As of 6:00AM Wednesday, April 13, 2016 CWA is On Strike Against Verizon *** Union Plus credit card holders may be eligible for a $300 grant now that our strike against Verizon is longer than 30 days.
Regional Bargaining Report #54 May 7th, 2016 on the left side of this site***CWA 1105 Tape Updated Sunday, May 15th, 2016 7:30PM
WASHINGTON â€“ The U.S. Department of Labor today issued the following statement on the ongoing labor dispute involving Verizon workers.
â€śThe parties involved in the Verizon labor dispute, including the senior leadership of the unions and the company and their bargaining teams, met today in Washington with Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Allison Beck, an experienced federal mediator who the parties agreed today would assist in the ongoing contract negotiations. Discussions will continue in Washington this week under the auspices of the Department of Labor. The parties further agreed that during these talks they will make no public statements, nor will there be comments from the federal officials involved.
â€śIâ€™m encouraged by the partiesâ€™ continued commitment to remain at the bargaining table and work toward a resolution,â€ť Secretary Perez said. â€śWe will continue to facilitate conversations to help the unions and the company reach an agreement.â€ť
Important Information Regarding Medical and COBRA
There have been many questions raised related to continuing medical coverage during the strike. Here are some facts that will help answer those questions.
1. Verizon has announced that it is cancelling health benefits for striking workers beginning May 1, 2016.
2. CWA has pledged that no striking member or family member will go without medically necessary health care during the strike. CWA will pay for all necessary medical/hospital expenses incurred on May 1, 2016 or later.
3. The term â€śnecessaryâ€ť does not include any treatment not normally covered under the Verizon Medical Plan, nor does it cover any elective procedures or dental work that can be postponed until after the strike. PLEASE CANCEL AND PLAN TO RESCHEDULE ANY WELL DOCTOR VISITS, ELECTIVE PROCEDURES AND DENTAL CLEANING/EXAMS THAT ARE SCHEDULED AFTER MAY 1, 2016.
4. All medical bills for which you are requesting payment should include the name of the patient, date of treatment, name of provider, service rendered and where the bill should be mailed.
5. In limited cases the CWA Fund Director for District 1 will authorize payment of COBRA premiums on behalf of strikers and their families, IF YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER HAS A SERIOUS, CHRONIC MEDICAL CONDITION. TO APPLY, YOU SHOULD SPEAK IMMEDIATELY TO YOUR LOCAL MEMBER RELIEF FUND COORDINATOR AND REQUEST A â€śCWA REQUEST FOR COBRA PAYMENTâ€ť FORM. MAKE SURE THAT WHEN YOU FILL OUT THE FORM YOU INCLUDE ANY SUPPORTING MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION.
6. The Local will get the form to the CWA Fund Director for District 1 for review and determination.
7. If a member is approved for continuing medical coverage through COBRA, CWA will pay the required premium. The member will continue to be responsible for any copays, deductibles and coinsurance amounts applicable to the health plan.
8. STRIKERS WHO CAN OBTAIN HEALTH CARE COVERAGE THROUGH A SPOUSE OR PARENT DURING THE STRIKE SHOULD DO SO.
9. Members who were on company paid disability before the strike began and continue to be medically disabled will not have their insurance cancelled. Verizon will consider them to be disabled and will continue health insurance coverage.
10. Any person who was retired before the date of the strike will not have their retirement benefits or health insurance impacted at all.
Again, we must stress that no striker or strikerâ€™s family member will be without necessary medical coverage during the strike. See your, Vice-President, Business Agent, Chief Steward, Steward or Picket Captain on the picket line to either submit bills for reimbursement or to get a form to request COBRA for those with serious and or expensive medical necessity. In those situations where your expected medical cost would exceed your COBRA cost, CWA will pay the Cobra instead of the actual medical bills, but you must submit a â€śrequest for COBRAâ€ť form and it must be approved by the National Union. Forms should be available on the picket line no later than Friday, April 29, 2016.
If you have a serious condition that any delay in processing your request could cause an interruption of care call the local on 516-775-1105 and we can email or fax you the forms. I you are not in that kind of jeopardy please get the form on the picket line as to keep the process orderly.
For release April 12, 2016
Verizon Strike Update
With Verizon executives refusing to give up demands on offshoring jobs and other devastating cuts, nearly 40,000 Verizon workers are preparing to go on strike on Wednesday at 6:00 am.
The Communications Workers of America made this statement:
â€śThe 39,000 hard-working families at Verizon have made the company successful. Given Verizonâ€™s enormous profitability there is no justification for the companyâ€™s continuing demands to destroy good middle-class jobs and offshore work. Workers have negotiated in good faith for ten months and addressed the companyâ€™s primary concern, which they told us was limiting health care costs. Workers and the customers who depend on us would be much better served if Verizon returned to the bargaining table and negotiated a fair agreement that fairly addressed the concerns of their workforce.
â€śMarc Reed and other Verizon executives are trying to rig the system against working families. The question of federal mediation is a distraction to the real problem: Verizon's corporate greed. Historically, federal mediators only get involved in collective bargaining situations with the agreement of both parties. CWA did not authorize anyone at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to approach Verizon about extending the strike date. Either the FMCS acted without authorization or Verizon executive vice president Marc Reed is lying.
â€śAll day today, CWA and IBEW bargaining teams have been available to meet, ready, willing and able to bargain. Whereâ€™s Verizon?â€ť
Company Lies, Strike May Be Called Any Day Now. In the event of a strike all member's working for Verizon will be given a picket duty schedule with day, time and location assignment. Keep in touch with the tape and this web site for further updates.
Bally's (Scientific Gaming) Bargaining Update
CWA Local 1105 Bally's members need the help of their Brothers and Sisters at Verizon
CWA Local 1105 organized the technicians at Scientific Gaming (Ballyâ€™s) who maintain the slot machines at three New York area casinos. We have been negotiating since November of 2013 with Scientific Gaming with little to no progress on major issues such as wages, benefits and a â€śjust causeâ€ť clause in cases of termination, just to name a few. Our members know what they want, and what they want is a fair and equitable contract.
Please Call The NY State Gaming Commission on 518-388-3300 and ask them to protect our Technicians
and urge Scientific Gaming to negotiate a fair contract for their employees.
To access a full size copy of this flyer please click on the link to the right.
Attention Members We Have Moved
CWA Local1105 has moved to 1983 Marcus Ave., Lake Success, N.Y. 11042 Suite C120 By September 1, 2015. The new office telephone number is 516-775-1105
The Dependent Care Reimbursement Fund (DCRF) is now suspended pending the outcome of bargaining. You may request DCRF reimbursement for August 2015 provided your request is postmarked no later than Friday, September 11, 2015.
In 2007 Verizon sold its landline operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont for $2.7 billion to Fairpoint Communications. Fairpoint took a profitable land line business and ran it into the ground resulting in Fairpoint declaring bankruptcy in October of 2009. This had a serious effect on the thousands of former Verizon workers many represented by CWA and IBEW.
Since April of this year CWA and IBEW have been bargaining with Fairpoint to try to reach an equitable agreement before their contracts' expiration. From the beginning Fairpoint has demanded $700 Million in concessions. On October 14, 2014 CWA and IBEW struck Fairpoint and Fairpoint responded by freezing the pensions of 2000 union workers who built New England's telephone system.
On day 23 of the strike, Saturday, November 8, 2014 the striking workers were joined by their brothers and sisters in Portsmith, ME from the surrounding Verizon territories including a delegation from CWA Local 1105. This fight is our fight said CWA Local 1105 President Keith Edwards, what Fairpoint is attempting in New England is a preview of what we can expect from Verizon in our upcoming negotiantions.
We need all members, their families and friends to call the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) on 888-701-0493 to urge them to require the build out of FIOS across the state as well as to redefine Basic Service to include broadband and cable television.
August 2, 2013 -
In November 2006 Verizon unilaterally modified the Absence Control Plan (ACP); eliminating steps, changed the accepted definition of satisfactory under the ACP and introduced suspensions as part of the plan. CWA filed grievances regarding the numerous ways the company's changes negatively impacted our members.
On May 22, 2011 the arbitrator decision denied in part and sustained in part the claims made in our grievance.
The arbitrator ruled that:
1. The Company did not violate the just cause provision of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
2. The Company did violate the 1983 Freije letter.
3. The Company did violate Article 44.02 of the CBA (Article 44 of the CWA 1105 CBA).
4. The Company did not violate Sec 8(a)(1) or 8 (a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act.
The Arbitrator ordered the parties to meet to address and remedy the violations the arbitrator had identified. Under his ruling if the parties could not reach an agreement, he would retain jurisdiction and rule on the remedy to be applied. The parties failed to reach agreement and the case went back to the Arbitrator for further review.
On May 5, 2013 the Arbitrator issued a new ruling. This ruling reinstates the extra step to the ACP for employees that have 25 or more years of service and while preserving the company's new definition of unsatisfactory under the ACP for purposes of justifying the suspension provisions of the modified plan which begin at Step 3, it does not allow the company to deny movement under the Specified Posted Vacancy (SPV) plan until an employee reaches Step 4 of the modified ACP.
Both arbitration rulings appear to the right on this web site.
All Verizon Leave of Absense status requests including:
FLMA (Family and Medical Leave Act) Leaves
Anticipated Disability Leaves
Care of Newborn Child (CNC) Leaves
Enhanced Educational Leaves
Family Care Leaves
Stat Health a Suffolk based Adult, Pediatric, Urgent and Routine Care Medical provider has offered to work with CWA during our strike. They will not take any money from the member at the time of service and bill the Local directly. Once a bill is received and processed we will notify you. Remember you are still responsible for any co-pays you would normally incur if we were not on strike. [More...]
CWA members on strike against Verizon Communications may be eligible for emergency financial assistance from the Verizon Striking Families Solidarity Fund. This emergency assistance is based on availability of funds and need, and it is available to members in good standing.
Completed applications should be returned to the Local's Member Relief Fund Coordinator.
We are in the process of setting up a District wide committee which will be comprised of local representatives from NY, NE and NJ. This committee will review the applications, determine hardships and distribute the funds.
File Now - We have been working with the New York State Department of Labor on a plan to have members easily sign up for unemployment benefits (U.I.). They have provided the following link www.labor.ny.gov/verizonworkers and a fact sheet (attached).
Members should file a claim right away to see if they are eligible for UI benefits now or after 49 days. Right now it looks like there will be a 49 day waiting period but we encourage all members in New York State to apply for the benefits now so the department will not be overwhelmed when and/or if we become eligible for the benefit.
Members should be careful to say that they are not working due to a labor dispute or strike.
Earlier this month Verizon sent a letter (a PDF of the letter is posted above) informing hundreds of retirees that their medical plan contributions are past due. These retirees are at risk of being dropped from coverage retroactive to January 1, 2016 if their payment is not received by March 1, 2016.
The reason retirees are being charged a contribution is because the pre-medicare medical plan that they are enrolled in (MEP HCP) has exceeded the caps that were negotiated in the 2011 contract.
Retiree health care is being discussed in bargaining however, at this time we are still without a contract. As a result, since some retirees chose to stay or enroll in the MEP HCP medical plan, they are required to pay the amount over the caps on the Companyâ€™s contribution. Effected Retirees should have received bills in December and January with the amounts due. These retirees do have the option to choose another plan that requires zero premiums going forward for 2016 but they are still responsible for premiums for the previous months. All retirees should read the PDF of the letter from Verizon that outlines this option.
If you have questions or need assistance please call the Verizon Benefits Center 1-855-4VzBens (1-855-489-2367), Monday â€“ Friday, 9:00 a.m. â€“ 5:00 p.m.
Please remember, Verizon must receive payment by March 1, 2016.