Regional Bargaining Report # 33
Thursday, September 17, 2015
CWA District 1/IBEW Local 2213 and IBEW New England Regional Committees spent Wednesday and Thursday at the Rye Town Hilton in Westchester.
Off-the-record discussions continued this week with Verizon on call sharing and job security issues. The Company’s goals remain the same. They want givebacks, plain and simple.
On the town hall call that was held earlier this week Vice President Trainor reminded us of some of the outrageous proposals that the Company still has on the table, which are:
JOB SECURITY- Remove the protections against layoffs and forced transfer.
CORPORATE PROFIT SHARING at risk if not settled by certain date. Also, reduce minimum payout.
DIFFERENTIALS AND PREMIUM PAY -Eliminate Saturday and Sunday Differentials and premium pay for most employees. Reductions to differentials for most employees.
SUNDAY TOURS- Include Sunday as part of basic work week.
OVERTIME – only paid after 40 hours worked. No payment of more than one and half time (1 ½ X). Also, eliminate caps on Overtime.
TECH CHANGE NOTICE- reduce notice given to the Union of any major technological change
BENEFITS- the Company proposed major reductions in medical benefits including higher deductibles, co-pays, premiums and co-insurance. The Company also proposed to remove the Unions ability to negotiate retiree health care benefits. Eliminate Class II/Sponsored Child coverage.
PENSIONS- The Company modified their proposal on lump sum pensions but proposed changing the terms of the lump sum payment to eliminate the calculations that included the GATT rate and PBGC rate. They propose using a formula which would result in a significant reduction in the amount of member’s lump sum pensions. They are still demanding that employees would have to choose between a pension which would be frozen and an enhanced 401K. If you choose Pension – No 401K match. If you choose 401K enhanced (100%)-Your Pension freezes.
401K Plan changes- begin charging a quarterly administration and a $50 fee for processing new loans.
DISABILITY BENEFITS- Eliminate Accident Disability Plan. Establish a rolling 5 year period for 100% payment on Sickness Disability. Once 100% is used – members are paid 50% (currently full pay benefits recycle after being back at work for 13 weeks)
CALL SHARING- give the Company additional leeway to route calls out of our bargaining units and to contractors while giving contractors the handling of all new products and services.
TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENTS– Ability to transfer employees to any state in Verizon footprint.
TUITION ASSISTANCE- Expanding the list of “Excluded” studies
FORCE ADJUSTMENT PLAN- changes to the FAP that would eliminate job security provisions.
WORK FAMILY- Reduce funding by $900,000. Added limitations if not agreed to by a certain date.
FAMILY CARE LEAVE- eliminate
EXCISE TAX- Company wants ability to change medical plans, health care spending account or premiums to avoid excise tax without negotiating with the Union.
PRE TEST TRAINING - Eliminate
INCOME PROTECTION PLAN - Would require employees to sign a Disclaimer to receive an IPP.
We need to send a very clear message that this is not acceptable. We will not be laid-back as they seek to gut our contracts.
Active members and Retired members all have a stake in this fight. If you’re not yet involved -it’s time to get involved. The only way to move this company is to put enough pressure on them to make them want to settle this contract.
There are on the job mobilization activities and there off of the job mobilization activities that every member and every retiree should be participating in.