Enid Union To Vote On Tentative Agreement

Monday, June 22nd 2009, 7:58 am
By: News On 6

Associated Press

ENID, OK -- Members of a union representing nearly 800 civilian workers at Vance Air Force Base are scheduled to vote Monday on a tentative agreement for a new contract.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 898 and CSC Applied Technologies agreed on a proposal during a marathon bargaining session on Saturday that would end a nearly two-week-old strike and put the flight training mission at the base back on track.

6/11/2009 Related story: Strike At Vance Air Force Base In Enid Continues

"Strictly speaking, it's not a bad proposal. It's not the best, it's not what we wanted but we will vote and the members will decide the issue," said Jerry McCune, president and directing business representative for District Lodge 171, of which Local 898 is a part.

In a prepared statement, Gary Richardson, CSC program manager at Vance, said the new agreement includes a 3.75 percent wage increase and a 20-cents-per-hour pension increase at the end of each contract year. Richardson declined to comment on any other specifics.

If approved, McCune said workers would return Tuesday and planes will be back in the air by Friday.

Employees began picketing CSC, and its three subcontractors, PRI/DJI, DenMar, and M1 Support Service, on June 8 after negotiators reached an impasse on replacing a three-year contract that was expiring.

The work stoppage brought a halt to flight training at Vance, resulting in the temporary transfer of students and instructor pilots to Randolph and Laughlin Air Force Bases in Texas.

Virginia-based CSC has a contract with the Air Force to provide aircraft maintenance and base operations, which range from information technology support to landscaping and daycare.

McCune said members will vote from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday on the agreement and officials will count the ballots shortly thereafter.