Brothers and Sisters:
The Bargaining team wanted to take a few minutes of your time to update everyone on our contract negotiations. Your elected bargaining committee of six, along with the CWA District 4 Committee chair and District 4 Staff Representatives, opened formal Bargaining on March 6, 2018 and here we are now just a little over a year and ninety-five bargaining reports later we are still working without a contract.
While there are many topics within our contract, the three major issues still unresolved to this day are affordable healthcare, job security and jobs of the future. These topics affect everyone in our contract.
Let’s be very clear, from day one the company has shown absolutely no interest in making our healthcare affordable or any willingness to making sure we are all part of the future of this company.
As you know, we are currently working under our expired agreement. Which means; all the provisions of the current agreement are in effect, with the exception of arbitration. Benefits, job securities, job duties and other provisions are in effect and cannot be changed.
Let’s take the company’s latest final offer to the committee and see what their proposal actually means to our members:
- Higher healthcare costs with an added working spouse/partner surcharge of $100.00 a month if they have health care available to them from their employer but chose to stay on the bargained for employee’s plan.
- Prescription integration; meaning your coverage would not kick in until your medical plan deductible is met.
- Tobacco cessation surcharge of $65.00 a month for you and your spouse/partner
- No retroactive pay
- Wage increases not effective until 60 days after ratification
- Major changes to (ESC) Employment Security Commitment and EEOP (Extended Employment Opportunity Plan), which would include mandatory testing that could lead to ineligibility to be qualified for ESC
- Adding fusion splicing to job duties for premises technicians in Appendix F
- No change to allow for surplus by inverse seniority in Appendix F
These are just some of the lowlights of the company’s “final offer” and this is not an offer they can force us to take to the membership.
Your Bargaining team is steadfast on bringing a contract that will move ALL members forward. Our CWA leadership is escalating to the higher level within the company in hopes of compelling the company to bargain towards a fair agreement.
Along with the frustration of our membership, the bargaining team is just as frustrated, however we remain focused on the future issues and the key provisions of our current contract.
You may have recently heard about the content negotiations, in the news, between AT&T and the NFL Network. The NFL released the following quote and it seems to be a direct reflection of the state of our negotiations. It reads as follows, “We have a long history of working with our distribution partners to come to fair agreements,” an NFL Network spokesman said. “That said, in order to come to an agreement there must be a willingness to communicate, to exchange proposals, to sit down and negotiate.”
We remain united and will continue our fight for a fair agreement. We are asking you to do the same!
CWA District 4 Bargaining Committee