CWA Bargaining 2009
This page will detail what we know about bargaining for all companies represented by Local 3204.
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days until the Contract Expires!
Our mission is to PROTECT our
retired, current, and Future members'
healthcare benefits, wages, and
to provide a safe working environment.
Through mobilization and with the strength,
support, and unity of our membership,
we are committed to COMMUNICATE,
EDUCATE, MOTIVATE AND ACTIVATE.
AT&T Southeast Bargaining
Tentative Agreement - CWA BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.
MESSAGE TO ALL MEMBERS
As a result of intensive talk a new TA was reached and recommended unanimously by the bargaining team. The changes from the previous TA are as follows:
As with the other contracts, the Utility Operations contract involved difficult bargaining. In light of the company's position on economic issues, the bargaining team believes we achieved the best contract possible. This is a tentative agreement until ratified by majority vote of members voting in a secret ballot election. The Bargaining Committee unanimously recommends ratification of this agreement.
Meanwhile, here are some of the highlights on the key issues of the new tentative agreement.
- 3% Retroactive to 8/09/2009, 3% Eff 9/05/2010, 2.75% Eff: 9/04/2011
Article 1: Definitions
- Updated language reflecting current company entities
Article 3J: Payroll Periods and Paycheck Deliveries
- Paycheck Stub will be made available to employees in the most efficient manner possible. (If on EFT, check stub will no longer be mailed to employee home address)
Article 6B1: Layoff
- Change from 30 day to 45 day notification of layoff.
Article 6B2: Bumping Rights
- Bumping option to include a mandatory 35 mile bump list prior to the state bump list. Also, adding voluntary layoff in surplus language. Number of volunteers limited to number of positions declared surplus within the exchange.
Article 6D: Recall from Layoff
- Laid off employees will have the right to be recalled, by seniority date. The company will also endeavor to offer laid off employees any temporary vacancies for which they are qualified. If employee accepts temporary offer it will not affect recall status.
Article 8C: Promotion and Transfer Plan
- Eligible employees may submit unlimited future requests. Also, update entity language.
- (Utility Operations employees will also be eligible to participate in The National Transfer Plan)
Article 19C: Non-Discrimination Clause
- Changed to reflect the AT&T Code of Business Conduct.
Article 21: Duration of Agreement
- 3 year contract effective August 9, 2009 expiring August 4, 2012
- Uniform Program: Increase initial uniform credit to $443.55
- Increase annual credit to $214.87
- Increase boot allowance to $75.00
- Renewed the following MOAs
- Inclement Weather Work Policy
- Short Term Disability letter
- Excused Time for Union Activity
Healthcare and benefits were negotiated at the Common Interest Table. The details are listed in the AT&T Southeast Final Bargaining report. Effective January 1, 2011 Utility Operations will be covered under the healthcare plans terms listed. No changes in the current Vision, Dental, or Disability Benefit Plans for Utility Operations. However, effective January 1, 2011 Utility Ops employees will be eligible to participate in the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Long Term Care Plan, Adoption Plan, Commuter Plan, and the Marsh Personal Plans.
Final Bargaining Report 12/14/09
We are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement on a new three year contract between CWA and AT&T Southeast. In these tough economic times, we have reached an agreement that achieves our key goals:
- Maintained and improved our Standard of Living
- Protected Retirees
- Improved language concerning work rules
There are changes in our health care that will result in increased out of pocket costs. However, when wages and the new company-funded tax-free Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) are factored in, CWA membersfrom the highest paid to the lowestare better off.
This was a very difficult set of negotiations and we are pleased to have reached such a positive conclusion. There will be a contract explanation meeting for Local officers this Friday, December 18, who will then hold local explanation meetings over the next few weeks. A detailed summary will also be mailed to every member along with their ratification ballot. This is a tentative agreement until ratified by majority vote of members voting in a secret ballot election. The Bargaining Committee unanimously recommends ratification of this agreement.
Meanwhile, here are some of the highlights on the key issues of the new tentative agreement.
- 3% Retroactive to 8/9/09
- Maintained Current Plan Rules and Contractual Rights.
- Monthly Premium - $35 single/$75 family beginning Jan 1st, 2011
- Eliminate spousal carve-out premium beginning Jan 1st, 2011
- Preventative no deductible, no coinsurance
- Deductible - $350 Individual/$700 Family
- Co-Insurance 10% In-Network/40% Out of Network
- Out of Pocket Maximum - $1000 Individual In -Network/$3000 Individual Out of Network
- $3000 Family In- Network/$6000 Family Out of Network
- No Co-pays
- Individual Basis for deductibles and OOP
- Current employees that retire will have multiple options available to them.
- Prescription Coverage
- Separate OOP max $900 Individual/$1800 Family
- Individual Basis for OOP
- Retail Network Copays (up to 30 days supply)
- Generic - $10, Formulary - $20, Non-Formulary - $40
- Retail Non-Network Copays (up to 30 days supply)
- Participant pays the greater of the applicable.
- Network copay or balance remaining after the plan pays 75%
- Mail Order Copays (up to 90 days supply)
- Generic - $20, Formulary - $40, Non-Formulary - $80
- 90 day prescription available at CVS pharmacies at mail order prices.
- Dental Same as today.
- Vision Same as today
- Life Insurance
Create New Tax-Free Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA)
Active Employees will get:
- 0/0--Year 1 (also SSP see below)
- $300/$600 --Year 2 (also SSP see below)
- 0/0--Year 3 (also SSP see below)
In Year 2, stock appreciation portion of SSP applies to HRA. In Year 3, both dividend portion and appreciation apply to HRA.
HRA Future Retirees
- $850/$1700--Year 1
- $150/$300--Year 2
- 0/0--Year 3
HRA Funding levels will be based on healthcare enrollment status as of the 1st of year:
HRA dollars not used in a plan year are rolled over.
Success Sharing Plan (SSP)
- *Two parts
a) Dividend x 150
b) Appreciation in stock price, year over year x 150
- All SSP payments to HRAs.
Pension band increase
- 2% - effective June 1, 2010
- 2% - effective June 1, 2011
- 2% - effective June 1, 2012
Preserved lump sum option for life of contract and retained non decreasing lump sum.
2012 Start transition to PPA rate rather than GATT to calculate lump sum 25% transitions per year.
- Same medical.
- New Hires BCB2 cash balance pension with lump sum option.
- New Hires Future Retirees ATT will pay 50% Medical.
- Maintained all provisions of Article 14
- Provide protections to assure existing Sales Associates are not forced to become "leveraged" as well as provide enhanced employment security for existing Sales Associates through combining of titles in a surplus.
- Limited scope. If Management wants to expand "leverage" program to any other title, they must bargain to agreement (not impasse).
- Sales Associate can try Leverage title for up to 6 months with return rights at same location.
- Leverage formula 60% base wages guaranteed and 40% base wages leveraged.
- Card Check Agreement
- Recognition for Video Hub Technicians (National Internet Contract)
- Negotiated Presidents Council (Replaces Operations Board)
- National Transfer Plan The Company has agreed to modify the external job posting system to provide, for employees who choose to participate, a National Transfer Plan.
- Retroactivity to 8/9/2009 for Wages and Arbitration rights.
- Temps/Terms converted prior to ratification are current employees within 90 days of ratification. Temps/Terms converted after ratification are classified new employees.
- Retained 1 Managed Care Specialists and 1 Claims Facilitator
- Retained 1 Partnership Representative
- Language that will allow 2 EWD days to be flexed
- Retained 2 flexible EWD in Customer Markets
- Added stepbrother and stepsister to immediate family
- No loss of pay to attend meetings in any AT&T Company represented by CWA
- 1 additional optional E-SIPP
- PREM TECHS ARE NOT IN OUR CONTRACT.
Report #86 12/8/09
The Bargaining Team met today to informally discuss the Prem Tech title. Differences between the parties still exist. The company passed a draft of a Premise Tech agreement and the Union countered.
The Team is in recess unilt the company responds to our most recent proposal.
Report #85 12/2/09
The Bargaining Team is on standby while information requested by the Union is made available. This information should be helpful in trying to formulate a fair and equitable solution to the remaining issues.
This website will be updated as progress is made.
Report #84 11/19/09
Informal meetings have been taking place to evaluate the difference between the parties and to clearly understand if movement is a possibility.
The Union will meet separately in an effort to determine what it will take to reach an agreement.
The Team will be released for Thanksgiving week and bargaining will resume the following week, therefore there will be no new bargaining updates until then.
Have a great Holiday.
Report #83 11/13/09
The Bargaining team has been meeting informally with the Company for the last two days regarding the Premises Technician Title.
While no agreement has been reached the parties have moved closer to understanding each others' position.
Talks continue in an effort to narrow the differences between the parties.
The Health Care and Economics will be the last issues bargained to complete the contract.
Thank you for all your support.
Report #82 11/6/09
The Bargaining Team remains on call while talks take place at the highest levels of the Company and the Union. The parties are trying to build a framework around which a final agreement can be fashioned by the bargaining teams.
The team will be working through the weekend to accomplish this goal.
Report #81 10/30/09
Both the Main table and the Common Interest table met today.
At the Main table a Premises Tech proposal was passed and thoroughly discussed. Ultimately it was rejected by the Company.
At the Common Interest table two proposals were passed by the Union. One dealt with pension increases and the other addressed Health Care. Both were discussed and the Company will respond to them at our next meeting.
Report #80 10/27/09
The Common Interest Table met yesterday 10/26/2009.
The Company provided answers to our questions. The answers fell far short of our expectations and did not justify the Company's recent Healthcare & Wage proposals.
The Union team met today to discuss the Company's answers and decide what steps must be taken to reach agreement.
The Union team will continue to meet to discuss a strategy that will bring the bargaining to an acceptable conclusion.
Much thanks to all Locals in the District who have sent and continue to send words of encouragement, gift baskets and other treats to the team and to those locals who have provided meals (fish fry, barbecue, Honey Baked Ham).
Report #79 10/23/09
The Common Interest Table met twice yesterday October 22, 2009. At the morning session the company passed its comprehensive Healthcare and Wage proposals. It was woefully inadequate. The company cited the Unions lack of movement on its critical issues as the reason for its proposal.
At the afternoon session, questions were asked surrounding the companys assumptions used to arrive at these proposals.
The Team is on call awaiting answers.
Report #78 10/21/09
The Bargaining Team met at the main table today.
The parties discussed the architecture over which light speed services are provided in an effort to identify areas of common interest. The team still awaits the company's comprehensive proposal on healthcare and wages.
Report #77 10/19/09
Some members have been requesting updated bargaining reports. Unfortunately, the Company has not been forthcoming with a comprehensive proposal on wages and healthcare.
The Union Team is anxious to bargain and remains on call. As in all bargaining scenarios it takes two to reach an agreement. We continue to wait for a Company proposal.
Report #76 10/07/09
The Common Interest table met today 10/6/09. Only Q & A's while we await a comprehensive economic proposal from the Company.
The team is on call while AT&T drafts its proposal.
Report #75 10/05/09
The CIT team met Saturday, October 3, 2009.
The Company made it very clear that until it sees movement on the critical issues (namely Premises Tech) the wage offer and associated economics will be sub-standard compared to the other regions of the country.
We have a CIT meeting scheduled today in an effort to move the Company off this position.
Mobilize! Mobilize! Mobilize!
Report #74 09/29/09
Both the main table and the Common Interest Table met yesterday.
At the main table a Tentative Agreement was reached to convert up to 1,000 Temps and Terms to regular full-time employees. Along with this agreement the Company will consider 7.01k and 7.02 rights and Article 10 and 12 requests prior to converting Temps and Terms. All current bids currently on file will be considered. Anyone wishing to bid on a position currently held by a temp or term employee must have a request on file by midnight EST 9/30/09 to be considered.The conversion of Temps/Terms will take place in the Network Organization (I&M and Construction).
A TA was also reached allowing employees who, due to a surplus condition, voluntarily accepted a lower rated job in the same exchange or an equal or lower rated job in another exchange to either ATT Billing Southeast, LLC or Utilities Operations may be considered under the provisions of 7.01K.
At the CIT Table , the parties TA'd an agreement to pay employees who return from STD with restrictions even if that modified duty work is not available.
Remember Tentative Agreements are contingent upon reaching a full agreement.
Report #73 09/25/09
Both the Main Table and the Common Interest Table met today.
After days of Q&A's, a tentative agreement was reached on the Leverage Title.
Along with the TA on the Leverage Title, two TA's were reached at the Common Interest Table. One TA will continue the agreement on the non-decreasing lump sum pension and a second TA will continue to have Union time count toward FMLA eligibility (1250 hours).
Remember, TA's are contingent upon reaching a complete agreement.
Report #72 09/18/09
The Union Bargaining team continues to discuss the critical issues that represent the differences between the parties.
The Union awaits answers from the Company which could move the parties closer on some key issues.
The team remains on call.
Report #71 09/18/09
The Union Bargaining team continues to discuss the critical issues that represent the differences between the parties.
The Union awaits answers from the Company which could move the parties closer on some key issues.
The team remains on call.
Report #70 09/14/09
The Main Table met today and talks once again continued around the proposed Leveraged Title. No Agreement has been reached.
Report #69 09/11/09
Both the Main table & the Common Interest table met today. The MOA dealing with the Jessica Lundsford Act was agreed upon, so the provisions of that agreement will remain in effect for the term of the 2009 contract. Discussions took place around supervisors performing craft work, vendor warranties as it relates to contracting out work, 701k return rights for employees who voluntarily accepts a job in another bargaining unit due to surplus, and the Company's leverage title proposal.
At the CIT table after much discussion a TA was reached to continue participation on the Operations Board, Business Unit Operations Board and Local Governance Partnerships (LGP's).
Tentative Agreements are contingent upon reaching a full agreement.
Report #68 09/10/09
Both the Main and Common Interest tables met today. Discussions at the Main table again centered around the proposed Leveraged Title.
Questions were raised regarding wage scales, family of skills, SIPP and term pay calculations and pay treatment for a team lead and relieving supervisor, in the Leverage Title.
At the CIT, talks regarding health care revolved around spousal coverage as it relates to treatment of married couples who both work for the Company or in the case where one is retired and one is active.
The parties discussed the Company's current health care proposal. Extensive talks centered around treatment of pension and health care coverage for retirees who re-engage with the Company and subsequently re-retire.
Critical considerations are: rehire and bridge date (either before or after 8/18/09) and status of employee (temp/term or regular) upon re-retirement.
There are critical issues and are as individual as the employees themselves.
Report #67 09/09/09
Discussions resumed Tuesday at the Main Table. Many questions were raised by the Union regarding the proposal on Leveraged Titles including: calculation of overtime pay, what options Temp/Terms will have in regards to permanent positions and clarification on gating of calls.
Meetings are scheduled for both the Main and Common Interest Tables on Wednesday.
MOBILIZE -- MOBILIZE -- MOBILIZE
Report #66 09/04/09
The Main table met today and the topic of discussion was Leveraged Title. The team requested clarification and answers to a number of questions regarding proponents of the proposed title, including how objectives will be set, backing out vacation and other non-productive time, how surplus situations will be handled and use of temp/terms in the proposed title.
The parties are in recess until Tuesday, September 8th.
Mobilize! Mobilize! Mobilize!
Report #65 09/04/09
The Main Table and Common Interest Table met on Thursday, September 3rd.
At the Main Table the Union rejected the Company counter proposal to allow employees in driving jobs to bid/transfer if they had a motor vehicle incident in their record because it tied the proposal to restricting counseling entries from the panel process.
A TA was reached on extending the MOA which allows the Company to hire Term Sales Associates and Service Reps for 36 months.
The Union rejected the Company proposal on Premise Tech and passed a counter proposal which was immediately rejected by the Company. The parties remain far apart on this issue.
At the Common Interest Table the Union passed a comprehensive proposal on health care with included a new definition of STD, non decreasing lump sum pensions, no premiums for Healthcare and numerous other issues.
Report #64 09/2/09
The Main table met today and they passed a modified Premise Tech proposal. It contained protections for the Core employees including wages, pensions, benefits, overtime, shift differentials, holidays, excused workdays, vacation, illness absence, 701K & 702 rights and severance benefits. It also contained language that would allow a surplused or bumped OPT or ST to claim Prem Tech vacancies or bump Prem Techs within the state. While the protections for surplused Core employees appear good, disagreement exists over numerous other related Prem Tech issues. The parties continue to be apart on issues at both this table and Common Issues.
Mobilize! Mobilize! Mobilize!
Report #63 09/1/09
The Main table met today and discussed the decline in the Network titles, Facility Tech, Outside Plant Tech and Services Tech. Information was also provided indicating where the Temps, Terms and Regular part-time employees worked. This information is useful in addressing Prem Techs issues and conversion of temps, terms and regular part-time to full-time positions.
The Common Interest table met and, in light of the fact that a National agreement has been reached on National Health Care Reform, the Union withdrew their proposal on this issue.
The parties discussed issues pertaining to Health Care, including Spousal Carve Out, Premiums and HRA's. Additionally, further discussions centered around the non-decreasing lump sums, Union time counting toward FMLA eligibility and National Card Check, which are all important to the Union.
Report #62 08/31/09
The Main table met today and the Company passed the Union a counter proposal addressing transfers on promotions to another driving or non-driving job when personnel records contain discipline. The Company's counter provides that employees with a single entry pertaining to the operation of a motor vehicle in their record will not have the entry used to adversely affect consideration to transfer to equal or lower level driving and non-driving positions. In return, the Company requests the Union agree to remove counseling entries from the Panel process of Section 21.01C2b. The second step grievance procedure would still be applicable.
Report #61 08/30/09
Both the Main table and the Common Interest table met today.
Talks at the Main table were centered around a Premise Technician Title, scope of work, work rules and protection for Core employees. Although discussions were lively no agreements were reached.
At the Common Interest table the Union passed a proposal redefining Short Term disability. In it's current form many employees are denied STD by virtue of the current definitions which mandates restriction from performing any and all work.
Once again no agreement was reached.
Report #60 08/28/09
Both the Main table and the Common Interest table met today. At the Main table disagreement was the order of the day. The Company rejected the Union proposal dealing with RF 3307 (blue forms) for Local President to be paid in other AT&T entities and a proposal dealing with Term Sales Associates. The Company passed a counter proposal on the latter.
At the Common Interest Table discussions were centered around the non decreasing Lump Sum Pension, Spousal carvout and the current premium associated with a working spouse and the definition of short term disability (STD) Which currently requires inability to perform any and all work to qualify for STD.
The tables will not meet tomorrow in an effort to reformulate some demands.
We will meet on Sunday to pass and discuss these proposals.
Remember to work safely and work to the rule.
Utilities Report #10 08/28/09
Your Utilities Bargaining committee has come to the point where there is nothing productive happening at the bargaining table at this time. We reached tentative agreements on the following issues: voluntary layoff option during a surplus, increased surplus notification, 35 mile bump, increased footwear allowance, 5 weeks vacation after 25 years, and renewal of Union time letter, but the company has rejected any other changes we have proposed. While there are still a few open issues from both sides we believe nothing further can be resolved until the core table is able to get closer on wages, benefits and other issues. Therefore the Utilities bargaining team is going home today and will be called back in when the core table achieves significant progress.
Report #59 08/27/09
The main table met today and TA'd a proposal to extend the Memorandum of Agreement on Safe Load Limits. This agreement affords an employee who is unsuccessful in their weight loss to secure another job within 30 days or go directly into the Partnership Job Bank. TA's were also reached extending the previous MOA for Closed Key Time for Consumer Services, Finance and Small Business. The Joint Job Review Committee will continue to exist for the life of the new agreement, as will the MOA allowing organizations additional time to work with employees who would otherwise be terminated within the first 6 months of employment for failing to meet performance objectives.
TA's are contingent upon reaching a full agreement.
Report #58 08/27/09
On Wednesday, August 26, 2009, both the main table and the Common Interest Table met. The Union passed two proposals across the main table. One proposal deals with RF 3307 to be provided by the company to Local Union Presidents, to be paid in entities other than the entity in which they work. The second proposal deals with discipline resulting from a Motor Vehicle incident not precluding an employee from being considered for promotion or transfer.
At the CIT table talks centered around Aligning for Success and Healthcare. The Company provided a booklet called HR ONESTOP which is a resource manual which contains information for all plans as well as contact numbers to speak to a live person.
Questions were asked to clarify what Benefit Plan retirees who have re-engaged with the company, and ultimately bridge service, would subsequently retire under. Currently the company believes that retirees who bridge service since the contract expiration will be placed on OPEB Lite benefits which provides 50% of current Healthcare Benefits post retirement.
These issues will be dealt with and advertised as bargaining continues.
Report #57 08/25/09
The Bargaining Committee resumed meetings at both the Main and CIT Tables today.
The Union TA'd a proposal for seniority tie breakers during a surplus.
The parties discussed the existing proposals for Leveraged Title, whereby the company indicated they are not interested in a "trial" for the plan, and the existing proposals for Prem Techs. The company was advised that the Union is not interested in giving up the drop to Prem Techs.
Discussion at the CIT Table centered around the Union and company benefit proposals. This included appointed positions for benefit coordinators, and ways to offset any proposed premiums.
Remember, all TA's are contingent upon reaching a Full Agreement.
AT&T BARGAINING: KEY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS August 20, 2009
Question: Can District 3 strike?
As we know, District 3 members voted to authorize a strike earlier this year. The Executive Board voted to support this and delegated the authority to set a date to strike to the President.
Question: How will the President set a date?
Before we engage in any strike, our goals and strategy need to be clear. A strike by 32,000 members should not be taken lightly. Before we decide to walk, President Cohen promised to meet with the full bargaining committee and myself to review the situation in detail, discuss the pros and cons and come to a conclusion.
Question: Can a Vice President call a strike?
There was a misconception that at Convention President Cohen said that a Vice President could call a strike. That's incorrect. The authority to set the date for a strike belongs to the President.
Question: Why do we have the slogan: One Union, One Fight, One Future, while we are bargaining District by District and contract by contract?
The slogan was designed to communicate to all CWA members that we are in this fight together and that we are willing to commit the resources of the entire union. President Cohen noted that there was a disconnect between how people heard the slogan and the actual process that Vice Presidents adopted, which permitted each District to reach an agreement.
In January, the Vice Presidents and Bargaining Chairs, including then-District 3 Vice President Beverly Hicks and Bargaining Chair Mike Fahrenholt, met for two days in Washington, D.C., to discuss our bargaining strategy and common issues. At this meeting, the National CWA Officers discussed how to coordinate and communicate during bargaining.
While our goal was to attempt to reach agreements at the same time, the Vice Presidents recognized that because contract language and issues differ and because the Southeast contract had a separate expiration date that it might not be possible to reach agreements all at the same time. The Vice Presidents (including District 3) agreed that we would coordinate on six key items (National Transfer Plan, President's Council, letter on evolving technologies, card check, movement of work, and wages). An additional 10 items, including health care, employment security, premise techs, and contracting, were identified as "strategic watch" issues about which we would clearly communicate with each other. Before an agreement was reached it would be shared with the other Vice Presidents and it would require approval by President Cohen.
The slogan was never intended to mean we would have one bargaining table.
(Note: You can read more about the bargaining process here.)
Question: Why did District 4 report its ratification the day before the District 3 contract expired?
The pace of any bargaining as we get close to an agreement is hard to predict. Once the District 4 bargaining committee reached a handshake deal, the deal had to be captured in language, after which contract explanation meetings were held and ballots were distributed. Events happened to line up so that District 4's ballot counting and announcement date fell just before District 3's expiration.
Question: Does every bargaining unit have to reach the same agreements as every other unit?
No. Every bargaining unit can, and must, bargain to meet the needs of its members. The bargaining units have different contract provisions, issues, and goals that must be addressed by the elected bargaining committees. One example is the District 3 pension plan: there is no similar plan anywhere in the country that combines both pension bands and a cash balance account.
In addition, some common issues have more than one acceptable solution and the bargaining committees must negotiate a full package that achieves the goals set by our members: an increased standard of living, quality health care, new employment security provisions, and opportunity.
Question: Is the health care agreement in District 9 is the same as in District 4?
No. In District 9, the majority of members are covered by Kaiser and more than 90 percent of members have access to Kaiser coverage. The tentative agreement calls for no changes in the Kaiser plan, guaranteed over the life of the contract. For those who are members of two other HMO plans, the change in cost is $35 a month for single coverage and $75 a month for family coverage. For members that don't have access to any HMO their health care plan is the same as the our members in the Midwest. For these members, new Health Reimbursement Accounts will offset new costs.
In District 4, health care costs will increase. Instead of co-pays there will be deductibles, co-insurance and out-of-pocket maxes. Members will pay $35 a month for single coverage and $75 a month for family coverage. This changes will be offset by wage increases and tax-free contributions to new Health Reimbursement Accounts which will add $450/$900 (single/family) to after-tax pay in the first contract year and $300/$600 in next year.
Report #57 08/19/09
No meetings were scheduled on Tuesday, August 18, 2009. The Union met all day formulating proposals. The team met today at the main table. Most of the discussions were centered around Premise Techs and Leverage Titles.
Many questions were asked and answered giving rise to a lengthy discussion only showing, once again, how far apart the parties remain.
Other issues which were discussed were random selection method to determine seniority for employees with the same hire date in the event of a surplus; union leave of absences; union time counting toward FMLA eligibility; temps and terms conversion.
Following a full month of bargaining the team has been released to travel home for the weekend returning to meet at both tables upon their return.
Utilities Report #9 08/19/09
This report is for Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met with Company representatives at 3:30 PM this afternoon to discuss outstanding issues.
The Union passed another revised proposal increasing the layoff allowance by a few dollars. The Company said they would consider, however they were not interested in adding cost unless we gave them something. Although we would like to see increases in several things, we see no "extra" wages, benefits, or work rules in the Utility contract that are unnecessary for our members.
The company had nothing new other than a draft of the renewed Union Time MOA.
That was the extent of "bargaining" today for Utility OPS.
The next meeting is subject to call...
Utilities Report #8 08/17/09
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met with Company representatives at 2:00 PM this afternoon to discuss outstanding issues.
The company rejected our latest proposal for minimal increases in the layoff allowance as well as a proposal to renew the letter on exempting Local Presidents from filling out RF-3307 for Union time.
The Company did agree to renew the existing MOA on Excused Time for Union Activity. That was the extent of "bargaining" today for Utility OPS.
The next meeting is subject to call...
Report #56 08/17/09
The CIT met this afternoon. The only time of business conducted was the introduction by the Union of a counter proprosal on Aligning for Success.
This Memorandum address numerous Joint Committees such as Organizational Boards, Local Governance Partnerships and Process Improvement Representatives.
MOBILIZE! MOBILIZE! MOBILIZE!
Report #55 08/17/09
No meetings were held over the weekend.
The main table met and the Union introduced proposals to renew the following MOA's:
* Safe Load Limit
* Use of Term Employees for the Service Rep and Sales Associate Titles
A Union proposal to eliminate the MOA for Performance Discharge for Sales Associates was also introduced.
THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES AT&T BARGAINING
From the Desk of the District 3 Vice-President
Brothers and Sisters,
We are currently involved in the fight of our working lives. Wages, benefits and job protections that we have fought for all our lives are under attack. AT&T SE is not the same Company that we have been bargaining with for the last 30 years. Those of you who have worked for the "Old AT&T" have some sense of what it is like, but even you recognize that the "New AT&T" is much worse. AT&T is entirely focused on its "bottom line" and doesn't give a damn about the membership.
Believe me, I have heard from many of you by telephone, fax and e-mail. I regret not being able to address each of your individual concerns, but there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish this. This is why I am taking this opportunity to report on where we are.
A lot of you are frustrated and a lot of you are mad. I AM FRUSTRATED AND MAD! But we cannot let the Company "push our buttons" and manipulate us into making bad choices. Bad choices will not benefit the membership or our retirees in the long run.
WHY NOT STRIKE?
This would make a lot of us feel good for the first couple of weeks, but we need to carefully consider our options.
- We are still at the bargaining table and have the opportunity to make progress.
- Our members continue to have the same wages and benefits established by the 2004 agreement while their Committee fights hard for them at the bargaining table.
- We are in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression.
- Striking is an option available to us at a time and place and WE DECIDE IF and WHEN IT IS IN OUR BEST INTEREST!
THE BIG ISSUES
While there are many important issues up for negotiation, the following present the biggest challenges:
- HEALTH CARE COSTS
Almost everyone recognizes that our health care system is broken and cannot sustain the double digit increases that we see almost every year. This is why the President and Congress are working hard to bring about reform. The problems are real and very complicated. This is why it is so important to get it right.
- PREM TECHS
This issue is so difficult because it involves several competing factors. Prem Techs have been working non-union, outside our contracts and beyond our control. Technology is changing more rapidly than ever before and waits for no person. For example, we saw the change from electro-mechanical technology to digital technology evolve over decades. High speed digital technologies and changing business competition are now transforming the industry year to year, month to month, and day to day. We have to protect highly skilled technicians working in established technologies, and we will! However, we cannot halt evolving technologies that are merging voice, data and entertainment literally at the speed of light. We need to try and capture this work as well.
- LEVERAGED TITLE
Rapidly evolving technologies and cutthroat business practices push our members to constantly do more with less. It does not help that less than 10% of the private sector workforce have unions to protect them. Decades of "Trickle-Down" economics, pro-business appointments to the NLRB and the arrogance of corporate power have placed us between this rock and a hard place at this time. CWA and your Bargaining Committee are working hard to find creative solutions to these very difficult problems. Unfortunately, the realistic options available are not always what we want.
What I ask from each of you is to not let the Company divide us because we are much weaker if we let this happen. Let us stay united, support the Bargaining Committee and do whatever it takes to get the best possible contract!
Judith R. Dennis
CWA District 3
Please also take the time to read this letter from the entire Bargaining team.
Report #54 08/14/09
The Committee did not meet today. We are waiting for answers to pertinent questions before modifying our proposals regarding Health Care, Temps and Terms.
There ae meetings scheduled tmorrow for both the Main Table and the Common Interest Table.
Report #53 08/12/09
This afternoon the team met at the Common Interest Table.
Two proposals were passed neither acceptable- One around benefits.
- Premiums 35/75
- Increased pension 1.5%
- Continuous spousal carve out
- Proposing to remove lump sum decreasing guarantee
- Increase co-pay, deductible, out of pocket
The second proposal was replacing the current TIA with the Success Sharing Plan.
The BST benefit plan proposal will now include Utilities Ops. in the following plans.
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Long-Term Core
- Adoption (BST will also be included in the Adoption plan)
- Committee Plan
The National Transfer plan was finally TA - giving employees the right to transfer anywhere in the AT&T footprint where an agreement has been reached between CWA & AT&T which include the N.T.A. Currently it has been agreed upon in Districts 4 & 9 and is on all other bargaining tables.
Please continue to support your team and mobilize! mobilize! mobilize!
Report #52 08/12/09
Please clearly understand the Union has not agreed on any of these issues
The committee continues to work tirelessly to reach an equitable agreement:
Attached are highlights of three major issues:
- Prem Tech (Appendix D)
- Leveraged Titles
This is an effort to comply with requests to better inform the members. There have been errors on various websites regarding these and other issues.
Report #51 08/12/09
Both tables, Main and Common Interest met on Tuesday. Discussion at the BST table included the following proposals:
- Streamlining the grievance and arbitration procedure
- Renewal of MOA?s
- Seniority Tie-Breaker for Article 7
- Renewal of Jerry B. Barnes letter dated 10/1/1992 which states: "All Local Union Presidents are not required to complete for RF-3307"
- Article 26 - An employee who is on Union leave will not be considered eligible for surplus under Article 7
Following are highlights of the Leverage Compensation proposal for new hires, passed by the company at the Main table. The title is to include base pay and incentive pay in Consumer, Business and Finance organizations.
- The top rate of the base wages will be at least 60% of the top rate of current titles performing like functions.
- Employees will receive 100% of the Target Incentive Amount during initial training
- Existing Temps and/or Term employees performing the same/similar functions as employees on the leveraged plan may be converted to a leveraged plan.
- Base wages will have a 36 month wage schedule with 6 month progression increases within the appropriate wage zone.
- Incentive pay-out will be capped at 300% of target incentive.
- Employees will be eligible for incentive pay once 50% of established target is exceeded.
- Current regular employees performing like functions within the same work group can volunteer to move to the leveraged title and on a one time basis, upon request will be allowed to return to their former compensation plan within 6 months of the movement.
- If a work group contains employees on both leveraged and non-leveraged compensation plans who perform the same functions and a surplus is declared, the employees will be treated as one for force adjustment purposes.
Remember that TA?s are contingent upon reaching a complete agreement.
Utilities Report #7 08/11/09
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met with Company representatives at 2:15 PM on Tuesday August 11 to discuss outstanding issues and respond to previous proposals.
The Union passed a revised proposal on recall rights and one on increasing the layoff allowance. The Company stated that they have no interest in increasing the cost to the business and that the current layoff allowance was sufficient for anyone, however they would consider the proposal.
The company also rejected our proposal to give return rights to employees who had to transfer from the BST contract to Utility Operations due to a surplus.
The company has been very clear that they have no interest in agreeing to anything that would add any cost. That leaves very little left to bargain over.
The next meeting is subject to call...
Report #50 08/11/09
Items that have been TA'd and not reported out:
- Article 5.05H -- adds an additional flexible excused work day for Network.
- A Letter of Understanding adds an improved process for addressing payroll issues.
- Article 7.01C4b -- expands ESIPP in economic surpluses.
- Appendix C-IV -- renews the easy time Agreement for Consumer & Collective.
- Article 6.04C -- adds step-brother and step-sister to the definition of immediate family.
- Article 17.06 -- extends no loss of pay to certified Union representative to attend any joint meeting between the parties in any ATT company represented by CWA.
- Article 2.02B5 -- allows employees from another entity transferring to this bargaining unit in a higher rated job classification to have their wage rate and length of service computed under Article 2.06A.
In Yesterday's Report:
Article 3.03A -- it was reported incorrectly that sales associates were added to the language for training tours normally not to exceed 8 hours, that should be 8 weeks. (Thank you for the email pointing out that error).
This should conclude the reporting of all TA to date.
Remember that TA are contingent upon reaching a complete agreement
Report #49 08/11/09
Some items that have been TA'd and not reported out are as follows:
- Customer markets addendum on Temporary Transfer in CPE corrects the language dealing with expenses
- Article 12.01A2 was changed to allow copies of the job advertisement report to be provided electronically, not solely by US Mail
- Article 4.06B updated titles contained in that section
- Article 3.03A adds Sales Associate title to language to limit training tours to 8 hours
- Article 5.08 removed the three week look back to calculate differentials for vacation pay
- Appendix C Part XIX removes some non-populated titles from the Uniform Program and increases the initial and annual credit for participants
- Article 4.08 changes language to make pay check stubs available to employees in the most efficient manner
- Change the language to read: Funds will be made available on Friday following the close of payroll
- Article 4.06B8 adds an additional weekend option for stand-by technician
The committees met today and discussed Memorandums of Agreements, Memorandums of Understandings, and Letters of Understanding. Several have been positioned to be agreed upon and will be reported out as that occurs.
Discussions took place around a national transfer plan which would give members the ability to transfer throughout the ATT footprint. We have not yet reached agreement on this issue.
Tentative agreements are contingent upon reaching a full agreement.
Report #48 08/10/09
The parties met on Sunday and clarified the issues that remain on the table. Limited substantiative discussions took place. The only agreement we could arrive at was to identify the areas in which we agree to disagree.
Meetings are scheduled today for both the main table and the common interest table to try to resolve some of our differences.
Report #47 08/09/09
The District has received a number of calls around the issue of working without a contract and what that actually means.
The basics are that post-expiration grievances are not subject to arbitration, with limited exceptions. Terms and conditions remain the same until bargained to agreement or impasse. Wages, hours, benefits, and working conditions remain in place. Go to work if you are scheduled, but this is NOT business as usual. Step up your mobilization activities. Solidarity is more important now than ever.
Report #46 08/08/09 11:35pm
This also applies to ATT Advertising Solutions and Utilities
It is approaching midnight, and we are still far apart on major issues. The Company refused to extend the current contract, however, they are still willing to bargain. A strike has not been called at this time. We will continue to bargain tomorrow.
We will put out bargaining reports as frequently as changes occur.
Report #45 08/08/09 8:15pm
The Common Interest Table met this afternoon. After days of questions and answers the Union rejected the company proposal on healthcare and passed a union proposal without premiums. A proposal for Utility operations employees to have a fifth week of vacation after 25 years was TA'd. A TA was reached on a proposal to create a Presidential Council which would meet semiannually at the highest levels of CWA and ATT to discuss and exchange information on the economy; federal and state political issues and concerns of both parties.
A TA was reached to continue partnership and adds textbook coverage.
We will continue to update you throughout the evening.
Utilities Report #6 08/06/09 8:00
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met with Company representatives at 4 PM this afternoon to discuss outstanding issues and respond to previous proposals.
We reached tentative agreement on an expanded bumping proposal and a voluntary termination option. However, the company rejected Union proposals to increase the layoff allowance from the current pittance, a proposal to increase Union paid time off, and a proposal to add the inclement weather letter into the contract.
The company passed counter proposals on recall rights, and on increasing the number of requests and transfer options.
The Common Interest Committee also passed proposals last night and today related to the Utility contract. They included adding Optional Holidays, Sickness payment language, and eligibility for additional benefits.
Your team will continue working and will meet again later this evening with the company to try and reach agreement on remaining issues.
The next meeting is subject to call...
Report #44 08/08/09 6:30PM
The Common Interests Table is currently meeting. We will post more details later.
Report #43 08/08/09 3:30PM
The main table met late into the night on Friday and resumed meeting this morning. We were able to TA several proposals all having to do with Force Adjustments. The essence of the agreements made some changes to the Skill groups which improved opportunities for family of skills bumping, expands ESIPP for economic surpluses, employees will be allowed to increase requests from one to two for equal or lower rated jobs in the family of skills.
Remember, TA's are contingent upon ratification of a fulll contract.
Report #42 08/07/09
The main table met and the following proposals were tentatively agreed to:
- The Saturday prior to the Sunday following a vacation segment will not be a scheduled day.
- The exchange of Hubbardsville, Kentucky and Crenshaw, Mississippi currently in the contract with no zone designation have been assigned a Zone C classification
- Language - Authorized Holidays was changed to Specified Holidays
- The job advertisement report will be electronically instead of solely via US mail.
The Common Interest Table:
The Union introduced a National Transfer Plan; a Neutrality Card Check Agreement and a proposal on a Presidential Council. The rest of the meeting was consumed in answers to our questions regarding Healthcare which gave rise to more questions.
Tentative agreements are contingent upon reaching agreement on a full contract.
Utilities Report #5 08/06/09
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met with Company representatives at 10 am this morning to discuss outstanding issues and respond to previous proposals.
The Company passed a counter proposal on voluntary termination to reflect what is an existing MOA, and a counter proposal on expanded bumping rights. After discussion, the Union agreed to consider them. That is all the company had at this session.
The Union passed new language for Article 6 to include recall rights modeled after the recall language in the BST contract. We also passed revised proposals on improving Union Duty time and incresaed layoff allowance.
The next meeting is subject to call...
Report #41 08/06/09
The Common Interest Table met Wednesday and discussed a new Company Health Care proposal. The proposal:
- Contained premiums of $55 for individual coverage and $110 for family coverage
- Eliminates the Managed Care Specialist position associated with the Medical Plans Group
The proposal was lengthy and complex and many questions remain unanswered. We hope to meet Thursday to receive the answers to our questions.....we will then give the company an educated REJECT.
Thanks to all of you for your continued support.
Utilities Report #4 08/06/09
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met with Company representatives yesterday at 4 PM TO discuss outstanding issues and respond to previous proposals.
The Union T/A'd the company proposal on the Uniform Program, giving a small increase in the footwear allowance and updating the language to reflect current amounts. We also passed a proposal to improve and to incorporate the inclement weather letter into the contract.
The Company rejected Union proposals on differential for operating the Boring Rig, increase in layoff allowance, increase in non company paid Union time, and the Union proposal on extending MOAs.
The next meeting is subject to call...
Report #40 08/05/09
With only four days left before contract expiration, negotiations are moving at a snails pace.
Leverage Title: The sub-committee met Tuesday and discussed the Union's proposal to back out all non-productive time from employees monthly objective. This would we applicable to any and all titles with objectives/tasks, etc.
- The Company was not prepared to discuss the Leverage Title . They are still working on issues and questions previously raised by the Union. A new meeting has not been scheduled.
- Prem Tech: Discussions at Tuesday's meeting were non-productive and retrogressive.
- The CIT meeting was postponed by the Company and has not been rescheduled.
Report #39 08/04/09
Your bargaining team continued working in subcommittees Monday, August 3rd. With less than a week to go before contract expiration, there are many unresolved issues on the table.
- The Premise Tech sub-committee met and had extensive discussion surrounding the Premise Tech job description. Thus far the parties can't even agree on what the proper terminology is to define what constitutes a U Verse Network. Talks, or shall we say disagreements; continue to take place around scope of work, work rules and Core Tech protections.
- The Leverage Title subcommittee met again, and again left the table with far too many unanswered questions. The Union continues to explain a need to see more specifics surrounding the proposed plan, rather than what/how the Company "thinks or feels the plan will look like." The Company will work on an example around the plan to be discussed at our Tuesday meeting.
- The Common Interest Table convened and discussed the Company's wage and benefit proposal. The offer was miserably short of target and the Union rejected both company proposals that were currently on the table. We expect to see a new proposal on Wednesday.
The Company rejected Union proposals on a variety of issues that would have "increased Company cost."
Discussions took place regarding training through Partnership:
- The Company wants to change language currently allowing employees the right to take courses that would lead to a degree /certification which could be used outside of the industry
- Also discussed was language addressing successful completion of training
- The subcommittee also discussed:
- A National Transfer Plan - The Company will modify its proposal currently on the table which the committee will discuss at the next meeting
- The creation of a joint Health Care Review Committee which will monitor Health Care legislation
The next report will be Wednesday, August 5th.
Utilities Report #3 08/03/09
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met with Company representatives again yesterday at 5pm to discuss outstanding issues and respond to previous proposals.
The Company passed a modified proposal on the Uniform Program with a small increase in the ?footwear? allowance. They also rejected the Union?s last proposal on light duty, saying Utilities does not provide any accommodations for medical work restrictions; the Union proposal to provide 24 hour notice prior to requiring overtime stating ?the company is happy with the current language and does not want to lose ?flexibility?; and the Union?s revised proposal on Article 3G, Working Leader and Relieving Supervisor. That was all the company had.
The Union passed new proposals on Article 6A, regarding changes in work hours, and on Article 8, increasing the number of transfer requests an employee may submit.
In addition, several items that were proposed at the Common Issues Table applying to the Utility employees were rejected yesterday.
The next meeting is subject to call...
Report #38 08/03/09
With one week left before go down, committees continued to meet over the weekend.
The Prem Tech Sub Committee passed an all inclusive list of demands for Core Tech protection, work rules and benefits, in an effort to bring the Prem Techs into the bargaining unit.
The Leverage Title Sub Committee reviewed a document showing an example of the plan design for this new proposed title. The document and company explanations fell short in satisfying the union with answers to a number of questions on this issue.
*Thus far, some of the proposals the Union and the Company have tentatively agreed to are as follows:
Art. 8.06B which references clean up language in this section
Art. 2.04 which incorporates MOA language into the body of the contract regarding effective dates of progression increases.
Art. 23.02B which incorporates MOA language increasing the minimum number of arbitrators from 8 to 10
Proposal referencing clean up language in various articles by putting in exchanges/WRA's added since last bargaining
Art. 5.02 changes authorized holiday to specified holiday
The Union has rejected the following Company proposals:
Art. 14.01, jurisdiction of work changes
Addendum, Customer Markets dealing with hours of operation in Consumer Service Centers. (This proposal was subsequently withdrawn by the company).
Addendum Customer Markets, making all probationary periods 9 months.
*Note: All TA?s are contingent upon reaching an agreement on the full contract.
MANY THANKS to the Decatur, Alabama Local for the beautiful gift basket and individual bags full of delicious goodies that were personally delivered to the bargaining team.
Utilties Bargaining Report #2 08/03/09
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met with Company representatives on Saturday to discuss outstanding issues and respond to previous proposals.
The Company rejected the Union proposal on Article 6, Force Reduction, and passed a proposal that would give additional options in the Article 8 Promotion and Transfer Plan. That was the only company response today.
The Union passed new proposals on adequate notice prior to required overtime and changes in the Working Leader and Relieving Supervisor pay.
We had more discussion of options to "bump" during a surplus.
At this time there are numerous issues still open with one week to go.
We are scheduled to meet again today.
Report #37 07/30/09
Your Bargaining Committee continues to meet to bargain a contract which will be acceptable for our members. Bargaining is an intense process and things change on a daily basis, but in an effort to keep everyone as informed as possible, the list below reflects just a few of the issues discussed thus far.
A Leveraged Title was proposed by the Company for Consumer, Business and Finance Organizations. A sub-committee met and discussed: pay during training; at risk money; gating call; and oversight and objectives for this proposed title. The Union is currently waiting on information from the company on these questions.
The Premise Tech Committee discussed core employee protection, scope of work for Prem Techs and work rules.
The Company proposed eliminating Article 14 language which guarantees certain work will be done by bargaining unit employees. This proposal was resoundingly rejected by your Union committee.
The Union has proposed:
A guaranteed off-cycle paycheck, should the company fail to properly compensate our members.
A letter of understanding for the company to begin making safety a priority and to give our members the time to perform their work safely. As the company reminded us at the table it is the employees responsibility to work safe and inspect your vehicles, so please follow the company practices and do so.
Your bargaining team will continue to fight to bargain the best Agreement possible for our Union families.
Keep up your mobilization efforts!
Utilties Bargaining Report #1 07/30/09
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met with Company representatives Monday July 27th to discuss resuming bargaining and the issues remaining after early bargaining. Although the company had rejected most of the Union demands, there were still ten open items. The company had nothing new to present and we agreed to meet the following day at 5pm.
We met again Tuesday July 28th at 5pm. CWA Chair Gerald Souder presented a counter proposal on force that would give the Utility employees more opportunities to move to other entities. We also proposed extending any MOAs or Letters of Agreement from the current contract unless there was an agreement to modify them. The company indicated they were not interested in the broadness of the proposal.
The Company then wanted to discuss the proposal to add 35 mile bumping options to the contract. After discussion they said they had issues with it. The Company then rejected Union proposals on forced overtime, double time after 48 hours, termination pay, light duty, Unsafe work situations, and Working Leader/Relieving supervisor.
We recessed and agreed to meet again Thursday.
Thursday July 30th we met at 10:00am. The Union pressed the company as to their reason for rejecting several proposals that were no cost to the business. The company stated it impacts their "flexibility" and could increase cost based on various situations. They repeated the "WE have to keep the cost of Utility Operations at a minimum to be competitive and sustainable".
The Union passed new proposals on termination pay, force adjustment, light duty or alternate work, and Union time.
The Company had nothing to present.
We are scheduled to meet again Saturday for further discussions.
Report #36 07/28/09
The team met with the Company on Monday. Both sides rejected and withdrew several proposals in an effort to move bargaining forward.
We have several sub-committee meetings scheduled for the coming days. The Team is still faced with several unresolved issues.
Your bargaining team is committed to negotiating a fair agreement for our members in District 3, but we cannot do it on our own. The team needs the support of every member. Please take time to read this quote from EVP Rodney Jones from Decatur, Alabama.
"Our bargaining team is working VERY hard to win a fair and just contract. But they cannot do it without the support of every member. Some of you may think that someone else will do it, and you won't have to worry about it. You are that someone else, this bargaining is going to be, and IS the most difficult bargaining that we have seen in years. So if you are not fired up yet we urge you to shift gears. And get FIRED UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Report #35 07/24/09
The team met in the morning with Executive Vice President Annie hill. Annie explained the District 4 TA. Annie assured us we have the authority to bargain an agreement that meets the needs of our members in District 3.
The Force Adjustment and the Grievance and Arbitration sub-committees met in the afternoon. There were some heated exchanges in the Grievance and Arbitration sub-committee.
We are still very far from where we need to be. The committee needs every member to WORK SAFE and GIVE THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE POSSIBLE!
For those members who did not understand the mule quote. A mule is a HYBRID animal and cannot get pregnant. That should clarify just how far apart we are.
Report #34 07/23/09
The bargaining team met in the morning yesterday to discuss our priorities to present to Executive Vice President Annie Hill.
The team met with the Company in the afternoon to assign issues to sub-committee. We then had a presentation on Force Adjustments from the Company.
Report #33 07/22/09
The bargaining team met yesterday in caucus for most of the morning.
The Prem-Tech sub committee met with the Company for about 4 hours yesterday evening. We listened to the Company's position. We gave the Company our position. The discussion was very heated at times and we have a long way to go to even think about an agreement. To quote Alan Poston "we are so far apart you would have to ride a pregnant mule there to have a way back".
The bargaining team needs the support of EVERY MEMBER to reach a fair deal.
Report number 32- July 21, 2009
The 2009 ATT SE Bargaining Team reconvened on July 17, 2009 to review outstanding issues on both the Union and Company sides before negotiations resume today. The District 4 Tentative Agreement was also discussed by the team.
The team would like to thank everyone who participated in the demonstrations across the district today. It is going to take EVERY MEMBER working SAFE and doing QUALITY work and standing STRONG IN UNITY to get a fair contract.
Report number 31- July 20, 2009
The Bargaining Team met together most of the day Monday to re-familiarize ourselves with the outstanding issues.
At 3:48 pm the team and the Company met at the BST table. The company passed three proposals today. One dealing with classifying two previously unclassified towns as "C" towns. One dealing with the previous Saturday and following Sunday with a vacation segment. And finally, one dealing with new title for U-Verse work and any current and any and all future services.
Report number 30- April 5, 2009, 12:05am
For the past 40 days we must all applaud the efforts of our Bargaining Team as they have struggled to obtain a fair and equitable contract for you, the members.
As early bargaining comes to an end, we realize that AT&T has no interest in being fair or just to the members and retirees who built this company.
Every proposal they submitted was retrogressive, with cost shifting on health care their number one objective.
The AT&T Southeast bargaining was suspended at midnight tonight with the understanding that we will reconvene on July 19, 2009 and drive toward a settlement on August 8, 2009.
However, we must all remember that our brothers and sisters across the country may have a work stoppage at any time. We must now show our support for those in District 3 and across the Nation who are being told at the Bargaining Tables by AT&T "unless you are willing to talk about our health care proposals (give backs and cost shifting) we (AT&T) are not willing to discuss any of CWA's".
AT&T is trying to hold us hostage, and I don't believe any of you are willing to turn your backs on these insults.
We will mobilize our members like no company has ever seen, and when we all reach a fair and just settlement AT&T will know
When one CWA member bleeds, we all bleed.
Report number 29- April 4, 2009, 11:15pm
Negotiations continue at this hour.
We will continue to update this site accordingly.
Report number 28- April 4, 2009, 10pm
Negotiations continue at this hour.
AT&T continues to demand give backs at this late hour.
Report number 27- April 4, 2009, 6:30pm
In District 3, the parties are continuing to meet at the various Tables in an attempt to achieve a FAIR and JUST Contract.
With midnight fast approaching we are analyzing the latest retrogressive Healthcare, Pension and wage offer made to all the Tables across the Country.
Their latest Healthcare proposal is totally unacceptable.
This multi-billion dollar corporation continues to refuse to address the Healthcare issues of its retired employees. They appear to value those who have gone before us so little as to possibly force them onto the welfare rolls or to go without Healthcare altogether. THIS posture is disgraceful.
The current wage and pension offers are far from reflective of what the workforce has contributed towards AT&T's record profits.
There are also still numerous retrogressive proposals on work rules remaining at the Core, Utilities, and BellSouth Billing Inc., Tables.
The Corporate posture for the last six weeks has been that those of you employed in the "wire line" side of AT&T have little or no value. They refuse to accept the fact that one portion of the Company is no more important then any other.
One of our Committee members offers a great analogy. While a TV works great with a WIRELESS remote, that same TV don't work at all when it is unplugged.
Report number 26- April 4, 2009, 4pm
Bargaining continues today.
The Committees at all District 3 Tables and all Tables across the Country deeply appreciate your support.
The phrase "an injury to one is an injury to all" has never meant more than it does today!
This site will be updated within a few hours.
Report number 25- April 3, 2009
The Utilities Bargaining committee met Thursday afternoon with AT&T Company representatives. The Company had no new proposals or responses to any Union proposals.
CWA rejected the Company proposal on arbitration limits for new hires; the Union made revised proposals on Termination pay, Light duty, and Union Duty time; the Union presented a new proposal on Working Leader and Relieving supervisor.
Two days left and still nothing positive from the Company for Utilities.
The Core Table met into Thursday night. At this point there is nothing positive to report on work rules or anything else at this Table. This Committee is meeting today.
The Common Interest Table is scheduled to meet later today.
Those of you familiar with the bargaining process know that the last few days and hours are the most difficult. Be assured that your Committees are working hard to reach a fair and just Contract.
The bargaining at the other five tables across the nation has a serious impact on our negotiations here in Atlanta. Based on the negativity from AT&T it appears that the talks at those Tables may continue past the expiration date OR result in those Units being forced to STRIKE this weekend.
We will continue to meet today, tonight and tomorrow and will update this site accordingly.
The Committees across the nation deeply appreciate your support.
Report number 24- April 2, 2009
CWA District 3 AT&T Southeast Bargaining report number 24, Thursday, April, 2, 2009
The parties met at the Core Table yesterday and continued discussions on many issues. They will be meeting later today at this Table.
The Company has postponed the Common Interest Table meeting we had anticipated for today. This meeting has been rescheduled for tomorrow. We feel certain that new or revised proposals will spring forth from them at this Table up until the deadline on Saturday.
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met Wednesday afternoon with AT&T Company representatives; the company rejected the Union counter on arbitration rights for new hires, and, had no new proposals or responses to the few they have not rejected; CWA rejected Company proposals on removing CPO language, pay stubs, arbitration transcripts, and moved proposals on Personal days to the Common Issues Table.
AT&T has given us nothing to date except retrogressive proposals and rejections of any improvements we have passed. It appears they have no concern for the employees in Utility Operations.
The Utilities Table is scheduled to meet again later today.
District 3 Vice President, Beverly Hicks, has notified the Locals and posted a notice on the District website that the COMPANY has placed a notice on their site which is very deceptive.
Knowing that most of you have little knowledge of bargaining terminology AT&T posted a notice that proposals had been "passed" causing some to interpret that to mean SETTLED.
NOTHING could be further from the truth! We have a LONG way to go to the conclusion of the process. Please read the Company propaganda as just that PROPOGANDA! If they spent as much effort and resources working towards a settlement as they have on their propaganda everyone would be better off.
Thanks today to CWA Local 3101, Albany, GA. For helping to outfit the Utilities team in Red T-shirts and to all the Locals that have flooded our office with words of encouragement. Special thanks to Local 3902, Birmingham, AL, for the delicious ribs.
The next few days will be difficult. The days that follow may be even more so.
Please remember that we are ONE CWA!
Report number 23- April 1, 2009
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met Tuesday afternoon with AT&T Company representatives. The company rejected 10 Union proposals. Out of the 21 we have submitted they have rejected 15 and agreed to zero. The company explanation for all proposals consisted of one of the following reasons: "added cost to the Utility Operations"; "reduces our flexibility"; or "the issue should be worked out locally".
We are scheduled to meet again later today.
CWA is working hard to correct the injustices in the Utilities contract and the inequity in the compensation, but AT&T isn't listening. Utilities workers in the field, like all AT&T workers, need to let their managers know how they feel about the lack of serious bargaining by the company.
The members at the Core Table are working today to prepare for their next meeting with the Company this afternoon.
The Common Interest Table will meet tomorrow where we expect to receive more negativity from AT&T.
The Bargaining Team would like to say a special thank you to Local 3406, Lafayette, LA for the box of goodies including real Louisiana coffee, crackling, and other Cajun treats.
We have received copies of a number of "reminders" that have gone out to all employees about policies and procedures regarding sabotaging the Network and Corporate ethics (now there is an oxymoron.).
We have also received reports that Technicians in South Florida are being harassed about taking the time to make sure that their vehicles are safe; in Fort Lauderdale members are being told to drive trucks with faulty brake lights; and CWA Officers in Miami are being escorted from the premises for trying to help members work safe.
Can the manager in Dallas assigned to monitor this site please ask someone to answer the question of whatever happened to the "no job is so important, no service so urgent that we cannot take the time to work safely" motto?
Report number 22- March 31, 2009
Today, the Core and Utilities Committees are meeting internally to refine and consider possible areas of agreement that can be reached at those Tables.
The Common Interest Table will be meeting later this afternoon to offer up some additional positive proposals to management and to question some of the retrogression the Company has proposed.
Management continues to announce their plans to maintain the same level of service that cwa members provide to customers in the other 14 states using our managers, their managers, retirees and other scabs to do the work should CWA call a strike in the parts of the country where the Contracts expire April 4th.
AT&T would have better served the customers to have spent the money they have wasted training these people on infrastructure construction and maintenance of facilities; or on a realistic package of improvements for the employees.
Although watching some of the mangers try to do our work would be funny, it is truly pathetic to expose our customers to that kind of a comedy show.
While we in District 3 cannot strike at this time, we must do all that we can to show support for our sisters and brothers who may ultimately have to.
PLEASE JOIN YOUR BARGAINING COMMITTEE IN WEARING RED or otherwise showing solidarity with CWA Districts 1, 4, 6, 9 and C&T, EVERY DAY this week.
AT&T and the public at large needs to know that CWA IS ONE UNION!!!!!
Report number 21- March 30, 2009
This was a very busy weekend for all Committees.
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met Friday afternoon with AT&T Company representatives; the company rejected Union proposals on eliminating their ability to reduce work hours; the company rejected the Union counter on arbitration limits; CWA presented a revised proposal on surplus notification, and one on increasing available Union Duty time.
The Union reminded the Company that there were still 13 CWA proposals they have not responded to at the Utilities Table and that we have approximately one week left to reach an agreement.
The Core Table also met on Friday. The parties discussed each other's proposals. They still have not accepted any of the positive changes CWA has proposed at the Core Table.
The Common Interest Table met on Saturday. The Company again said NO to discussing retiree healthcare issues and NO to several of the improvements in benefits and pensions that CWA has proposed.
The Company presented another retrogressive Benefit proposal, another retrogressive Pension proposal and a totally insulting wage offer.
It is ironic that they would make these proposals on Saturday when they had announced to the financial community and shareholders a dividend of $.041 per share payable May 1, 2009 on Friday. In the announcement they state that they had paid a total of $9.5 Billion in dividends in 2008.
Of course the announcement fails to mention WHO did the work to create the earnings that generated those dividends?
The wage offer is particularly offensive! It is for five years. It would pay you a small lump sum in years one and two with no increase in base wages. It would then pay a two percent increase in years three, four, and five for a total of six percent added to the base wage in five years. The proposal also ABOLISHES the Team Incentive Award.
Corporate reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission for 2008 indicate that AT&T paid the CEO, Randall Stephenson, a twenty two percent wage increase in 2008.
Stephenson's total compensation of nearly $15 million in 2008 included $13.2 million in stock options and incentives. The incentives included $142,000 in relocation expenses, $83,000 worth of personal use of the AT&T Corporate jet, and $14,000 in financial counseling.
Your committee will continue to daily point out the hypocrisy of this Company to their Bargaining Committee. YOU need to mobilize and point it out to the world.
Despite their assertions to the contrary, upper AT&T management has a great deal in common with AIG and the other corporate robber barons.
The SUCCESS of AT&T is because of its workforce and we deserve to be treated fairly.
The Bargaining Committee would like to thank everyone for the well wishes and support we have received since we started this process in February.
Special thanks to Local 3105, Gainesville, Florida, for the personalized T-shirts. Also, this past Friday several Mississippi Local Officers and Job Stewards drove several hundred miles in horrendous weather to the District 3 office and fried catfish, hush puppies and rolls and served us up an old fashioned Friday night fish fry courtesy of all in Mississippi.
On Sunday a wash tub of "goodies" including T-shirts, snacks and other Tennessee refreshments were delivered to our hotel courtesy of Nashville Local 3808. Also on Sunday we received a very special treat in the form of barbecue ribs cooked by former District 3 Vice President Jimmy Smith.
You managers that visit this site for information should take special note, these efforts are what makes CWA a FAMILY, and, will play a big part in our ultimately turning back the Company proposed retrogression.
Report number 20- March 27, 2009
Yesterday at the Core Table the Company said NO to Union presented proposals regarding relieving supervisor that would actually save money.
While they preach that "we need fundamental change to our cost structure" they reject proposals to do just that!
It is becoming more evident every day that ALL they want is based on an ANTI-UNION agenda not cost savings.
The Core Committee will meet this weekend.
The Common Interest Table will be meeting over the weekend also. Hopefully we will be able to report some positive movement by the Company next week.
Report number 19- March 26, 2009
Bargaining continued yesterday at the Core, Utilities and Common Interest Tables.
We have received requests to share more specific information about what the Company has proposed. A visit to CWA and Company websites will show you that neither side gives many specifics. There is a legitimate reason for this posture. Things change daily in the final days and often times hourly as the bargaining deadline nears. PLEASE be patient.
We can share generalizations of what the Company has requested. Expanded cost sharing of Healthcare; work rules that would take us backwards into the 1950's; the elimination of protection of seniority in layoffs; the right to contract out all of our work; sales titles where pay would be based on goals that THEY set; and on and on.
Sub-committees continue to meet at the Core Table to try to find some common ground, but, it is hard to reason with corporate greed.
Yesterday's buzz word from the Company was NO at the Common Interest Table.
They said NO to Pension Band improvements; NO to Wage Zone improvements; NO to bringing work back to our area; an emphatic NO to talking about retirees; re-emphasized their earlier NO to penalties for E-Link errors; and repeated their earlier NO to improving the Savings Plans.
Your Utility Operations bargaining committee met with Company representatives Wednesday afternoon.
The Union passed a new proposal on working in unsafe areas, and a revised proposal on Double time pay. We rejected the company proposals on limiting Union time and their revised inclement weather policy.
The Company had no new proposals but did reject Union proposals on surplus notification, increased layoff allowances and inclusion of the job bank for Utilities Operations employees.
Utilities Operations continues to state they want to reach an agreement, but are unwilling to entertain any proposals the Union submits, even those that are cost neutral.
Report number 18- March 25, 2009
Bargaining continues at a slow pace. Meetings are scheduled at all tables, but, management continues to make retrogressive demands.
Based on the reports from the other five Tables around the country it is clear that AT&T is using the same tactics everywhere.
They are trying to capitalize from the mistakes of other corporations while side stepping the fact that they had positive gains and profits of 12.9 BILLION dollars in 2008.
Despite the CEO telling shareholders and financial institutions of our positive performance so far this year, the Company at the Bargaining Table demands give backs.
The Corporate greed is sickening.
The Bargaining Committee has received words of encouragement from all over the District.
Special thanks to Locals 3106 and 3111 for the edible fruit baskets.
Thanks to Local 3310 for the Louisville sluggers and "accessories" and all the Locals for the gifts that we have received.
Your thoughts of us in this time show that WE have something AT&T management doesn?t understand.
WE ARE UNION! WE ARE FAMILY! WE ARE ONE CWA!
Report number 17- March 24, 2009
The parties met yesterday at the Core Table, in sub-committee, as a full group, and at the Utilities Table.
CWA at the Core Table presented three proposals dealing with issues involving contracting of work and training in the CPE environment.
At the Utilities Table the company had no new proposals or responses to any of the Union proposals.
CWA presented two new proposals regarding Utilities. The first proposal expands bumping rights in the event of a surplus, and the second increases the hourly wage in the progression table.
We are scheduled to meet again at the Utilities Table Wednesday afternoon. Hopefully AT&T will have responses to our proposals as well as data requests.
A meeting of the Common Interest Table is scheduled for tomorrow.
With less than two weeks until the bargaining deadline there are nearly as many differences as there were on February 24th when the process began.
To recap: CWA has sought improvements in all areas of the Contracts, while the Company has sought GIVE BACKS and retrogression.
The Company has made a number of attempts to compare themselves to failing industries at the Bargaining Table while the CEO tells the financial community and the Shareholders a totally different story.
Makes you wonder aloud WHO is telling the truth?
Yesterday, District 3, Vice President, Beverly Hicks announced to the CWA District 3 Local Presidents that CWA members nationwide, including District 3, had voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against AT&T should CWA President Larry Cohen and the CWA Executive Board feel one is necessary.
AT&T later tried to downplay the announced 88% positive results to employees and the media saying "this is routine".
You managers that visit this site should know that it isn't "routine" here in District 3. The 88% is an average number with District 3's being higher.
A strike if called would be in those areas where their contract had expired. The BellSouth Agreements do not expire until August 8. 2009.
The CWA Bargaining Committees deeply appreciate your positive support.
Report number 16- March 23, 2009
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met Friday afternoon with AT&T Company representatives and discussed/debated various issues related to the Utility Operations and the Company's continued statements that the business does not make money therefore costs must be kept "reasonable".
The Company presented two proposals. One on arbitration expenses, and a revised proposal on their original Non-Discrimination language.
CWA rejected their proposal on Contracting out and Wire work and presented our own revision to the Wire work letter.
We also presented 5 data requests to AT&T related to issues and comments the Company has made regarding Utility Operations finances and proposals.
Progress is not happening at this time! We are scheduled to meet this afternoon for further discussions.
The CWA Core Table sub-committees caucused over the weekend and will meet with the Company later today.
Movement at the Common Interest Table has been non-existent with the Company continuing retrogressive demands and CWA holding steady that we will not go backwards.
It is becoming quite clear that with less than two weeks to go until the April 4th deadline management must get serious!
While the CEO touts record profits and dividends paid to Shareholders, the Company Bargaining Team preaches gloom and doom as they request take-backs from those who helped earn those profits and dividends, and, steadily REFUSE to discuss benefits for existing retirees.
CAN YOU SAY HYPOCRISY?
Report number 15- March 20, 2009
The parties met this morning at the Core Table.
It was quite evident that the Company reads our bargaining reports daily as they proceeded to make a presentation regarding overall performance in the wireline side of AT&T.
The irony of their report is that it contradicts the statements made by Randall Stephenson to the Shareholders, financial groups and the media.
The Company went so far as to say "we don't want to be like AIG and let one part of the Company bring down the whole Company."
It is sad that management refuses to accept that AT&T is one Company. It's NOT wireline against wireless or inside against outside its ONE VERY PROFITABLE CORPORATION.
It is like AIG in that TOP MANAGEMENT receives obscene bonus and benefit packages that include MILLIONS in stock options.
A quick read of the Annual report to shareholders will amaze you. By law they are required to report the salaries and benefits paid to the top five officials of the Company, the Board of Directors and certain former officers.
It was printed in the Company News Now and mailed to your homes if you own stock. READ IT and get the true story.
It is sad that we as employees are considered so worthless, but, even sadder that RETIREES are valued even less.
Sub-Committees will meet tomorrow to continue to try and work through proposals made at this table by both sides.
Bargaining continues at the Utilities Table.
Your Utilities Bargaining committee met Thursday afternoon with AT&T Company representatives and discussed/debated various issues related to the Utility Operations and the company's continued statements that the business does not make money therefore costs must be kept "reasonable".
The company presented retrogressive proposals on excused Union time and dilution of the current inclement weather policy, attempting to put additional burden on our members. They also made a retrogressive counter to Union's proposal on premium Sunday pay.
CWA presented counters to their proposals on limitation on arbitration, elimination of mailed pay stubs, and the Uniform program.
Enjoy your weekend with the knowledge of what the Corporation thinks of you. Please let them know what you think of their positions.
If your manager is not off at training to do your job, let him or her know that you are a valuable employee and have helped make what Stephenson said YESTERDAY about the BILLIONS in profits a reality.
Report number 14- March 19, 2009
The Common Interest Table met this morning and CWA presented several proposals including a request for a substantial wage increase.
We read an excerpt from a letter issued by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson which heralded the corporate success to investors to the Company bargainers.
In his letter Stephenson outlines as highlights:
1) Reported consolidated revenues were up more than 4 percent to $124 BILLION.
2) Reported earnings per share grew 11.3 percent to $2.16 per share.
3) Returned $15.6 BILLION to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases.
Stephenson goes on to state that ?our commitment to create long-term value for our owners underpins all our plans?.
It is truly ironic that DESPITE what Stephenson says to investors they continue to ask for GIVE BACKS from employees and TOTALLY DISREGARD RETIREES.
The Utilities Bargaining committee met yesterday with AT&T Company representatives and each Chair gave opening remarks prior to start of bargaining.
Company Chair Belinda Lacey presented several proposals. Two of which were cleaning up language due to entity name changes. Others were retrogressive, including proposals to eliminate the Wire work language and most of the contracting out provisions.
CWA Chair Gerald Souder presented 16 proposals covering language improvements in Scheduling, Pay and Compensation, Vacations, Personal days, Sickness payments, Surplus notices, Termination pay, Partnership, Transfers and Promotions, Jurisdiction of Work, Contracting out, restricted duty payments.
The Company stated they have to keep the cost of Utility Operations at a minimum to be competitive and sustainable.
The Union assured the Company that our proposals were either cost neutral or easily affordable by the Company based on the efficiency of their represented employees and the amount of cost savings Utility Operations has produced vs. previously using contractors.
We are scheduled to meet at the Utilities Table this afternoon for further discussions.
Also, this afternoon sub-committees from the Core Table will meet.
The strike votes are being tabulated. The results will be announced by District 3 Vice President Beverly Hicks at the appropriate time.
Your Committees at ALL TABLES deeply appreciate your support.
Report number 13-March 18, 2009
The parties met at the Core Table this morning. Discussions centered on the Company proposal to create "leveraged" titles that would put a percentage of salary at risk for certain employees based on performance. NO agreement was reached or is even close to being reached on any of the Company proposals.
CWA will not give back to this profitable Company. We want and deserve a fair share of the BILLIONS earned by the sweat of our brow.
Initial discussions are currently being held at the Utilities Table. A complete report of the Company reaction to the positive changes the Union proposes in the Utilities Contract and any items they may propose this afternoon will be made tomorrow.
The Common Interest Table meets tomorrow morning.
Initial results of the Strike authorization vote are currently coming in. The deadline for the Locals to report their individual results is tomorrow. The overall results will be announced by District 3 Vice President Beverly Hicks.
Your committee deeply appreciates the many items and show of support that we have received. We also believe that your voices are being heard in the workplace. Keep up your efforts.
Management?s attempts to take us backwards must be stopped. Their hard callous approach towards the RETIREES must be changed. Their unreasonable demands regarding BENEFITS AND PENSIONS while posting positive earnings must stop.
Report number 12- March 17, 2009
This morning the parties met at the Common Interest Table.
The Company presented counter proposals to CWA proposals to improve pensions, the savings plan and healthcare. They also withdrew their first healthcare proposal.
Their second proposal on healthcare is still retrogressive, and the Company counter proposals on the other items are also unsatisfactory.
They continue to refuse to discuss RETIREE HEALTHCARE despite the billions in profits brought about by the efforts of YOU and those that came before you.
Sub-Committees continue to meet at the Core Table.
Also, we were joined today at the Core Table by two BCS members, Johnny McCollum Local 3902 representing the corporate side of BCS and Robert Hardin Local 3204 representing the CPE Technicians. These individuals will help us prepare and discuss issues associated with BCS.
Today, the Utilities Table members, Terry Dugan, Local 3106 and Kelly Knight, Local 3404, are meeting with CWA Representative Gerald Souder to finalize CWA proposals to be presented to the Company later this week.
In addition, Margie Clay, Local 3902, joined with CWA Representative Linda Crawford to meet later this week with the Company at the BBI Table.
This week CWA will put forth a number of other positive proposals.
The message that must be sent to AT&T is clear. QUIT GOING BACKWARDS! We are not the Auto or Banking industries. The BILLIONS in profit that AT&T has earned was based on the hard work of many.
Report number 11- March 13, 2009
The parties met at the Core Table Thursday morning and at the Common Interest Table Thursday afternoon.
At the Core Table CWA presented some language changes that would treat employees more fairly when they transferred from one Company to another. The Company took the proposal under advisement.
Sub-Committees from this Table then met to continue to discuss previous proposals.
At the Common Interest Table CWA presented two proposals dealing with improving both the pension and savings plans.
It cannot be repeated too many times that AT&T is a very profitable company. They are not in any sort of financial crisis. In Washington on Wednesday the CEO was bragging to the financial community that the current financial state is no worse then AT&T faced in 2001-2002 yet at the Bargaining Table they want GIVE BACKS.
My elderly Irish Grandmother had a saying ?you can spit in my eye, but don?t try to tell me it?s raining?.
It is time to send AT&T a message. VOTE YES to authorize a strike should one become necessary.
Our next report will be on Tuesday, March 17th.
Report number 10- March 12, 2009
Yesterday's meetings were all held in Sub-Committee to discuss and clarify proposals from both sides at the Core Table.
At this point the Company has introduced nothing positive for the Sub-Committees to work from, however, your committee is working diligently to help them understand the error of their ways and convince them that you deserve the improvements CWA has proposed.
At yesterday's meetings the CWA Committee was attired in T-shirts supplied to us by Local 3603 in Charlotte, N.C. The back of the shirt says "at&t our world consumed" in deference to the attitude of the new at&t management.
Thanks to Local 3603 President, Bonnie Overman, and the members of Local 3603 for helping us send a message. Also, special thanks to all of the North Carolina Locals for the nice variety basket of snacks. What we are dealing with at the Table makes "mixed nuts" more then appropriate.
The Core Table meets this morning and the Common Interest Table meets later this afternoon. We will continue to submit positive proposals asking AT&T to share with you the prosperity that your efforts have created for the corporation.
AT&T was prominent in yesterday's national news announcing that they were adding jobs into the economy. Speaking to the Economic Club of Washington yesterday AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said "this environment is tough, but it really isn't much more difficult in our industry than what we experienced in the '01-'02 time frame."
Mr. Stephenson needs to be reminded that the 2001 Contract was not retrogressive!
PLEASE VOTE YES to authorize CWA President Larry Cohen to call a strike, should one be necessary, against the segment of AT&T you are employed by.
Let's MOBILIZE and show the public the REAL AT&T. The AT&T that demands take-backs from employees while earning BILLIONS of dollars because of those same employees. The AT&T that refuses to even talk about the RETIREES that helped make it strong. The AT&T that thinks "Sunday is just another day".
Report number 9- March 11, 2009
The parties met yesterday and the Company, predictably, made four more negative proposals. This brings their total to date to 41.
The latest retrogression involves, limiting night differential payment; modifies Stand-By Technician conditions and reduces pay for Stand-By; moving the threshold for double time to 56 hours while eliminating the right to refuse overtime after 10 or 12 hours as appropriate; and the elimination of premium pay for SUNDAY work.
When questioned by CWA about eliminating premium pay for employees who due to Company needs had to work on the Sabbath, the Company Chair stated that "we need to bring the employees into the 21st Century, and remove the perception that SUNDAY is any more important than any other day".
Statements like these make you wonder aloud at what Altar the Corporate heads worship. It looks to me like the altar of greed.
In addition to the Core Table meeting where these proposals were presented the parties also met in sub-committee the remainder of the day.
The next scheduled meeting of the Common Interest Table is Thursday, March 11th.
PLEASE VOTE YES to authorize a strike should one become necessary. As stated above the Corporation obviously worships at the altar of GREED. How else can they justify asking for give backs while making BILLIONS from your efforts.
Report number 8- Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Meetings continued yesterday at the Core Table with the Company putting forth several more obnoxious proposals. The total is now up to 37 with more expected later today.
Yesterday they proposed; extending the waiting period for paid sick time; allowing the COMPANY to charge YOUR paid time, vacation, DP, HO, etc. when you have a FMLA qualified absence; changing the groups for Incentive payments; and the TOTAL ELIMINATION OF MONITORING language.
In just two weeks they have proposed the removal of language regarding Contracting of your work: creating leveraged titles where pay would be at risk; eliminating your right to know when you are being monitored; a surplus processing system that would allow THEM to decide who they lay off without regard to seniority; GIVE BACKS ON HEALTHCARE and much more.
All of this despite record earnings in a depressed economy. IT IS CRYSTAL CLEAR THAT THESE NEGATIVE NEGOTIATIONS ARE NOT ABOUT THE ECONOMY, BUT, RATHER THE PHILOSOPHY OF UPPER MANAGEMENT.
It is time to fight back. VOTE YES to authorize CWA President Larry Cohen to call a strike if necessary. MOBILIZE to expose CORPORATE GREED.
Report number 7- Monday, March 9, 2009
The parties met at the Core Table this past Friday with the Company proposing even more retrogression.
The Company at the Core Table has made 33 proposals to date. None have actually been to improve the Contract.
Their latest proposals include decreasing termination pay; eliminating Service Consultants in Large Business from the PVR provisions of the Contract; and decreases in what a person may carryover into a new Vacation year.
CWA at this Table has made numerous proposals to strengthen existing Contract language; improvements in working conditions; and recognition of YOUR EFFORTS in making AT&T a very profitable corporation.
Sub-Committees have been established to further discuss the various proposals at the Core Table. Reports of the progress made by these Committees will be posted as they become available.
Thus far, at the Common Interest Table the Company has made only one proposal.
They have proposed a comprehensive Benefit package which includes healthcare premiums for dependents; reductions in coverage; numerous other take backs; and is an insult to the employees.
They have vehemently REFUSED TO DISCUSS RETIREE BENEFITS or any of the positive proposals CWA has made.
The Committee is hearing from the field regarding the confusion that is being generated by the AT&T Bargaining website. Please read it carefully. It is designed to paint a rosy picture of what the benevolent AT&T is doing at the Table. Their "questions" section is particularly humorous. They use the term "relevant table" while giving a generalization of the talks.
There are some items, including Premise Technician, which are not relevant at the District 3 Table. District 3 has no represented Premise Technicians.
The deadline for the Locals to conclude the Strike authorization vote is approaching.
Your Committee urges you to send the Company a message very loudly and clearly by voting YES to authorize CWA President Cohen to call a strike should one become necessary.
MOBILIZE and sign up the non member. REMIND your managers that AT&T has BILLIONS in positive earnings because of YOU!
Report number 6- Wednesday, March 6, 2009
The Core Table met yesterday afternoon with AT&T making more retrogressive proposals.
The true nature of their character was exposed in one proposal dealing with the Uniform Program. They have had the audacity to propose that foreign made items be added to the program.
They constantly speak of 'fundamental change to the cost structure' to your Committee and talk about 'good American jobs' then propose foreign made uniforms.
Other proposals from them yesterday included, eliminating pay protection for long term employees involved in Surplus and extending the time they may use Temporary and Term employees.
CWA continues to propose positive changes to the Contract.
The Core Table will resume discussions and proposal sharing this afternoon.
The Common Interest Table will resume meeting next week. As information, CWA at all Tables has rejected the Company?s Benefit offers and proposed improvements as we in District 3 did earlier.
Your Locals should be contacting you soon about the Strike vote. Please vote yes . Your vote gives CWA President, Larry Cohen, the right should it become necessary to call a strike.
Despite the Company propaganda that is being distributed the fact remains that ONLY CWA, with your permission, can set a strike date. ALL of the money that they are WASTING on strike preparations and training your supervisors to do craft work could be better spent on providing YOU with a FAIR SHARE of the BILLIONS that your efforts have earned for the COMPANY.
Report number 5- Wednesday, March 5, 2009
Yesterday's session at the Core Table brought a number of negative proposals from the Company including making all employees who currently work 37.5 hours , 40 hour employees; changing the method of declaration of surplus under Article 7; massive changes to Family of Skills language; and, negative changes to the administration of Holidays for Large Business groups.
It is patently clear that the same types of proposals are occurring at all six Tables around the Country.
CWA proposed several improvements to vacation entitlement and additions for the Utilities group this morning at the Common Interest Table.
At this point it is clear that management at all six Tables across the Country is singing from the same hymn book. None want to do anything positive, all have proposed negative healthcare, leveraged titles, retrogressive work rules and have refused to talk about retiree benefits.
The Bargaining Committee members at both the Core and Common Interest Tables in District 3 appreciate your thoughts and well wishes. While many of us have been to the Table a number of times before, none of us has faced the difficulty of negotiating under the atmosphere that exists with the 'new AT&T.'
We fully understand the frustration of the employee body, even those of you from management who read these reports.
The way to overcome Corporate Greed is to stand as one. Vote YES to authorize a Strike should one become necessary, SIGN UP THE NON-MEMBER and MOBILIZE.
Report number 4- Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Bargaining continued yesterday, and this morning, with AT&T continuing to propose retrogression; and your Union continuing to remind them of their profitability.
At this point there have been numerous proposals from AT&T that would take us back to the 1900's. CWA on the other hand has requested improvements.
At the Core Table we have rejected their proposal to change the processing of Permanently Medically restricted employees and are reviewing other proposals received at this point.
CWA has proposed IMPROVEMENTS in the existing Article 14 language, while AT&T has proposed eliminating the entire Article and replacing it with language that would allow them to do as they pleased regarding contracting out of work. The irony is that COMPANY managers in our region are on record praising our job performance versus the Contractor's the Company has used in other regions.
The language that AT&T introduced yesterday regarding leveraged employees was introduced in some form at all six Bargaining tables. CWA is adamantly opposed to this concept.
The term leveraged, as it is used in their proposal, means that a portion of the wages would only be paid if an employee met established goals. As an example, if a Sales Associate failed to perform at 100% of the established goal, he/she would only be paid a percentage of the established wage rate for that job title.
At the Common Interest Table, CWA rejected the Company's proposal to dilute the Benefit Plans this morning. Yesterday, we presented them with our proposals on IMPROVING the various Plans and will present them with further improvements tomorrow.
The Company buzz phrase in this round of negotiations has been "we need fundamental change to our cost structure." This has been repeated over and over again. Rather then admit what is publicly known that as a Corporation they have made and continue to make record profits because of your efforts.
Through MOBILIZATION and A POSITIVE STRIKE VOTE, all of you can point out that "fundamentally" the change they need is in their attitude towards you the employee who has ACTUALLY made the record profits a reality.
In the upcoming days and weeks your individual management, as instructed, will begin to question you about your thoughts on what has been proposed.
MOBILIZE and tell them to STOP THE NEGATIVITY and get serious about bringing about a FAIR and JUST Agreement.
Let them know that AT&T is not General Motors or any of the others they try to compare themselves to. Let them KNOW LOUD AND CLEAR that YOU are READY to reap the rewards of your hard work.
Report number 3- Monday March 3, 2009
Bargaining resumed today at the Core Table with the Union responding to some of the "clean up" language that AT&T has passed across the Table.
Late last week the Company proposed some negative changes to the processing of employees with Permanent Medical Restrictions. CWA took the proposal under advisement.
Today, the Company proposed eliminating all protection against subcontracting, the creation of leveraged pay in Consumer and more retrogression.
Thus far, the only items that have been tentatively agreed to are to increase the number of Arbitrators available for Expedited Arbitrations and the removal of some typographical errors.
At the Common Interest Table, your CWA committee has reviewed the Company proposal diluting the terms of the Benefit Plans while adding monthly premiums to the Plan. We will meet tomorrow at this Table to tell the Company exactly what we think of the proposal and submit our ideas on IMPROVING the various Benefit Plans.
The Company has made great efforts to "poor mouth" over Benefit costs while failing to discuss the 12.9 BILLION DOLLARS IN PROFITS AT&T made in 2008 or the nearly 3 BILLION in profits for the first quarter of 2009. They conveniently fail to remember that most of these profits are based on YOUR productivity.
Their desire to eliminate jobs while fattening the wallets of their Contractor friends and asking you to work for compensation "leveraged" on their mismanagement is insulting at the least.
The Locals have received the material necessary to conduct a strike vote. Please vote YES. Remember this is a vote to authorize a strike if and when CWA President Larry Cohen feels it appropriate to call one.
Hopefully as the bargaining progresses AT&T will recognize that suggesting give backs to such a profitable company is an insult to your intelligence.
Click this link to view pictures from the mobilization activity February 24, 2009 in Atlanta
Report number 2- Friday, February 27, 2009
In future reports we will make reports from what are referred to as the Core table, the Common Interest Table and the Utilities Table.
The Core Table will deal primarily with language changes in the former BST Contract. The Common Interest Table will deal with financial issues that cross all Contracts being bargained by District 3 at this time. This includes the former BST, BBI, BASC, BSLD, BellSouth Corp. and Utilities agreements. The Utilities Table will address language issues in the Utilities agreement. Bargaining at this table begins March 17th.
The Utilities Table will be chaired by CWA Representative Gerald Souder and will include Terry Dugan from Local 3106 in Jacksonville and Kelly Knight Local 3404 in Covington, Louisiana.
The Core Table is chaired by Administrative Assistant Judy Dennis with assistance from CWA Representative Linda Crawford. The nine state Local representatives also serve on this committee. They are Andrew Gifford- Alabama, Matt Gladu- Florida, Pamela Harper- Georgia, Nick Hawkins- Kentucky, Judy Bruno- Louisiana, Kim Kennedy-Sadler- Mississippi, Richard Honeycutt-North Carolina, Alan Poston- South Carolina, and Rick Feinstein- Tennessee.
The Common Interest Table is chaired by Assistant to the Vice President District 3 Mike Fahrenholt and includes Judy Dennis, Judy Bruno, Pamela Harper and Andrew Gifford.
Thursday, February 26th the parties met at the Core table with the Company presenting a number of proposals classed as language cleanup. Your Committee is reviewing the proposals and will meet with the Company again this afternoon.
CWA members from each of the nine states proudly display the various state flags that had been supplied to us by the South Carolina Locals at the table everyday. We also appreciate the T-shirts that we all wore to the kick-off rally this past Tuesday.
The Company presented a proposal that encompasses all Benefit Issues this morning at the Common Interest Table. As expected, it is retrogressive. Your Committee has taken it under advisement. The exact same proposal is expected to be presented at all Tables across the nation today.
District 3 has provided the Locals with information regarding a strike vote. The Locals will be sharing it with the membership.
Your Committee encourages you to vote YES to give CWA President Larry Cohen the right to call a strike in the event it becomes necessary. Traditionally we have waited until we were further along in the Bargaining process before taking this action. This year these negotiations are anything but traditional.
MOBILIZE and spread the word that it is ludicrous for this profitable corporate entity to present retrogression to the employees that have caused the profits to be earned. AT&T is not the auto industry or are they suffering as many others today. To attempt to go backwards is not the way of a good corporate citizen.
Report number 1 February 24, 2009
Bargaining between CWA District 3 and AT&T began in Atlanta on Tuesday, February 24th.
After an exchange of statements the parties adjourned to caucus amongst themselves.
Your CWA team used this time to participate in a rally sponsored by Atlanta Local 3204. The attached pictures from that rally show the enormity of support that CWA has in its efforts to obtain a fair and just Contract from the profitable Company.
At the rally, District 3 Vice President, Beverly Hicks, introduced the Bargaining Committee and addressed the crowd regarding the hypocrisy of AT&T. Beverly urged support of all the Bargaining teams across the nation as she announced that AT&T Wireless had agreed to resume bargaining with CWA regarding the AT&T Orange Wireless Contract .
CWA District 3 would like to thank Local 3204 President Walter Andrews and the membership of Local 3204 for their efforts in staging the rally. Also, thank you to all the Officers and members of the other Georgia Locals that participated in the rally. The Georgia and Atlanta area Labor Council and the many community based organizations that were there to show their support. Thanks also, to those members who traveled to Atlanta for the rally from Local 3806 in Memphis, Tennessee and all of the CWA retirees that were in attendance. It was a great show of support.
On Wednesday, February 25th the full CWA Bargaining Committee was presented with a slide show from AT&T showing their thoughts on the status of healthcare costs. Needless to say they didn?t present anything about how profitable AT&T is because of the workforce or how much they have paid their top management team versus those of you who actually do the work.
Later today the parties will meet to begin exchanging proposals.
AT&T Southeast Bargaining Opening Remarks
Beverly Hicks, Vice President CWA District 3
February 24, 2009
As we open bargaining for AT&T in the Southeast, CWA understands that both the union and the company face difficult issues to try and resolve. AT&T is a successful and profitable company, even in these troubled economic times. We believe that it should be a leader in helping to turn the economy around and provide good middle class jobs. This is not the time to be lowering the standard of living for employees or diminishing benefits or pensions.
AT&T is the most successful company in the industry. That is due in large part because it has chosen a strategy which depends on products and services brought together in bundled offerings relying on skilled and productive union members to provide the best products and services to customers. A quality workforce needs and deserves quality wages, benefits, pensions and secure employment.
AT&T has been successful, earning $12.9 billion in profits last year and $2.4 billion last quarter. AT&T is financially sound and well-positioned for 2009, even in these challenging economic times. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has said that "despite the economic environment, we grew revenues in 2008 and I expect 2009 will be another year of overall revenue growth and solid progress for our company."
That's good news for employees, for customers, for investors and the company.
It also means that AT&T can set the right priorities in these negotiations, meeting its responsibilities to employees, as well as to investors, executives and consumers.
Even in the face of a bad economy, AT&T is doing well. We're not the auto industry. AT&T is a leader in the high tech industry. There's no reason for AT&T to hurt its employees.
AT&T employees and retirees have been a key part of this success and, therefore, AT&T should keep its commitments to them, not cut benefits or pensions, breaking their promises to both retirees and active employees. New employees in emerging areas of business who have been hired as temporaries and Terms with different conditions have also been part of this success. This new contract needs to bring these employees more fully into the family so that they can share in the success that they have helped to create.
Speaking of employees in the emerging areas of the business, we are also in solidarity today with our sisters and brothers at AT&T Mobility who are fighting for a fair contract.
As we usually do, we have surveyed our membership to identify the key issues that they expect to see addressed in this round of bargaining. Over the next few weeks, our Bargaining Committees, chaired by my assistant Mike Fahrenholt and my Administrative Director Judy Dennis, will be sharing these issues with you in detail. I would like to cover some of the highlights of our members' key issues:
Benefits and Pension Improvements
Member bargaining surveys reflect continued frustration when attempting to utilize the benefits that the union has negotiated in good faith. This can best be addressed by clear contract language that protects our right to utilize the benefits that we have negotiated. Our intent is that benefits once bargained will be available without question to our members.
In addition, increased health care costs have led many employers to shift cost increases onto their employees. A company the size of AT&T can leverage its size to obtain the best health care arrangements available, balancing benefits and access with cost. The financial benefits of such arrangements should be shared with our members by continued quality benefits without premium sharing.
We also need to improve the quality of benefit delivery through union oversight and authority over health plans, building on the mechanisms that are already in place including arbitration
Health care reform has been a big issue for many years, but we finally have the opportunity to achieve a comprehensive health care system, something every other industrial country has. Because we now have an administration that is willing to move forward on health care reform and members of Congress also determined to get it done, we have a real opportunity to take health care off the bargaining table at major employers and create a system that corresponds with the kind of coverage every other industrialized country provides.
We've said to all our employers, "get off our backs and stand by our sides" in the campaign to win real reform.
I know that AT&T has been involved with CWA and others in trying to move the health care debate forward. It's those efforts that will fix health care. It cannot be done at the bargaining table, and it can't be done by shifting more costs to workers.
That won't work. AT&T employees already contribute to health care costs. Our goal should be to work together so that your competition other employers that don't provide quality health care to employees pay a fair share of what is a social good.
Pensions are a critical concern in this round of bargaining as many of our members are nearing the age of retirement eligibility. We need significant pension improvements to insure that all of our members regardless of their job title can retire with dignity. The lump sum pension option is selected by the vast majority of our members when they retire. Therefore, we must continue to assure that our members can choose this option. We must be sure the savings plans offered to our members incorporate effective options and protections which will ensure that savings are there when members retire. We must continue to guarantee retirees will have the health benefits they have earned without additional cost.
Employment Security Means Access to the Jobs of the Future
Access to high quality job opportunities in the new communications industry including broadband, wireless and video is the key to maintaining our members' employment. This is critical to maintain our ability to negotiate wages, benefits and pensions in the future.
We must also eliminate obstacles that exist when exercising our rights under the Follow your work provisions in the contract. We need access to the jobs of the future and improved voluntary transfer rights to all entities within AT&T. The "Jobs" program must be strengthened to assure it provides opportunities to every employee. We must assure that employees in the jobs of the future are brought fully into our contracts.
To insure employment security we must eliminate subcontracting and temporary hires as replacements for regular full time employment opportunities.
Improved Standard of Living
AT&T is the largest and most profitable company in the communications industry. Investors received $9.5 billion last year, plus another $250 million increase in dividends just recently. Executives are well compensated; the top five were paid $33.5 million last year.
As the dominant force in the industry AT&T is unsurpassed in market value and revenue. AT&T's profitability and standing in the industry is a result of our hard work and productivity. We deserve our fair share in the form of a significant base wage increase for all CWA members commensurate with company profits and executive compensation.
Justice on the Job
AT&T/Southeast has received approval in many states to offer video services to the region's customers. This provides additional regular full time job opportunities and allows the company to effectively compete with the cable industry. The critical link between AT&T's bundling strategy and its successful execution is the workforce of CWA members. All employees, but especially those like "temp and term" Service Reps and Technicians that are on the front lines of AT&T's strategy, must be treated fairly and with respect under the terms of our contract. All video work should be performed by represented EE's.
The elimination of mandatory overtime is critical to reduce stress on our members. Elimination of such overtime would also create additional job opportunities.
The misuse of performance management in all departments is a serious problem. Mandatory overtime, inflexible schedules, pressure to sell, monitoring, GPS, harsh attendance, and adherence policies continue to plague our members. When attempting to resolve on the job problems through the grievance procedure we are frustrated by delays, and managers lacking the authority to resolve problems or settle grievances.
These are difficult and complex issues. Fortunately, we have an outstanding Bargaining Committee that, under Mike and Judy's leadership, is experienced, dedicated, and smart. We pride ourselves at being problem solvers here in the Southeast, and this is the best group of problem solvers that we have anywhere. They have my complete confidence and support.
We also have a strong and united membership that is prepared to stand behind this bargaining committee through thick and thin. Our members will be well informed and mobilized throughout these negotiations.
We are in tough times. However, we believe that we won't get out of tough times unless companies like AT&T do their part to help a struggling economy and support the future of middle class jobs. AT&T is the industry leader and should be leading the industry to the high road of good middle class jobs, not following others on a race to the bottom. CWA and AT&T have a long-standing relationship. While we don't always agree, we are here, ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work at solving the problems that face all of us and negotiate a contract that helps us move forward.
Where to Report if We Go On Strike
These are the locations the Company has identified as remaining open should there be a work stoppage. If you do not see your location on this list, please drive by to verify that this is true. If you see that there is indeed no business being conducted, please report to the Local for picket duty location reassignment. Please bring the essentials with you: water bottles, sunblock, comfortable shoes, sunglasses, umbrellas, hats, etc.
Where to park
If you are turned away from the location listed below, please report to the Local
Where you report
|675 W Peachtree St (BellSouth Center)
||Park in normal parking (the multi-level lot or the open lot across from 754 Peachtree St) because they are open to the public.
||North tower lobby entrance between the tower and the support building AND Support building entrance in the breezeway between the tower and the support building solely for access to the SU38 photo ID office and the Siemens office. This is the set of doors closest to the stairs leading from the Fox surface parking lot.
|754 W Peachtree St (Midtown 1)
||Park in normal parking (the multi-level lot or the open lot across from 754 Peachtree St) because they are open to the public.
||The lower lobby entrance at the corner of 4th St and Cypress. The Peachtree St. Entrance will be closed.
|575 Morosgo Dr (Lindbergh)
||Park in normal parking (the multi-level lot or the open lot across from Lindbergh orthe Marta lot
||The Morosgo Dr entrance.
|2300 Northlake Centre (ACAC Building)
||Park in the Northlake Quadrangle (Old Hickory House) parking lot or in the Target Parking lot and arrange for someone to shuttle people.
||The parking lot entrance at Northlake Pkwy.
|2245/2247 Northlake Pkwy (BAPCO)
||Park in the Northlake Quadrangle (Old Hickory House) parking lot or in the Target Parking lot and arrange for someone to shuttle people.
||The north driveway entrance that leads into the north parking lot.
|70 Courtland St (Courtland Central Office)
||Park in any public parking lot nearby. (More arrangements are being made with our friends nearby.)
||Entrance off of South Main St
|250 Williams St (Inforum)
||Park in any public parking lot nearby.
||Baker St. lower level parking deck entrance OR the Williams St pedestrian entrance, revolvong door closest to Baker St.
|65 10th St (Peachtree St CO)
||Park in any public parking lot nearby.
||Building entrance on the north side of the building on 10th St, the gated entrance to the parking alley from Peachtree Place and the gated exit from the parking alley to 10th St.
|445 Atlanta South Pkwy/485 Oak Place (South District) Admin
||Park in any public parking lot nearby if you are turned away. (More arrangements are being made)
||Western most entrance off of Atlanta Souyth Pkwy.
|3065 Main St (East Point CO)
||Park in any public parking lot nearby if you are turned away. (More arrangements are being made)
||Entrance off of South Main St.
|3237 Satellite Blvd, Duluth (BAPCO Admin)
||Park in any public parking lot nearby if you are turned away. (More arrangements are being made)
||Entrance to parking lot off Commerce Ave closest to Satellite Blvd.
|109 Smith St (Jonesboro CO)
||Park in any public parking lot nearby if you are turned away. (More arrangements are being made)
||Entrance to parking lot.
To help ease the financial burden we will all be under, CWA has been contacted by the Temporary Employment Agencies listed below. Click on the Company name to find the office closest to you. PLEASE BE ADVISED!!! Do NOT start calling and selecting employment opportunities until we are sure of a work stoppage AND unless you are sure you can accept them. It has been the experience of many that turning down as many as two jobs will move your name to the bottom of the list for anymore job offers.
Member benefits during a strike
What does it mean to members to be on strike? There is no denying it is hard on everyone, the loss of pay creates a hardship. But please know that CWA is prepared to help our members that honor a strike but there are stipulations that have to be met:
- To receive any benefits from CWA a member MUST perform their share of strike duty. Strike duty may be any number of jobs or tasks as assigned by the Local, and the amount of time that is voted on by the membership to walk picket lines. Remember, while on strike, the bargaining work stopage becomes your job!
- Health Care: Normally, health care benefits are covered thru the end of the month, since the premiums have already been paid by AT&T on the 1st. This means you will have health insurance until August 31st AT LEAST. If a strike should go into the next month, members emergency health care will be taken care of by CWA, the Members Relief Fund. But any costs MUST be pre-approved by the Local Community Service Committee and be verifiable to meet the strict guidelines of CWA. The health of our members and family will NOT suffer for honoring our picket lines!
- If a member performs their strike duty as assigned, each AT&T member on strike will be paid $200 starting the 15 day for 2 weeks, after the 29th day the amount will increase to $300 per week for the duration of the strike! The members will be responsible for paying the taxes, a 1099 will be issues for amounts over $600 and submitted to the IRS. THIS FORM MUST BE FILLED OUT TO RECEIVE BENEFITS!
- No CWA member has ever been put on the street, with no place to live for honoring a picket line. CWA will not pay mortgage payments, but will do everything to assist the member in all possible ways to help keep the home intact.
Keep checking back for more information!
Getting Ready for a Strike!/FAQ
It is entirely possible that we may have to prove our dedication to our principles by walking off the job. Nobody wants to do our customers a disservice or put their families in a financial pinch, so we are all hopeful that the Company will come to the table like we will with open minds, ready to do the right thing. But what do we do if we are left with no alternative but to strike?
What is strike duty? What do I do if I don't go to work?
All strikers will be expected to perform a minimum of 12 hours of strike duty per week to be eligible for strike pay unless excused for just cause by the Local. Duties include, but are not limited to, picket-walking, video-taping/photographing the picket line and SCABS, phone-banking at the Local, refreshment transport and distribution to picket lines, child-care for picketers, etc,. If you feel that you will be physically unable to perform picket or other strike duties, it is important that you inform the Local as soon as possible to secure more suitable duties.
Additionally, several Temp Agencies have contacted the Local and are eager to offer employment opportunities to our members who may want to bridge the pay gap during the strike, or for those who would like to experience different jobs outside of AT&T.
What about money?
The Members' Relief Fund pay-out plan is as follows: Commencing on the 15th day of a strike, $200.00 per striker per week will be provided (subject to availability of funds) for use by the for strikers' assistance. Commencing on the 29th day of a strike, $300.00 per striker per week will be provided (subject to availability of funds) for use by the for strikers' assistance. Payments to Locals will end on the 7th day following the end of the strike. In the event the last week of a strike is not a full week, the payments to the Locals will be prorated.
It is vital that you contact your creditors as soon as you can to advise them that you may have tough financial times ahead and you would like to make arrangements now to work with them. Most creditors will be happy to work with you and arrange a partial payment from a responsible account holder than no payment or information at all.
What if my manager decides to discipline me when I get back to work? What if I don't want to strike?
First of all, it is a violation of Federal Labor Law to discipline any represented employee for Union activity of any sort. Our most respected managers have been exactly where you are and recognize that benefits secured by CWA benefit them as well. Remember: your job security is their job security, too.
The best way to ensure that we don't have to go on strike is to stand united prior to August 8th. The more the Company sees our members wearing red on Thursday the more they see who won't be there if we walk out. Talk up the benefits we have and what we could lose if we don't stand together. If you don't want to strike, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. There is nothing to be gained by letting the Company know that you don't have the heart to back the people who back you. It will not get you promoted. Why would the Company promote you if you would sell out your coworkers? At least have the respect for the people who secured your benefits to not cross the picket line. Your loyalty or lack thereof will not be forgotten.
Q. Can the company lock us out and force a long term strike?
A. Yes, the company can lock us out to further their position in bargaining, even before impasse is reached. Keep in mind that a lockout is only lawful if the company intends to prevent any losses or safety hazards due to a strike. The company cannot arbitrarily lock anyone out to prevent mobilization and organizing activity within the Union.
Q. What does it mean to get a strike authorization vote?
A. Just because we pass a strike authorization vote does not necessarily mean that we will go out on strike. Once a vote passes, CWA then has the authority to call members of the bargaining unit to walk out as a bargaining tool and will utilize the different methods available to us to ensure we achieve a fair contract.
Q. What are the rules for taking on freelance or other full time work while on strike?
A. You will be able to take on additional employment to offset the financial hardship of a strike, however your additional wages must be reported to the local. Please keep in mind that you are required to perform strike duty to be eligible for strike benefits.
Additionally, several Temp Agencies have contacted the Local and are eager to offer employment opportunities to our members who may want to ease the financial burden during the strike, or for those who would like to experience different jobs outside of AT&T.
Q. Can I use my vacation days if we go on strike?
A. While it is permissible for management to allow you to use your vacation time if we go on strike, it is not likely that the employer will do so. If you are permitted to use your vacation time, you will not be eligible for strike benefits, as that does not constitute the loss of wages due to a strike.
Q. Will I be covered by health insurance if something were to happen?
A. Within 60 days of going on strike, you are eligible to elect for COBRA under the existing health plan. The CWA may assist with paying for absolutely necessary medical care (ie. Chemotherapy or radiation treatments).
Q. Will I get paid if we strike?
A. The Members' Relief Fund pay-out plan is as follows: Commencing on the 15th day of a strike, $200.00 per striker per week will be provided (subject to availability of funds) for use by the for strikers' assistance. Commencing on the 29th day of a strike, $300.00 per striker per week will be provided (subject to availability of funds) for use by the for strikers' assistance. Payments to Locals will end on the 7th day following the end of the strike. In the event the last week of a strike is not a full week, the payments to the Locals will be prorated.
It is vital that you contact your creditors as soon as you can to advise them that you may have tough financial times ahead and you would like to make arrangements now to work with them. Most creditors will be happy to work with you and arrange a partial payment from a responsible account holder than no payment or information at all. THIS FORM MUST BE FILLED OUT TO RECEIVE BENEFITS!
Q. Will my boss be mad at me if I go on Strike?
A. First of all, it is a violation of Federal Labor Law to discipline any represented employee for Union activity of any sort. Our most respected managers have been exactly where you are and recognize that benefits secured by CWA benefit them as well. Remember: your job security is their job security, too.
The best way to ensure that we don't have to go on strike is to stand united prior to August 7th. The more the Company sees our members wearing red on Thursday the more they see who won't be there if we walk out. Talk up the benefits we have and what we could lose if we don't stand together. If you don't want to strike, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. There is nothing to be gained by letting the Company know that you don't have the heart to back the people who back you. It will not get you promoted. Why would the Company promote you if you would sell out your coworkers? At least have the respect for the people who secured your benefits to not cross the picket line. Your loyalty or lack thereof will not be forgotten.
Q. Can I be fired for going on strike or participating in strike activities?
A. It is unlawful for the employer to retaliate against employees who participate in legal union activities during the course of a strike. However, employees who engage in serious misconduct during a work stoppage can face the prospect of discipline or discharge at the end of the strike. Accordingly, it is important that all actions planned as part of a strike campaign be cleared with the union in advance.
Strikes that are not directly tied to the employer's unfair labor practices are considered by the law to be economic strikes. Generally, in these disputes, the object of the strike is to obtain from the employer some economic concession such as higher wages, continuation of employer-paid health insurance, or better working conditions. While economic strikers cannot be fired, they can be permanently replaced by their employer. Under the law, if the employer hires bona fide permanent replacements to fill the jobs of the strikers, the strikers are not automatically entitled to reinstatement at the end of the work stoppage. Instead, the strikers are placed on a recall list and are returned to work as positions for which they are qualified open up. However, it is permissible for the union and the employer to negotiate a return to work agreement that requires that all the scabs (the so-called "permanent replacements") be let go so that strikers may return to work.
Q. Am I required to walk the picket line?
A. All strikers will be expected to perform a minimum of 8 hours of strike duty per week to be eligible for strike pay unless excused for just cause by the Local. Duties include, but are not limited to, picket-walking, video-taping/photographing the picket line and SCABS, phone-banking at the Local, refreshment transport and distribution to picket lines, child-care for picketers, etc,. If you feel that you will be physically unable to perform picket or other strike duties, it is important that you inform the Local as soon as possible to secure more suitable duties.
Q. Are non-CWA LOCAL 3204 members eligible for strike benefits?
A. In "Right-to-Work" states non-members are not eligible for assistance from either the Defense or Relief funds.
Q. Once a strike authorization vote has been approved, can CWA LOCAL 3204 discipline members who do not honor the strike?
A. CWA Members who cross an authorized picket line are subject to litigation by CWA to recover any wages earned by that member.
Get Ready for a Possible Strike!
As we grow closer to the expiration of our current contract CWA thought it might be wise to pass on a little advice to our membership, particularly since we have newer members that may have never experienced a work stoppage before.
In light of this, there are a few things that we should all be doing as the final months of this contract pass by:
- *Being test qualified for other positions
- *Utilizing appropriate job search engines on a regular basis
- *Having your attendance in order
- *Knowing what's in your personnel file
- *Keeping your skills updated
- *Checking your contract for lay-off language
- *Attending Union meetings & staying informed
- *Keeping your performance up to Company expectations
- Always plan as if there is going to be a prolonged work stoppage.
- Start saving money NOW if you have not already done so. We recommend that you have a minimum of three month salary on hand. Think of it this way.... if we don't actually go on strike, you'll have a little nest egg to buy something you otherwise wouldn't, or take your family on a little vacation.
- Avoid making any new purchases that you cannot pay cash for. Now is not the time to run up major debts
- Try to pay off any current credit card balances, or other outstanding debts. The less monthly debt you have the better
- Be mentally prepared. Perhaps ever hold a family meeting to discuss what not working for several weeks will mean to the family, and your lifestyle. Don't forget that it is imperative that you fulfill your obligation to perform your picket duty... strike time is not vacation time.
- Remember that without unity, and willingness to strike, we are doomed for failure before we begin. Also remember that posturing plays a large role. How you act and what you say around the workplace is going to set the tone. Don't think for a minute that your manager isn't reporting what he or she hears to his or her boss. If the company believes that there is no support for a strike, again we are doomed from the beginning. Unity is everything.