Bargaining Report #5

CWA District 1 and IBEW met with the Company today in Rye New York where the Company made a presentation on Excise tax, which is a potential tax on health care plans related to the Affordable Care Act.  
Last week, in the Company’s propaganda they boasted about offering a wage increase to 38,000 workers.  As usual, when dealing with this greedy corporation the devil is in the details.  
Here are some of the other things that Verizon has proposed:
JOB SECURITY- Remove the protections against layoffs and forced transfer. 
CORPORATE PROFIT SHARING at risk if not settled by certain date. Eliminate the minimum payout.
DIFFERENTIALS AND PREMIUM PAY - Eliminate Saturday and Sunday Differentials and premium pay.  Tour differentials only paid for time worked between 9pm and 6 am. Eliminate all but 10% differential.
SUNDAY TOURS - Include Sunday as part of basic work week. 
OVERTIME only paid after 40 hours worked. No payment of more than one and half time 
(1 ½ X). Eliminate caps on Overtime.
TECH CHANGE NOTICE - reduce notice given to the Union of any major technological change
BENEFITS - the Company proposes major reductions in medical benefits including higher deductibles, co-pays, premiums and co-insurance.  The Company also proposed to remove the Unions ability to negotiate retiree health care benefits. Eliminate Class II/Sponsored Child coverage.
PENSIONS - Eliminate the lump sum pension.  In addition, employees would have to choose between a pension which would be frozen and an enhanced 401K. If you choose Pension – No 401K match.  If you choose 401K enhanced (100%)-Your Pension freezes.
401K Plan changes- begin charging a quarterly administration and a $50 fee for processing new loans.
DISABILITY BENEFITS - Eliminate Accident Disability Plan. Establish a rolling 5 years period for 100% payment on Sickness Disability. Once 100% is used – members are paid 50% (currently full pay benefits recycle after being back at work for 13 weeks)
CALL SHARING - give the Company additional leeway to route calls out of our bargaining units and to contractors while giving contractors the handling of all new products and services.
TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENTS – Ability to transfer employees to any state in Verizon footprint.
TUITION ASSISTANCE - Expanding the list of “Excluded” studies
FORCE ADJUSTMENT PLAN - changes to the FAP that would eliminate job security provisions.
WORK FAMILY - Reduce funding by $900,000. Added limitations if not agreed to by a certain date.
EXCISE TAX - Company wants ability to change medical plans, health care spending account or premiums to avoid excise tax without negotiating with the Union.
INCOME PROTECTION PLAN - Would require employees to sign a Disclaimer to receive an IPP.
This is not a Company facing a financial crisis. They are extremely profitable. This is not a Company coming to its union employees seeking ways to work together to face the challenges of the future. Their proposals seek to destroy our future. 
We need to send a very clear message that this is not acceptable, that we will not be passive as they seek to gut our contract.