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AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Unit

Thursday
Mar122015

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #5

Today in Bargaining the Union rejected the Company’s proposal on Medical Benefits. We said, “The Company has single-mindedly focused on increasing employee cost share in the last three rounds of bargaining. This proposal is just more of the same.” Our CWA proposal focused on controlling the cost of health care with a comprehensive list that promotes wellness and other policies that encourage use of the most effective and efficient drugs and medical care.

We also presented a demand to include joint Union/Management oversight of the National Transfer Plan to address some of the problems that have arisen in the use of that plan.

From the Company side we received more attempts to weaken our Contract.  The Company proposed eliminating the “Job Security” letter which provides for JOG (Job Offer Guarantee). Any attack on our job security language is exactly the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish at this table.  They also proposed eliminating one of the forums that gives the Union access to top Management to discuss protecting our work.

We did reach a tentative agreement on one issue: strengthening Article 8, the Non-Discrimination Article.

Keep the pressure on.

Your bargaining team,

Thursday
Mar122015

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #4

Today the Company turned their attention (evil eye) to paid time for personal illness.

They are proposing NO PAID PERSONAL ILLNESS TIME for new hires.

For those with less than three years they want to change 5 paid days to 3 (after the second scheduled day not worked);

With three to six years - from 5 paid to 3;

With six to eleven years - from 7 paid to 4;

And everyone over eleven years of service a maximum of 5 paid days (not including disability).

Just to be clear, for those over 25 years of service who now get unlimited paid sick time, the most the company proposal will pay is 5!

This is quite a plan.  First the Company wants to make it much more expensive for us to use our health care and then they want to take away pad sick time.  That’s a brilliant plan!

Tomorrow we will again be discussing their health care proposal.

Mobilize.  Show the company you support your bargaining team as we stand up to these outrageous proposals.

Your bargaining team,

Thursday
Mar122015

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #3

At the table today your Union Bargaining Team started presenting our proposals. We presented several to expand the Certification Program (which has been so successful for our Network Technical Specialists under Article 43) to titles in several other articles. This is part of our goal to require the Company prepare the workforce for the “2020” technological changes.

We also proposed improving the Pension band for one of our lowest wage titles and moving the CSDG Assembler title into Article 41.

While the company is spending large amounts of money on its “Aspire” program to help young people with their educational goals (and a fortune advertising to the public that they sponsor this program) they have stopped the Academic Awards for the children of their employees. Of course we support the good work “Aspire” does in our communities but that does not take the Company off the hook to stop providing those opportunities for their own employees’ families. We demand they reinstate the Academic Awards Program.

Finally, we are trying to fix the language in Article 15 so when someone gets hired into a department at a higher rate than someone who has been there over a year, the senior person also gets the higher rate.

The team is meeting in subcommittees with the Company and we are working on responding to the Company’s outrageous benefits proposals. We know you are angry and upset about those attacks on our benefits.

Turn your anger into action - join the mobilization efforts.

Your bargaining team, 

Tuesday
Mar102015

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #2

Today the Company presented its proposals on Medical Care, Pensions and other benefits. Based on what they said in their opening statement
it was not a surprise that their proposals would be awful but they surpassed our expectations.

We cannot go into every detail here (their proposals were over 20 pages long) but here are the highlights (lowlights?):

MEDICAL-- There are very different benefit provisions for current employees (hired before 2009), 2009 hires, 2012 hires and those hired in 2015.
Since the current employees and 2009 hires are treated better than the others let’s take a look at what they will pay. You can assume the others are worse.

• Over the three years of the agreement” :

o Individual s premiums will go from $70 to $94

o Individual + spouse from $120 to $254

o Individual +children $128 to $155

o Family (spouse + children) $213 to $258

(in 2015 individuals paid $79 and families paid $163)

• Deductibles:

o Individuals will go from $500 now to $1300 in 2016

o Families will go from $1000 to $2600 in 2016.

• Co pays increase from 10% to 20%.

• The cost of prescription drugs has been increased.

• The out of pocket maximums for an individual will increase from $2000 to $5200 and for a family from $4000 to $10,400.

• There will be a surcharge of $100 a month if your spouse has access to Medical Benefits through their own employer, even if their employer does not contribute anything to the cost of the benefit.

• There will be no new money put into HRAs.

PENSIONS –

• They are looking to freeze the current pension plans and new hires will only get 401Ks.

DISABILITY –

• Will be capped at 26 weeks (with a maximum of 90% of pay) and then an employee will have to go on Long Term Disability (if they qualify).

As we said, we cannot go into every detail here but you get AT&T’s message. AT&T MUST ALSO GET OUR MESSAGE – THIS COMPANY CAN AFFORD TO PROVIDE GOOD BENEFITS FOR ALL OF ITS EMPLOYEES. THESE INCREASES ARE NOTALLY UNNECESSARY.

We must let them know in every workplace that we will not agree to a contract with these attacks on our benefits.

Your bargaining team.

Tuesday
Mar102015

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #1

Today was our first day of bargaining for our Legacy T Contract.  The Company’s Bargaining Chair, Lori Smith, read their opening statement.  After they explained what they viewed as the bargaining environment – a still “healing” labor market, competition  from Google, Walmart, Dish, Comcast, Amazon, etc., regulation (including the new FCC rules) and the Affordable Care Act, and higher customer expectations they finally made clear what their key issues are:

  • They think our wages are “significantly” above market rate;
  • They say our members pay 40% less for medical care than the national average and we, in Legacy, pay less than the rest of AT&T.  They say we must pay our “fair share”;
  • They say our pensions are too high and new hires actually don’t want the same pensions as we all get but want 401Ks instead;
  • They say to serve their customers we must give them more flexible schedules and work rules;
  • They say they must again “improve” our absences. 

We also presented an opening statement - click here to read.  Our view is very different.  We say we understand the challenges AT&T is facing but we view the situation quite differently. We said, “While we understand those changes (in our industry), we as a Union have not changed our values and we believe AT&T can compete in the current environment without the Union having to push those values aside.” Laura Unger, Bargaining Chair, said:

  • We believe AT&T’s employees deserve wages that keep up with the increased productivity of the workforce;
  • We believe that the workers who built this company deserve to be secure in their retirement, with good pensions and retiree medical care that doesn’t take a big chunk out of their pension checks;
  • We believe in jobs and that we can be trained for the jobs of the future. We want that training and we want access to those jobs. We are concerned with the AT&T’s support of TPP which will lead to even more off-shoring of US jobs;
  • We believe that AT&T is profitable enough that it does not need its employees to pay more for medical benefits;
  • We believe in respect on the job and an end to excessive surveillance, monitoring, quotas and efficiency measures.

The lines have clearly been drawn.  Vice President Bill Bates made it known to the Company that we have a clear expiration date - April 11th, 2015 - and a well-funded strike fund.

We know we all have a tough fight in front of us and you should be mobilizing every day in support of your bargain team.

Bill Bates                                    Mary Ellen Mazzeo

Laura Unger                                 LaNell Piercy

Lois Grimes-Patow                        Roy Hegenbart                                

Isa Shabazz

Martha Flagge