Sessions and Updates

2023

November 2, 2023: Tree House submitted dates for the first negotiation session in January 2024 based on the Union’s indication that the end of year is a busy time.

November 27, 2023: Tree House informed the Union of an upcoming annual wage event.

December 8, 2023: Tree House submitted written information to the Union for its annual wage event.

December 14, 2023: Tree House and the Union agreed on January 25, 2024 as the first bargaining session toward an initial collective bargaining agreement.

December 19, 2023: Tree House submitted to the Union a proposal for employee bonuses and raises as part of the annual wage event. Tree House sent the Union an updated employee handbook; changes were approved by the Board of Directors on August 15, 2023. Tree House and the Union agreed that the first bargaining session toward an initial collective bargaining agreement scheduled for January 25, 2024 will be held at 10 a.m. at Tree House Humane Society. Tree House will provide a guided tour to Union representatives at this time.

December 29, 2023: The Union agreed to Tree House’s proposed wage and bonuses for the annual wage event.

2024

January 19, 2024: The Union requested a rescheduling of the January 25 bargaining session. In response, Tree House proposed maintaining the session but shifting it to a virtual format to adhere to the scheduled date. The Union agreed, and as a result, the January 25, 9 a.m. bargaining session will proceed as planned in a virtual setting.

January 25, 2024: The parties held a virtual bargaining session. During this session Tree House provided a written proposal (via email) to the Union relating to ground rules for the parties to follow during the collective bargaining process. The Union verbally explained its proposal for ground rules during the session and then following the session sent written notes regarding the same. Tree House offered the Union the opportunity to hold a caucus during the bargaining session on the proposed ground rules, and the Union chose to postpone discussions until the next in-person meeting. The Union proposed meeting dates in February and a meeting location of their attorney’s office in downtown Chicago. Both parties will review the ground rule proposals and Tree House will review proposed dates and location and confirm the next meeting’s details.

February 7, 2024: The parties confirmed the next bargaining session for February 29, 9 a.m. in downtown Chicago.

February 29, 2024: The parties met for a bargaining session, which lasted from approximately 9:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. During the session the Union shared initial non-economic proposals with management. The parties discussed these proposals at a high level. Management explained that at our next session Management will provide initial responses to a number of the Union’s proposals as well as make some initial proposals of its own. The parties agreed to meet again on March 26 and April 22.

March 26, 2024: The parties met for a bargaining session, which lasted from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in Evanston. During the session, Tree House provided counter proposals to a number of the Union’s initial proposals as well as shared some initial proposals of its own with the Union. The parties discussed these proposals at a high level. The parties have tentatively agreed to the Preamble of the contract. The parties agreed to meet again on May 13 and May 14 (in addition to the scheduled April 22 meeting) in downtown Chicago. At the end of the session, the Union took a guided tour of the facility.

April 8, 2024:  GOOD NEWS FOR EMPLOYEES! Starting later this month, employees will begin to receive information regarding the healthcare renewal process. The good news is that there will be no changes at all to employee contributions for healthcare. While the cost of the healthcare plan increased by 5.5%, Tree House absorbed these increased costs so that there would be no increase to employee contributions. This includes a 100% Tree House-covered medical plan. Additionally, there will be no plan design changes to the healthcare plan. Accordingly, there is no change to employee’ terms and conditions of employment as a result of this renewal. Tree House has advised the Union of this development.

April 23, 2024: The parties held a bargaining session on April 22, 2024. The parties exchanged proposals regarding the following topics: Management Rights, Automation/AI, Security Cameras, Timekeeping Procedures, Nondiscrimination, no-strike/no lockout, Labor Management Committee and Safe Environment. The parties also reached tentative agreements on a recognition provision as well as a provision regarding dignity and respect. Notably, the dignity and respect provision applies to employees’ treatment of one another as well as employees and managers interactions. Violations of this provision can result in discipline. The bargaining session began around 10am and ended at approximately 4:30pm. The parties are next scheduled to meet on May 13 and 14th.

May 15, 2024: The parties participated in negotiations on May 13 and 14. The parties discussed topics including: safe work environment; management rights; continuous service and seniority; layoff, recall and reduction of hours; remote work; job descriptions; subcontracting; security cameras; and automation/AI. The parties did not reach tentative agreements on any of these topics. The parties did, however, reach tentative agreements on a no-strike/no lock-out provision and a non-discrimination provision. The parties are set to meet again on June 17 and June 18.