what we had ready in the morning, and ultimately reached tentative agreements on a few items with good progress in earlier sessions.
  • Upcoming Sessions: May 20–21
  • Tentative Agreements: Attendance, Job Descriptions, Access to Company Worksite
  • Union Proposals: Bargaining Unit Work, Contracting Out Work, Bulletin Boards, Internal Messaging Platform, Job Descriptions, Access to Company Worksite, Hours of Work, Job Bidding & Transfers, Parking
  • TCGplayer Proposals: Job Descriptions, Access to Company Worksite, Bulletin Boards, Contracting Out Work, Performance of Bargaining Unit Work

Full Report

On April 30th, 2024, we had our sixteenth 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 second day of our first two-day session. We came prepared to continue the hard work of digging through the list of outstanding items but, unfortunately, our time for active discussion at the table was severely limited as the result of eBay’s team taking extended time to caucus with little to show for it.

We started the day by putting across six proposals from our list of pending items. We made use of the unexpected time we had to caucus to produce three additional counters, bringing the total number of proposals we passed across the table to 21 over the two day session. We are very satisfied with the hard work our Bargaining Committee has put into these sessions, and are confident we know how to proceed for our next caucus to be just as effective in upcoming sessions.

For much of the day, the company’s representatives sequestered themselves in caucus, ignored our messages to reconvene, and joined for a sum total of only 37 minutes at the table for us to pass proposals and provide brief explanations of changes. Ultimately, their team left unceremoniously as we watched from the room where we were still actively working on proposals.

We are disappointed that we were not afforded the opportunity for deep communication which we expected from a two-day session. eBay’s team did provide a few slightly amended counters to items we proposed throughout the two days, providing, at least, for a few tentative agreements built on our work going into the day. At no point did eBay’s team invite further discussion on the vast majority of the proposals we prepared for this extended session, and our ability to make meaningful progress was negatively impacted by their avoidant behavior.

Tentative Agreements

  • Attendance: Carried over from work during the previous day, both teams were prepared to sign a tentative agreement on a final draft provided by the company which addressed our concerns related to employee choice of making up time within a work week or applying paid or unpaid time.
  • Job Descriptions: Following the previous day’s discussions, we reintroduced language that ensures our Union is provided with lists of proposed changes prior to the implementation of any such changes. Additionally, we reserve the right to dispute the rate of pay for any newly created or recently modified job description.

    eBay’s team emailed a draft at the end of the day reflecting our language, bringing us to a tentative agreement on this item.

  • Access to Company Worksite: We re-introduced language holding visiting representatives of our Union to the same protocols applied to any other visitor to the office, in contrast to management’s continued push for needlessly restrictive language. Such requests for visitation will be made with 48 hours notice, and shall not be unreasonably denied. Employees will be permitted to visit with Union staff on site when off the clock, including on breaks during the workday.

    Before leaving for the day, eBay’s team emailed an updated counter reaching enough middle ground to feel comfortable signing off on it.

Our Proposals

  • Bargaining Unit Work: We outlined specific circumstances under which non-bargaining unit employees would be permitted to perform bargaining unit work, restricted to training or when asked for help by a member of the bargaining unit. Management continues to propose a much broader allowance for work to be performed by employees not covered by our contract. We should not need to worry about losing hours or getting laid off as a result of being substantially replaced by non-union employees.
  • Contracting Out Work: The company should not contract out for any work historically done by the bargaining unit if such contracting would result in a loss of hours or layoffs of members of the unit. We have also insisted that the company notify the Union 30 days or more in advance, and bargain with the Union over the impact of such changes.
  • Bulletin Boards: We have been close to agreement on this item since settling on a bulletin board being added to both the first and the third floor breakrooms. We amended the proposal to move sections related to Slack usage rights to a standalone article.
    Internal Messaging Platform: We are asking that our Union have a dedicated Slack channel, with the same cross-posting privileges provided to any other individual or group of employees. Approved subjects of posting include Union meetings, socials, elections, and other updates, with reasonable provisions against posts disparaging the company.
  • Hours of Work: Our proposal would guarantee two consecutive days off for all members of the bargaining unit unless waived by the employee. We also believe that employee’s schedules should be posted for personal access on the company HRIS (Workday). We also proposed for schedule changes including weekend days off to be subject to bidding for fair access, while any other schedule changes would be handled first come, first served. We are still waiting on a response from eBay’s team.
  • Job Bidding & Transfers: As access to the company job board from home requires a Yubikey, we added language that would ensure every AC employee has one to ensure contract compliance. Additionally, we continue to assert that among qualified candidates seniority should be the primary determining factor for selection. We are still waiting for a response from eBay’s team.
  • Parking: We have proposed to maintain the current benefit of fully subsidized parking for AC workers. We are still waiting on a response from eBay’s team.

Management’s Proposals

  • Bulletin Boards: While we have ironed out the bulk of our differences on this subject, including agreement on the location and usage of bulletin boards, eBay’s latest proposal removed language which preserves our legally protected right to distribute literature in ways other than bulletin board postings. We hope to reach a point of mutual understanding about this issue. Without this right preserved in our contract, we are not able to reach agreement on the article.
  • Contracting Unit Work: eBay’s proposal included only the assurance that subcontracting would not serve as a way to convert full-time Union employees to part time. It does not make any similar assurances regarding reduced hours more generally, or against the elimination of positions. We are unable to agree to this proposal in its current form.
  • Performance of Bargaining Unit Work: eBay’s team sent us this late in the day and, as with many other topics of the day, did not make themselves available for discussion. Reflecting a lack of dialogue, this latest proposal was a mere revision of their previous versions, and did little to address our concerns regarding the broad scope of circumstances in which non-bargaining unit members would be allowed to perform our work.

Upcoming Dates

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