Verizon Bargaining Report #22

CWA District 1, IBEW Local 2213 and IBEW New England Regional Committees reconvened bargaining in Rye, NY.

Today we met with the Company and had informal discussions centered on Flexibility, Call Share and Health Care issues. These informal discussions were suggested by the Union in an attempt to move the bargaining process along.

While we were meeting, Marc Reed put out another email suggesting that the Company is the one who is bargaining seriously and they have made every effort to move the process along. Just a reminder of what the Company still has on the table:

* 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 at 30 years and an enhanced 401K. If you choose Pension - No 401K match. If you choose 401K enhanced (100%)-Your Pension freezes immediately.

* 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.

* FAMILY CARE LEAVE- eliminate

* 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.

Reed also suggests in his e mail that he has a concern for you and your family. Ask yourself, if he really gave a shit about you and your family why is he proposing to gut the contract that provides for you and your family.

While it is true that the Union has made proposals to reduce our health care costs, to increase Pensions, expand Job Security, increase paid time off and more. These are legitimate proposals that a Corporation as rich as Verizon can provide to our members.

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.