Questions and Answers

What do we like about TWU?

TWU has a long history and a variety of members. Not only that, but they have been exceptionally responsive and helpful without conditions. Their organizers are peers who contribute their personal time towards advancing workers rights! Many of the other labor organizations have had conditions and stipulations that would exclude or potentially minimize the contributions of some of our prospective members - that is not what we are about! They also have experience negotiating very large corporations and done so successfully.

What about a strike?

First thing first - calling for a strike is the furthest thing from our minds. In reality, it isn't even a consideration. While we work for a private organization we still provide an important public service! Our patients need us!!!! When we organize, it isn't a single person's decision to call for a strike - it would take a majority vote and plenty of other legal hurdles before that could even happen. But again - a Strike is not even a consideration. We are doing this to make things better, not to win through bullying.

How to we influence negotiations without a strike?

There are plenty of techniques to do this and TWU has experience doing so - they cover many employees who are prohibited from striking because of their line of work. While we won't go into great detail, negotiations are just that. We ask, bargain and collaborate. In addition, Section 8 of the NLRA requires the employer bargain in good faith and in a timely fashion. If they fail to do so and we challenge them then we can pursue action against them. You can read section 8 (and 7) on the NLRB Website.

What are dues?

Generally dues are the equivalent of two hours of work at your base pay per month. This is a very reasonable rate, and if you click here, you can read more in depth about dues and the benefits that brings! There is also no initiation fee and dues will not be collected until there is a CBA in place.

Are my dues tax deductible?

To the best of our knowledge, they are deductible on federal taxes but not state or local. Please consult your financial planner to be certain.

Will my dues pay for political activities?

No, none of the dues paid towards our future Local of the TWU would be directed towards political activities. If you chose to donate to a political cause on behalf or with the Union, you can - but it is not required or expected.

Are our pilots or AMTs unionized?

Not at this time, but if they choose to be we would love to collaborate with them. We decided that we would focus on clinicians as that is who we are and our area of expertise. If/When the pilots, AMTs or any other group of our peers decide to move forward our goal is to collaborate and support them while allowing them to develop a structure that meets their needs - something they know the most about. This is why we like TWU - they could help a Pilot and AMT Union as well!

Can they (PIlots/AMTs) form a union?

Absolutely! All they need are some motivated individuals who have a passion for advocating for better pay, conditions, and benefits at work!

The parent company spends a lot of money on union busting. are we sure we want this?

If they are so good at Union busting, then why are so many of their ops locations Union shops? And it doesn't matter what they want or push for, this is the only way that we can advocate and rally together as employees.

Read more about some of their anti-union activities here

Can we try to get the company to have better alternate resources?

Sure, we don't see why not. Negotiations are not set in stone and the direction they go is at the direction of the voting membership. We would personally like to see the organization increase the availability of lower cost non-emergency resources in areas that are underserved so that air ambulances can be reserved for those patients who need a high level of care or rapid transportation. This goes into our desire to improve patient care by making sure they get not just the best care but also get the right kind of service! Plus, that is actually part of the CAMTS Standards - 11th edition section 02.02.02 Utilization Management page 36 of the PDF (Available here).

Can we change unions?

Absolutely! If we change our minds or decide to go in a different direction we are not required to stay with this organization forever. The process is the same as what we are going through now, except we would be voting/petitioning to decertify the Union.

What else will the union do?

That's a pretty broad questions and we can't actually answer that. When you look at the Why? we have posted, that is just our preliminary ideas. The Union Leadership will do what the membership votes on and directs them to do, to the best of their ability. The what else all depends on you!

What if my boss says the first person to sign a union card is fired?

Well, not only is that a pretty terrible way to treat a subordinate but it is also illegal. "...It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in section 157 of this title..." 29 U.S. Code § 158 Chapter 7 NLRA. More information on protected activities can be found here. At this point in the process, we are actively working as a group of concerned and dedicated peers to improve our pay, benefits and working conditions. We can talk about this openly. Despite that, let's not poke the bear. Perform your duties as efficiently as always, check and double check to make sure everything has been done. If a member of leadership threatens adverse employment actions, termination or bullying you need to document as much detail as possible about the situation and what was said, inform them that you believe this is an unfair labor practice and contact one of us as soon as possible so that we can have those who are trained and educated to deal with these situations address it.