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AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Unit


AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #10

Despite all of the lip service the Company has given us about the importance of training and the need to get everyone ready for the technological changes required for 2020, the Company’s proposal for Alliance funding today points in the opposite direction. Their proposal would cut the funding by over 50%.

The Alliance has been one of the most successful programs we’ve ever created. Aside from helping people retrain when they are surplus, the Alliance runs the Certification Program under Article 43 and has been the main vehicle for training that upgrades skills people can use on and off the job. Not only do our members use it and applaud it, but many Company business unit leaders also praise it constantly.

With the Company’s training plans for us being so vague, more and more Company sponsored training is either non-existent or web based, The Alliance is needed more than ever. This proposed cut digs deep into the heart of our ability to be part of the future of AT&T.

They also rejected the Union’s demand to reinstate the AT&T scholarships that helped many of our children pay for college. Again, at a time when student debt is the highest in history, AT&T says it is good enough to send us to other sources for scholarship help.

They did propose the continuation of TAP (Tuition Assistance Plan) but, despite saying across the table they want to be able to add to the programs they will pay for, the language they passed gives them the right to both add and subtract. Based on past experience we cannot trust that change.

They did put into writing some of the improvements coming in ATS and extended both Career Support Coordinator Positions.

The Union proposed improvements in termination pay for Article 43 and 45, which is currently considerably less than the Termination Pay in Article 25.

Thursday is Health Care Action Day (see attached flyer). We hope you are all finding ways to show the company that messing with our benefits is a SICK IDEA.

Your bargaining team,


AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #9

Today, the Union proposed increasing the bi-lingual differential.  This affects several articles and is important to people in some of our call centers that must work in two languages.

We also rejected three of the Company’s proposals:

  • Their new “no strike clause” - Article 9 is already clear that the grievance and arbitration and mediation “provide the mutually agreed upon and exclusive forums for resolution and settlement of employee dispute during the term of the contract.”  There is absolutely no need to add “no strike” language to the Contract except that the Company wants to say they have one.  REJECTED.
  • Their proposal to increase the temporary assignment language, transfer language and relocation language in Article 24 and 16 from 35 miles to 50 miles - If anything, commutes over 35 miles have gotten worse, not better.  This proposal also increases the Company’s ability to force transfer our members outside the GCA without having to offer Article 24 if there are no volunteers. REJECTED
  • Their proposal to completely change our Monitoring letter - We told them the current language not only protects our members but already gives the Company the latitude to improve service.  If Managers would start doing their jobs and coach people in meaningful ways instead of using coaching as a club, the customers would be better served. We could never accept a proposal that explicitly gives the company the right to discipline.  REJECTED.

We’re sure the Company will bring some of these back to the table in a second pass so do not assume they are gone forever.

Your Locals were sent information on conducting a strike vote over the next two weeks. As you know, a strong strike vote is crucial to your bargaining team. We need the power to beat back the attacks on our pensions, benefits, absence and disability language and other changes. Make sure you give us a strong YES vote.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, below is a quote from Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. Born in County Cork Ireland in 1837 she began working as an organizer for the Knights of Labor and the United Mine Workers Union.  In 1902 she was called "the most dangerous woman in America" for her success in organizing mine workers and their families against the mine owners. In 1903, upset about the lax enforcement of the child labor laws in the Pennsylvania mines and silk mills, she organized a Children's March from Philadelphia to the home of then President Theodore Roosevelt in New York.

“The first thing is to raise hell,” says I. “That’s always the first thing to do when you’re faced with an injustice and you feel powerless.” 

Your bargaining team,


AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #8

Today at the table the company again refused to provide the Union with any of the data we requested concerning retiree medical benefits.  We have said over and over again that this is an issue that must be discussed at this bargaining.  The Company again and again has stated that bargaining for retirees is a “permissive subject” and they “have no interest or desire” to bargain with us over benefits for current retirees. 

AT&T retirees all over the country have signed thousands of petitions and held rallies at AT&T Headquarters in Dallas and in other cities demanding that AT&T fulfill the promise it made to them years ago to provide fair and affordable medical benefits. Though the law does not require AT&T to bargain over current retirees there is nothing preventing them from doing so.  We will continue to push the issue every day.

The company has not yet responded to our counter-proposal on active health benefits.  Theirs shifts cost to us.  Ours says the way to save is through wellness programs and other approaches that use our benefits more effectively and efficiently.  Thursday is Health Care Action Day and every local should be planning some activity around it.

 Your bargaining team, 


AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #7

Today the Company reached an all-time low. While the Union is trying to bargain in good faith to protect our members and has clearly stated that one of our chief concerns is protecting jobs, with no advanced notice, the company dumped surplus notices on us this morning – 86 in Legacy T (including the Local President of Local 1058) and 153 –three full office closings-- under the National Internet Contract.

At the table Bill Bates said this showed total disrespect to the Union and “the Company has put this round of bargaining in jeopardy.” Not only did the Company bargainers not tell us yesterday when we met, but last night Managers started telling the members HOURS BEFORE the T&T office was notified and could reach the Local Presidents. While the Company apologized for the managers’ jumping the gun on the announcement we made it clear that wasn’t close to good enough. They never should have declared a surplus in the middle of bargaining in the first place. No surplus was declared in District Four where the Midwest bargaining is taking place. That looks to us like we are being “singled out” at exactly the time that we are fighting for every job in Legacy T.

We know there is work we can do that has been outsourced and offshored. Before we left the table Bill repeated, “We see nothing from you that would bring work into this bargaining unit. It is sad and very disappointing.” Over and over he made our outrage clear.

EVERY member should be sad and disappointed at the Company’s action, but you should also be outraged and energized. Just like we did at the table, let every Manager know just how pissed off you are.

Your bargaining team,

Bill Bates Mary Ellen Mazzeo Laura Unger LaNell Piercy Lois Grimes-Patow

Roy Hegenbart Isa Shabazz Cindy Neumeyer Martha Flagge

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #6

Another day at the table and another day of retrogressive demands from the Company. They started out by presenting a “no strike clause” for our Contract. We already have language that says disputes must be handled through grievance and arbitration. The company hasn’t had a problem with a strike during the course of the agreement in over 30 years. This is just another way they want to exert control even if it’s not necessary.

Talking about exerting control – the worst proposal they passed today would completely gut our monitoring language. It would allow monitoring at any time without our members being told they are being monitored and it takes away all of protections against termination and other discipline. The Legacy T Contract has the best monitoring language in our industry and our language is even used by other Unions as a model for their demands on this issue. Bill Bates said “We will not turn back the clock. We will not go back in time.”

Every person on our team spoke up against this proposal. Examples were given, from other Contracts that do not have our language, about mass discipline (resulting in mass grievances) over ridiculous interpretations of “customer abuse.” We stressed that the history in our call centers is of managers already putting huge pressure on our members even with the protections we have. As we said in our opening statement, our members are serious about serving our customers but stripping them of needed protections will not serve anyone well.

The Company’s final proposal was to change Article 16 travel allowances from 35 miles to 50 miles (with no increase in the dollar amount); only allow an interim trip home if the temporary work location is more than 50 miles and provide moving expenses only if a new permanent location is more than 50 miles from the old reporting location. Due to that change, relocation expenses under Article 24.5 also would change from 35 miles to 50 miles. Those changes would also impact the company’s right to force transfer a person 50 miles without having to declare a surplus if there are no volunteers.

As bargaining low moves into the final month before our April 11th expiration day, mobilization should be stepping up in every Local. Your bargaining team needs you to show the Company what you think of their proposals.

Bill Bates Mary Ellen Mazzeo