most of the conversations i hear about health care, retirement and all the other stuff you get from a job that isn't monetary, it's people sitting in a corporate meeting room trying to figure out which box to check during their new employee orientation. every once in a while, if you're at the wrong barbecue, someone will bore someone else with the details of their situation and inevitably say something like, "do you get that?" to force others in the room to stay on topic.
and then, every once in a while, you get two people from different unions comparing notes. you get the usual health, pension, vacation and sick day talk, but a departure from their corporate counterparts always ensues.
"yeah, they have guaranteed quarter raises, so you might start at eleven somthin, but not too long and you're up to fifteen, sixteen."
"oh yeah?" the bus driver, captive audience for dude in acid wash jeans and white sneakers, says obligatorily.
"yeah," says sneakers with enough excitement to make up for the bus driver. "and once you get to that point, you usually have enough seniority that you won't get laid off."
i'm lucky. my employer treats me well enough that i ain't gonna rabble-rouse for a union anytime soon. but guaranteed raises? layoff-proofing based on seniority? sign me up!