As you should be aware of by now, the Unions have requested the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in our contract negotiations with Verizon.
After negotiating for over one year we are still far apart on many of the issues involved in these negotiations. Here is a list of the many items the company is trying to take back in order to lower our standard of living.
The Company proposes Premium Contributions for all medical plans (MCN - Managed Care Network, MEP – Medical Expense Plan, and HMO – Health Maintenance Organization.) Today there are no premium contributions.
IN THE MCN PLAN
Today a physician office visit is $15 – the company proposes $25.
Today there is no in network out of pocket maximum since the plan plays 100% for most services. The company proposes an out of pocket max amount of $1000 for an individual and $3000 for family.
Today there is a $15 co-pay for x-ray/lab tests perform in physician office and the company proposes $25.
Today there is no coinsurance for in network use – the company proposes co- insurance of 90%. This means the member pays 10% of the charge for the service.
Today the following services are covered in network at 100%. The Company proposes these services be covered at 90% and the member pay 10% of the cost.
Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy
Hospital Room and Board
In Hospital Physician Visits
In Hospital X-ray and Lab Tests
Newborn Baby Care
In Patient Surgery / Out Patient Surgery
In Patient Mental Health
In Patient Substance Abuse
Durable Medical Equipment / Prosthetic Devices
Today certain over the counter medications are covered – the company proposes to
eliminate this coverage. The company also proposes significant increases in co-pays for prescription drugs both retail and mail order.
Here is an example of the annual cost of medical coverage under the company’s proposal for individual coverage, for a non tobacco user, in network use, of the MCN.
$620 – Annual Premium
$1000 – Out of pocket max
$50 – Two Physician Office Visits
$50 - Two x-ray/lab tests
$1,720 – Annual Cost
Here is an example of the annual cost of medical coverage under the company’s proposal for family coverage, for non tobacco users, in network use, of the MCN.
$2360 - Annual Premium
$3000 - Out of pocket max
$200 - Eight Physician Office Visits
$200 - Eight x-ray/lab tests
$5,760 – Annual Cost
Tobacco users would add $600 to the annual premiums. Family coverage would require that everyone covered did not use tobacco products in order to qualify for the lower premium.
In addition to the Medial Premium the company has proposed an annual contribution for the Dental Plan. An individual, non tobacco user, annual premium would be $36 and family, tobacco users premium would be $108.
The Company has also proposed that retirees pay annual premiums for coverage and additional costs for services as well.
Weekly overtime caps modified as follows: an associate will be required to work no more than a total of ten hours overtime in any payroll week during seven calendar months in any calendar year, and no more than a total of fifteen hours overtime in any payroll week during the remaining five calendar months. The Companies will specify the months in which each of the above overtime limitations will apply.
Anyone hired or rehired on or after August 1, 2012 (“Pension New Hire”) will not be eligible to participate in the Pension Plan.
For those currently on the payroll, after November 1, 2012 your current pension benefit will be frozen and from that point forward you will only earn 70% of the current pension band value until you reach 30 years of service. After 30 years of service you will no longer accrue time towards your pension. If you currently have 30 or more years of service you will be frozen on November 1, 2012 and no longer accrue time toward your pension.
The Pension Lump Sum Cashout program will terminate.
SICKNESS AND ACCIDENT DISABILITY BENEFITS
Modified in accordance with the following provisions, which shall apply only to associates who are first hired or rehired on or after August 1, 2012:
Maximum 26 weeks for new hires
“Accident Disability Benefits” is eliminated. Those instances of physical disability to work that would otherwise have qualified for payment under the Accident Disability Benefits will be considered for payment under “Sickness Disability Benefits.
SHARING OF CALLS AMONG CENTERS
There will be no limitations, geographic or otherwise, on the Companies’ right to share calls and work between and among the following Centers and individuals working at home, and contractor locations that perform like functions: Customer Financial Services Mass Market Collections Centers (“CFS-MMCC”), Order Control Offices (“OCO”), Maintenance Control Offices (“MCO”), Dispatch Resource Centers (“DRC”), Network Administration Centers (“NAC”), Trunk Provisioning and Maintenance Centers (“TPM”), Assignment Provisioning Centers (“APC”). (Not subject to the contractual movement of work protections)
The Companies may require representatives in any Customer Sales and Service Center (“CSSC”), Business Sales and Service Center (“BSBC”), Multilingual Sales and Service Center (“MSSC”), Fiber Solutions Center (“FSC”) or Enhanced Verizon Resolution Center (“EVRC”) to handle customer inquiries and requests that can be resolved with the aid of written or electronic instructions or guides, that would have otherwise been handled by or transferred to another Center or individual. This means Service Rep/Consultants will be required to do the work of an FCSA/MA and vice versa.
SALES COMPENSATION PLAN TITLES
The Companies will introduce two new sales job titles with variable compensation:
Customer Contact Sales Associate (“CCSA”)
Business Sales Associate (“BSA”)
Paid at Seventy (70%) percent of the Service Rep/Consultant pay rate with the remaining thirty (30%) percent to be made up by commission sales. These titles do not receive the Corporate Profit Sharing Award.
The Company may change the terms of the commission plan as they see fit.
ABSENCE FROM DUTY
Maximum of six (6) paid incidental absence days per year. New hires receive a maximum of five (5) incidental absence days per year.
With respect to initial vacation selections only, and beginning with initial vacation selections for 2013, at least 12% (18% currently all year round) of the associates in each vacation administrative work group will be permitted to schedule time off in a given week. Subsequent requests for time off shall be subject to the needs of the business.
Short Notice Excused Work Days (“SNEWDs”)
Effective January 1, 2013, requests to supervision for up to one paid Excused Work Day and one unpaid Excused Work Day for a Monday through Friday tour will be granted on short notice to associates eligible for paid and unpaid Excused Work Days. Requests for SNEWDs falling on a Saturday or Sunday will be denied. In each work group, the Companies may designate up to eight work days in any month as unavailable for SNEWDs. Such designations will be made in accord with work schedule posting requirements.
Employees with a net credited service date, of August 3, 2003 or later are not covered by the no involuntary layoff, forced transfer and downgrade. In addition, notwithstanding any prior service-bridging practices or agreements, current employees of any Verizon entity who do not have protection against involuntary layoff, forced transfer and downgrade and who are subsequently transferred, hired or rehired within or into the Companies will not be covered by the no involuntary layoff and related commitments. Further, any employees who possessed protection against involuntary layoff, forced transfer and downgrade but subsequently leave the employment of the Company and/or cease to be a member of the bargaining unit thereby lose those protections and will not regain those protections if they are rehired and/or rejoin the bargaining unit. The Companies’ agreement to the proposal set forth in this Section is contingent on the Union’s agreement to the proposals contained in the Permanent Transfer of Jobs and Permanent Transfer of Associates. Absent agreement on Sections XVIII and XIX, this proposal to amend the provisions related to “No Involuntary Layoffs, etc.” and “Change in Business Conditions” contained in the BA-GTE Merger Agreement is withdrawn and the Company reinstates its prior proposal to eliminate those provisions.
PERMANENT TRANSFER OF JOBS
The “Limitations on Transfer of Jobs” contained in the “Agreement Concerning Issues Related to the Bell Atlantic-GTE Merger” are modified as follows: the reference(s) to .7% will be replaced with 3.0%.
PERMANENT TRANSFER OF ASSOCIATES
In any contractual provision, or any other agreement, policy or past practice relating to the layoff or permanent transfer of associates to which the distance of thirty-five or fifty miles applies, the distance of sixty miles is substituted.
MEDICAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICY
An associate who is or will be medically restricted from performing one or more essential functions of his/her normal assignment for more than 120 days will be placed on an unpaid Leave of Absence in accordance with the amended Medical Restriction Leave of Absence Policy. The employee will be separated from the payroll after a total of 52 weeks of restricted duty.
NEW CONTRACTING INITIATIVES
The New Contracting Initiatives letter of agreement is eliminated.
ELECTRONIC RECORDING OF CALLS
There is no restriction on electronic recording of calls by the Companies. Any call that is observed or recorded may be used for any lawful purpose, including but not limited to evaluation, training, discipline and service quality observation.
As you can clearly see, the Company is attacking more than 60 years of collective bargaining gains. Verizon continues to attempt to destroy the good middle class jobs your Union has negotiated over the years. We can either give in to their demands, or we can fight back. But this fight will take every single member to be involved if we are to win. Our members must continue to mobilize. Every member needs to commit to spending 4 hours per week participating in mobilization activities.
On Saturday, August 11, 2012 Americans from all over the country will be in Philadelphia, for the “Workers Stand for America Rally” to stand up for the middle class and urge all Americans, especially our elected officials, to stand with us. It is time for every member to stand up and be counted. Contact your Local for information on transportation to the rally.
If you have not been involved it is time to get involved.
Call your Local and find out what you can do today to help.
IT IS TIME TO GET ANGRY! IT IS TIME TO GET INVOLVED!
IT’S TIME TO FIGHT BACK!