You'd think that after all these years of working at Volvo, I'd learn not to get carried away by rumors. I say this now that I've seen the actual proposed contract we'll be voting on today. It is much better than the horror stories circulated earlier in the week, certainly as good as we could have hoped to get. I plan on voting "Yes" this afternoon when I go back.
If the contract passes, we will have one more week off, claiming unemployment (waiting week) for it, then all go back to work on March 24.
We will have a contract to vote on this weekend. Like everything else that happens at Volvo, we found out about it on the 11 o'clock news. The good news is that we will keep our recall rights (meaning if you are laid-off, they have to call you back when things pick up), and our insurance stays the same. The bad news is that you can only have one absence per year excused by a doctor and can't take any vacation days one at a time. I will have 20 years in September, which gives me 25 vacation days, and I can't take ANY of them as single days? We are forced to burn up vacation weeks during the annual summer shut down (which the company originally wanted to increase to the entire month of August in order to burn up everyone's vacation) and are only allowed to take 5 single days under the current contract. So for about half our membership it's "take your vacation when the company TELLS you to or forget it." None of us really care about a raise, realizing we are already the best-paid workers in the area.
I'm sure there are a lot more goodies hidden in the fine print of this 200+ page document. As of now, it appears we will have our first look at it Friday or Saturday and then vote on it a day later. Pretty much no time at all to read it through or have many questions answered. What a great way to vote in "minor changes" that end up having a major impact on us for the next 3 years. As they say, "The devil is in the details." I anticipate a long angry meeting with a lot of finger-pointing and shouting, followed by a "NO" vote. Of course, I didn't think we'd walk out the minute the old contract expired either!
I think I spelled that right! Dr. Kelly said that based on what he saw of Kate and Valerie on Monday, he probably didn't need to see me and would call something in for me. I have an antibiotic as well as a cough suppressant/antihistamine/decongestant combo. Hopefully I'll be feeling better within a couple days. Valerie sounds even worse now than before she saw the doctor, and she'll be going back to work today. She's miserable. I'm assuming Kate will be going back to school as well.
We received a decent amount of rain yesterday and the low temperatures of 48 and 56 degrees in Blacksburg and Roanoke tied the records for highest minimum temp. for the date in both cities. Just a little weather trivia for ya'll.
p.s.- I noticed driving back from taking the kids to school that the maple trees have budded and there are now robins all over the place. They might get a bit chilly this weekend.
The sun is hidden behind dark rain clouds this morning but it's still lower sixties outside. We even have a few windows open to let some of our germs out into the great outdoors. We are desperately low on precipitation down here, so I'm sure the rain will be appreciated. I have several Burpee gift certificates that I received last year as part of a Maxwell House coffee promotion, so I'll be digging through this spring's Burpee seed catalog to figure out what to spend them on before they expire.
I went ahead and deleted Sunday's rant about politics in the pulpit. Thanks to everyone for your comments, all of which I found very positive.
It's supposed to get up into the lower 60's tomorrow and Monday. I think I'll lay in the sunshine and hope it cures my bronchitis. It should make the crocuses finally open up. They've been just sitting there , all purple and closed tight, waiting for a spring-like day. If I can hear the spring peepers singing tomorrow night, I'll know it's really here.