Unit 7 Report
It's been awhile since the last report and wanted to touch bases on some of the things going on in our unit, as well as some others.
Obviously the big thing going on right now affecting many units of our local is the announced surplus. The company announced that they want to let go of 40 Net Techs in the valley. The number rises to 65 if you include COT's and CDT's. They also would like to let go of many more throughout the state. I know there are a lot of questions out there and we are doing our best to get answers. We will be scheduling meetings for the membership as a whole, and I will be scheduling unit meetings as soon as we get real answers. Our first membership meeting was held on May 30th. I know the rumors are running rampant right now, and we will address those the best we can at these meetings as well.
There has been a rise in motor vehicle incidents in the last year and a half. I have been sitting in on more disciplines and investigations for these. About 8 months ago, the company also recognized the rise in incidents and have decided to go harder on these disciplines. Some people are getting Warnings of Dismissals even for their first offense. The company has said that back in the Scott Simonson days there were fewer accidents and they attribute this to there being harsher discipline. Some of you may remember back then, any at fault accident was automatic WOD and 3 day suspension. Because of the company’s new stance, these grievances are getting harder to win, especially if it’s not your first motor vehicle incident. Please continue to stay alert to what is going on around you. Pay attention to speed limit signs and photo radar locations. If you are going down an alley and there is brush or other items blocking your way, get out first to make sure the path is clear.
Also, many of you have heard from your supervisors that they will no longer be taking off repeats from your monthly review. This is also true. For those of you that have been around 9 or more years, you remember when people were getting written up for QJD all the time. My first year as an AVP I think I had close to 50 or more QJD grievances. And it stayed that way for a few years like that. Back then, the managers did not remove repeats. What happened was I would address the repeats in the grievance meeting. The second level at the time and I would sit down and look over every repeat for the technician being written up and negotiate which ones stayed and which were thrown out. Then we would also look at doing a mileage assessment, which could further help the numbers. I plan on doing the same thing now.
I have still been doing yard visits and addressing the questions and concerns you have, as well as being available on the phone. I need to stress that if I don’t answer, please leave a voicemail or text me. I will get back to you as soon as I can. It may not be until later in the afternoon, but I still try to return all calls the same day.
The last few months, I have also been getting back out in the field and re-learning the job. I try to get out at least twice a week, but much of that depends on if I have other meetings scheduled. I feel going in the field is beneficial for a few reasons. For one, it gives me a chance to learn about products, meters, tools, and processes that I haven’t dealt with before. I can talk with you about contract language all day, but these other things I need to learn about so I can understand some of the issues you bring up. And two, like I have said months ago, I will not run for AVP again so I’m doing my best to be up to speed for when I go back in the field full time in 2020.
It’s getting hot again.. Be safe, stay hydrated, and take extra breaks if you need to cool off, reschedule attic work for the first job of the day.
Unit 7 Report
Just wanted to get word out on some things that are coming up. On my last unit report that was emailed and posted on our Facebook page, I asked for your input regarding our Local Agreement around demand PDP’s. I asked you to email me and let me know if you wanted next years local agreement to remain how it is now, or go back to how it had been in previous years. I am still accepting emails with your vote. I have to be honest when I say the participation in this vote has been lackluster. I have received around 20 votes. We have around 350 members in our unit. I am not sure if the message is not getting to the techs or if people just don’t care to vote. So I am once again asking for your input on this local agreement. I am also asking that if you get this email or read this report on Facebook, that you bring it up to your crews and ask them to vote. I need the vote emailed to me at email@example.com I will be bringing this up at yard visits as well.
I may have said this before and I have been bringing this up at yard visits, but again we have added a link to our local’s website to update your contact information with the local. Again, spread the word to your crew and let them know if they were one of the ones who did not get a ballot for the contract, to please get on that link and update their info.
I am holding two unit meetings next week. Each meeting will begin at 6pm. The first meeting will be on August 23rd at the hall located at 1615 N. 36th street. The second meeting will be on August 24th at the Mesa Main Public Library located at 64 E. 1stStreet. The meeting will be held upstairs in the Saguaro Room.
At these meetings we will be discussing a few different topics, but there is one in particular I feel is pretty important to hear about. I have been meeting with the company regarding some changes they want to make with the process in how jobs are performed. I believe the company and union are both on board with these changes, but before I would co-sign on this, I wanted some kind of pressure relief with regard to Link2Success on behalf of the technicians. I believe we came to an agreement that would benefit, the company, customers, and technicians. Please come to this meeting to learn the details. And let your crew know about this meeting as well, just in case they don’t get the e-blasts or Facebook reports.
Again, as I have done in my last 9 unit reports, I am asking for any questions, concerns, or topics you would like me to address in the next unit report. Being union, means we all need to contribute or participate. Below are the top 3 topics or concerns that members brought up since the last unit report. Thanks for the engagement.
Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CWA-Local-7019-155161127434/
Unit 7 Report
Hey everyone, just wanted to touch on some things that have happened since the last unit report.
We have seen multiple offers to move out of metro Phoenix. Offers to our outstate areas in Arizona, offers to New Mexico, and recently offers to Idaho and Montana. These are all voluntary moves. Nobody is being forced out of Phoenix.
At the last couple unit meetings, we had some really good and extensive conversation surrounding the language in the contract regarding Voluntary, Incidental, and Mandatory O.T. We were able to identify issues techs had with their managers, and solutions for the techs to use. We also had discussion regarding scheduling of A-Days. And we talked about some new information regarding our healthcare premiums many people did not know about. A lot of good information was passed around those nights.
We also recently were able to bring a technician back from termination. It was a good win for our Local.
Something that has come up quite a lot this year is the change from last year in our Local Agreement regarding demand pdp’s and the number of them we get. In previous years we got 4 demands, with a daily cap to be used across the valley. That cap could have been 8 or 9 during the middle of the week and 4 or 5 on Mondays or Fridays. This year the agreement changed to 2 demand pdp’s, with the cap not being on the valley, but the cap being on the crew. So now we are allowed one person off, per crew, per day. That’s like 20 something people off a day instead of 8 or 9.
Because of this change, I've had many people say they were upset and wanted it to be back to the way it was. I can try to do that, but before I do I would like to give you all a chance to voice your opinion on if you want it to remain the way it is, or go back to how it was. Usually the people who are happy with how things are going are silent and we only hear from the people who are upset. This is EVERYONE’s chance to let me know what they want.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know if you want it to remain the same or change back to how it was. Whichever option I get the most of, I will fight to get that in our next local agreement. But understand this, if the choice is to go back to how it was and the company wants it to remain the same, we then throw out the local agreement and revert to the contract. Per the contract, you get 2 demand pdp’s and they would use daily caps for the valley, not per crew. If you want it to go back, I will only agree to that and not settle for what we have now. We will then be forced to get what the contract says. Just letting you know all the options.
Email me your selection by August 19th. I will let you know where we stand after that.
Unit 7 Report
Well since that last unit report we have had a few things come up or change. But obviously the big one is the contract that just got ratified last week. I want to address some issues that seem to come up every time we have a contract vote.
First off, I want to start by stating that I too, like most of you, were unhappy with the proposal we were given by the company and bargaining team to vote on. I believe we could have had better. BUT, that proposal was what we were given to vote on.
Our Local voted down this contract with a vote of 341 No votes and 247 Yes votes. That is a total of 588 votes returned out of 1456 ballots that were mailed out. Honestly, that is a pretty pathetic return percentage. Now, I understand that some people didn’t get their ballots for one reason or another. Many people called in and got duplicate ballots mailed to them. But to think that over 850 ballots got lost in the mail? Nope…. The sad truth is that many people didn’t care enough to vote. About the people who never got a ballot? There is no way they didn’t know a vote was happening. Emails went out, people told other people, and we had meetings to tell people if you didn’t get a ballot by a certain day, to call the hall and get a duplicate sent out. Instead, what I see from some people is they did not contact anyone and now complain they didn’t get a ballot.
Unfortunately for many of us, we are not the only local voting on this contract. Many other locals who vote on the contract don’t feel the same pressures we do here in Phoenix by management. Many of our concerns do not affect them, so as usual we vote the contract down just to have others ratify it. Also, I hear some people say that it got voted in because we have the people in the call center voting it in and they feel we would have a stronger NO vote if we were separate. Well, there is another local in Arizona who has no call center workers, and has had a YES vote on the last 2 contracts. Their local is only technicians, and they voted YES. So you cannot put the blame on inside call center workers.
Again, I am not defending the contract we were given. But, the membership is the one who voted it in. No matter what kind of garbage we are given, we are still given a choice whether to vote it in or not. This decision lies on the membership as a whole. It lies on the ones who voted, AND the ones who didn’t care enough to vote.
We will be having a unit meeting at the hall on Thursday, June 29th at 6pm. We will also be holding elections for delegates for our local convention at this meeting.
As I have done in my last 7 unit reports, I am asking for any questions, concerns, or topics you would like me to address in the next unit report. Being union, means we all need to contribute or participate. Below are the top 3 topics or concerns that members brought up since the last unit report. Thanks for the engagement.
Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CWA-Local-7019-155161127434/
Unit 7 Bargaining Updates
I wanted to give you all some resources for our upcoming contract bargaining. As you may already know, the company has requested to start early bargaining with CWA. This is supposed to take place on May 8th. Many of you say you never hear what is going on, so here is a link for you to get updates and a couple others you may feel are beneficial.
1. Text 7standsup to 69866. This will give you access to updates, strike votes, and other things like that.
2. Go to this link: district7.wufoo.com/forms/muor2s60d3vac8/
so you can order a free Red bargaining T Shirt
3. Go to this link: www.surveymonkey.com/r/M263MVW
so you can fill out our bargaining survey.
These are 3 easy simple ways to be informed and become active. Let the company know we are standing up and taking the initiative to show we are Union Strong in this contract year!
Unit Report Unit 7
After my last unit report, I had someone email me some topics for discussion they would like addressed. Here is what was sent to me…
“Hey Darrell, could you address what is considered working before start time? Also what is the Union’s interpretation of where and how we are to report to work each day to show that we are at work, on time and ready to work?
So the first topic is “what is considered working before start time?” Well, there are way too many things to be listed individually for me to put in this report, but I will try to clear it up in general. Lets assume an 8am start time. Anything that is done for the company before 8am would not be allowed to be done unless you are being paid overtime for it. This includes things like stocking your truck, getting ice, looking at your routes, reading company email, discussing job related issues with management, any type of coverage or meeting where discussion of work related issues are had, and other things like that. This is an interesting topic since there has been a recent push to get technicians out of the yard in 15 or 20 minutes. Many people are complaining they cant get out in that amount of time, yet some of those people are the same ones who work before the start of their shift. These people are enablers to the company and their view that technicians can get out in 15 minutes.
The fact is, the company has no right to ask you to do this work without paying you, and you don’t have the choice to donate this time to the company. You do work, you get paid… that’s it. I feel much of this won’t change unless we hold each other accountable as well as the managers. If you have a manager who likes to come in and talk for example about being loaned out of area, before 8am, someone needs to either note the time and discussion and send it to the union to address the issue, or mention it to the manager and then bring the issue to us.
Also, as union members we should want everyone to get paid what they are due. Maybe we need to start holding the company accountable to paying technicians the money they owe when these techs are working before the start of the shift? As an employee, there is no reason for you to be working before your shift unless you have permission to do so and are getting paid. I know the company would come back and say that these employees did not have permission to work overtime and the techs could possibly be reprimanded for it, but as long as the techs are doing this with permission then it shouldn’t be a problem right? Or do the techs do this knowing they aren’t supposed to?
The second topic is “reporting to work”. This all depends on who is your 2nd level manager, as they do things differently. In Rob’s organization, you are expected to be in your crew room by 8am, ready to work or listen to your manager’s morning communication. There can be exceptions to this, but it would have to be given by the first level manager. In Henry’s area, at some of the yards he has taken the crew rooms away from the technicians. The techs in this area no longer have a crew room, or desk to call their own and store things. In his organization, he expects the technicians congregate in the parking lot and be ready to get in the trucks at 8am unless their manager has a morning communication for them. Yet some of his yards still have crew rooms. But I was told at some point all of his yards will no longer have a place for technicians inside.
Regardless, the expectation is that you are ready to work at 8am, at whatever location your manager asks you to be at.
Unit Report Unit 7
I have some information for you all regarding pensions.
It is very important that we get the message out to EVERY employee that they all have a pension. I know there is some confusion around those hired after 2008. It was said by some that those employees do not get a pension. This is simply not true. Those hired after 2008 still have a pension, but it is on a different pension band than those hired before 2008. It is important that these newer employees understand they still have a pension.
We have a contract coming up this year, and if they don’t realize they have a pension to lose, they would not feel the same passion around those hired before 2008 possibly losing their pensions in this next contract.
The fact is, we all have pensions and we are all at risk. We all have something to lose.
If you would like to look at your pension information you can go to www.centurylinkpension.ehr.com You will need to register and then you will have access to many tools regarding your pension. Also the benefits phone number is 1-800-729-7526 option 3.
As I have done in my last 6 unit reports, I am asking for any questions, concerns, or topics you would like me to address in the next unit report. Being union, means we all need to contribute or participate. Below are the top 3 topics or concerns that members brought up since I started asking for your input. Thanks for the engagement.
Although it’s not quite a topic at yard visits as it was about a month ago, I still get questions regarding our local agreement around demand PDP’s going from 4 to 2. There seems to be some misinformation out there regarding what we are entitled to, what we used to have, and what we have now.
Local agreements are just that; agreements between the union and company on a local level to do something different than what the contract states. In order to have a local agreement, both parties have to agree to it. If one of them does not agree, then we revert back to the contract.
We have had a local agreement surrounding demand PDP’s for years. As far back as I can remember, we have had 4 a year. Sometimes we were able to use them whenever we wanted. Sometimes we could only use 1 per quarter.. it all depended on what was agreed to on the local agreement. Also, there were also daily caps to limit how many people could be off valley wide on any particular day. I think the most we had was about 11 in one day. Again, that was valley wide.
This year, the agreement was to go down to 2 demand PDP’s, and allow one person per crew, per day. Although we would not be getting the 4 demands like we had in the past, we could essentially have around 27 people off valley wide now. Instead of having around a 1 in 60 chance to get a demand since you would be competing with all the techs valley wide, you have a 1 in 15 or 18 chance to get it. Whatever size your crew is. So the chances of you getting your demand were greatly increased. Also, because you are competing with people on your crew, if someone already has it, this gives you a chance to find out who it is and maybe they don’t need it as bad as you do and will be willing to let you have it. This is not something that was very practical when the slots were valley wide.
So I understand some people are upset at losing the 2 demands. I get it, 4 would definitely be better than 2. But the company was not going to agree to 4. So that in turn meant we would have to revert back to the contract. And this is something that many of you fail to understand due to not looking up the language in the contract for yourself. I seem to hear a lot of blame and false information, but people don’t take the time to actually look up what the contract says. So I will lay it out for you here, so you know what it could have been if we didn’t come to an agreement.
Article 11.28 through 11.30 deals with demand PDPs. 11.28 reads Employees who are entitled to personal days shall be eligible to take two (2) personal days as priority personal days by notifying and/or requesting prior to the start of their tour. THIS MEANS YOU GET 2
The last half of Article 11.30 states, If agreement on parameters or implementation guidelines cannot be reached, priority persona days shall be treated in accordance with Section 11.28 and the Letter of Agreement on Priority Personal Days. Well we see what 11.28 says above, so now lets look at what the letter of agreement says.
Towards the end of that letter it states, In the event the local union and company representatives are unable to reach a local agreement on priority personal days, the following provisions will apply:
1. Only two (2) personal paid days may be taken as priority days.
2. There will be no ability to unilaterally block days other than authorized Holidays.
3. The company may establish daily caps on the number of employees who may take priority personal days but must provide for a reasonable amount of time available every day except authorized Holidays.
So what that tells us, is if we had not agreed to the current local agreement, we would still only have 2 demand PDPs AND there would be daily caps valley wide like there used to be. I get it that it sucks we lost 2 demands. But we do have a contract to work by and that cannot be changed as of now. This may not make you feel better, but at least now you know why we are at the place we are. By the way, all of this information is available for you to look up at any time. Meaning, when you don’t like the way something is being done, look it up in the contract and see if what’s being done is a violation. You have every opportunity to do that, instead of assuming the way things are.
The above information can be found on pages 42 and 158-159 of the contract.
As I have done in my last 5 unit reports, I am asking for any questions, concerns, or topics you would like me to address in the next unit report. Being union, means we all need to contribute or participate. Below are the top 3 topics or concerns that members brought up since I started asking for your input. Thanks for the engagement.
Unit 7 Report
Hey everyone, this unit report has to do with an issue that has come up in the last couple months. The issue has to do with off and/or on duty use of illegal drugs, prescription medication, and alcohol. In general, the drug and alcohol policy states you cannot possess, use, or be under the influence of these substances.
Let’s start with alcohol use. It should be obvious alcohol use is not permitted while at work. Most people are aware of that and don’t have a problem with abiding by that. The thing that will trip people up sometimes is maybe you had some drinks on your day off and work the next day. Depending on the length of time since you had your last drink and how much you had to drink, you could still technically be under the influence. This is something that has actually happened. A tech I had to represent.
Next is the use of illegal drugs. This too should be a no brainer. You cannot be under the influence, use or possess them while at work, on company property, or company functions. There is not a lot to discuss here. It’s just not permissible. This is something I’ve had to represent technicians about.
Finally, the discussion around prescription medications. Use, possession and being under the influence of prescription drugs are not all against the drug and alcohol policy. Some prescriptions are fine to have and use while working. But there are some that are not. Some of these are very addicting and can cause problems with your employment. The one scenario that jams people up the most is when they take the prescription one day and work the next. They think that since the prescription was not taken the day of work, they are fine. This isn’t always the case. Some of these prescriptions are very strong and stay in your system longer than you think. It just takes one anonymous call or discussion to the company for them to start asking questions, and at some point if they have a reasonable suspicion you are on drugs, they will take you for a drug test. Also regarding prescriptions, if a test is done and you test positive for a drug that needs a prescription, they will check to see if the prescription is yours, or belongs to someone else. If it is not your prescription, that too is a problem that could cost you your job. This too is something I have represented technicians on .
Regardless of which substance, I also want to let you know that if you have a problem with them and would like to seek help to get off of them, there are a few resources to help. There is the PIER program that is offered through the union. There is the Employee Assistance Plan offered by the company. If you really need help with something like this, contact myself or another union steward to help you get answers and information. This is not something to be taken lightly, and can have a huge impact on more than just your job.
As I have done in my last 4 unit reports, I am asking for any questions, concerns, or topics you would like me to address in the next unit report. Being union, means we all need to contribute or participate. Below are the top 3 topics or concerns that members brought up since the last unit report. Thanks for the engagement.
JANUARY 2017 MEETINGS
Tuesday - January 24, 2017 6:00 pm
1615 N 36th St
Wednesday - January 25, 2017 6:00 - 715 pm
Mesa Public Library Main Bramch - 64 E 1st St - Upstairs in Saguaro Room
Unit 7 Report
December 7, 2016
The year is almost up and I wanted to touch bases on a couple issues coming up in our unit.
The first is, we are starting to see a lot more documented discussions regarding Link2Success numbers.
It has been quite some time since our numbers have been an issue as far as disciplines. One of the things I see playing a part is how the individual job buckets are met, and what is being used to determine if you meet the bucket. In the past, you had to do a certain number of jobs in a bucket to be rated in that bucket. If you didn’t meet the minimum number, you would not be scored in that bucket for that month.
The new way of scoring the buckets has to due with the amount of time you spend doing work in each bucket. So just as an example. If before you needed to have 25 jobs to meet the bucket, now it may be 15 hours of work to meet the bucket. It’s determined by time, not jobs. That by itself may or may not be a fair system, but I have learned recently there is more to it.
All time in that job type is used. That means all completes. But it also means that ALL time spent on jobs that you No Access or kick to cable also count against you, which is completely unfair if you are not getting credit for working on those jobs. In the old way, if you had a non-complete, it didn’t work for you or against you. As an extreme example, previously if you had 25 pots jobs in a month and you didn’t complete a single one of them, you would not be rated in that bucket. Now, if all of your pots time is spent on non-completes and you take 15 hours to do so, you still get rated in pots.
Just be aware of this and be conscious about how much time you are taking to non-completes. It all counts against you.
The second issue coming up again is using company assets for personal use. More specifically using laptops and iPads to log into facebook and other social media., also using the iPad as a hotspot to stream movies and music, either on or off company time.
The fact of the matter is, it IS NOT ok to do any of this. It does not matter if you are on company time or your personal time. Those laptops and iPads do not belong to you, and the data plans for them don’t belong to you either. The company will investigate anyone using more than 10gig of data a month. They will see when you used it and what you used it for. You are not supposed to be taking these home anyway, so there should be no usage after work or on your a-days.
As I have done in my last 3 unit reports, I am asking for any questions, concerns, or topics you would like me to address in the next unit report. Being union, means we all need to contribute or participate. Below are the top 3 topics or concerns that members brought up since the last unit report. Thanks for the engagement.
AVP District 7
October 27, 2016
As most of you are aware of, there has been a VSPP offer going around in many different departments. Recently Glen Post sent out a notice letting you all know that there was an offer to put an additional $30K on top of the normal offer. He also stated that we turned it down. I wanted to clear up some confusion that notice created. There was more to their “offer” than what they are telling you. Here is what was discussed on our call regarding the extra $30k.
The union made informational requests from the company that they did not want to provide. Many of those concerned contracting of work, and which areas they wanted to offer. The company wanted this to be a pick and choose offer. Meaning, they would get to pick who got the VSPP, that it would NOT go by seniority. We do everything by seniority, and it wouldn’t be right to have more senior people be left out while less senior people got the VSPP. Also, any positions that were vacated, could then be backfilled by contractors. And they wanted this offer to be good until the end of the contract.
Let’s take a look at what this really means. The company knows who is ready to retire. They know who is about to call it a day most likely in the next year. They have no reason to give those people the VSPP, because they know they will be leaving soon anyway. So instead, they give it to less senior people, probably not having to pay out as much as they would for the more senior people. That saves them some money. Then they count on the more senior people to leave anyway in the next year, saving them more money by not giving them any VSPP money. Meanwhile, all these jobs are filled by contractors, leading up to our contract expiration next year. More contractors and less employees equals weaker bargaining power. On top of that, they would be able to repeatedly do this over and over until the contract expires. Weakening our bargaining power even more.
What does that mean for those that could have received the extra $30k? Well after taxes that really comes out to about $18k. That money will last you an extra 4 to 6 months? As retirees, your healthcare coverage is bargained for by the remaining employees. The diminished and weakened bargaining unit will be bargaining for these retirees. So, they may get $18k in the short term, but long term there benefits could take a big hit.
We as a union need to think of the bigger picture. What is more beneficial to the most people and how we retain the bargaining power that we have.
As I have done in my last unit reports, I am asking for any questions, concerns, or topics you would like me to address in the next unit report. Being union, means we all need to contribute or participate. Below are the top 3 topics or concerns that members brought up since the last unit report.
Darrell Parrish, Area Vice President Unit 7
WE WILL BE HAVING TWO MEETINGS IN NOVEMBER FOR UNIT 7 (IN AN EFFORT TO ACCOMODATE OUR MEMBERS)
DATE: Thursday - November 10, 2016 OR Tuesday - November 22, 2016
TIME: 7:30 pm 6:00pm - 7:15 pm
PLACE: CWA LOCAL 7019 Mesa Public Library Main Branch
1615 N 36TH ST 64 E 1st St - Upstairs in Saguaro Room
PLEASE ATTEND ONE OF THESE IMPORTANT MEETING(S)
Unit 7 Report
Bargaining will begin in about a year. It is important that we are prepared. As in the past we have structures in place at each yard in order to get information to every member. This structure consists of either a Mobilizer or Steward that is responsible for providing any information necessary whether it be posting on the bulletin boards or meeting with you one on one.
We also have the ability to email each member. This system is updated as we receive new emails. Please make sure you keep your email address updated. Also if you know of anyone that is not receiving these emails, have them email me so we can either add or fix their address.
Unit 7 holds a Unit meeting every other month at the Union Hall.
In addition to these communications, I will be putting out unit reports on information that you feel is wanted. I would like to ask each of you, what would you like to see in my next unit report? Where we are with grievances/arbitration issues? Bargaining information once things are up and running? Any issues that you feel need to be addressed with local management?
Whatever it is, email me at email@example.com and I will try to get information on what you asked, for the next unit report.
UNIT 7 MEETING
DATE: Thursday July 28, 2016
PLACE: CWA Local 7019 Union Hall
1615 North 36th Street
CWA Local 7019