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2024 Southeast Bargaining Report BST/UTILITY

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2024 Bargaining Report AT&T Southeast, Utility Operations, and AT&T Billing contracts, along with the Wire Tech and Consumer

Report #1 

Barganing

Today the bargaining teams for the AT&T Southeast, Utility Operations, and AT&T Billing contracts, along with the Wire Tech and Consumer subcommittees, met at the CWA District 3 Office in Atlanta, Georgia to begin drafting our bargaining proposals based on the suggestions submitted by CWA members throughout District 3.  We are scheduled to meet with the company’s bargaining teams on Tuesday, June 25th 2024 to officially start contract negotiations.  

We want to thank everyone who submitted a bargaining suggestion form and those who participated in sorting and prioritizing them at the Bargaining Task Force meeting.  As we prepare for this round of bargaining, please continue your mobilization efforts, and help our bargaining teams send a strong message to AT&T, that we will "Fight For More In 24"!!

Report #2 

Barganing

This morning the AT&T Southeast, Utility Operations, and AT&T Billing bargaining teams, along with the Wire Tech and Consumer subcommittees continued to work on preparing our bargaining proposals.  This afternoon, the teams and subcommittees met with staff from the Research Department at CWA Headquarters to discuss wage increases, benefit costs, economic trends, and other important information that will help to guide our efforts at the bargaining table.  

We want to thank all the members across District 3 for your strong support and all of the mobilization that’s taking place.  We are scheduled to meet with AT&T’s bargaining teams on Tuesday, June 25th to officially start contract negotiations.  We will distribute our next bargaining update after our meeting with the company. 

 

Report #3 

Barganing

Today the AT&T Southeast and Utility Operations bargaining teams met with the company to begin the bargaining process.  The day kicked off with opening statements from CWA District 3 Vice President, Richard Honeycutt and AT&T Southeast Labor Relations Vice President, Diane Bradley.  CWA Retired Members Council President Emeritus, James Starr spoke on behalf of the retired CWA members. Following opening statements and introductions, we started bargaining. 

The CWA/AT&T Southeast bargaining team met with the company and passed several proposals.  A few of them are - Bringing Wire Techs into the Core Contract as Service Technicians, Improving healthcare benefits for both employees and retirees, Significant wage increases with a cost of living adjustment (COLA).  As expected, the company passed retrogressive proposals including - Reducing the amount of paid sick time, Removing the grievance panel process, and Eliminating reimbursements for some of the relocation expenses. 

 The bargaining team wants to thank everyone across District 3 for the awesome pictures that have been shared over the last couple of days of the mobilization efforts, and for all the kind words of encouragement. Remember, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!

 CWA District 3 Vice President, Richard Honeycutt's Opening Remarks 

Today, as we officially open up negotiations, the Union and the Company recognize that it is in the best interest of both parties, Union members and Company employees, as well as the public for these negotiations to be conducted in the spirit of mutual responsibility and respect.  During these negotiations, this bargaining team and all of the CWA members working under this contract, have an expectation that you, AT&T, will recognize them and the vital role that they play in making AT&T the company that they are today.  While we do acknowledge that good leadership is an important part of any company to be successful, we do not believe that AT&T would have the success it has had if it were not for CWA members.  CWA members are the face of AT&T, the representatives to the public, the ones who are in direct contact with the customers.  

CWA members have worked hard for this company and have gone above and beyond to ensure that a customer had service, that their billing issue was resolved or that they were receiving the products that met their needs. Throughout the years I have seen things change.  There was a time that as an employee I felt like I was part of a team, almost a family.  I worked for the “phone company” and felt a certain pride when I would tell people what I did and who I worked for.  I knew that I had a job that people respected and that it brought a certain amount of trust from the community.  With this job, I knew that I would be able to raise my family and enjoy a good quality of life.  And this was the case for many years. 

During these years the company was very profitable and continued to make even the stockholders happy.  Times have changed.  I constantly hear from members who are not proud to say who they work for and who experience no work/life balance.  I can remember when fellow members would talk about coaching their children’s baseball or football team.  Today, we have members who are not able to even watch their children’s games, let alone try to be part of them.  The quality of life as an employee of AT&T has taken a severe hit.  This is shameful and we must find a way to restore it. 

While the pay has slowly risen throughout the years, it has now been outpaced by many other industries.  What was once a well-paying job has now become an average or in some cases, below average paying job.  Here is a quote that I recently read.  

“The company shared a market analysis of several other telecom providers and tech companies and concluded that Stankey's total target compensation of $21.5 million that he agreed to in 2020 "was falling behind that of market peers." The committee reviewing his pay boosted his long-term target as well as that of other executive officers at the corporation. “

We feel the same way.  Our members’ pay has fallen behind and we expect this to be boosted during this round of bargaining.  As we have seen, CEOs come and go, it is our members who have been loyal to this company and are the ones who deserve to be properly compensated.  

Another issue that we must address is that of job security and adding more jobs.  We have seen the workforce slowly dwindle throughout the years while at the same time the number of contractors has risen.   This must stop.  You know and we know that CWA members provide the highest quality and most reliable work available.  They are trained and equipped to perform work that the company is using contractors for and there is no reason why they should not have the work.    

The Union, through its membership, plays a vital role in the overall success of the Company's operations. The bargaining team stands united today and recognizes this vital role and has come in the spirit of good faith, to reclaim our member’s rightful part of that great success. In case you haven’t heard from your management team, this bargaining team is backed by thousands of Union members in District 3, myself and all of CWA who are tired of seeing their brothers and sisters put down, harassed, and treated as a number and not as a human being with families. We start this bargaining session demanding AT&T to show our hard-working members the respect and loyalty they deserve. This can be done through better wages, benefits, improved work rules, and job security. We demand that you give work to YOUR employees, CWA members not the employees of other companies.

The unity and might of District 3 will show the world the truth about AT&T. Our unity and solidarity will be felt and remembered for years to come, we are change, we are District 3, and we are here to “Fight For More In 24!”

Report #4 

Barganing

Today the CWA /AT&T Southeastbargaining team met with the Company and submitted multiple proposals which included improvements regarding holidays, vacation, job security, service observing, Partnership, SIPP, termination pay, bereavement, differentials and more. As expected, the Company submitted more retrogressive proposals, including the ability to offer employees a temporary management position, changes to Standby and limiting employees pay protection under RPPP.

Keep doing what you are doing to show your support and stay organized, because EVERYONE is watching! Thanks for everything!

Report #5

The CWA/AT&T Southeastbargaining team met with the Company today to submit a proposal to create and maintain new work in District 3. We also made counter proposals concerning paid sick time and removing discipline entries sooner than they are currently. The Company made an absurd proposal regarding a higher rated work differential for Wire Techs performing Core work. They also proposed changing the Wire Tech scope of work, limiting term pay and removing the ability of Core Techs to bump Wire Techs.

Stand strong members – let’s see you organize!

Report #6 

The CWA/ATT Southeastbargaining team and Company met today. The Company rejected some of the Union’s proposals regarding converting Wire Technicians to the Services Technician title, extra vacation time, protecting chat/digital call volume, increasing Term Pay allowance options and others. The Company made counter proposals to our Evening/Night Differential proposal and our Uniform proposal by attempting to eliminate the SE BST Core Uniform Program. We made another proposal to move all Wire Technicians to the BST core agreement and upgrade the wages. We rejected the Company’s proposal to expand the Wire Technician’s scope of work and rejected the company’s absurd proposal from yesterday that was to work Wire Technicians in higher rated work for an insulting differential. CWA’s chair let it be known that the company’s proposal regarding that was an insult to our members. 

Stay organized, stay ready, stay strong!

Report #7

The CWA/AT&T SoutheastBargaining Team will be in caucus to review and research Company proposals this week, July 1- July 5. While we will also be celebrating Independence Day on July 4th, we are expecting plenty of fireworks ahead as we continue to work hard towards obtaining a fair and just contract for our members. We wish everyone a safe holiday and ask that you continue your mobilization and organization efforts to help us Fight for More in 24!

Report#8 

The Network Subcommittee met with the Company today to have discussions concerning proposals that have been made, some of these were night differentials, overtime calculations, uniforms and forced overtime caps. The Consumer and Wiretech Subcommittees met in caucus to plan next steps going forward. The rest of the Bargaining Team met throughout the day to discuss proposals that have been made and where to go next. We have noticed all of the mobilization and pictures and if we see you ready then keep in mind that the Company definitely knows that you’re ready also.

Stay aware, stay vigilant, be mobilized and be ready! 

 

2024 Utility Operations bargaining Reports

Report #1  

Barganing

Brothers and Sisters,

Today we officially opened negotiations with AT&T Southeast. Vice President Richard Honeycutt gave an opening statement that let the company know we are here to bargain in good faith and expect nothing less than a fair and equitable contract for our members. He pointed out that during these negotiations we demand respect and recognition for our work in building this company and need to be fairly compensated for all our efforts. VP Honeycutt noted that CEOs come and go but it is our members who have been and remain loyal to this company and deserve to be properly compensated. We demand job security, more jobs, less contractors, improved work rules, and a better work life balance.

Your Utility Operations bargaining team is here to represent you and get the best contract possible. We have an experienced team that is very knowledgeable of the issues that Machine Operators face daily as well as the bargaining process and sitting at multiple bargaining tables. We are here working hard for you, we have reviewed all of your suggestions, have prepared proposals and are here to fight.

Fight for more in 2024!

In Unity, Your Utilities Bargaining team

Report #2 

26 JUN, 2024

Today we met internally to clean up and review our proposal before meeting with the company.

We are scheduled to meet with the company tomorrow to submit our proposals and see what the company's proposals are. We look forward to representing you at the table and thank you all for your support.

Fight for more in 2024!
In Unity your Utilities Bargaining team

Report #3 

27 JUN, 2024 

Today your bargaining team met with the company to exchange proposals. The Union submitted proposals surrounding bereavement, holidays, overtime, and health and safety. The company asked clarifying questions and the committee explained the reasoning behind the proposals and its importance to Machine Operators, their work life balance, and the company. The company said they heard us loud and clear and will take everything we said into consideration when responding back to our proposals.

The company said they are looking forward to bargaining with the Utilities bargaining team and we are ready, willing and able to fight for an equitable contract.

Report #4 

28 JUN, 2024

Today your bargaining team met internally to draft additional proposals to submit. We are very hopeful that the company has heard us and will be willing to work with us on the demands we put forth to enhance our members’ wants and needs.

Fight for more in 2024!

In Unity your Utilities Bargaining team

Report#5 

Good Evening,

We hope that all of you had a good and safe 4th of July. Your bargaining team is back from the holidays and ready to get back on the grind. The committees for BST are breaking down into additional sub-committees to try and deal with specific issues and subjects. That being said, the management bargainers are spread thin and we are still awaiting responses to several of our proposals. We will continue to keep you informed of our progress.

Fight for more in 2024!

In Unity your Utilities Bargaining team