Local 3207
3846 Leigh Street, Martinez, GA 30907
Ph: (706) 860-3207   Fax: (706) 860-3208

 
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Utility Operations 2015 Bargaining Reports

Utility Ops Bargaining Team

Left to right: Jason LaPorte, Ben Price, Billy O'Dell, Bubba Shewalter

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Oct 20, 2015

I am proud to report that your bargaining teams have reached tentative agreements covering the AT&T Southeast, Utilities, & BBI Contracts.  Attached you will find a summary of these agreements. A more detailed bargaining report will be sent out in the near future and a meeting will be scheduled in Atlanta with all of the District 3 Staff and Local Presidents to cover the agreement in depth; the details on this meeting will be sent out as soon as they are available.

In Unity,

Richard Honeycutt, Vice President
CWA District 3


Download Tentative Agreements below:

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Oct 01, 2015

The Utility Operations bargaining table is still in recess pending movement by the Company at the Common Interest Table. The CIT is where all wages and benefits are negotiated simultaneously for the BellSouth Telecommunications, LLC Agreement, the BellSouth Telecommunications, LLC for Utility Operations Agreement and the AT&T Billing Southeast, LLC Agreement. There are several Utility Operations proposals still open at the CIT in addition to proposals from the other two contracts represented there.

While we have been in recess, we have worked on issues that affect our Utility Operations members that are not necessarily bargaining items. We have seen some progress and are continuing to address safety concerns on a daily basis.

Bargaining in 2015 has been frustrating for many as the Company has been unwilling to offer fair wage and benefit proposals to this point. Although we have come to some tentative agreements, there are still proposals on the table which will improve the work lives of our members. The Bargaining Team remains ready to resume negotiations once the Company makes realistic offers at the CIT regarding pay and benefits. Please continue to participate in mobilization efforts as these are intended to inspire AT&T to get serious about bargaining in 2015.

Work Safe! Stay Strong! Keep Mobilizing!
IT’S OUR TURN!!!

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Sep 04, 2015

The Committee was represented at the Common Interest Table yesterday and we presented the Union’s counter proposal to their inadequate benefit package. Once again, the Company did not present a wage proposal.

We provided a sample of the cooling vest to the Company for their analysis and we hope to have their feedback soon.

The Committee is in recess until after the holiday and we remain subject to call.

Thanks to Local 3615 for providing lunch yesterday!

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Sep 02, 2015

Your Bargaining Committee met with the Company and was able to reach a tentative agreement on a proposal to include Utility Operations in the Occupational Safety and Health Committee referenced in Article 16.03 of the BST Telecommunications Agreement. This tentative agreement will add an additional member to the OSH Committee from CWA-Utility Operations and an additional member from the Company. We have had numerous discussions with the Company regarding safety issues that affect our members during 2015 bargaining, and our participation in this Committee will provide them a voice long after bargaining has ended.

The Company rejected more Union proposals that would have expanded the scope of work for Machine Operators to include DTV buried wire work and provide language for PMRs.

There are still proposals on the table to improve paid time off, increase uniform program allowances and increase termination allowances. We also have issues being addressed at the Common Interest Table concerning benefits plan improvements although we have still not seen a wage proposal from the Company at the CIT.

Thanks to American Retirement Solutions Agency Christopher Boggs for providing lunch yesterday.

Thanks to Local 3611 for providing lunch today.

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Aug 31, 2015

There was microscopic movement on the Company’s part at our latest round of bargaining regarding several Union demands. A Union proposal to improve and expand Employment Security Partnership benefits was rejected by the Company, even though the costs associated with this proposal were minimal and definitely could not be described as trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip. Although we have yet to see a wage proposal, and have not yet seen an acceptable benefit proposal, we did receive some counter proposals from the Company that are pointed in the right direction

The Company has indicated they are interested in expanding the Occupational Health and Safety Committee to include Utility Operations and we anticipate a counter proposal from them soon. They also took baby steps toward our proposals that would provide relief from unlimited mandatory overtime requirements and improvements to the Uniform Program, but they have a long way to go.

Twenty three days after expiration of the contract, there are still many unresolved issues on the bargaining table. Please know that your Bargaining Committee is appreciative of your mobilization efforts and your support, all of which are essential to bringing you a fair and just contract.

Work Safe! Stay Strong! Keep Mobilizing!

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Aug 27, 2015

Our latest meeting with the Company was another disappointing bargaining session. We were informed the Department will not cease and desist their misguided instructions to Machine Operators regarding performing bore operations in an unsafe manner. The Union advised the Company we have been left few options to protect our members’ safety and collective bargaining rights and that we intend to pursue those to the fullest extent.

There was discussion around a Company proposal regarding definitions and employee classification to clarify their intent, as well as more talks about the cooling safety vest proposal.

The Company rejected Union proposals to reduce the amount of time disciplinary entries remain in employee personnel records and to make improvements to the layoff provisions of the contract.

They also rejected amended/resubmitted Union proposals that would have provided illness pay, double time pay as a deterrent to excessive overtime and additional work functions that would have included satellite television buried wire placement.

In keeping with the spirit of this bargaining session, the Union rejected a Company proposal that would have deleted the inclement weather letter. The intent of their proposal was to have the ability to send people home on unpaid excused time rather than assigning other work during inclement weather.

Through their actions, the Company continues to give the distinct impression they consider their employees merely an expense rather than an asset. Your bargaining team is fighting to change their perception and it is not an easy task. Keep up the good work and support by working safely and participating in the District, State and Local mobilization efforts. They don’t go unnoticed.  

Thank you Alabama Locals for the delicious lunch Tuesday!

Thank you to Local 3314 for the delicious lunch Wednesday!

Work Safe! Stay Strong! Keep Mobilizing!

IT’S OUR TURN!!!

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Aug 21, 2015

The Company seems to have no sense of urgency to reach an agreement at the Utility Operations table. It appears as though they may be protracting the process because of their lack of movement at the Main Table for the Southeast contract.

To date we have reached tentative agreements on five proposals. The Company has rejected twelve Union proposals and are currently considering approximately fifteen others, including counter proposals. The remaining proposals include relief from excessive overtime, safety and health issues, employment security, benefit plan improvements, reduction in discipline entry time limits, and illness day payment.

Please take every precaution to work safe and be safe, whether performing your job duties or walking an informational picket line. CWA really cares about our Members’ safety.

Work Safe! Stay Strong! Keep Mobilizing!

IT’S OUR TURN!!!

Your Bargaining Committee:

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Aug 18, 2015

The Utility Operations Bargaining Committee would like to thank all of the members, Locals, Staff and guests who participated in the rally August 15, and all of those who were not able to make the trip to Atlanta but conducted their own mobilization at home. CWA President Chris Shelton didn’t mince any words when he admonished AT&T to make some movement at the bargaining tables and to reward our members for their contribution to the Company’s success. District 3 VP Richard Honeycutt also called for the Company to move on the issues affecting our members and reminded them that It’s Our Turn!

We continue to caucus while the Company is researching and analyzing the proposals we have presented at the table. There have been no tentative agreements reached on the list of Union demands since the end of last week. We are not asking this Company to make sacrifices on our members’ behalf. We are demanding they take our safety on the job seriously, improve work rules that negatively impact our family lives, and allow our members to share in AT&T’s remarkable financial success.

Work Safe! Stay Strong! Keep up the Mobilization efforts!

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Aug 14, 2015

After our latest meetings with the Company, there are still many unresolved issues. The Company rejected our proposals that would have increased paid time off, increased travel expenses and included Personal Paid Days as time worked.

We presented amended proposals addressing overtime and additional work that were previously rejected, and a proposal to improve selection activity language. Although the Company did not reject the additional job functions yet, they did state they were not going to give us exclusivity to this work.

A tentative agreement was reached that would improve Recall from Layoff rights by increasing active recall requests from 4 years to 5 years and allow those requests to be placed anywhere in the Bargaining Unit.

The Utility Operations Bargaining Committee would like to acknowledge the support our team and our members have received from the BST Bargaining Committee. Even though we are bargaining at separate tables with different contracts, we have common goals. Respect, a better quality of family life, improving safety on the job and keeping good jobs in our communities.

Work Safe! Stay Strong! Keep up the Mobilization efforts!

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Aug 13, 2015

The Company is in the process of research and cost analysis for some of the counter proposals we provided them, and we are in subject to call status for our next bargaining session.

Although this is not a bargaining issue, the Team is working on a package of research to include in an OSHA complaint concerning the 1 person bore operation the Company is wrongfully demanding our Machine Operators perform.

We are also collecting data to present the Company regarding our cooling safety vest proposal as well as amending proposals they have rejected.

Work Safe! Stay Strong! Wear Orange/Red Thursdays and Blue Mondays!

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Aug 11, 2015

Today the Bargaining Team met with the Company. Once again, we told them we are serious about negotiating a fair contract for our members that appropriately compensates them for their contribution to the Company’s bottom line. The proposals we have placed on the table are not burdensome to this corporation, and we are prepared to keep fighting for what we believe are reasonable and affordable demands.
We resubmitted several amended proposals that would improve overtime pay and other compensation, however there was no movement on the Company’s part to reach agreement on any of these.
We continue to caucus and prepare proposals and amendments that would benefit our members. Please keep working safely. Your mobilization efforts are a vital part of this round of negotiations and we appreciate all you are doing to ensure the Company gets the message:

IT’S OUR TURN!

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Aug 09, 2015

Your Bargaining Team did meet with the Company on Aug 8th, but has not been back to the table today. The union passed more proposals to the company dealing with safety, benefits, wages, and surplus issues.  We also continued to have discussions around the one-person bore issue.  The company rejected several of the union proposals, with no counters or new proposals.

We are now discussing strategies and other potential proposals and awaiting the company’s call to meet again.

As you are aware, the contract expired at midnight Saturday.  Contact your Local for more details and information regarding working during an expired collective bargaining agreement.

Please check the website periodically throughout the day for further updates, as well as the Utility Operations Facebook page.

Work safely and continue your mobilization efforts! The mobilization efforts over our entire district have not gone unnoticed. District 3’s Mobilization has never been stronger.

Thanks to Karen Murphy, CWA Rep for the homemade goodies provided yesterday

IT’S OUR TURN!

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Aug 08, 2015

Your Bargaining Team met with the Company on Friday Aug 7th and passed additional proposals regarding Safety and force adjustment improvements. We had discussions concerning the One Person Bore issue that we continue to have as well as the proposals that are still on the table. There was no movement by the company on any of them. We are going to meet this morning with the company and are ready to do whatever it takes to secure a fair and just contract for our Utility Operations Bargaining Unit.

Please check the website periodically throughout the day for further updates.

Continue your mobilization efforts! The mobilization efforts over our entire district have not gone unnoticed. District 3’s Mobilization has never been stronger. Please keep the pressure on.

IT’S OUR TURN!

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Aug 06, 2015

The CWA Utility Operations Bargaining Team did not meet with the Company today, but did caucus to prepare for our final days before expiration of the contract. We are scheduled to meet tomorrow morning and intend to share with the Company some dollar figures that our members have generated for them. This Company made billions in profit last year, as well as every other year of the contract, and Utility Operations’ contribution to their bottom line has been significant. We feel that every proposal we have put on the bargaining table is not only reasonable, but also long overdue.

Thanks to the Tennessee Locals for the giant “surprise” filled goody basket, including the snake bite kits!

Thanks to Local 3310 for the finger lickin good chicken lunch and encouragement to Keep Fighting, CWA!

The clock is ticking. Work safe and continue to fight back through your mobilization efforts!

It’s Our Turn!

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Aug 06, 2015

Today we met with the Company and passed a counter proposal regarding their uniform and boot allowance proposal. There was much discussion around the need for a more generous Company contribution to both and we presented the results of our research to support our position.

We also passed a proposal to address personnel records and the length of time disciplinary entries remain in our files. As clarification, “passing a proposal” refers to bargaining language used to describe the act of presenting a proposed change to the contract by either party (passed across the bargaining table.) When the parties reach a tentative agreement on a proposal, it is described as a “TA”.

The Company took no action on any of our proposals and we adjourned for the day advising them we are subject to call by either party for our next meeting.

Thank you to the Mississippi Locals for preparing the fantastic fish fry Monday evening!

Thank you to Local 3212 for cooking the outstanding BBQ rib and chicken lunch Tuesday!

Thank you to the SAGE Group for the super BBQ lunch and banana pudding Wednesday!

Stay strong! Wear Orange/Red on Thursdays and Blue on Mondays! Continue your mobilization efforts!

IT’S OUR TURN!

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Aug 04, 2015

The bargaining team met at the Utility Operations table today and passed a proposal to expand the definition of time worked. We then had discussion around the other proposals on the table, and once again were disappointed the Company’s comments were centered on flexible work rules and costs of adding improvements to the contract.

We reached a tentative agreement on contract clean-up language which was related to the dissolution of a former entity and renewal of an MOA regarding promotional wage treatment.

The Company gave us a general idea of which Union proposals they may or may not be interested in, and the Union did the same for the Company’s proposals. We did not schedule the next meeting as we are caucusing to prepare counter proposals, but we are subject to call at any time at the request of either party.

Work safe and stay strong. Your mobilization efforts are not going unnoticed.

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Jul 31, 2015

The Bargaining Committee met with the Company and passed additional proposals regarding layoff and termination allowances in Article 6 and Article 3. We also passed a proposal to include the Panel process in the contract and had much discussion around the current issues with the grievance process.

We have had lengthy conversations with the Company regarding scheduling/forcing our members 13 days in a row, and we have passed several proposals to address that issue. The bargaining team has advised the Company we will not accept anything less than new language in the contract to provide relief to our members.

There has also been much discussion regarding practices related to the safe operation of equipment used by Machine Operators and we have provided research and documentation to the Company that supports our position.

Currently, the Bargaining Team is caucusing to prepare counter proposals and formulate new proposals around issues important to our members.

Stay strong, work safe and support your Local, State and District mobilization efforts.

IT’S OUR TURN!

Your Bargaining Committee:

Billy O’Dell – CWA Rep District 3 – Chair
Ben Price – Kentucky
Gail Shewalter – South Carolina
Jason LaPorte – South Carolina

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Jul 28, 2015

Your Utility Operations CWA Bargaining Team met with the Company for the second time.  The Company rejected the Union’s proposal to bring Utility Operations into the core contract. They also passed proposals to eliminate the inclement weather letter, add a temporary employee classification, to allow uniforms into the uniform program that are not made in America and to ban the use of pins and buttons on uniforms. 

The union passed proposals to add work to our scope of work and improve benefits. We also had discussions regarding occupational safety and health issues and thirteen days on/one off scheduling.

Today, the Union will caucus around the proposals submitted as we continue to review and draft proposals to make improvements to the contract.

Continue to mobilize; we have a long way to go. Wear red/orange on Thursdays and blue on Mondays.

IT’S OUR TURN!

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Jul 23, 2015

Your Utility Operations CWA Bargaining Team met with the Company today for the first time. In our opening remarks we noted this agreement will reach its 25th anniversary by the expiration date and the bargaining unit has been a profitable one for AT&T. We also advised the Company we believe the time has come to reward our members’ contributions toward the success and profitability of Utility Operations by improving work rules, benefits and providing a substantial wage increase.

The team passed proposals addressing safety issues, mandatory overtime and pay for illness. We also passed proposals to improve benefits such as the Employment Security Partnership, paid time off, travel expense and disability plans. The Company expressed concerns with proposals that would increase costs, and we pointed out they reported a quarterly net profit of over $3 Billion and an annual gross profit of more than $70 Billion.

The Company passed one proposal which was primarily clean-up language to remove entities that have been dissolved from the contract.

Special thanks to Local 3608, Raleigh NC for the delicious lunch and dessert!

Continue to mobilize, we have a long way to go. Wear red/orange on Thursdays and blue on Mondays.

IT’S OUR TURN!

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Jul 22, 2015

Your bargaining team continues to make preparations for our meetings with the Company. We are researching previous contract negotiations for Utility Operations and continue to look for potential improvements to this contract.

As of yet, we have not received all of the data requested to formalize our proposals however we have drafted proposals around health and safety, thirteen day scheduling, overtime, employment security and improvements to the benefit plans.

Thanks for your support and mobilization efforts to secure a fair and just contract.

 

IT’S OUR TURN

Your Bargaining Committee:

Billy O’Dell – CWA Rep District 3 Chair
Ben Price – Kentucky
Gail Shewalter – South Carolina
Jason LaPorte – South Carolina

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