CWA Local 9575, Kern, Santa Barbara, Ventura Counties and the City of Gilroy

CWA/VZ West Bargaining Bulletin #57, October 25, 2013

REVISED

**CWA/VZ West Bargaining Bulletin #57**

October 25, 2013

*IMPORTANT UPDATE THE COMPANY HAS AGREED TO MEDIATION*


Yesterday morning the Union requested that Verizon enter into Federal Mediation in order to help the parties reach an agreement. (No word back from the company yet).


The Union and the Company met last night at 5pm. The Company had made indications to the Union that there would be a revision to their “Last Best and Final” proposal, but instead the Company came to the table rejecting the Union’s Counter Proposal outright, negating the meaningful, good faith attempt to find middle ground in multiple areas. The Company had nothing more to say then “there was nothing in it to have them reconsider their last best and final proposal”. After our meeting the Company sent an email to “Select California Associates” indicating that the Union and the Company were deadlocked on critical open items; such as Wages, Pension’s, Medical Contributions, Absence, Cross Functional Work Sharing, Work at Home and Contracting. The truth is the Company is just not willing to bargain with the Union on these issues! Their way or no way!

For the record, the Union is not deadlocked and is willing to counter the Company’s proposal to reach a fair and equitable agreement for the Membership. But the Company needs to bargain!


By way of a current update, here’s where bargaining is with the open items on the table:
Pensions- the Union proposes to keep the supplemental benefits as part of the pension calculation, transfer upgrades to a higher wage title to be realized in your pension calculation of at least 12%, and changes your look back period for the pension calculation to 48 months. These pension changes are to help compensate for the Company’s proposal to freeze the wages of your pension after the transition date.
Medical Contributions- the Union has proposed a lesser rate for the Kaiser plan for Operator II’s to compensate for the lower wage rates. The Union proposal includes keeping the members’ contributions for HealthNet, Kaiser and the EPO, at less than or the same as the PPO rates, (depending on cost of the plan), so the members are paying the costs that correlate to the medical plan that they choose.
Article 32 and Article 8 (RWS) - are the absence articles in the contracts. The Union is proposing to keep RWS as it is today and not to eliminate any waivers the RWS members have today. The Company is demanding that all employees with fewer than 180 sick days have a 2 days waiting period, regardless of good attendance. The Union came with a meaningful compromise that would keep waivers in place for all members with good attendance.
Cross Functional Work Sharing – the Union is looking for protections to the Sales Compensation Plans and the TPA due to a potential negative impact on compensation with the implementation of this Company proposal.
Work at Home- protections on the cap of employees and titles that will be used in this trial are issues important to the Union.
FIOS Jobs of the Future- (which the company refers to as contracting), is an issue the Union is looking to cap the use of contractors in the FIOS work.
Health Reimbursement Accounts- the Union has proposed reimbursement amounts that will help with the costs of the HealthCare Plans.
Wages and Ratification Bonus are still open and will be the last to resolve most likely. The Union is looking to achieve wage packages that will keep up with the cost of living in California.


Thank you for the continued support. STAND UP, FIGHT BACK!

 

All official negotiations and mobilization information will be delivered on the D-9 website (district9.cwa-union.org), Local Websites and email lists. These reports will come out on a regular basis, with the frequency dictated by the pace of bargaining.

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