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CWA Local 4050/4090

220 Bagley
Suite 832
Detroit, MI 48226

Phone: (313) 963 - 1873
Fax: (313) 963 - 8577

Info Line

(313) 963 - 2160 ext-33


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EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

President:
Dave Skotarczyk

Executive Vice President:
Troy Smith

Secretary/Treasurer:
Gerald Sokoloski

Vice President at Large Global Services:
Keith Valko

Vice President at Large National Units:
Mike Klein

Vice President at Large Special Services:
Anthony Swayne

Area Representative Global Services:
Jim Adamowicz

Area Representative Maintenance:
Artistine Taylor

Area Representative Provisioning:
Ken Williams




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Mike Killewald



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Member Info > Bargaining Updates > 2012 Midwest Contract Q&A's
2012 Midwest Contract Q&A's
Published by Dave Skotarczyk [Dave Skotarczyk] on 2013/2/7 (653 reads)
This is a series of "Q and A's for the Midwest Contract. It is recommended that members look at the Q&A's concerning the contract they work under in our case the Midwest as to avoid any conflicting information from other contracts or inaccurate information from other sources.

Q. Why did the Midwest (D4) settle before other districts?

A. As in the past contracts do not have to settle at the same time. There is no National core contract which covers all members. In this case D1, D4, D9 and Legacy T all expired on April 7, 2012. Joined later by D3 who's contract expires Aug. 4, 2012 As a strategy, all four tables communicated on a daily basis and established a committee of 8 (VP and one elected from each table) to discuss issues and progress at each table. Although there were some common areas of concern each contract has its own language and goals. In the Midwest the elected bargaining committee set their agenda from the D4 members bargaining request that were submitted prior to bargaining. The Company of course had their agenda. As in any collective bargaining our goal is to negotiate to a settlement which addressed all our members concerns. The overwhelming request from our members were Employment security and quality of life issues and of course the committees goal was to make sure our members standard of living is better at the end of the contract than at the beginning. Other contracts will do the same with their individual goals and concerns. The Midwest was able to reach a tentative agreement on July 20, 2012 followed shortly by Legacy T. We will continue to support D1, D9 and D3 in their efforts to reach a settlement that addresses the goals their committee's set.

Q. How does the committee categorize the issues?

A. The bargaining committee develops their agenda from many different sources. 1) Grievances and arbitrations from the current contract to determine problem areas of interpretation. 2) District wide Local officers meetings of concern. 3) Request submitted by the individual members through their Locals. From those sources the committee develops a bargaining resolution and agenda for negotiating with the Company.

Q. Why did it take five months to get a TA?

A. As mentioned earlier the Company also had their agenda which was to eliminate most of the gains made in the 50 plus year history of our contract with at&t and it's predecessor Companies. There is no time limit on how long negotiations will take to achieve our goals.

Q. Why didn't we go on strike?

A. As always a strike is a possibility if the bargaining committee determines that would be the only way to achieve a settlement. Strikes are not taken lightly and the decision to call one would have to go all the way to our National President. In this case your committee continued to move forward by constantly pushing the Company at the table everyday even against their will, along with the huge support of the members in D4 with their mobilization activity.

Q. Why is the base wage increases always at the top step of the wage scale and exponentialized down with no change in start rate?

A. The decision to put the full base wage increase at the top step of the wage scale is a simple one. All our members spend almost all their careers at the top step of a progression scale in what ever title they work in so it makes since to put as much money as possible at the top step. Base wage increases are applied to the wage schedule your title has.

Q. I was surplused and had to take a lower paid title during the last contract what happens to my wage protection.

A. All protections were continued through the new contract so members, who were able to take another job under our employment security rather than be laid off, continue their protections from the old contract into the new contract.

Q. I have heard the phrase "we will be better off at the end of the agreement than we were at the beginning". How is that calculated?

A. It is based on adding up the total new dollars the member will receive over any increase in health care costs. The bargaining committee in, our case, worked with our lowest paid members using the worst case scenario of health care cost to make sure even in that extreme the financial package left those members better off at the end of the contract than the beginning. By working with that we knew in all titles and wage zones were better off.

Q. I was hired during the 2009 contract and didn't have any employment security what happens to me.

A. Everyone hired during the 2009 contract are now added to the employment security language.

Q. I understand mobility was added to the National transfer plan does that mean the Company can put me in a mobility retail store to satisfy the guaranteed job offer.

A. Mobility was added to the NTP however in the Midwest we were able to negotiate an exclusion letter for mobility retail stores. Those jobs are available as a voluntary transfer but not a guaranteed job offer under the ESC and EEOP.

Q. What happened with overtime in the Midwest?

A. In the Midwest, even prior to the first regional bargaining in 1995 with their individual state contracts core employees in Ohio had all voluntary overtime and Michigan had a nine hour cap (12 hour during 4 designated months). Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin has always had unlimited mandatory overtime. With this contract core employees had no change in Ohio and Michigan. Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin core members now have the Michigan cap language. Our newest groups in Appendix (F) have also had unlimited mandatory overtime since brought into the contract in 2006 and now have a cap of 17 hours. This will hopefully translate to more jobs and less downsizing which increases employment security.

Q. Why weren't the appendix (F) members brought into the core contract?

A. This committee along with the others tried to get the Company to move on this issue however it was an issue we were not able to accomplish. The Midwest committee made the decision to address the concerns and demands our Appendix F members had rather than continue to try and place them in a different part of the contract with their concerns not addressed. The committee was successful in protecting the gains made in 2009 in addition to addressing their key demands surrounding quality of life issues. As mentioned above in addition to placing a cap on the unreasonable amount of mandatory overtime the appendix F members now have seniority based scheduling, work on Sundays and holidays now count toward the calculation of overtime along with Union time paid and non paid counting toward the overtime threshold. Additional MOA's were added to allow for flexible scheduling, guaranteed time off, safety, increased out of town expenses, the same common attendance plan as everyone else, maintained the guaranteed weekend off language and the Company backed off additional job duties.

Q. What changed with attendance?

A. The change in the contract, other than appendix F who always had a 5 day cap; we now have a cap of 80 hours incidental personal absence which does not affect disability. This is the same cap as some contracts already had however in the Midwest we insisted on a common attendance guideline for all members covered by the Midwest collective bargaining agreement. Going into bargaining we had about 45% of our members with perfect attendance and about 85% of our members who never exceed the 10 days or 80 hours personal illness time. We had about 35-40% of our members working under a zero tolerance attendance plan and all others subject to change whenever the Company wanted to change it. What we were able to do is lock everyone into the current Network attendance policy from 2006 through the expiration of the contract.

Q. What about Holidays did they change?

A. The holidays in the Midwest contract did not change and continue through the term of the agreement.

Q. What is the accelerated SSP?

A. The accelerated SSP is for the 2012 pay out from the 2009 contract. We moved up the payout based on the stock market price on June 29, 2012 rather than Sept 30, 2012 because the market closed high. The total is $1,323 for those eligible under the 2009 agreement if ratified by the 17th of August. If the market continues to go up there could be additional payout based on the Sept 30 market close.

Q. What about SSP going forward.

A. As a result of new regulations in the Affordable health care act and IRS guidelines members who were enrolled in at&t healthcare on July 1, 2012 will continue to receive their SSP awards in their HRAs, those who were not will receive theirs in cash. In the Midwest we will have the year over year stock price increase for 2013, 2014, 2015 and the dividend payout for 2014 and 2015.

Q, Is 2012 wage increase retroactive.

A. In the Midwest the 2012 wage increase will be retroactive if contract is ratified by the 17th of August 2012.

Q. What is Successorship? Is this the company's way of telling us they are going to sell off some parts of the business?

A. We have no knowledge of any sale but there have been several in the last few years (for example, Verizon rural properties were sold to Frontier and Qwest was sold to Century Link.) Given the current anti-Union legislation being passed in most of our states, we felt we needed the protection.
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