The IBEW System Council T6 New England bargaining team, CWA District 1/IBEW Local 2213 met with the Company this past Thursday in New York. Verizon presented another proposal to the unions. While there has been some incremental movement on Verizon’s part, there are still many proposals which still need to be addressed, including Verizon’s proposed medical costs which are still too high, job security issues and transferring workers, as well as caps on the pensions, and unlimited call sharing and contracting out for call center work, as well as other costly increases.
The latest Marc Reed e-mail released to the workers on Friday, states that “the company continues to move this process forward toward closure,” implying they are getting close to making their last, best and final offer. And they stated, bargaining “is not an endless process.”
Despite this vague attempt to threaten the bargaining process, keep in mind that the company is still far off from what would be considered acceptable. The unions are willing to address some of the company’s needs, but the needs of the union members needs must also be addressed.
In addition to being no close to an agreement on the medical costs, and related job security and contracting issues that still remain unresolved, here are some of their remaining retrogressive proposals:
TEMPORARY TRANSFERS: Ability to transfer technicians anywhere in the footprint (Virginia to Massachusetts)
PENSIONS: Freeze pensions at 30 years of service.
CORPORATE PROFIT SHARING: at risk if not settled by certain date.
CLASS II/SPONSORED CHILD COVERAGE: eliminate
401K PLAN CHANGES- begin charging a quarterly administration and a $50 fee for processing new loans.
DISABILITY BENEFITS- Establish a rolling 5 years period for 100% payment on Sickness /Accident 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.
TUITION ASSISTANCE- Major changes to the tuition plan which would drastically limit the courses that members could take.
WORK FAMILY- Reduce funding
FAMILY CARE LEAVE- Drastically change the terms of the FCL.
We believe the company’s email is a threat designed to get us to give up more because they believe we will not strike. They are wrong. We will do whatever it takes to protect our jobs, our retirement security, our families, and our dignity on the job. Remember, their top 5 executives raked in $44.5 million in 2014 from a Company that made $18.3 Billion in profits in 2015. We have met them halfway. Now is the time for them to meet our needs.
We need every member engaged in this fight. It is more important than ever that we take this fight to a new level.
Ready to STRIKE for a fair contract!!!
Mobilize! Mobilize! Mobilize!
The unions are currently evaluating the latest Verizon proposal and reviewing the latest data provided by Verizon last week. As more information develops with bargaining, we will keep this membership informed. Stay vigilant, remain steadfast and join with your brothers and sisters who are mobilizing throughout the region. For more information on mobilization efforts, visit the Lowell mobilization page for joint IBEW & CWA mobilization nearest you.