Workers of

Response to Marc Reed




Marc gReed’s email on Friday, April 8th, is yet another attempt to get us to see things “his” way.  But he does not speak our language.  Here is what he is really saying:


In Mid-Atlantic the Union presented a health care proposal on January 15th that was combined with other critical issues our members need to secure their futures.  It was presented as a comprehensive proposal.  This means all the issues together were contingent upon one another. While the company recognizes now that was a good proposal, the Union was told on January 19th, that was not enough, so the Union  withdrew its proposal.  .


1).  WAGES:  In February, the company offered increases of 6.5%.  When you factor in the rising cost of all the other monetary items the company proposes changing, it is not an “increase”, it is a step backward.  The union wage increases will be negotiated once we get real commitments from the company on all of the issues affecting our members.


2).  JOB SECURITY–  A few years ago, CWA supported Verizon with a merger that was not going to be approved.  Now that the company has benefited from that transaction for years, they want to take their promise of long term job security back.

“Reasonable flexibility” is a term little Marc gReed uses to say the company wants to force you to travel up to 50 miles to and from your job.  And if that is not bad enough he would like to send you all over the Northeast footprint for up to 4 months at a time.


3). PENSION – Yes it sounds good that after years of not  agreeing to a pension band increase, the company proposes a 1% annual pension band increase, EXCEPT that by locking in the current mortality table instead of the new one that is soon to be released by the IRS, we lose 3% right away out of our pension cashout option. That’s pretty sneaky little Marc gReed.

And what message is the company really sending when gReed says, “If an associate is not planning to work for more than 30 years…”  It means they don’t want us to stick around.  The company is not planning for long term employees unlike the Union who is planning a future for all members.


4).  SPECIAL INCENTIVE OFFERS – The company is seeking the right to clear the payroll of bargaining unit employees.  Currently the Union negotiates conditions before each special incentive offer.  The Union can negotiate enhancements in these offers.  These enhancements include raising the caps; guaranteeing the interest rate and language so minimal impact occurs to work groups after the offer.  Ultimately it is up to each individual to decide whether or not to accept an offer but when the offer is the bare minimum and without guidelines, you have no protections.


5).  CALL SHARING  –  The company contracts over 5,000 employees in the Philippines, Mexico, Dominican Republic and elsewhere.  Contractors handle over a million calls originating in the Mid-Atlantic states and the company wants an agreement to lower the percentage of calls it routes to its own employees.  They are also proposing call routing that will get the call to a contractor quicker.  This is all designed to eliminate call center jobs.


6).  DISABILITY–  It makes perfect sense that when the company negotiated 10 incidental absence days during the last round of bargaining, they would try and find a way to control how those 10 days are used.  This proposal makes getting hurt on the  job okay as long as they can use a plan that limits our benefits and gives them the ability to get rid of us like a piece of used machinery.


7).  RETIREE MEDICAL –  The company proposes continuing your healthcare but they want your costs to be increased at the same pace of actives, even though you don’t earn a paycheck, overtime or benefit from wage increases.


8).  CENTER CONSOLIDATIONS – The message here is that it doesn’t matter to the company that 220 associates and their families will be severely impacted by closing these centers.  Today it is 220 members and tomorrow it could be another group.  These centers are in buildings-many Company owned central offices-that have the capacity to hold more employees.  The work they perform still exists.  The millions of calls being sent to contractors overseas would add additional jobs.  The company makes a point to state no one will be laid off due to this proposal.  However the 220 members affected by this proposal would be forced to choose between a job with excessive daily commutes and their family.


9).  TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT –  The company has force imbalances because they are understaffed.  Our members are willing and able to meet all the needs of our customers but the company has mismanaged out of town projects and overtime to a point where they have exhausted the existing workforce.  Trusting the company to do it right while extending the amount of contractual time they can have is harmful to our technicians and the families they are supporting.


10).  PERMANENT TRANSFERS –  This is another example of the company treating people like a piece equipment.  Like their proposal on temporary assignments, your home responsibilities and life mean nothing to them.  Just go where they say and do as you’re told.


11).  CONTRACTING – No employees are getting laid off because of safeguards negotiated by the Union.  Layoffs and downsizing have occurred.  Contractors seem to be exempt from being laid off.  Apparently the company’s own workforce is less important than their precious contractors.


12).  INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINATION (IME) –  The company agreed to continue the Healthcare Oversight Committee during the first week of bargaining.  One of the committee’s responsibilities is to review and select the IME vendors.  Verizon now proposes to negate something they have already agreed to.


13).  EVALUATIVE OBSERVATIONS/RECORDING OF CALLS – The company has used this language to constantly monitor and discipline our members.  In many cases, they tend to seek out calls that don’t meet their standards ignoring the calls members do correctly.  This practice has created an intolerable stress level in the call centers.


14).  COMMITTEE FUNDING – The company proposed a significant decrease in the funding of several committees.  The parties have tentatively agreed on new funding levels.


15).  TUITION ASSISTANCE PLAN –  This plan was developed along with other language on  technological change years ago when it was believed technology alone would decrease our work. In the tuition assistance plan, it states tuition is for the “personal growth” of employees not just growth that is “job related.” The degree and non-degree coursework is agreed upon mutually.  Tuition assistance exists so people can move on from Verizon.  Verizon doesn’t want us here but it doesn’t want us to be able to prepare for a career anywhere else either.


The Company has come to bargaining seeking many changes to our contract and have repeatedly stated their intentions of making this round of negotiations ALL about their needs.  You have received multiple emails from Marc gReed because he needs you on his side.  Send a clear message to Marc gReed that we stand together on the side that fights for jobs, fairness, equality and dignity and that he isn’t speaking our language in his emails.

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