Frugal Village Forums banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
DH works for the City of Regina libraries and the union voted to give authorization to the executive to call a strike if necessary. This will be a long one. Administration has been preparing for awhile. The union workers have been without a contract for 21 months. The administration wants to cut wages, claw back benefits, and make them work longer hours...all while hiring expensive out-of-scope managers to do we know not what. Hmmm... this one could get nasty. There is talk the administration wants to break the union.

Some of the things they want is for people to work stat holidays, and to get rid of full time employees in favour of part time, and to make those part time employees (mostly moms) work those stat holidays. Not great on the family end of things. This is a library folks, not some essential service!

To be honest, the benefits are the thing that concern me. I have no idea what's going on with that, so I am more worried yet!

So what do I need to do to prepare? I need more meat in the house. The last strike lasted almost 2 months before management caved. Any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,988 Posts
Peanut is this something you have a while to plan or very soon? I would personally save up all the spare cash I could and pay the minimums on any debts while saving. Got the house all winterized to cut down on heat bills etc? Dh has not had a strike so I have no clue how that works with benefits. I hope it is not a long strike!

Another division of teamsters at dh's employer under a separate contract is looking at striking in early 2012. If that division strikes so will the semi drivers (dh). We also need to start preparing. I'll be anxiously reading too see what advice you get.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,714 Posts
~Uh-oh. :( Being on the edge of uncertainty is frustrating. I know that powerless feeling. Here's what's been helping me with DH's impending layoff:
-Try not to worry about things that may happen and just deal with the things that actually do happen.
-Try to focus your attention on what you can do. Any additional preparation and savings you can do will be helpful regardless of what happens.
((hugs))
As far as the benefits go, I thought Canada had healthcare provided by taxes? What other loss of benefits is worrying you?~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
Dh and I have never worked for part of a union, but my BIL when I was a teen and he is eight years older than me worked for a grocery store union. They got their stockpile as stocked as they could and did not spend on anything that was not essential.

My suggestions are to see any doctor's, dentists... before the strike, unless it is effective immediately. Keep some of your investments pretty fluid in case the strike is long, then you can tap into them. I know that you have no debt as you have mentioned that before. Keep it that way.

For yourself, try selling as many of your crafting and sewing projects as possible for extra income. Get as many ESL students as you can handle. Cook from scratch or at least do not go to restaurants. If you are really tired, boil some spaghetti and use jar sauce and make that a meal.

I hope that this helps you some. Peanut, you and your dh will be in my prayers.

A2M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone.

Nodmicks: no debt here. But we'll be paying off all balances on our CCs right away.

I'm in the process now of winterizing the house. Have some stuff I need to order to finish window quilts and some rope caulking for around the frames. Am building a fireplace plug right now.

nuisance26: thanks. :) I could do with the reminder to just focus on what does happen. Being anxiety prone doesn't help matters.

Most of our medical doctors are covered by health care, but a growing number of specialists are not. For example my orthodic doctor is not. Neither would be massage therapy, physiotherapy, fitness specialists (even if prescribed), acupuncture, optometrists, dietitians (I see one now), etc. All these are covered by your work health insurance benefits (for the first $200) or you pay out of pocket. Some dental procedures are partly covered by insurance and then not. For example a root canal still costs close to $800 out of pocket, AFTER the work insurance chips in their part.

I'm seeing my GP today. The dentist isn't due for another 3 months. The orthodic doctor, well, I'm just going to forget about him. I can't do what he says anyways because the shoes he wants me to wear aren't available locally in my size. The dietitian is currently covered by the Clinic, because my doctor referred me.

Auntie2many: Thanks for the tip. We'll have about $5000 in liquid funds at the bank. That's 2 to 3 months expenses. I'm hoping that's enough... I also have a stash of cash at home for emergencies. I'm one of those people with little pockets of cash around the house. :blush:

Did a freezer/pantry inventory last night. Will look at creating a menu plan soon. There are holes in the grocery area I want to fill - cream corn, mushrooms, and meat. Also a big pumpkin wouldn't hurt...for puree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,214 Posts
Sounds like you have a good plan. Keeping a full stockpile will help for sure. Keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,846 Posts
My union is working without a contract right now. it was up in July. Will be upcoming negotiations and voting soon. I know they want us to take concessions, but how?
Right now we are stockpiling, paying down debt, and making due with everything we can. Can't cut back much more. We are already at rock bottom. But we will make it through. We always do.
Good luck to you peanut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
You too Dean! :hugz:

I talked to DH this morning about the benefits reductions they want and he says it's the part-time workers they're after. Apparently anyone working more than 18 hours a week but not full time is getting full benefits and have been for 20 years. Now administration wants to call them all casual and take away their benefits. DH is full time, so this doesn't affect him directly. Indirectly it does though. Means ~40% of the library staff (that's how many are part time) are very upset. Administration is very firm on all it's demands. No concessions from them yet. The staff don't want to go on strike, but really, when you have long term part timers suddenly have health benefits taken away when they're just short of retirement...I mean, what did administration expect???!

The other thing administration wants to do is do away with retroactive pay, which I believe is illegal. If this ends up in court it could be a long battle...

Paid my CCs off this morning. DH is going to wait till payday to pay off his. Then we're sitting on them till this is over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,846 Posts
We went on strike 5 years ago when our last contract wasn't settled. We had worked 4 years with a wage freeze and no contract, then we went on strike, fought for our retro pay and had a very nasty 3 week strike. Even after 5 years there is still some bitterness on both sides. I wish I was old enough to retire and not have to face this again, but I'm not, so we'll see how things pan out come January 1.
In the meantime, we are in a holding pattern. I am a part timer and we don't have benefits. DH is self employed, so we send in a hefty check monthly for a "meets our basic needs" hospitalization plan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,747 Posts
Oh boy, and people wonder why we need unions. If we didn't have unions to fight for fair wages, benefits and pensions everyone would be scr**ed.

I'll praying everything turns out for you both. :hugz:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,214 Posts
What a tough situation.... and I'm sure they will cut hours and make more workers "part-time" so they don't have to pay benefits

Good job on the CC's :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,302 Posts
I am sorry to hear this peanut and dean. My prayers will be said for both of you. :hugz:
 
  • Like
Reactions: dean and peanut

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,540 Posts
Good luck, Peanut. It sounds to me like you have everything under control. You will get through this just fine. Maybe it won't go as long as predicted. They expected my husband's lay-off, which was the result of a bunch of childish political bickering that resulted in a partisan hissy fit, would last till the end of the year. Luckily it ended after three weeks.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
19,119 Posts
Sorry that you have to live with this Peanut, but I think we all can use this as a wake up call. Am interersted in hearing what you do - after all you are a role model for all of us - why not with this area too?
 
  • Like
Reactions: peanut

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Brennasmom: That's exactly what they're doing. Cutting and reducing status and pay scale of as many people as possible...mostly the part-timers.

SD: I suspect you're right. I just need to keep from panicking and I'll be fine.

MM: :lol3: Me? A role model when it comes to surviving strikes?! :) I have been through one strike before. It was 1 1/2 months long DH reminds me. I thought it was 2. I thought it would never end and everyone would be sour with everyone after, and I wasn't far off. Morale has always been bad at the library. Some people just never forgot the strike.

I guess the thing that bothers me is that DH's direct boss is out-of-scope. He is having to walk a diplomatic fine line sometimes at work because of everything going on. I guess it's the emotional toll of what is happening that is hardest.

What else bothered me was seeing the less well prepared people suffering. We try to help as DH is a better paid mid-level manager, but there's a lot of pride here, and few people will accept help. Might be time to have a talk with DH again about money/food. Last strike we helped a few people out too. That $200/wk. strike pay doesn't go far when you have a family to feed and roof to keep over your head...especially the 4th or 5th week of a strike. But for DH and I it isn't too bad. Especially when I am prepared with the help of my friends here at the Village!

Today I picked up canned mushrooms, corn, baking powder (we're almost out) and pumpkins. Processed the pumpkin and got 32 cups of pumpkin from one pumpkin!

Tomorrow it's off to the butcher's to talk about meat...
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
19,119 Posts
Keep going strong Peanut - your attitude is what makes you a role model for us. Love it and you!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: peanut

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks MM. DH took the car in for it's 'physical' today. ;) It cost us $400, BUT better now than when the strike is on.

My laptop is also in for repairs before the strike hits. It will be about $250. My CD drive is wrecked and it's past warranty.

:sigh: Well, on the up side, we actually do have money to pay cash for these things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,846 Posts
Must be that time of year peanut. Just had DH's truck in the shop yesterday to replace the thermostat $323. And like you, we are paying cash for everything we can. If we can't, then it's gonna have to wait.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
Some good tips in here. DH is a member of the union (teachers) but strike pay here is exactly €0.00 (not kidding) so he works through ALL strikes. That said, strikes here are usually 24-48 hours long (there have been more than 12 in the past calendar year), meaning they are a total waste and completely pointless. DH says that if they called a "real" strike, he would participate if he thought it would make any real difference.

If that happens, my only plan is to eat from the stockpile (I have about a 5 month stockpile in the pantry right now, trying to get it up to 10-12 months) and not putting gas in the car. If he doesn't need gas to get to work, we will temporarily declare the car out of service.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they don't declare a long-term strike because we can't afford to lose the (ridiculously low) salary that he gets, even for a week. But they keep threatening it anyway.

Good luck to you Peanut... keep working on that stockpile!
 
  • Like
Reactions: peanut

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Well I'm miffed. DH put the car on CREDIT CARD! Grrr... I told him I'd rather pay cash now than have it come due during a strike. He just said he didn't have enough money in the gas envelope. To which I SHOULD have replied "Well DEBIT it from the account then". But I guess he figured between the two there wasn't enough...though there was... :sigh: I'll talk to him about paying everything off the end of this month. He gets paid tomorrow.

ETA: You know that Stat holiday they want everyone to work? They don't want to pay Stat holiday pay for it...just regular pay. :rolleyes:
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top