CWA Local 7800

August 2012

July was a pretty busy month. We have had a lot of grievances lately and a lot of non discipline contractual items at our two largest employers, MV Transit and CenturyLink. Today in our state is the primary day, so the election cycle is really going to kick off and we will be bargaining for CenturyLink at the same time… We will be seeking volunteers for help with mobilization, and legislative stuff. We have a couple community service events coming up as well and would like some help with that. I’ll talk a bit more about each of these a bit later in the report.

DGM controls ratified their contract. I want to thank Michael and Craig for their support on this. It took a very long time to get this done and up to the end the company was somewhat difficult and as I mentioned in earlier reports, it took us several months just to get a clear understanding of where the business was at and to understand how some changes the company had implemented without consultation with the union. The contract will be in effect for 36 months.

Our Legacy T members with AT&T have a tentative agreement and the ballots for our members to vote on the contract have been sent. The national is looking to have those voting results finalized by the end of the month. The contract is quite extensive and there was some give and take on both sides in terms of the final agreement. They were able to retain healthcare with modest increases to employee costs but they also received wage increases that are greater than the healthcare increases. All the changes would require several pages to explain, that being said it is all available online.

We reported that dispatchers for The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATZE) have chosen to organize with us and we are starting the process to begin bargaining and hopefully will have an update next month on that.

Our Retiree chapter has scheduled another meeting for August 9th and the intent is to pass the By-laws of the charter and to discuss opportunities for retiree’s to be involved in bargaining this year.

At CenturyLink I must say management and those in Labor have really been trying my patience as of late. Yesterday I sent an email to Labor describing my frustrations with Local management and with the Labor group. Any time this local plans an event or reaches out to our membership with that employer someone in the company seems to have a fit about something and indicate that we are not following process or in violation of something. After all these allegations neither this local nor its representatives have done anything wrong or violated the LOA on Mobilization. I let the company know we are tired of extending the olive branch to work with the company only for someone to break it and attempt to shove it back down our throats. No, I did not use those words but do believe they understood my point as it was rather blunt. I let them know if they truly want to “Partner” with us then it is time for them to show it and do something because frankly I am done wasting my time. No word back from the company on that….

We did have the Bargaining Meeting in Denver and I will talk about that at the membership meeting for August and probably September. I do have a slide show I can present. Since this report is published and put on our unprotected website I will not get into detail here. I will say the company did call a meeting with our CWA President Larry Cohen and VP Mary Taylor and VP Ralph Maly. The Company came to the meeting with the CEO Glen Post (who asked for the meeting) several senior officers of the company and a board member former Congressman Dick Gephart. The company came to the meeting to say they wanted to “partner” with the union and have a contract settled by the expiration date in October. Mary Taylor indicated she would also like the contract settled by then but that the bargaining would take place at the table with the bargaining team, it would not be done away from the table. She also pointed out to him that being a partner does not mean they get everything they want. So the stage is set and bargaining kicks off next week.

We are participating in the Educational Street fair this year as we have for as many years as I can remember. It is Saturday August 11th from 11 AM to 5 PM at the Horace Mann School located at 2410 East Cherry St. Seattle 98122. If you know some folks who have kids in school and could use some help with a backpack or school supplies this is a great event for them to attend. Children must be present. I will also say last year we gave out over 1,500 backpacks by about 1:30 PM, so many children who came later were not able to get a backpack. So if coming, I would encourage you to come early.

Labor Day is fast approaching and the Martin Luther King CLC is hosting its annual Labor Day picnic at Woodland Park in the lower shelters from 11 AM to 3 PM. The picnic has live music, hot dogs, ice cream, and lots of activities for the kids. We as a local would like to invite all to attend this event as part of our Membership Appreciation. Additional details to follow.

I am going to end this report here but again to remind folks to come to the meetings for more detailed information. As bargaining kicks off we will be sending bargaining reports via email, text messaging, posting them on our website (as allowed to do), and updating the hotline.

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