WORKERS RATIFY CONTRACT AT
SANTA FE SPRINGS—Members of Communications Workers of America (CWA)
have ratified a new contract with Verizon West.
The deal covers 4,500 workers throughout California. It raises wages
8.77 percent over four years, limits outsourcing of FiOS work and
returns jobs to CWA jurisdiction.
“As in the rest of the country, we have had to agree to some
difficult concessions in the area of pensions and medical benefits,
but we also preserved many terms and benefits the company had sought
to take away,” said Jim Weitkamp, CWA vice-president for District 9.
“Clearly, our members understand the value of securing an agreement
to protect these items.”
CWA members at Verizon West had been working without a contract
since September, when slow progress caused the union to cancel an
earlier extension. The affected workers include FiOS technicians,
operators, call center representatives, customer service
representatives, cable splicers, field technicians for business and
residential service, buried service wire employees and other job
Verizon has reported soaring profits this year, including profits of
$5.6 billion for the quarter ending Sept. 30.
Verizon West – The CWA Bargaining Committee reached a Tentative
Agreement in mediation with Verizon late Friday Nov. 1st. A meeting
was held with CWA Local leadership today to go over the highlights.
The Bargaining Committee is working on a summery that should be
ready by Wednesday Nov. 6th, which we will post as soon
as received. The local will be scheduling Contract explanation
meetings, at various locations and post them here when scheduled.
There will be a mail Ballot Ratification Vote to be counted on Nov.
Bargaining Bulletin #57
*IMPORTANT UPDATE THE COMPANY HAS AGREED TO MEDIATION*
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:
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
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.
protections on the cap of employees and titles that will be used in
this trial are issues important to the Union.
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
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!
Bargaining Bulletin #56
Last night at 9:00pm your Union Bargaining Committee presented the
Company with a revised proposal for settlement. Below are some of
the main items which the Company claims that we are deadlocked on,
yet the Union still came to the table and brought forth significant
This proposal creates Job Security by limiting the
amount of FIOS I&R work that can be contracted out.
Currently the amount of work which is being contracted out is
unsustainable for the Bargaining Unit. FIOS should be mutually
beneficial to the Company and its workers. Our proposal accomplishes
Our counter on Pensions
Keeps the Supplemental alive after the Transition, so that your TPA
and Incentive Comp will keep accruing and be calculated towards your
Rewards those employees that transfer into higher wage schedules
after the Transition by allowing the employee to receive an increase
in Pension Compensation more proportionate to their wage increase.
Changes the look back for which the Pension is calculated, over the
term of the Contract so that employees will not retire on 2010
which are representative of the lower cost in the California HMOs.
which reflect the Cost of living in California and the hard work
which the California Bargaining Unit has done to remain profitable.
HRA, Ratification and other Contingent items
tied to realistic time frames, not Gun to our head, drop dead dates.
The pressure is now on the Company to bring to the table a package
which the California membership will want to vote on and ratify.
Let your voices be heard loud and clear that you deserve a fair
Bargaining Bulletin #55
The Company presented a new Last-Best-Final proposal tonight for the
Union to review and submit to the membership for ratification. This
offer came with the threat that the membership would lose key items
on the table if we didn’t get to ratification by November 12, 2013.
As with the Company’s previous proposal, the Union was threatened
that we would lose items negotiated for our members. This proposal,
as with the last proposal, is one that the Union Bargaining
Committee cannot recommend for ratification.
The Company made very minor
changes to its previous proposal:
Operator II’s will pay less in HealthCare contributions if they
chose the Kaiser HMO; due to the significantly lower wages they are
paid. This was a Union proposal that we offered on Friday Oct 18th.
This proposal affects less than 2% of the bargaining unit, with
minimal costs to the company. Kaiser will cost the same as the PPO
in this proposal as it did in the previous Company proposal. The
Union has proposed that HealthNet and Kaiser cost the members the
same contribution amounts. The majority of the members are in
HealthNet, and the Company refuses to meet the Union on an equitable
compromise for the membership. The Company is demanding to retain
the ability to charge up to 150% of the PPO cost, for both the EPO
and HealthNet contributions.
The other minor change in the Company’s proposal was the make-up
contributions for the Hourly Savings Plan for employees on Union
Leave of Absence. This effects very few employees who are Union
Officers and costs the Company nothing. The make-up contributions
are paid for out of the Union Officers pockets, not the Company’s.
This is a letter the Company can revoke anytime.
The Company’s pension proposal remains the same, with the freezing
of wages towards the pension calculation effective Jan 1, 2014,
eliminating the Supplemental benefits, (TPA and Sales Compensation),
from the pension formula. For Pension Calculation purposes, wages
realized through transfers would only be paid up to 6%, even if your
wage increase was substantially more, you would not see it in your
pension calculation. The Company’s proposal on Pensions saves
them approximately $90.8 million over the life of the agreement.
The Union’s proposal maintains the Supplemental benefits and
provides for a reasonable increase for employee transfers. VZ East
kept their Supplemental Benefits and does not have the transfer
The Company refused to negotiate any movement on Article 32 or
Article 8 for RWS, both articles have to do with Sick Pay. The Union
has made numerous compromises to try to get the company to an
agreement on Article 32. However the Company wants all or
nothing. RWS has literally no absenteeism issues and we propose
to leave the language as it is currently in the RWS Contract. The
Company has no justification for these proposals, nothing at all to
justify its regressive demands.
The Company refuses to make any changes to the FIOS MOA and
will continue to contract out the FIOS work without limitations. The
Company refused to agree to cap the unlimited use of contractors.
The Company refuses to recognize the need for the Call Center
Workers to have 15 minutes of Off Line Time once a week to
review the training and sales materials necessary for the Reps to do
job their jobs properly. Even though the Company wants to add more
work to the Call Center Reps with the Cross Functional Work Sharing
Proposal the Company has on the table.
The Union’s proposal on Friday October 18th was a 106
page comprehensive package for settlement. Out of the package the
Company chose to ignore all but 2 items to come back to the table
MOBILIZE AND BE PREPARED!
Bargaining Bulletin #54
Your Union Bargaining Committee worked long
into the night yesterday preparing to present to the Company a
proposal for settlement. There were many hours of research and
review of the streams of information that trickled in to the Union
committee from the Company bargaining committee. The Union’s
proposal is based on the needs and concerns of the membership. The
Union countered the Company on several key items including:
Pensions, Healthcare Contributions,
FIOS (Our Jobs of the Future), Sickness and Accident Benefits for
Core and RWS, Work at Home, Healthcare Reimbursement Account- (HRA)
and Wages. Lowell Mc Adams’
VZ’s CEO, latest email to “All Employees” states Verizon’s
profits have continued to increase significantly every
quarter of 2013; which needs to be realized not only by
stockholders and executives, but the people actually doing the work,
the CWA Represented Workers in California! Sharing a “piece
of the pie” with those doing the work is not only the right thing
for the workers; but also the communities where we live and the
Great State of California. Verizon has the ability to maintain
good jobs and bring back work
to California; as well as the other
bargaining units in the Country! It chooses not to and continues to
contract out our jobs and outsource jobs to other countries! Not a
good corporate citizen!
California Members have put many years of
their lives into the success of Verizon with the understanding
they would reap the benefits of their hard work, be treated with
respect and have the ability to retire with dignity.
Bargaining Bulletin #53
Members, Activists, Legislators and Families
all over Southern California gathered together in Long Beach for
CWA’s National Day of Action to support CWA/ Verizon West
Negotiations. Hundreds of Members, Families, Friends and Activists
across the Nation were
STANDING IN SOLIDARITY with CWA and
IBEW against VERIGREEDY
and their attack on California
Your Union Bargaining Committee is currently
analyzing information the company has provide as a result of
numerous information requests the Union has asked the company to
provide. The Union Committee is working to prepare a package
proposal to present to the Company countering its “last, best and
final” offer. The company wasted thousands of dollars overnighting
the package to the members in an attempt to intimidate, entice and
put economic pressure on them. The strategy not only failed
miserably but served to further
mobilize the membership to Stand
Together and Fight.
The Union will meet with the company at the table this week to
present a package that addresses not only the “BIG” items like
Pensions, and Medical Contributions but also the attacks on Job
Security and Sick Benefits! The Company conveniently forgot to
mention that in its mailing.
A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL THAT HELPED MAKE THE
NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION A HUGE SUCCESS!
Bargaining Bulletin #52
continued direct dealing by sending out these letters is a tired
ploy to try and break your solidarity with your elected
Bargaining Committee. This ploy is backfiring on her as should be
expected. FedEx charged the Company roughly $41 per envelope,
equaling roughly $175,000. Money well spent, thanks for the
motivation, and Union mobilizing opportunity.
Stand with your Bargaining Committee in Solidarity!
If you have opened this envelope and are as disgusted as we are:
place the contents back in, reseal it and write what you think of
this Union Busting Tactic; Hand them back to your Union Steward, and
ask how you can help in our continuing battle to achieve a Just and
“Stand Up! Fight Back!”-Larry Cohen
Bargaining Bulletin #51
IMPORTANT BARGAINING UPDATE!
As you know, Verizon presented
the Union Bargaining Committee with a Proposal for Settlement
yesterday at 1:30pm. By 3:45pm Verizon had already sent a preloaded
Bargaining update email, along with a FedEx package to your home,
with a six page document pleading to you why you should be thrilled
to ratify this contract. We will unspin the web which has been cast
before you. This proposal falls extremely short of the expectation
of the Union Bargaining Team, and what you deserve.
While the proposal provides some
meager increases in a few areas of the Contract, the proposal falls
short in Pensions, Health Care Contributions, FIOS Jobs of the
Future, Article 32 Sickness and Accident Benefits, RWS Article 8
Short Term Disability and Wage Increases.
Below are some of the Key items on the table, which we are still
working to reach a Fair and Just compromise on:
the Company’s proposal Verigreedy looks to save approximately $77.63
million over the life of the Contract and $23.3 million per year
thereafter. We have tried to reach compromise where the Company
would save approximately $73.72 million over the life of the
Contract, and $21.71 million per year thereafter. $73.72 million is
not enough for these greedy pigs. The Compromise that we have
proposed would be considered in between what Verizon East and
Verizon Texas settled on. You all know the History with our Pension
Fund bailing out those of New York and New England with $1.23
billion in 2010.
the way the Company provided us with answers to our questions on
Pension savings Monday night. So to say that there is no room to
bargain on this is far from true.
The Company would like you to settle for them pocketing $77.63
million over the term of this contract and $22.3 million every year
the Company’s proposal to have you pay for the first time ever a
monthly premium, and inflated deductibles, Verigreedy looks to save
approximately $22.41 million over the life of the Contract. Once
again we have tried to reach a compromise on this issue. We have
proposed that you the member pay a monthly contribution based on the
actual cost of the Health Care Plan you choose. As with the Pension,
we just received answers, on Monday night, to our questions on these
savings. So there is plenty of bargaining left on this proposal, as
would like to pocket $8.63 million by charging you more for plans
that cost them less.
FIOS JOBS OF THE FUTURE MOA
Answers to our questions on the true amount of FIOS work Verigreedy
is contracting out are still forthcoming. But preliminary
information shows that Contracting in FIOS Installation and repair
has been rapidly increasing over the previous contract. In 2010,
14.50 % of that work was contracted out. This year the number
has risen to 25.66%. We have had ISPs with our Copper
Technicians and Construction employees, who would love to follow
their work. This will not happen with the MOA as it is written. The
original intent was to allow contractors during the build out, so
that the Company would not have to go through a layoff after the
build was done. The build is completed in California; they have met
their obligations under DIVCA, Which CWA partnered with Verigreedy
to help pass; and even if they do open up some capital funding to
build out a few SFUs or MDU/MTU developments, the scale will not
necessitate the same kind of work force.
So we have proposed a sensible compromise, between what Article 7
“Contracting of Work” allows and that of the current FIOS JOBS MOA.
The Company would love to keep contracting out your work without any
kind of limitations.
Verigreedy’s wage proposal is insufficient when compared to the
wages realized in the other Bargaining Units. They want you to
settle on 2% for 2013, when the wage increase as proposed, would
only account for approximately four months of wage, because the
increase would go into effect two weeks after ratification, out of
the twelve months in which the raise should have.
This will save the Company approximately $4.60 million. We are
fighting for a fair compromise, which will help to keep your wages
in line with the costs of living in California. For a comparison,
our wage increases have averaged close to 3% year over year over the
past 20 years.
TOTAL COST SAVINGS VERIGREEDY WILL SEE IN
THEIR CURRENT PROPOSAL:
$105.17 MILLION DOLLARS
OUT OF YOUR POCKETS.
IS THIS A GOOD
DEAL? HELL NO!
Today the Company
presented the CWA Bargaining team with a Final offer for
settlement. As you know, since 1/28/2013, the company has not
bargained with Our CWA bargaining team in any good faith. They
continue to put out communication to our members in hopes to get
their buy in on another one of there ”VERIGREEDY” retrogressive
proposals. “We” must not be fooled by their tactics. In Bargaining
they have avoided settling on the key issues that are still at the
table such as: Health Care costs, Pension, Contracting/Outsourcing
of work and Absent Sick benefits. They company will not tell you
how many millions of dollars they would be saving if we agree to
their retrogressive proposals. If “We” have been paying attention,
between buying out Vodafone for $130 Billion dollars and of course
over 3 billion dollars profits in 1st quarter earnings once again.
This is a company, by no means, hurting for money. The company is
banking on that our members will fold and they will continue to make
money even off of their own employees. The company is now calling
us out! “We” must react to this insulting proposal. “United We
Bargain” “Divided We Beg”. Its time to step up! No more excuses!
Check with your mobilizers for details…
Bargaining Bulletin #49
Union Bargaining Committee has met with the company several times:
Thursday- September 19th 2013 the company passed changes
to Ratification Bonus, Friday- September 20th 2013 the
Union Bargaining committee passed changes to Healthcare
Reimbursement Account (HRA), Monday-September 23rd 2013
the company passed changes to Healthcare Contributions, HRA,
Pension, and Ratification bonus for the most part, just amounting to
date changes. We met again this evening and the Union passed changes
to Healthcare Contributions and HRA. Each time changes or counter
proposals are passed we have to evaluate the impacts in the context
of trying to get an entire package that meets the member’s needs and
is along the lines in part of where contracts before us have landed.
We are unique here in California for both our level of contribution
to the company’s success and the economic environment we live in. We
will continue with your help to Fight for a Contract that
recognizes the differences and celebrates the contributions.
Bargaining Bulletin #48
Yes, Verizon East CWA Members Remember We
Were There For Them!
Bargaining Committee met with the Company Bargaining Committee
yesterday and today to exchange proposals primarily on Healthcare
Contributions and date changes on other proposals based on a
possible ratification date. We have seen some movement on one of the
HMO’s, but need equitable and reasonable movement on both HMO’s and
the EPO Medical Plans that our members are enrolled in.
We want to THANK YOU for your continued MOBILIZATION SUPPORT which we feel
directly correlates to movement at the table by the company!
There is still a lot
of hard work at the bargaining table ahead, but like you, we are
ready for the challenge and will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to
reach a Fair Contract!
Please continue to
closely communicate with your Local Union representatives for
Bargaining Updates and assistance in Workplace pressures, which are
sure to rise the longer this process takes.
Your Bargaining Team
is on regular calls with CWA and IBEW Locals across the country that
understand our fight will impact their members as well, and they are
prepared to continue Solidarity Actions with us!
Bargaining Bulletin #47
Your Union Bargaining Committee met with the
company bargaining committee again today and while the company came
to the table empty handed, the Union did pass a proposal to push out
the start date of Healthcare Contributions and handed to the
Company more questions regarding the overuse of contractors
particularly on the FIOS side of the house. The Company believes
that contracting almost a third of FIOS installations, (while
announcing ISP’s), was the intent when FIOS JOBS OF THE FUTURE
was first bargained. There is no FUTURE or JOBS in
contracting out FIOS. Our Members should follow their work
into the FUTURE, not the unemployment line.
To make you aware, the Union at all levels is
actively working on several strategies intended not only to resolve
issues, but push bargaining along. We are on daily calls with CWA
and IBEW in various parts of the “footprint” as others commit to
joining in our FIGHT. Other Unions, Community Groups and
Legislators are being educated on Verizon’s posturing at the
bargaining table while they bounce around billions of dollars almost
daily to support their acquisitions.
As you are aware, while we continue to work
without a contract, we must be vigilant in not allowing Company
Unilateral Changes or threats for Concerted Protected
Activities which members may feel compelled to engage in. Early
Communication remains imperative in combating these violations.
Locals will continue to hold meetings, update messages and visits to
work locations for face to face communication as the situation
changes or evolves. Please call your Local for help on any issues!
Bargaining Bulletin #46
Rally- Contract Extension Expires!
Your Union Bargaining committee met with the
Company Bargaining committee tonight to go through Pension
proposals and follow up questions on the company’s latest
Comprehensive Medical Plan and Healthcare Reimbursement Account
proposals they presented to us yesterday. Bargaining is very slow
and the company needs encouraging.
Management in the field over the last few days
has been direct dealing with many of you on Home Dispatch and other
issues, and making unilateral changes to the contract with NO regard
to the Union. This anti- union behavior will stop when you tell your
Union Representatives what is going on and who said what!
These actions will not be tolerated!
These actions will be challenged!
It is imperative at this critical juncture
that your Local Union Representatives are notified in detail
of all missteps taken by management. Communication is one of our
most powerful weapons in this prolonged fight with the company and
as you know is taking a very serious turn tonight at 11:59 PM.
Communication from and to you and the ability to act quickly are
very valuable tools in an effective strategy to educate Verizon at
all levels to the seriousness of our demands at the bargaining
You will see very quickly going forward the
many Sisters and Brothers from Coast to Coast
that are prepared to Stand With Us and get involved in direct
action! CWA and IBEW Standing Together! We are communicating
with legislators and like minded community allies locally and
nationally to engage them in our fight.
Your Union Bargaining Committee is
committed to continue to bargain and is dependent on your SOLIDARITY
to move things along.
When you show up to your work location and
there is a picket line set up, look for your Union Representatives
to advise you if it is simply an informational picket or if there is
something else planned.
Verizon continues the SPIN,
as most recent in today’s Bargaining News ”
Don’t you love the references made to Fortune 500 companies like
WALMART, who is number one on the list; the same company that
protestors have taken to the streets because of the poor treatment
of their workers. Enough about the company’s rhetoric!
Don’t Fall for Verizon’s Smoke and Mirrors. They Have Left Many
Details Out Of The Message Sent To All Employees.
Who Has Been Working For Months To Protect And Preserve Your Wages
Who Has Been Proposing To Take Them Away?
Who Has Been Working To Strip Consumers From Access To Network?
Who Has Spent $139 Billion To Buy Vodafone At The Same Time They
Claim They Can’t Afford Pension Obligations They Negotiated In “Good
Where You Place Your Trust Is Obvious…..
The Union Will Continue To Work On Your Behalf To Bargain The Best
Possible Contract On Your Behalf! That’s not Rhetoric!
Bargaining Bulletin #45
Bargaining Committee met with the Company today to redirect the
bargaining towards an outcome necessary for a contract we can
recommend ratification of, a contract that maintains benefits and
compensation that YOU have earned and deserve. Your Union
Committee is fighting for equitable compensation for the work
that California Workers have earned, not settling simply because the
Company claims another VZ Unit did!
California has a
stand-alone contract with the exception of a few National MOA’s, and
we will continue to bargain with our eye on the highest level of
compensation and benefits within the Verizon footprint. The CWA
Members in California must be taken seriously by Verizon!
The Union and the
Company are well aware of what the options are if movement cannot be
achieved at the bargaining table.
Bargaining Bulletin #44
takes it upon herself to address the Union Members in California
about Contract Negotiations she has never been a part of. In the
70+ meetings the Union has had with the Company, Margaret has
never made an appearance. If she has an opinion or a thought of
her own on how California workers should be treated, the Union would
love to hear it!
Is it Margaret’s
opinion that California workers will not receive any retroactivity for
wages? Why not Margaret? Texas did! California is the
flagship of Verizon wire-line operations. Look at the revenues the
workers in California generate. Texas received 8.5% in wages over a
4 year agreement plus retroactivity. We are asking more in wages
than what Texas settled for, because the Company has made it clear
California will not get retroactivity. Margaret thinks that’s
fair and reasonable. How nice!
Is it Margaret’s
that California workers are valued less than the workers on the East
Coast? Does her calculator have a button that explains why we should
pay more per month for Kaiser and Health Net premiums than
what employees in the PPO pay, when the PPO is more
expensive? California Healthcare costs are lower than the
costs for VZ East, like 47% less. Yet we pay the same! That’s fair
and reasonable too?
Margaret left a little something out in her message. The Pension
Plan, the Company wants to freeze your wage computation under
the Pension formula, and that wage is based on the highest 60 month
average, which is much less than your current yearly wage. Your
pension would be based on wages from 2007 thru 2013. So your future
wage increases would not be included going forward. The Company also
wants to exclude supplemental benefits in your Pension
calculation from going forward. Like TPA, OIP, TIP and Sales
Compensation. Your Local Union can help explain how the Pension
proposal will affect you. The Company is reducing future pension
liabilities by eliminating pensions for new hires. Liabilities will
go down with each retiree. The Union has made 12 substantially
different counter proposals on the Pension Plan, the Company has
made 2. Margaret’s opinion seems to be a little bit skewed!
Margaret has an opinion on everything- absences for example.
When the Company can’t quantify why they want to cut a benefit, it
makes it really difficult to agree to eliminate it.
rhetoric isn’t bargaining in good faith. What’s Margaret’s
We can agree that it is unfortunate that “progress on
these benefits has been modest at best”.
Throughout the Country this week we are reminded that History can be
a good thing to fight to keep or something worth fighting to
change. The Union is Fighting for what is Right, Fair and
Equitable! Bargaining needs to remain at the table and
Margaret needs to do the right thing for the California Workers
while she counts the Millions in revenues generated by the
We want to thank you all for reading between the lines in Margaret’s
and continuing to fight for a fair and equitable Contract.
Bargaining Bulletin #43
Members in California are
“Fighting for the American Dream”- Good Wages, Working Conditions
and Pensions! Owning a Home, making a decent living and taking care
of our family and friends! We are Fighting to hold on to the
American Dream as Verizon stands to profit by our losses, while the
Corporate Profits soar! We want our FAIR Share of the Profits!
CWA MEMBERS, LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD!
Our work speaks for itself! Tell your supervisors we are profitable
in California and we want a fair contract, NOW! What does this mean
to you? TECHNICIANS – A Fair Contract would put an end to the
unlimited contractors under the FIOS Jobs of the Future MOA. CALL
CENTERS – A Fair Contract would provide scheduled off line time to
read the company emails that Call Center workers are held
accountable for. ALL WORKERS- Sickness and Accident Benefits and RWS
Short Term Disability would not have increases in wait days before
benefits are paid! ALL WORKERS- Pensions should not be frozen at our
current rate of pay! ALL WORKERS – Health Care contributions for the
HMO’s should cost less than the PPO and not cost more than the
Company pays for the plans!
MANAGEMENT NEEDS TO HEAR LOUD AND CLEAR, IT’S
THE WORKERS WHO MAKE CALIFORNIA #1! WE DESERVE BETTER!
Fifty years ago today,
Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech at the “March on Washington”;
today CWA members throughout the Country join in celebrating Martin
Luther King Jr. speech at the “March on Washington”. Dr. King said
in that speech; “ I have a dream today… I have a dream that one day
every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made
low. The rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places
will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the
faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be
able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With
this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our
nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we
will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle
together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together,
knowing that we will be free one day”.
WE ALL HAVE DREAMS, WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO
TO FIGHT FOR YOUR AMERICAN DREAM?
Stand together with your
co-workers and get involved in Mobilization for a FAIR CONTRACT! Get
involved in your communities and fight for Middle Class jobs! Write
your Legislators and tell them to support bills that help the Middle
Class Workers. The time is NOW!
Bargaining Bulletin #42
Your Union Bargaining Committee continues working on key Contract
Articles and Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs), for both the Core and
RWS, understanding, (unlike the Company), that negotiations are a
give and a take process. California Employees deserve Good Faith
Bargaining, and to be treated with respect, not it’s “our
way or the highway”. The Union met with the Company twice today.
In the morning session, counter proposals were passed regarding:
Wages, Healthcare Contributions and Pensions, all of which are
extremely important to achieving a fair and equitable contract.
Apparently the folks in Baskin Ridge were mistakenly told that
Californian’s are laid back and will lie down and give away fifty
years of Collective Bargaining!
Bargaining Bulletin #41
FiOS added 373,000 New TV Subscribers in the Second Quarter 2013,
while the top nine Cable operators lost 555,000 subscribers during
the same period! FIOS drove revenues up year-over-year
4.7 percent to $3.6 billion!
Have you seen any FNFT job openings
No, probably not! All the extra work is going to contractors! The
Union has passed a proposal to limit the number of contractors on
FIOS installation and maintenance work. The Company is vehemently
opposed to this.
We should be vehemently opposed to this Company outsourcing our
future, so they can keep fattening up that FIOS “pig” for
Neither you nor I will be invited to that feast!
Lowell and all his Wireless cronies will pick the bones clean.
that we get limitations on contractor use, for our future.
CFO Francis Shammo stated during Oppenheimer’s 16th Annual
Technology, Internet & Communications Conference,
that Verizon will start to “benefit” from the labor contract
agreements it made with its wire-line unions. Profiting from
dramatically cutting pension benefits and cost shifting of health
Greed at its Best!
California Pensions shouldn’t take a bigger hit than the Pension
Plans in VZ East! This is a big stubborn corporate pig, and it will
take EVERY member to bring this pig around!
Bargaining Bulletin #40
Your Union Bargaining Committee has continued
to meet with the Company Bargaining Committee this week in an effort
to reach an agreement. Since the last Bargaining Bulletin on August
2nd, we have exchanged proposals on: Wages, Ratification Bonus,
Healthcare Reimbursement Account (HRA), Pensions, and Article 24
Leaves of Absence. The gap has narrowed on key items such as
Pensions and Healthcare Contributions. However there is more work to
be done to find middle ground on Article 32 Sickness and Accident
Benefits and RWS Article 8 Short Term Disability. The Company is
using the Texas Agreement as an argument of why your Union Team
should accept the Company’s regressive language. The Union reminded
the Company that We Are Not Texas and we will not accept this Cookie
Cutter approach to bargaining in California! The Union Team is
committed to continue this process for as long as it takes to
present YOU, the MEMBERS, a package that meets your needs and
recognizes the efforts you contribute daily to keep Verizon a very
Bargaining Bulletin #39
Your Union Bargaining Committee has been very busy since the last
bargaining report on July 25th 2013, with many meetings
and proposal exchanges including: RWS Vacations and Short Term
Disability Benefits, Pensions, Wages, Healthcare Reimbursement
Accounts (HRA), Comprehensive Medical, Ratification Bonus, and
Healthcare Contributions for all. We met with the Company on: July
26th, 27th, 29th, 30th,
31st, twice on August 1st, and twice today on
August 2nd 2013. We are making every effort to refine and
find middle ground on these very important issues. We are fighting
to break away from the mold (TEXAS/MISSOURI) the company
would like to put us in and find agreements on individual issues
that meet the needs of the members and take into account the huge
part of Verizon’s success that the California workers are
responsible for. While we are meeting practically daily and
sometimes twice in a day the movements are small and hard fought. As
we exchange proposals on some of the more complex issues like
Pensions more questions arise that must be answered before we
proceed. We will continue with your support to work tirelessly for a
Fair and Equitable contract that we can in good conscious recommend
Bargaining Bulletin #38
Your Union Bargaining Committee continues to
meet with the Company committee concerning their proposal to freeze
your pension. We have passed two comprehensive counter proposals
which would keep our Pensions intact, and gives the Company the
certainty they want, similar to what was settled in the Verizon East
Contract. VZ New York and New England (VZ NY/NE) with whom we share
our pension fund did not see the same kind of freeze which is on the
table presently. Other than not receiving an increase in their
Pension Band amounts, which can easily be negotiated in the next
round of bargaining, their Pension benefits remained intact. The
proposal on the table would set, in stone, your pension calculation
as a blend of calendar Years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Our
Pension fund was well over 200% funded before 2010’s merger with VZ
NY/NE. They were funded at 81% before the merger. Our Pension fund
bailed Verizon out. They saved Verizon $185 million in Pension
obligations by combining the two pension funds together. Now they
want to hold the California employees under water.
We believe our latest counter proposals have
incorporated changes that in the context of a complete agreement
will meet the needs of the members and keep with what the Union and
Company agreed to in contracts that preceded ours, starting on the
East Coast. Your continued efforts in the field keep us motivated
and put the Company on notice.
Bargaining Bulletin #37
Bargaining Committee met with the Company Committee yesterday and
exchanged proposals on Comprehensive Medical, Article 24- Leave of
Absence for Personal/Medical Reasons and Pensions. We continue to go
back and forth on the Medical Plan and Article 24. The Company has
proposed substantial cuts to the Pension Plan and it is very
difficult to find common ground. The Company reminds us that
other contracts across the footprint have agreed to concessions;
however the contracts are not all the same. The Bargaining
committees are working in sub-committee today. The Union will
continue to fight for the California members who have made Verizon
the successful company that it is today. We deserve a contract that
reflects your hard work and commitment! The Company cannot continue
to pick and choose what it wants to standardized across the
“footprint” when it benefits only the Company!
Bargaining Bulletin #36
This week the focus has been
on proposals including the Comprehensive Medical Plan, Healthcare
Contributions, Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts, Work At Home and
RWS Vacation. The Union Bargaining Committee continues to work
exchanging proposals on Comprehensive Medical, Healthcare
Contributions, Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts and RWS Articles.
Bargaining Bulletin #35
Your Union Bargaining
Committee met with the Company committee twice yesterday
and again today and passed counter proposals on Article 32 Sickness
Benefits and the Company’s Work at Home Trial proposal. These are
both complex and
significant items that have gone back and forth for months. We
believe these latest
proposals have incorporated changes that in the context of a
complete agreement will
meet the needs of the members and are similar to what the Union and
Company agreed to
in the contracts that preceded ours, starting on the East Coast. We
will continue to work
on outstanding issues as we wait for a response from the Company on
proposals. Your continued efforts in the field keep us motivated and
keep the Company
on notice. Now is not the time to let up or relax.
Bargaining Bulletin #34
Your Union Bargaining Committee has actually met with the Company
“46” times since bargaining started January 28, 2013. Twice last
week on Sickness and Accident Benefits! While some VZ Executives
have sent out emails on the “slow progress” of bargaining, we
have this to say:
GET YOUR HANDS OFF OUR BENEFITS AND OUT OF OUR POCKETS!
The Union Committee is working very hard to balance VZ’s
retrogressive proposals on the overall contract, and to make sure at
the end of these negotiations you are at least better off than when
we started! This task is not easy! What that means is your
Bargaining Team has spent countless hours comparing other VZ
contracts and looking for new and innovative middle ground that give
both sides the changes that will allow for fair compromise.
NOT CORPORATE GREED FOR THE SAKE OF CORPORATE GREED!
DO YOU WANT A FAIR CONTRACT!
THEN FIGHT FOR ONE!
Bargaining Team is fighting for a Fair Contact for YOU! Join
your Local’s Mobilization Team and see what you can do to show
support. Our Union Sister’s and Brother’s in District 1 and
District 2-13 are mobilizing in support of our fight in these
tough negotiations. IBEW Local Union 824 in Tampa Florida
started bargaining today with VZ and
STOOD in SOLIDARITY
with CWA District 9 by wearing CWA T-Shirts to
the Bargaining Table today and told Verizon,
“WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, IBEW AND CWA!”
Bargaining Bulletin #32
Wednesday your Union Bargaining Committee met
with the Company and was presented with a counter to the Union’s
proposal on Title Upgrades. It was movement on the part of the
Company, but far short of what is needed on this long overdue issue
of inequality. Today we were back at the table dealing with proposed
changes to Article 24 Leaves of Absence for
Personal/Medical Reasons. The Union passed a counter proposal to
the Company which we feel would be an improvement for the members
while addressing some of the Company’s concerns. The ball is clearly
in the Company’s court, as they say. Your continued efforts are
needed to keep things moving!
Bargaining Bulletin #31
Your Union Bargaining
Committee met with the Company Monday evening. The
Company rejected the Union’s proposal on Pensions and made it clear
that their intention
is to freeze YOUR PENSION! The Union received revised Company
proposals on three
important issues; Article 24, Article 32 and RWS Article 8. The
Company committee was
joined by their new Director of Labor-Relations, Bruce Collier.
While the Company did
make some movement on Article 24 (Leave of Absence), the movement
was small and
much less than what is needed to reach an agreement. Even with the
proposed changes to Article 24, the Union finds this proposal to be
detrimental to the
bargaining unit. The movement in Article 32 and RWS Article 8
Accident) was as insignificant as putting a band aid on a severed
The Union met with the Company today and presented the Company a
The Union is trying to deliver you a fair and equitable Contract!
YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED!
WORK TO THE RULE / SAFEY FIRST
ONE DAY LONGER/ EACH DAY STRONGER!
Contact your Local mobilizer for upcoming events
Bargaining Bulletin #30
The Union Bargaining
Team is working in sub-committee on the Medical Contributions and
other outstanding proposals. The Company has yet to respond to the
Union’s Pension Proposal that the Union passed to the Company last
week. The Marathon continues!
Bargaining Bulletin #29
Your Union Bargaining Committee has met with
the Company the last two days trying to bridge the gap that remains
between the two sides for The
Contract YOU Deserve.
Monday we met at the Company’s request after they had conveyed they
had a counter proposal prepared to present to the Union.
The Union met in good faith
yesterday expecting meaningful movement and was presented a meager
change on Comprehensive Medical In-Network Deductibles for 2017, far
short of numbers the Union could agree to. The Union brought the
Company back to the table today and presented them with a counter
proposal on the Pension Plan for Core and RWS, one of the major
outstanding issues. The Union Committee is working on cost analysis
on the HMO and EPO Medical Plans and Pension Plan changes.
Bargaining Bulletin #28
CWA Local Presidents had a
conference call yesterday regarding strategies for bargaining.
Everyone should contact their Local for how to get involved in
mobilization activities to support your bargaining committee.
Verizon needs to hear from all members. Verizon is attacking the
benefits of all workers. Get involved and let your voices be heard
and your actions be noticed. This morning the bargaining committees
met and the Union presented the Company with counter proposals on
the Medical Plans and Contributions. The Company is taking the
afternoon to look over the Union’s proposals. The Union is
continuing to work on reaching a “Fair Contract” . Each side is
subject to call. The message management needs to hear is, California
workers deserve a “Fair Contract Now” . Our brothers and sisters on
the East have already joined in the fight, coordinated mobilization
activities have begun. From the West to East workers are standing up
and telling Verizon to “respect” all workers.
Bargaining Bulletin #27
HOW BAD IS THE COMPANY’S
PENSION PROPOSAL? Add in any wage increases over the life of the
contract, as these will NOT GO TOWARDS YOUR PENSION! THIS IS HOW THE
COMPANY PLANS ON SAVING $38.2 MILLION DOLLARS! If YOU Transfer from:
1) Retail Sales to Customer Contact Sales Associate 45% wage
increase; 2) Dispatch and Translation Specialist (some former VZB)
to Senior Technician-Business/Government 23% wage increase; 3) Tech
III to Tech II 14% wage increase; 4) Customer Contact Sales
Associate to FNFT 36% wage increase.
The Company’s proposal allows for a 6% increase towards your pension
if YOU transfer and hold a new job title for 24 months following the
effective date of transfer. Not the actual wage increases listed
above or wages you would receive from negotiated wage increases!
Current Company Proposal Monthly Benefits: Wage Schedule at
Transition 12 Monthly Benefit under Current $3,946.21 Total Years of
Service at Transition 8.0 Monthly Benefit under Proposed $2,615.11
Total Years of Service at Retirement 34.0 Prospective Wage Increases
1.50% Percent Decrease in Benefit 33.7%
Bargaining Bulletin #26
STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK!!!
The Bargaining Committee met
with the Locals yesterday to update them on the status of
bargaining. All Locals were present and were given a clear and
detailed understanding of the current status of bargaining. Also
discussed during the meeting, were National Labor Relations Board
charges filed against Verizon for “Direct Dealing” and for
management’s actions regarding “Concerted Mobilization Activities” .
Today the Committees met and the Company presented the Union with a
revised proposal regarding the “Comprehensive Medical Plan” . The
Union is working late this evening on responses to the Company.
It is time that every member
“Stands Up and Fights Back” by joining the mobilization activities
with their co-workers. This fight will take every member standing
strong. Make sure your supervisor knows you support your Bargaining
Committee and demand a “Fair Contract Now” . Verizon California is
profitable, thanks to the long hours and dedication to excellence
that CWA members provide everyday.
Bargaining Bulletin #25
Bargaining with Verizon continues to be
completely retrogressive. The Company stands on their proposals to
freeze Pensions, charge excessive Medical Contributions, raise
deductibles and out of pocket expenses, gut the Sickness and
Accident Benefits, gut the Leave of Absence provisions, while not
offering wages that cover these deep cuts. These changes actually
have Verizon making money on employees in the HMO & EPO medical
Now the company has taken an underhanded
approach by direct dealing with the members over issues that
are open for negotiation currently. While your Bargaining Committee
is fighting to protect members from the changes Verizon demands, the
company is going directly to workers with changes in working
conditions that are not part of the current collective bargaining
agreement. Your Bargaining Committee needs your assistance in
contacting your Local Union of all changes in working conditions
that management discusses with you or sends to you in emails. No
Verizon needs to know that you are not going
to roll over; and you support your Bargaining Committee.
Mobilization Actions send Verizon a clear message that members stand
by their Bargaining Committee and demand a fair contract,
which rewards the California workers for their continued success,
which makes Verizon profitable.
CWA DISTRICT 9
VERIZON WEST BARGAINING BULLETIN #21
Your Bargaining Committee has
spent the last few days in subcommittee going over all
the MOA’s: those to retain, resign and date, make inactive, those
with proposed changes,
as well as new ones. This is a very lengthy process and extremely
important to reach
consensus on and assure we have addressed all the issues you have
told us are key areas
of concern. We remain prepared and eager to meet with the Company at
any time that
they are willing and able to bring something meaningful to the table
that narrows the
GAP which remains between the Companies proposals and an equitable
9 Verizon West Bargaining Bulletin #19
The Union and
the Company have met in full committee the last two days
presenting proposal’s and counter proposals. The following items
have been discussed, Sick Pay, Health Care Contributions,
Safety, Work Sharing, and Upgrades to name a few. The Company is
reviewing the Unions counter proposals that were presented to
Tell your supervisor:
Keep your hands off
of my benefits!
BARGAINING BULLETIN 12
members have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a
should it become necessary to keep the process moving. Currently
your Bargaining committee is continuing to meet throughout the
day and into the night with 55 hours left until expiration. We
are seeing progress but many items remain unresolved. Our next
bulletin will be issued Friday March 8, 2013.
until we have a Fair Contract!
BARGAINING BULLETIN 10
The Union and the Company met
today in full committee.
The Union presented the Company
with counter proposals on the following items:
“Work At Home” MOA
Bargaining Committee stands ready to meet with the Company at
anytime to bring in a fair and just contract.
update you with new developments but now is the time for you to
FIGHT FOR YOUR FUTURE AND THE AMERICAN DREAM.
BARGAINING BULLETIN 9
Below is what is currently being proposed by the Company in
negotiations regarding Healthcare.
Employee +1- $130.00
Employee +1- 180.00
Employee +1- $140.00
Employee +1- 190.00
Employee +1- $150.00
Employee +1- 200.00
Employee +1- $200.00
Employee +1- 250.00
Employee +1- $250.00
Employee +1- 300.00
will be as follows:
Employee-$97.50 Employee +1-$195.00
Employee-$91.00, Employee +1-$182.00
Employee +1- $252.00
Employee-$81.00, Employee +1-163.00
Employee +1- $225.00
Note: Same as with company plan,
if the employee or a dependent smokes the tobacco user rates
apply. They have to be smoke free for 6 months before can
In Network $700.00,
Out of Network
$950.00, Family $2,850.00
Out of Pocket
In Network $1,800.00,
Out of Network
$2,000.00, Family $6,000.00
Canceled for EPO/HMO
still in Negotiations with Verizon and have a lot more bargaining to
do. We want to make sure that every member knows what is at stake in
this round of Bargaining. As we make progress in Negotiations we
will update you.
to work Safely and to Keep on Mobilizing!
BARGAINING BULLETIN 8
The Union and
the Company met yesterday in full committee. The Company presented
the Union with some clarification on their proposals on “Health Care
contributions”, “VEBA” and the Company’s proposal on “Work at
made some changes to its “Comprehensive Medical proposal”. The
Union is reviewing the effects of the altered proposal on our
also provided answers to some of the Union’s questions on Company’s
Today the Union
is meeting with the Company’s Sales Team on the Sales Incentive
Compensation Plans; The Retail Sales Associates, Business Customer
Representatives, Consumer Sales Consultants, and the Customer
Contact Sales Associates.
It is important
that every member stay engaged and involved in the process of
fighting for a fair contract. Your Local will be asking you to
unite and support the bargaining team as they negotiate your future
We will notify
you of new developments as they arise, but now is the time to
MOBILIZE, MOBILIZE, MOBILIZE
BARGAINING BULLETIN 7
The Union and the Company met today in full
session. The Union rejected the Company’s proposals on Article 32.
Sickness and Accident Benefits, the elimination of the Hearing Aid
Benefit for Employees in the EPO and HMO’s, the elimination of the
Long Term Care Plan and the retrogressive changes in the Pension
BARGAINING BULLETIN 6
After 4 weeks of bargaining, the
Company has rejected over 80% of the Union’s proposals and not
backed off any of its retrogressive cost shifting proposals. Below
is a comparison of the Verizon contracts settled; VZ East, VZ
VZ California- still in negotiations.
|VZ EAST||VZ SOUTHWEST||VZ CALIFORNIA|
|2.25%, 2.75%, 3.0%||2%, 2%, 2%, 2.5%||STILL OPEN|
more than 1
more than 1
$130.00 more than 1
more than 150% of the Sponsored Plan
|In Network||In Network||In Network|
|$400.00, Fam $1,000.00||$400.00, Fam $1,000.00||$700.00, Fam $2100.00|
|Out of Network||Out of Network||Out of Network|
|$700.00, $1,750.00||$650.00, $1,625.00||$950.00, $2,850.00|
Out of Pocket Max
Out of Pocket Max
Out of Pocket Max
|In Network||In Network||In Network|
|$1,050.00, Fam $2,625.00||$1,500.00, Fam $3,750.00||$1.800.00, Fam $5,400.00|
|Out of Network||Out of Network||Out of Network|
|Different Plans||$1,700.00, $4,375.00||$2,000.00, $6,000.00|
Hearing Aid Benefit
Hearing Aid Benefit
Hearing Aid Benefit
|No Change||No Change||Cancel for EPO/HMO|
|3 Days, 2 Days, 1 Day||3 Days or 2 Days all Employees|
|Remove Absent Death benefit for Aunt/Uncle|
Long Term Care
Long Term Care
Long Term Care
|No Change||Keep if Provider Aval||Cancel|
|Cancels for New Hires||Cancels for New Hires||Cancels for New Hires|
|Keeps Calculation||Freezes Wages for Pension Calculation||Freezes Wages for Pension Calculation|
|Cut in half to
We are still in Negotiations with
Verizon and have a lot more bargaining to do. We want to make sure
that every member knows what is at stake in this round of
As we make progress in Negotiations we
will update you.
Remember to work Safely and to Keep on