Brothers and Sisters:
Unit 3 Update – April/May edition
There is an old Chinese curse that goes something like “may you live in interesting times”. I feel that whoever invented this ancient curse probably worked at the company that became CenturyLink because we have seen some interesting times lately for sure. So, in this interesting time, there is a lot going on that everyone should be aware of.
First, our Unit has gotten a little bigger Unit 3 is comprised of Residential Care, Residential Retention and Residential COR (formerly known as offline support). We currently span 6 7 8 and 15 which is a great transition piece to.
CenturyLink has a nationwide initiative going on right now to cut real estate costs. This will affect us in Phoenix as we are releasing the 14th and 15th floors. COR will be moved to lower floors, and the good news is at least at this time it does not look like we will lose any jobs at 20 E Thomas as far as occupational employees go.
With the decision to stop offering Prism, and the decision for our Technicians to no longer do new housing prewires, our outside techs, CDT’s and COT got a notice that the company has called for a layoff that will affect upwards of 70 outside employees. We do not anticipate that we will be able to resolve this surplus and will be working to assist our members in job swaps. Job swaps would allow us to get a package like a VISP while saving another employees job. If you have any questions about this please reach out to myself or any, other steward.
We are looking at a few new retention classes scheduled in May and June, and hopefully, we should see the 8th floor full soon. We are still waiting on an announcement for the Care organization team lead and after that happens hope to see new classes resume there as well.
Something that we keep running into is employees that have been written up recently that did not have a union representative in the room with them. The company will not ask you and to preserve your rights you will need to be proactive and let them know that if this meeting could lead to discipline or be recorded in your file you have the right and you need to have a union steward present. Please ask the job you save likely will be your own. Union reps are not only trained to make sure that you are being treated fairly but also to make sure that if you need help in succeeding at your job you get it. Please don’t ask if you need one if you are asking the question you already do. Unionists are trained to assist you in a fact-finding and it is your right to have us there by law.
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Brothers and Sisters,
This is our August/September Unit report.
Sales (Residential and Small Business)
We have had a very busy summer. The phone has been ringing off the hook in all of our sales channels. We also have had some less than favorable news about CenturyLink in the form of BBB ratings and lawsuits that have generated a lot of bad press. We have also seen a larger number of investigations for sales ethics and customer mistreatment. Here are some things to remember while you are doing phenomenal work taking care of our customers.
· Management has no obligation to ask you if you want a steward. You need to ask for a steward. Do not ask if you need one, ask for one. The company cannot deny a steward for any meeting that could result in discipline, advise you of future discipline if standards are not met, or ask questions (fact finding or investigatory meetings). If you do not ask for a steward, we lose the opportunity to assist you in that meeting and also compare your discipline to that of other disciplined employees to ensure you are being treated fairly.
· No manager ever has the right to take over a long call or any call other than an escalation. If you have a manager (and TSC’s are managers) attempt to take over a call, notify a steward immediately. We have already had this discussion with the company and they are well aware that this is forbidden under the contract.
· You have the right to display your Union signs, shirts or any other item in your cubicle as long as it is inside the walls. Notify a steward immediately if you are asked to move a sign or shirt.
· If you are approached on a long call, the manager needs to be polite. If they are not, please notify a steward right away.
We have finished CFS and YOUCAN time and motion studies and all seems quiet on the time and motion front. Discipline is low right now. We have a few things to be aware of: (1) the company is definitely noticing people walking away and being out of the work area; and (2) we have also seen the company ramp up on cell phone usage. We do not want to see anyone get in trouble.
We continue to monitor workloads and see a high call volume coming to the core team and click to chat as Simple expands region-wide. We continue to try to bring additional work to the center and do a great job of helping out our sister center when they need it.
Regardless of the channel that you work in … as we prepare to merge with Level 3 it looks like more change is coming.
We will have a meeting on September 17, 2017 to discuss current events and happenings. This will be a “drop in” meeting from 4:30-630. The location to be announced (hopefully the Hilton will be open).
We will post flyers on the boards in breakrooms as we get closer to the date.
Have a safe and happy Labor Day, it’s OUR holiday.
AVP Unit 3
CWA Local 7019
Unit 3 Update July 2017
Area 1 Sales support
We have been experiencing changes in the Offline support department. We have new 2 managers and several time and motion studies ongoing right now. Discipline is low and other than attendance almost nonexistent. We continue to have challenges during time and motion studies. It is very important that if you are involved in a time and motion study that you understand and are on the same page as your peers on how to perform a job function, to make sure that you are evaluated fairly. Our Core team is trialing a project to work on Sundays to see if there is a need to assist technicians. We will be closely watching this and other developments in the future. As always if you have a concern on time and motion studies or anything that affects your ability to be successful please see Mike or myself.
Area 2 Small Business Sales.
We have seen a lot of activity in Small business sales as the company is trying to meet their sales goals and have started to crack down on what they call “sales Behaviors” which is a fancy way of saying offering all products appropriately. This is very subjective and in the past we have seen this vary from manager to manager. If you are called to a disciplinary meeting it is imperative that you ask for a steward. You cannot ask if you need a steward, managers need to be told please get a steward before the meeting starts, and even if the meeting is started they still need to get a steward upon your request. A meeting where the company is asking questions should be a red flag that you need a steward. It is your responsibility to ask for a steward, not the company’s responsibility to ask. Asking for a steward by federal law cannot be used against you; it is a right that you are entitled to the National Labor Relation Act and our CWA contract.
Area 3 Residential Sales
There are many changes ongoing in Residential sales. The company has been running audits and cracking down on violations where they feel that the representatives have been abusive or have violated credit policy. To be clear on this last point the company and its new leadership has been very consistent on anything that they feel is customer abuse and commissions that are earned through inappropriate credit overrides, issuing D’s and N’s and cramming and slamming. This may be the new leadership’s direction or a reaction to the lawsuit. I cannot say which but we are seeing a huge surge in disciplines and terminations as a result of this. If you are called into a meeting you NEED to tell the manager that respectfully you will be happy to answer any questions but you want a steward present. It is important to have the union in this meeting to protect your rights. The company has labor experts and HR representatives to protect themselves. The union is here to protect you and make sure that all employees are treated fairly and equally. We have seen low discipline on sales performance and are watching the commission payouts for the sales teams in Phoenix as well as other cities. We are also watching the changes to monitoring and call distribution.
Unit 3 Area Vice President