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All IBEW 824 Members-

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO BE PART OF

THE FLORIDA CHAPTER OF ELECTRICAL

WORKERS MINORITY CAUCUS

Meeting Time-

1st Friday of each month 6:30pm

Union Hall- 6603 E. Chelsea St., Tampa


EWMC MISSION STATEMENT
 

Promote equal opportunity and employment for minorities at all levels of the IBEW structure


Foster leadership and empower minorities to become active participants and leaders in the IBEW


Provide assistance to and address discrimination complaints of minorities in the IBEW


Promote, support and assist the organizing of minority workers in IBEW


Encourage minority workers to be greater activists in community and political affairs and


Be actively involved in AFL-CIO Constituency Groups, human, civil and women’s

rights organizations both within and outside of organized labor.

National EWMC website


Like us on face-book- EWMC FLORIDA CHAPTER LU 824




 

Congratulations to Triage employees

It gives us great pleasure to announce, the employees of Triage stood together yesterday and voted to be represented by the IBEW local 824. Thank you to all our FNFT's who have worked with these MDU technicians recently and shared words of encouragement and support for their right to organize. The election was the first step to reaching a fair and equitable contract for these workers. In an effort to find out the issues of importance for bargaining, we are scheduling meetings with these technicians to start putting together proposals. Please continue to support our newest group of organized workers as we begin the bargaining process.

IBEW Founders' Scholarship

 The IBEW Founders’ Scholarship honors the dedicated wiremen and linemen who founded the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Each year the officers of the IBEW are pleased to offer its working members scholarships on a competitive basis. It is hoped that the awards will not only contribute to the personal development of our members but also steward the electrical industry that our founders envisioned.
An application for the IBEW Founders’ Scholarship (Form 172) is available on the IBEW website www.ibew.org/FoundersScholarship

January 2016

 

 

Happy New Year!

 

During the month of December there were several more Town Hall meetings to discuss the transition to Frontier. On February 24th and 25th, Frontier has tentatively scheduled, after working hours meetings that will be open to all employees who wish to participate. This will be an opportunity, for anyone who wishes to attend, to learn more about the transition but more importantly who Frontier is and how they operate.

 

The planning and preparation leading up to the close of the sale are speeding up rather quickly. Part of the planning process is the scheduling of training classes for the Frontier systems we will be transitioning to. Depending on which department you work in, will determine when and where you training will begin. Currently, the plans for Pre-close training will begin within the next few weeks for the following workgroups- CSSC, DRC, E-center, EVRC and SFC. If you work in BSC, FSC, outside plant, central office or broadband workgroups your training is scheduled to begin April 1st. Please keep in mind every department will be converting to the new systems which will mean everyone will need to receive training regardless of which department you work in. While this sounds like this is going to be an overwhelming task, please understand Frontier has already been through this transition several times already. Dan, John, Josh, Michelle and I will be working with both Verizon and Frontier over the next few weeks to make this transition as seamless as possible.

 

One issue for customer-facing employees to be aware of is, the Verizon uniform website and stipend will not be opened to order additional Verizon uniforms during the first QTR of the year. In the meantime, if you have a shirt that needs to be replaced please contact your supervisor to receive a replacement. On the transition date (April 1st) every customer-facing employee will be provided with 3 Frontier branded shirts to start out with. Following the transition, these employees will be given access to the Frontier website to order the remainder of their uniform needs.

 

If you have a specific question or concern regarding the transition you would like to have addressed please feel free to contact us.

 

On December 18, 2015, Congress passed and the President signed a two-year delay of the 40 percent excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans, also known as the “Cadillac Tax.” This delay was part of a year-end government funding package and changes the effective date from 2018 to 2020.

 

What that means for us, the contract extension that was reached with Frontier contained a “High Value Health Plan Taxes and Health Plan “Re-opener” which stated-

To the extent the premiums or premium equivalents for any Health Plan offered by the Company will exceed the government-mandated thresholds and be subject to this “Cadillac Plan” tax, the parties agree that the CBA’s will be “re-opened” for the limited purpose of re-negotiating such Health Plan or Plans in January of 2017.”

 

The good news is, that since Congressed passed a 2-year delay on the “Cadillac Tax”, none of the contracts (Core, NBSW or Supply) will have to be “re-opened” prior to the expiration of the contact, which is, July 20, 2019.

 

We have been notified that Dr. Honig, the dentist who has replaced Dr. Pulliam will NOT be honoring the Union Dental discounts in 2016. With that said, we have been successful in finding another dental service provider that provides discounts for union members and accepts our dental insurance. The name of the company is Bright Now Dental and has multiple offices throughout our service area. Although I understand a dentist is an extremely personal choice I wanted to make you aware of this cost savings offer. Within the next few weeks, all members will receive a flier in the mail that will detail your savings on dental procedures and the locations currently available. If you need to visit a dentist prior to receiving the flier their website is www.brightnow.com . In addition, a link can also be found on our website under the Member Resources/Forms tab and is listed under Union Made: Bright Now Dental.

 

 

Over the last month several bids have been filled. One of the postings was for FNFT’s positions in Tampa. FNFT’s from Southern bid on and were awarded those vacancies. This created vacancies again in Southern division. As a result, within the next few days a bid will be posted for the remaining Southern FNFT positions.

 

Last month I reported on how Triage employees reached out to us and wanted to be represented by IBEW 824. On December 16th the National Labor Relations Board conducted an election, in which, the employees elected to be organized and represented by IBEW 824. Unfortunately immediately following the vote tally the owner of the company verbally stated her displeasure with this local and within two days of the election terminated an employee without just cause. Subsequently we have filed a charge with the NLRB for retaliation that is being investigated.

The NLRB has certified the election and we have mailed the initial information request to the company along with a letter requesting to begin bargaining in February. A meeting has been scheduled with the employees to begin putting proposals together that will address the needs of these employees.

 

Thank you to all of the FNFT’s that showed support and encouraged them through the election process. Please continue sharing your support for these fellow brothers as we bargain a fair and equitable contract for these workers.

 

 

In Solidarity,

 

Danny

 

 

January 2016

Brothers & Sisters,

  

2016 will be a busy year for all of us with the transition to Frontier on April 1st and I’m trying to staying positive with this change. I know it will be difficult, but I’m sure in the end it will be worth it. With that said, I want to remind everyone that we still work for Verizon and I found an interesting article online that talks about the changes that started for Verizon in 2015 and will continue into 2016. I’ve listed below some of the highlights from the article and would recommend you read the entire article @ www.Fiercetelecom.com by clicking on the link at the bottom of my report.


The year 2015 was a transitional and challenging time for Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) wireline business. Two events were seminal in the telco's most recent history: selling its wireline assets in 3 states -- Florida, Texas and California -- to Frontier, and negotiating a new labor contract with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union.

In February, Verizon announced that it would sell its wireline properties to Frontier for $10.5 billion. News of the sale to Frontier was foreshadowed last January. Lowell McAdam, Verizon's CEO, told investors during the Citi 2015 Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference that some wireline assets could be a better fit for another service provider.

Through this deal, which got the California Public Utility Commission's (CPUC) approval in December, Frontier will expand its copper and FTTH footprint. Verizon also accepted money from the second phase of the FCC's Connect America Fund (CAF-II) on Frontier's behalf. Meanwhile, Verizon will concentrate wireline holdings along the Northeast.

The sale of these assets raised speculation as to whether Verizon will sell its wireline and enterprise network business. Fran Shammo, CFO of Verizon, told investors in November that rumors about its enterprise business "are fact less, baseless and there's no foundation behind these comments."

Selling off its assets to Frontier was only one big issue for Verizon. Having failed to come to an agreement with the CWA, the contract expired in August and the two sides have maintained they will continue negotiating a new labor contract covering 39,000 workers.

Similar to the process Verizon went through in 2012, negotiations have been tense. Verizon has asked the unions for various concessions related on how to structure pension benefits, agree on health care contributions, and remove restrictions on the company's right to contract out and offshore union jobs.

At the same time, CWA staffers have accused Verizon of abandoning its copper network in a practice called de-facto copper retirement in various markets in the Northeast, including MarylandNew Jersey and Virginia. CWA has also asked federal and state regulators in the 11 states where Verizon operates to investigate its copper networks. Verizon has maintained that the CWA's attacks are nothing more than a ploy to advance the union's negotiation agenda.

http://www.fiercetelecom.com/special-reports/verizon-sells-pieces-wireline-network-frontier-continues-union-negotiation


 

In Solidarity,

John Glye Jr.

January 2016

 Sisters and Brothers,

December was a relatively quiet month in my areas. One of the biggest issues was the company notifying us that they would like to create a COMG workgroup again. An expression of interest went out to the current CO techs and it was due back January 6th. As of now, we do not have the final information from these forms and until we do there is really nothing new to report on this matter. I will keep the Chiefs in my areas informed of any new developments.

Southern Division

We have not yet received any news on the 7 FNFT positions that went up for bid in Southern Division. We are expecting the results of the bidding procedure any time now.

I attended a parking lot meeting in Sarasota on January 6th. I would like to thank Chris Emrich for his service in the role of Chief Steward for the past 14 months while welcoming Fred Lauper in as Sarasota’s new Chief. Chris will continue to be involved as a steward.

Venice continues to be busy with the expansion of FiOS into South Venice. The second phase of the project is now open and according to the members who were at the December 17th unit meeting, there is no end in sight to the heavy workload.

Eastern Division

There is yet again discussion on vacation availability between the various yards and workgroups. The Chiefs and Stewards are still trying to work with management to facilitate some more availability throughout the vacation calendar. Hopefully there will be some movement on this issue in favor of the members.

I have also heard from some members that the final overtime roster for their workgroup had not been equalized. I have spoken with some of the stewards and we should be filing an end of year equalization grievance for the affected workgroups.

Safety

I was called earlier this month by a manager who had a safety concern. It seems that there were some employees who were swapping trucks due to some maintenance issues. During the course of the swap, they had forgotten to gather and bring all of their PPE, namely their rubber gloves. While this is a simple mistake that did not lead to any incidents, the fact of the matter is that the technicians were not being safety conscious. We cannot assume that all of the required PPE is on a loaner vehicle when we pick it up. The best way to ensure that you have all of your PPE and that it fits you, as well as it being in good working order, is to transfer your PPE along with your hand tools.

Our next OSP Quarterly Safety Meeting will be held on January 19th. As always, if there are any particular questions or concerns that you would like to see addressed, please contact me and I will get it put on the agenda.
 

In Solidarity,

Josh Saladino

January 2016

 Hello Sisters and Brothers,

 

Last month I reported on a group of employees that work for Triage Parnters, LLC, whom contacted us and asked for our assistance in forming a Union at their workplace. On December 16th, there was a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Secret Ballot Elected and a majority of the workers voted in favor of being represented by IBEW, local 824. On December 29, The NLRB Certified the Election. Now we will begin assisting the employees in Collective Bargaining. We have sent a letter to their employer requesting bargaining and we have also sent their employer an information request to help us prepare for bargaining. We will be sending out surveys to the employees, so we can discover what is important to each and every one of them. We will also have meetings with them to discuss what they can expect going forward. Since the election, we have already had to file an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) against the employer for wrongfully terminating an employee. There are more ULP’s pending, however we have not filed them yet as we are waiting to determine whether or not the employees want to file them.

We were recently contacted by another small group of employees that want our assistance in forming a Union and I had the pleasure of meeting one of the employees last night. Just like most employees that contact us, they feel that their employer is treating them unfairly. The employee I met with is trying to gather more information for us. I will be putting more information together for them and we will be working together to help them form a Union at their workplace and will report more in the future.

So far I have scheduled Parking Lot meeting at the following work centers, please make every effort to attend.

January 13, 2016 – Tarpon Springs

January 19, 2016 – Seminole

January 27, 2016 – Port Richey

January 28, 2016 – Range Rd.

February 10, 2016 – Gandy

If you would like me to come out to your work location please give me a call and let me know. The quicker I hear from you, the faster I will be able to get to that location.


In Solidarity,

Dan Wagner

 

January 2016

Brothers and Sisters,

Each New Year I report on FMLA changes or things that you might not be aware of. We still need the Metlife Attending Physicians forms filled out if you are out more than 3 consecutive days.

Who is Eligible?

If you have been employed for at least 12 months and worked at least 1250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the first day of leave (this averages to about 25 hours per week over 12 months). Hours counted toward the 1250 do not include vacation, medical leave or time off under employee compensation.

What is a “Serious Health Condition?”

The FMLA regulations define qualifying serious health conditions as an illness, injury or physical or mental condition that involves one or more of the following:

  • A hospital stay of at least one night;

  • Incapacity of more than 3 consecutive calendar days (not necessarily workdays and continuing treatment by a health care provider).

  • Incapacity due to a serious chronic disorder which requires periodic visits for treatment (for example asthma, diabetes, chronic back pain).

  • Incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care.

  • Long term or permanent disability.

  • An absence to receive multiple treatments for restorative surgery after an injury or to prevent a period of capacity of more than 3 consecutive days.

 

What is meant by “incapacity?”

Incapacity means the inability to perform one essential function of your job, or perform other regular daily activities due to the serious health condition, treatment there of, or recovery there from.

What is meant by “treatment”?

Treatment by a healthcare provider on a least one occasion, which results in a regimen of treatment

Treatment on two or more occasions by a healthcare provider within 30 days of the first day of incapacity, unless extenuating circumstances exist

The first or only visit to the healthcare provider must take place within 7 days of the incapacity 

Does a healthcare provider have to be a licensed physician?

No. The FMLA regulations define “health care provider” fairly broadly. The term not only includes physicians but also optometrists, osteopaths, chiropractors, podiatrist, dentists, clinical psychologists, Christian Science practitioners, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and clinical social employees (if authorized under state law to diagnose and treat serious health conditions without supervision), and other providers recognized by the employer or group health plan.
 

In Solidarity,

Michelle Agne

NACTEL to host virtual open house on January 14, 2014

Advance your Telecommunications knowledge in 2016 with NACTEL.

Pleas click on the link below for more information and registration details.

NACTEL 2016




National Survey of Working Women

 Sisters and Brothers:

 I hope to encourage all Sisters of the Florida Labor Movement and Working Women
from all sectors to take the survey.  The results will assist to guide specific
issues and policies of the AFL-CIO in the future.

It's been over five years since our federation asked working women about
their priorities and experiences. With the economy in slow recovery, a new
wave of attacks on collective bargaining, and a presidential election on
the horizon, working women's voices are now more important than ever.

The new National Survey of Working Women was developed under the guidance
of the AFL-CIO Executive Council Committee on Women Workers, key partners
and affiliates, and experts throughout the progressive movement. With this
tool, we hope to capture a multi-faceted picture of the lives of working
women across the country, both union and non-union.

The survey is available at
go.aflcio.org/WomensSurvey<http://go.aflcio.org/WomensSurvey>.

We invite you, your members and your community partners to participate in
the survey. We cannot be successful without your help!
Place a link to the survey on your website, send out an email to your
women members asking them to take the survey, and promote it through
social media.  The final report will be released in time for Women's
History Month, March 2016.

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