Regional Bargaining Report # 67
Friday, April 29, 2016
The Mid-Atlantic Bargaining committee met with the company at 3pm this afternoon. The Union
responded to the Company’s latest proposal rejecting parts of its comprehensive package. The Union
advised the Company we would respond to its other proposals as soon as the information requested
earlier today was provided.
The Union passed a comprehensive proposal addressing the issues our members need for job
security and improved working conditions. In the majority of our bargaining units members hired after
August of 2003 will continue to have limited job security unless we are successful in securing work that is
now being contracted out.
This includes all call center work. Whether you are a technician or a consultant working in a call
center, Verizon gives over half of your work to vendors outside of your bargaining unit. The Union has
proposed this work be returned to the bargaining unit into the Sales, Service and Collection Centers. If
the work was being done in the bargaining unit some of the centers where the Company wants to force
members over 70 miles into mega centers would not be on the chopping block. Instead, there would be
several thousand additional employees working throughout all of the centers.
The same goes for the tech centers, the FSC and EVRC. Better than half of the work that should
be performed in these centers goes to contractors. If that work was brought back into the bargaining
unit members would not be at risk of being surplused every other quarter.
Outside Plant Technicians do not escape Verizon’s penchant for cheap, low quality contractor
labor either. Over $480 million dollars was paid to contractors performing outside plant work in the
Potomac area alone during the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. Again, unless some of this work is secured
for the bargaining unit fewer and fewer members will have any type of job security.
Regarding improved working conditions, excessive overtime and excessive monitoring (including
Electronic Recording of Calls and Global Position System Tracking) must be addressed at Verizon. The
Union explained the concerns members have communicated about the excessive discipline, increased
stress and overall unhealthy work environments. The Company has refused to engage in any
conversation or discussion to develop and implement any corrective measures to monitoring or overtime.
Your bargaining committee has attempted to work with the company on the issues it claims are
important to reaching an agreement. We have made proposals that would provide significant savings in
healthcare to the Company without destroying the plan designs our members have worked hard to
obtain. Then instead of working with us on our needs the company returned after approx. 40 minutes
and rejected our comprehensive proposal. This company is hell-bent on intimidating workers with its
announcement of a last best offer.
The company rejected the Union’s proposal without countering or engaging in any type of
constructive dialogue. The actions by the Company are a display of arrogance and contempt for their
own employees. The Union has attempted to protect the quality of life for current members and ensure
opportunities for Americans who don’t want to move to the Philippines to find a job. The idea of
negotiating is still something that the company is unfamiliar with. There are 50,000 lives that are affected
by this company’s refusal to be reasonable and find a way to resolve the issues facing both sides.
Verizon claims in newspaper ads that a better offer would be hard to find. We gave them one and
they said no! The Strike remains in full force. Your bargaining team remains available to meet with the
Company to hammer out a fair agreement.
The Company sent members a summary of its last, best proposal. Members should know that
the devil is in the details. The following summary provides a few details missing from Verizon’s
WHAT THEY SAY: YOU WILL RECEIVE A 7.5% INCREASE OVER THE TERM OF THE CONTRACT.
WHAT THEY MEAN: THE 7.5% IS TO ENTICE YOU TO LOOK NO FURTHER AT THEIR OFFER. IF
YOU DO YOU WILL FIND 7.5% WILL BE EATEN UP BY PAYING MORE FOR PRESCRIPTIONS; COPAYS;
DEDUCTIBLES AND PREMIUMS. YOUR GAS COST WILL INCREASE DUE TO TRAVEL THAT
WILL INCREASE ABOVE YOUR CURRENT COMMUTE. WHAT THE COMPANY WANTS YOU TO
BELIEVE YOU WILL PUT IN ONE POCKET, THEY ARE TAKING OUT OF THE OTHER.
WHAT THEY SAY: IF WE AGREE ON 3 WORKFORCE FLEXIBILITY PROPOSALS AND YOU HAVE JOB
SECURITY TODAY YOU WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE JOB SECURITY FOR THE TERM OF THE
WHAT THEY MEAN: THIS PROPOSAL IS A PATH TO ELIMINATE ALL OF US. THESE 3 WORKFORCE
FLEXIBILITY PROPOSALS MEAN 1). WE AGREE TO SELL OUT OUR MEMBERS HIRED PRIOR TO
AUGUST 2003 AND ALLOW THEM TO BE TRANSFERRED AN ADDITIONAL 50 MILES-FROM THE
COMMUTE THEY HAVE NOW AND 2). IF WE AGREE TO CLOSE 11 OFFICES AND FORCE 123
MEMBERS TO DRIVE UP TO AN ADDITIONAL 70 MILES ONE WAY 3). DIRECT A SPECIAL INCENTIVE
OFFER TO JOBS THEY CONTRACT OUT WITH NO GUARANTEES OF BACKFILLING THOSE JOBS
WITH INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL HIRES. THEN AND ONLY THEN CAN WE HAVE JOB SECURITY AND
ONLY FOR SOME.
WHAT THEY SAY: YOU WILL RECEIVE CREDIT UP TO 30 YEARS. YOU WILL RECEIVE THREE 1%
INCREASES. YOU WILL NOT EARN CREDIT BEYOND 30 YEARS. THE MORTALITY TABLE IS
WHAT THEY MEAN: SIMPLY PUT, VERIZON WANTS TO FREEZE THE PENSION PLAN FOR ELIGIBLE
ASSOCIATES AT 30 YEARS. THOSE CWA MEMBERS WHO HAVE ALREADY REACHED 30 YEARS OR
MORE WILL NO LONGER ACCRUE SERVICE CREDIT FOR ANY ADDITIONAL YEARS WORKED. THEY
ARE ALSO PROPOSING TO MODIFY THE CASH OUT OPTION. THE CALCULATION METHOD
PROPOSED WILL SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE YOUR LUMP SUM CASH OUT IF YOU ELECT THAT
OPTION UPON RETIREMENT. THE 1% ANNUAL INCREASE WILL EFFECTIVELY BE NEGATED BY
THIS NEW CALCULATION.
STATE AND LOCAL LEAVE LAWS:
WHAT THEY SAY: ASSOCIATES ELIGIBLE FOR TIME OFF UNDER STATE AND PAID LEAVE LAWS
WOULD USE EXISTING PAID TIME OFF IN A SPECIFIED ORDER.
WHAT THEY MEAN: MOST LAWS PROVIDE FOR MORE TIME OFF WHICH THE COMPANY IS NOT
AGREEING TO GIVE. THEY ARE TRYING TO REWRITE OUR CONTRACT TO CARE FOR NONEXISTENT
LEGISLATION. THEY WILL FORCE YOU TO USE DAYS THAT GIVE YOU MORE
FLEXIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN TIME OFF FIRST.
WHAT THEY SAY: 3 CATEGORIES FOR NEW HIRES; PRE-RETIREES AND MEDICARE ELIGIBLE. FOR
NEW HIRES-NO CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARD RETIREE MEDICAL OR DENTAL-WILL BE REQUIRED TO
PAY FULL COST OF COVERAGE. PRE-MEDICARE RETIREES-GET SAME CHANGES TO PLAN DESIGN
AS ACTIVE MEMBERS. MEDICARE RETIREES WOULD BE PLACED IN THE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE.
WHAT THEY MEAN: FOR FUTURE RETIREE HEALTHCARE BENEFITS-THIS CAN BE BROKEN
DOWN INTO 2 VERY DIFFERENT PARTS. ONE ASPECT IS NEW HIRES FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE
OF THIS CONTRACT WILL RECEIVE NOTHING TOWARD RETIREMENT HEALTHCARE. IF THEY
BETWEEN THE LINES - WHAT DOES THE COMPANY’S OFFER MEAN:
HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK A FULL THIRTY YEARS WITH VERIZON, THEY WILL HAVE
NOTHING TO ASSIST THEM WITH HEALTHCARE IN RETIREMENT.
FOR RETIREES - THIS PLAN WILL INTRODUCE AND/OR INCREASE DEDUCTIBLES TO ALL
RETIREES. ALSO THE COMPANY WILL HAVE THE SOLE AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE ANY
ADMINISTRATIVE DETAILS OF THE PLAN WITH NO SAY SO BY THE UNIONS. IF THE COMPANY
DECIDES THE PLAN BECOMES TOO EXPENSIVE THEY HAVE THE SOLE DISCRETION TO CHANGE
THE PLAN TO ONE OF THE COMPANY SPONSORED MEDICAL PLANS. IT ALSO INTRODUCES A
FORMULARY INTO THE PRESCRIPTION PLAN, MEANING THE COMPANY WILL DECIDE IF THE
DRUG IS THE BEST ONE FOR YOU BASED ON COST, NOT ON DOCTOR RECOMMENDATION.
WHAT THEY SAY: AFTER A DEFINED PERIOD OF TIME RECEIPT OF DISABILITY BENEFITS IS
CONDITIONED ON THE EMPLOYEE SEEING A PHYSICIAN.
WHAT THEY MEAN: THE COMPANY WANTS TO CONTROL WHO YOU SEE FOR YOUR ILLNESS.
WHETHER YOU HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH OR MUSCULOSKELETAL ISSUE, THE TYPE OF DOCTOR
YOU SEE IS DETERMINED BY THE AMOUNT OF TIME YOU MISS. IF YOU HAVE MULTIPLE HEALTH
ISSUES YOU’LL HAVE TO SET-UP A DIFFERENT TREATMENT PLAN FOR EACH ONE. THE IDEA OF
YOUR DOCTOR TREATING YOU FROM INITIAL DIAGNOSIS UNTIL RECOVERY IS NOT THE MAIN
FOCUS OF THE COMPANY’S PROPOSAL. WE ALREADY HAVE A PROCESS TO DEAL WITH THIS
ISSUE. IT IS CALLED AN IME AND THE COMPANY PAYS FOR THE IME. REQUIRING YOU TO SEE A
SPECIALIST INTERFERES WITH YOUR CARE AND IS AN ADDED COST TO YOU.
CORPORATE PROFIT SHARING (CPS):
WHAT THEY SAY: THERE WILL BE A CPS FOR 2017 PAYABLE IN 2018.
WHAT THEY MEAN: THE UNION’S PROPOSAL MAINTAINS CORPORATE PROFIT SHARING(CPS)
FOR 2016, 2017 AND 2018; SIMILAR TO OUR LAST CONTRACT. ALL THREE YEARS OF THE
CONTRACT NOT JUST THE ONE THE COMPANY IS PROPOSING.
LEGAL RELEASE FOR INCENTIVE OFFERS:
WHAT THEY SAY: EACH ASSOCIATE WHO TAKES A VOLUNTARY INCENTIVE OFFER WILL BE
REQUIRED TO SIGN A LEGAL RELEASE WAIVING CERTAIN CLAIMS AGAINST THE COMPANY AND
WHAT THEY MEAN: LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS ARE PASSED TO OFFER PROTECTIONS
TO WORKERS AND THE ABILITY TO SEEK COMPENSATION IF A WORKER IS TREATED UNFAIRLY
UNDER THIS LAW; AN EXAMPLE OF THIS IS WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION FOR WORKERS
INJURED ON THE JOB. THE UNION HAS CONCERNS THAT THIS “RELEASE” COULD ALLOW
WORKERS DUE SOME TYPE OF COMPENSATION OR RELIEF TO BE UNFAIRLY DENIED.
INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS:
WHAT THEY SAY: AFTER HCOC REVIEWS THE COMPANY MAY SELECT IME VENDORS.
WHAT THEY MEAN: THE COMPANY REACHED A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT ON THE HEALTH
CARE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE (HCOC) WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REVIEW AND
SELECTION OF IME VENDORS. NOW THE COMPANY WANTS TO HAVE TOTAL CONTROL OVER THE
SELECTION OF THE VENDOR AND PROVIDE A RESTRICTED PERIOD OF TIME FOR REVIEW BY THE
HCOC. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF FIXING SOMETHING THAT IS NOT BROKEN.
EVALUATIVE OBSERVATIONS AND ELECTRONIC RECORDING OF CALLS:
WHAT THEY SAY: IN THE SALES/SERVICE CENTERS ELIMINATE REQUIREMENTS TO GIVE
ADVANCE NOTICE AND EXTEND THE TIME FOR FEEDBACK TO 2 BUSINESS DAYS AND ALLOW
EVALUATIVE OBSERVATIONS TO BE CONDUCTED AT ANY TIME.
WHAT THEY MEAN: THE COMPANY ALREADY RECORDS 100% OF ALL CALLS. THESE
PROPOSALS WOULD ALLOW THE COMPANY MORE TIME TO LISTEN TO CALLS, LESS TIME FOR
COACHING AND DEVELOPMENT WHICH EQUATES TO MORE STRESS AND DISCIPLINE.
WHAT THEY SAY: IN NEW JERSEY ELIMINATE THE POLICY AND AGREEMENTS.
WHAT THEY MEAN: THE COMPANY WANTS TO TAKE AWAY ATTENDANCE OPTIONS THAT
MEMBERS CURRENTLY HAVE WHEN THERE IS INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS.
TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT IN ANOTHER STATE:
WHAT THEY SAY: TECHNICIAN CAN BE TEMPORARILY ASSIGNED OUT OF STATE FOR UP TO 60
DAYS. EACH STATE CAN HAVE TECHNICIANS TRANSFERRED IN FOR UP TO 120 DAYS.
WHAT THEY MEAN: THIS WILL BE WITHDRAWN IF CBA IS RATIFIED BY MAY 20, SO IT MUST NOT
BE CRITICAL TO THE COMPANY. THIS TYPE OF PROPOSAL SHOULD NOT BE PART OF BARGAINING
AT THIS LATE STAGE. “INVOLUNTARILY ASSIGNED” MEANS FORCED. THE COMPANY WANTS TO
FORCE YOU, TO ANY STATE AT THEIR DISCRETION, TO WORK AND THEN HAVE YOU TRAVEL
BACK TO YOUR HOME REPORTING LOCATION DAILY. THIS WILL BE DONE 60 DAYS PER YEAR
ALWAYS AT THE COMPANY’S PREFERENCE.
WHAT THEY SAY: CURRENT CALL ROUTING WITH 2 CHANGES. 1). A CALL CAN BE ROUTED
DIRECTLY TO NYNE OR MID-ATLANTIC REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE CALL ORIGINATES 2). IF NO
ASSOCIATE AVAILABLE BEFORE ROUTING TO CONTRACTOR COMPANY CAN CHOOSE TO ROUTE
SALES/SERVICE CALL TO ASSOCIATE IN NON-LIKE FUNCTION CENTER. IN SALES/SERVICE
HANDLES LESS THAN 53% IN ANY 6 MONTHS NO LAYOFF FOR 6 MONTHS. IN TECH SUPPORT
HANDLE LESS THAN 53% IN ANY 6 MONTHS NO LAYOFFS FOR 6 MONTHS. HIRE AT LEAST 400
NEW HIRES INTO SALES/SERVICE AND TECH SUPPORT IN LOCATED MID-ATLANTIC.
WHAT THEY MEAN: VERIZON'S PROPOSAL ON "ENHANCED" FLEXIBILITY IN CALL ROUTING IS
JUST A SHELL GAME IN DISGUISE FOR ROUTING EVEN MORE CALLS TO CONTRACTORS AND
OVERSEAS CALL CENTERS. EXPORTING OUR WORK AND GOOD MIDDLE CLASS JOBS IS
CLEVERLY CAMOUFLAGED WITH THE PROMISE TO HIRE 400 NEW HIRES IF WE AGREE TO ALLOW
THEM TO CONTINUE CONTRACTING OUT NEARLY 50% OF ALL CALL VOLUMES WITH NO
GUARANTEE TO MAINTAIN ANY STAFFING PERCENTAGE. CURRENTLY VERIZON EMPLOYS
ABOUT 5000 ASSOCIATES IN FOREIGN CALL CENTERS AND THIS CURRENT PROPOSAL PROVIDES A
FAST-TRACK FOR ADDITIONAL WORK TO BE EXPORTED AS WELL. DATA PROVIDED BY VERIZON
INDICATES ITS OWN CALL CENTERS ARE UNDERSTAFFED BY MORE THAN 650 JOBS IN MIDATLANTIC
INBOUND DEMAND CENTER (IDC) CALL SHARING:
WHAT THEY SAY: THIS PROPOSAL IS TIED TO UNION AGREEING TO COMPANY’S CALL SHARE
PROPOSAL AS IT
WHAT THEY MEAN: THE UNION ALSO HAS A PROPOSAL ON IDC CALL SHARING. OUR PROPOSAL
INCLUDES GUARANTEES THAT THE EXISTING CENTER WOULD REMAIN AND ANY WORK THAT
VERIZON HAS TRANSITIONED TO VZB FOR MEDIUM BUSINESS WOULD RETURN TO THE
WHAT THEY SAY: COURSES ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT MUST RELATE TO A CAREER
WITHIN THE COMPANY. CERTAIN SPECIFIED COURSES ARE EXCLUDED FROM REIMBURSEMENT.
WHAT THEY MEAN: THE COMPANY WANTS TO COVER ONLY COURSES THAT APPLY TO JOBS
WITHIN THE COMPANY. TUITION ASSISTANCE WAS NEGOTIATED TO ALLOW INDIVIDUALS TO
IMPROVE JOB RELATED SKILLS AS WELL AS PERSONAL GROWTH. THIS PLAN WAS NEGOTIATED
YEARS AGO TO OFFER A PATH FOR MEMBERS TO MOVE TO OTHER CAREERS, BOTH IN AND OUT
OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY. IT WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE A REPLACEMENT FOR
THE COMPANY JOB TRAINING.
WHAT THEY MEAN:
MANAGED CARE NETWORK (MCN)
DEDUCTIBLE $0 $325
OUT OF POCKET $1050 $1700
EMERGENCY $75 $120
INDIVIDUAL $660 $1224
FAMILY $1320 $2448
ANNUAL CONTRIBUTIONS HMO AND EPO
INDIVIDUAL $990 $1836
FAMILY $1980 $3672
TODAY WE HAVE AN OPEN FORMULARY, MEANING THE PLAN COVERS MEDICATIONS YOUR
DOCTORS DEEM NECESSARY. THE COMPANY PROPOSES A CLOSED FORMULARY, MEANING THE
PLAN WILL ONLY PROVIDE MEDICATIONS THE INSURANCE COMPANY DEEMS NECESSARY BASED
ON COSTS FOR ANY PARTICULAR CONDITION. IN ADDITION, THE COMPANY PROPOSES TIERING
DRUG CO-PAYS ON DRUGS THAT ARE PREFERRED AND NON-PREFERRED. BELOW ARE THE COPAYS
TODAY AND THE COMPANY PROPOSAL FOR 2018.
Retail Mail Order
Today 2018 Today 2018
Generic $9 $10.60 $18 $21.60
Preferred brand $28.09 $34.99 $56.18 $69.98
Non-Preferred Brand $28.09 $58.32 $56.18 $116.64