Call center workers vote to ratify first agreement with FairPoint
South China and Winthrop, Maine -- A year after forming a new union with CWA Local 1400, customer service representatives at two FairPoint Communications call centers in Maine ratified their first union contract on August 5. The 55 workers are based at FairPoint facilities in Winthrop and South China, Maine.
"This is a big win for the employees of FairPoint, providing us with much needed job security in these hard economic times," said Lance Gagne, a customer service rep.
Job security provisions in the agreement provide protections against subcontracting, and severance pay and recall rights in the case of layoffs. The agreement is for five years.
"This agreement achieves many of the members' key goals," said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. "We won a strong grievance procedure with due process rights, bidding rights on new jobs, and company recognition of workers' seniority rights."
The new union members will maintain the same health care benefits that are currently afforded to managers.
"It was great to see so many people pull together to put together this agreement," said Cathy Coolidge, who works as a customer service rep. "Everyone at FairPoint can take credit for this, and everyone can be proud!"
Another 350 FairPoint employees are united in Local 1400 who work in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. CWA Local 1400 also represents workers at Verizon and AT&T throughout New England.
Congratulations Fairpoint Classic Members!!!
YOU DID IT!
The CWA Local 1400 bargaining committee has reached a tentative agreement with Fairpoint Classic! Your committee worked hard right up into the final hours, led by Keri Evinson & Paul Bouchard.
First Ever Contract Highlights
Vacation: although we will still be accruing vacation based on the chart currently located in our handbook…we will now be allowed to schedule/use all the vacation we will accrue over a course of the year! No more waiting until you earn the time for Vacations!!!
Subcontracting of Work: Fairpoint cannot subcontract out our work or share it with other centers if it will result in a layoff for the S. China call center employees.
Severance: If there is a layoff, you can choose to be placed on a recall list for 1 year OR take a lump sum payment of 1 week per year you were employed with the company.
Insurance: for now, the insurance will stay as it is. We will continue to get the same benefits as Fairpoint managers, meaning if their plan changes in 2010, so will ours. In November 2011, Fairpoint has agreed to reopen the contract to address the matter of Insurance.
Posting and Promotion: Senior qualified candidates will be placed in the positions they apply for. Positions will no longer be filled based misc. criteria. If you are able to do the job you will get it if you are the most senior candidate.
Overtime: The use of PTO will be used in the calculations of Overtime!!! You will be given a 24 hour notice on mandatory OT on an already scheduled work day and 4 days notice if that OT is to be worked on a non scheduled day. If they call a half hour lunch, you will be notified 2 hours prior to the start of your lunch break.
PTO: will still be accrued in the manner laid out in our hand book…but don’t forget, it is used in the calculation of overtime!
Grievance Process: Ok guys, this is huge!! We now have what is known as a “Just Cause Standard” . This means that the company must have a valid reason for disciplining you and that reason can’t be because they felt like it. If you are disciplined and you file a grievance, the company now has to prove that the discipline was reasonable, they are going to be held accountable. Everyone will be treated the same and treated fair. Even though we have had an interim process, it didn’t have a Just Cause Standard….we do now!!
Seniority: The company has agreed to recognize the concept of Seniority.
Discipline and Discharge: We cannot grieve Verbal warnings, BUT…they age off after 6 months! Written warnings are grievable and will be regressed to a verbal after 9 months…said verbal will still age off after 6 months. Suspensions will age back to written after 18 months, and verbal after 9 additional months then gone after 6 additional months and are of course grievable.
On Call/Call Back Pay: If you are called back to work after your shift ends or on a day that is not a normal working day for you, you will get a MINIMUM OF 4 HOURS PAY!!!!!
Wages: We will be getting raises, more on this to follow!
There is a lot more to the contract then the above mentioned items, these are just what we felt were the highlights. As always if you have questions or are wondering about anything that is not mentioned in this summary, please don’t hesitate to contact the members of the bargaining team! We will be holding a meeting and giving more information to everyone soon.
We cannot thank everyone enough for the support you all have shown the bargaining team! We all did this together and we can all be proud!
Details for Verizon "Surplus" Declaration
Hello Verizon Members,
The company has sent out a notification of a surplus condition (please read attachment). While we were first told that we would not be affected we have been notified that this is not the case.
A reminder that there is a no lay-off provision for those members hired before August 2nd, 2003.
|CWA||Administrative Assistant||MA||Marlboro||251 Locke Dr||Lederman, Perla||1|
|Local||Taunton||385 Myles Standish Blvd||Cahill, Brian||1|
|1400||Administrative Assistant Total||2|
|Service Representative||MA||Andover||20 Shattuck Rd||Cahill, Brian||2|
|Springfield||365 State St||Sordillo, John||1|
|Taunton||11-13 Pleasant St||Cahill, Brian||2|
|385 Myles Standish Blvd||Cahill, Brian||3|
|Service Representative Total||8|
|Special Assistant||MA||Marlboro||251 Locke Dr||Lederman, Perla||1|
|Taunton||11-13 Pleasant St||Cahill, Brian||4|
|385 Myles Standish Blvd||Cahill, Brian||5|
|Special Assistant Total||10|
|Grand||Total of "Surplus" in CWA Local 1400||20|
At this time you can expect to
receive a package in the mail for an Enhanced Income Protection
Payment. These payments will be awarded, by seniority, to those in
the affected job titles throughout the Involuntary Transfer Areas.
These areas are Western Massachusetts, which includes only
Springfield, and then all other centers in Massachusetts make up
If the company gets the volunteers it needs for the IPP, the involuntary reduction in force will not occur. We will let you know if the company needs to implement any additional steps.
We will update as we get information!
Dress Code Talks Continue
President Trementozzi will be In New York city this week working hard for our Verizon members, bargaining Verizon's workplace attire. The talks are scheduled for Monday-Wednesday & we'll post more information as we have it.
Verizon: Get off home phone
Wireless is urging customers to “cut the cord” with their
old-fashioned phone service - even though its corporate owner still
has a large land-line business employing thousands of workers in
Massachusetts and across the nation...
“Even I got one of the fliers at home,” said Trementozzi, whose union represents about 1,000 Massachusetts Verizon workers. “The ad campaign is real crazy. It’s a big mistake.”
Click here for the article
A Message from Mike O'Day
Hello Burlington Members,
If you could not make the recent meeting here is just a recap
Click here for the rest
FairPoint mess puts three states in jeopardy
By STEVE EARLY
When your pay, benefits or job are in jeopardy, there's little satisfaction in saying: "We told you so!"
that’s exactly what 3,500 northern New England telephone workers are
entitled to tell state officials who approved Verizon’s sale to
FairPoint. Their flawed regulatory decisions in Vermont, Maine, and
New Hampshire have put employees, customers, local businesses, and
the whole regional economy at risk.
Click here to read the article.
The Concord Monitor Article: FairPoint blasted at PUC hearing
"What you've done is negligent," Morrison said to Dee Burger, a Capgemini project manager. "You have placed the economic health of a large corporation and three states in jeopardy. This has made newspaper headlines across the nation. You have tarnished the image of these three states. Your company is responsible for that."
Don Trementozzi of the Communication Workers of America Local 1400 union said he thinks the problem is not the workers but the systems. He pointed a finger at Capgemini. "Simple orders are just not making it through the system," he said.
Click here to read the article
AT&T Mobility Contract Ratified. Click here for more...
Click here for the Fairpoint Classic Bargaining update.
Judge refuses to dismiss case against FairPoint
A federal judge has refused to dismiss a case alleging FairPoint Communications Inc. engaged in deceptive conduct by availing itself of proprietary information belonging to a Burlington customer service and sales firm.
Click here for the full article.
from the Communications Workers of America
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
For immediate release: June 16, 2009
For more info contact: Rand Wilson (617) 809-0799
100 jobs at risk…
FairPoint challenged to fulfill job commitments
Portland -- When FairPoint Communications bought Verizon's landlines in Northern New England, it made commitments in all three states to improve service, add jobs and increase access to high speed internet.
During the "cutover" period, both unions allowed the company increased flexibility to help it staff operations. That flexibility included FairPoint temporarily using a subcontractor to outsource about 60 positions to Canada to help the Portland, Maine team with wholesale provisioning for its larger customers.
But now that the cutover is complete, that work is supposed to return to the Portland office where management had promised to complete the additional staffing.
Last week, FairPoint management reported that it intended to continue to outsource the 60 jobs to Canada. To add insult to injury, management says that as of July 31, it intends to permanently outsource an additional 40 Service Rep jobs from Portland to the same vendor in Canada!
Similarly, FairPoint has taken Collections Department jobs promised for Littleton, NH and South Burlington, VT and given them to out-of-the-region subcontractors.
"Both IBEW and CWA have worked cooperatively with management to help FairPoint get federal stimulus money," said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. "But now FairPoint is violating our contracts and not living up to the promises it made in all three states."
"Even as FairPoint boasts about adding jobs in Maine, it's actually taking away the good jobs that we already have," said Pete McLaughlin, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327.
"This is our work. The revenue is generated in New England and the work should be done in New England," McLaughlin added. "In this economy, these telephone jobs are more important than ever. Hiring local people will ensure a higher quality standard of service. We can't afford to miss any opportunity for economic growth."
Diane Winton, President of IBEW Local 2327, says union activists won't let the company "off the hook" for the promises it has made. "If FairPoint doesn't change its mind on these jobs, there may be a lot more than just fireworks at the company-sponsored 'Employee Appreciation' night set for the Seadogs vs. Erie baseball game on Thursday night."
The baseball game is scheduled for 6:00 PM on Thursday June 18 at Hadlock Field, 271 Park Avenue in Portland.
Jobs With Justice Drafts Joint Health Care Reform Letter
to Obama with Massachusetts Labor Leaders
Dear President Obama,
your commitment to enact legislation that
will improve health care in the United
States. Health care continues to be a
critical issue for workers at the bargaining
table and -- as the crisis in the auto
industry shows -- without a real solution
responsible employers lose their competitive
edge while employees suffer...
Click here to read the letter.
We would like to thank everyone who came to Friday night's location meeting at the Lawrence Elks lodge.
A special thanks to our guests Pete Sikora District-1 NY and his presentation on the Employee Free Choice Act, Eddie Starr and his Officers from the IBEW who allowed us to join his RESPECT campaign, Rand Wilson from the AFL-CIO, Ralph Montefusco, CWA Organizer/Mobilizer, Dave Reardon and Steve Smith IBEW 2222, Jen Doe from Jobs with Justice and last, but certainly not least Steve Early, former CWA National and Local 1400 Staff Rep.
We were all reminded
that, while, labor is in a better position as a result of the
recent elections of Obama and a Democratic Senate, we must unite
and push for there to be a real change against corporate greed
and company intimidation in organizing. We can make this change
happen through grass roots membership participation. Again thank
you for all your continued support.
Hello CWA Local 1400 Verizon
As you may have just found out, the Company just announced that Andover, as of April 5, 2009, will be going back to one schedule. You will still remain under the three separate queues for the determination of overtime until such time as everyone is trained in Fios which is estimated to be completed by end the end of June. This training will put us back to one schedule platform again and depending on your office you will see schedule allocations change, hopefully for the better, and we will keep you informed. Finally progress is being made but this is just the beginning.....
Springfield you will be the first demand office to be trained in Fios starting next week, followed by Worcester and then, finally the rest of Andover... This FIOS training schedule was determined by the company, because of the availabity of workforce development for whatever reasons. The goal is to be universal service reps again, trained to handle every call. This allows less transfers more efficiencies and reduces the queues and we can get our closed time back on a consistent basis.
We have been telling the company that there is workplace pressure which is causing a severe morale problem. One of the reasons the company agreed to one schedule is to boost morale and to move in a positive Union / Management relationship. We have agreed to rekindle the NEAT committee in an effort to address work place concerns/ problems.
Our Corporate profit sharing check is 749.00 this year. You will be receiving this in your 03/05/09 payroll check.
If you know someone who or did not receive this e-mail directly from an officer please send your e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and office location.
Thanks for your continued support and stay united. Have a great weekend.
AT&T Mobility Members:
Your signing bonus will be included in your May 15th check.
Click here for more pictures from the Jobs With Justice annual dinner
Attention Fairpoint NNE Members
Northern New England Work & Family
The enrollment (re-enrollment) period for the Dependent Care Reimbursement Fund (DCRF) starts April 1, 2009. Everyone who wishes to enroll in, or continue to be part of the DCRF program MUST submit their paperwork....
Read more here.
Special Delivery for Verizon Shareholders
Verizon's annual meeting will be held in Louisville, KY,
on May 7. Proxies should be arriving in the mail or by e-mail shortly.
Once again, the CWA and IBEW local unions will be collecting completed
proxies to deliver to Verizon's top management.
Below are voting recommendations from CWA Local 1400.
Item 1. Election of Directors
CWA Local 1400 recommends a VOTE AGAINST ALL
Item 2. Ratify Appointment of Independent Registered Public Accountants
CWA Local 1400 has NO RECOMMENDATION
Item 3. Advisory Vote Related to Executive Compensation
CWA Local 1400 recommends a VOTE AGAINST ITEM 3
Item 4. Approval of Verizon's Long-Term Incentive Plan
CWA Local 1400 recommends a VOTE AGAINST ITEM 4
Item 5. Approval of Verizon's Short-Term Incentive Plan
CWA Local 1400 recommends a VOTE AGAINST ITEM 5
Item 6. Stock Options
CWA Local 1400 recommends a VOTE FOR ITEM 6
Item 7. Special Shareholder Meetings
CWA Local 1400 recommends a VOTE FOR ITEM 7
Item 8. Separate the Roles of Board Chairman and CEO
CWA Local 1400 recommends a VOTE FOR ITEM 8
Item 9. Cumulative Voting for Election of the Board of Directors
CWA Local 1400 recommends a VOTE FOR ITEM 9
Item 10. Golden Coffin Agreements
CWA Local 1400 recommends a VOTE FOR ITEM 10
Please return your completed proxy in the original envelope directly to your steward or executive board member by Thursday, April 30
Note: You cannot vote online if you want the union to deliver your proxy. You may print out the online proxy and then treat it like a regular paper proxy.
CWA & IBEW will be collecting and delivering voted proxies to the company. CWA & IBEW are not asking for discretionary authority to vote proxies on behalf of their members. Please make sure you vote and sign your proxy.
CWA Local 1400
155 West Road, Portsmouth, NH
Organizers protest at Rite Aid store
By Sabrina Cardin, Staff writer
AMESBURY -- Half a dozen local protesters gathered at Rite Aid yesterday in support of California workers currently fighting to join a union and their larger cause, the Employee Free Choice Act.
Protesters believe the Rite Aid in Lancaster, Calif., with its violations and attempts to halt a union, shows the importance of the Employee Free Choice Act.
The legislation would amend the National Labor Relations Act. Current law has favored secret ballot elections that are monitored by the federal government; the new law would favor a system where a union is formed if it can get at least 50 percent of employees to sign a petition.
Unions have argued the current system allows employers to pressure employees to vote against unionizing. Critics of the proposed law say it will allow unions to strongarm and intimidate employees, and effectively take away the secret ballot system.
"These are rights we have had in the United States since the 1930s, and what happened at Rite Aid is wrong; they only got a slap on the wrist," said Sumner Delaney, the lead organizer.
"I'm here in part for Jobs with Justice, and they are powerful. If we wanted 500 people here, we could have them here, but that's not what we are about," Delaney said.
Upon his arrival, Delaney stated his purpose to the Rite Aid manager in Amesbury. After 5 minutes, the manager instructed protesters to leave the property or he would call the police.
Amesbury police Sgt. William Sholtz appeared on the scene but did not ask them to leave.
Delaney handed the officer a flier to which he replied, "You are fine, don't disrupt anything and you are OK."
Protesters gathered in the rain and handed out leaflets providing information on Rite Aid and the act from 4 to 6 p.m. at seven Rite Aid chains across Massachusetts. Amesbury's leafletting campaign is one in a long line of protests that have been taking place across the United States for months. In February, demonstrators gathered at 14 separate Rite Aid locations in Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington and California.
"We want people to know the public is working against these national companies, and we need to be heard," Delaney said. "It's about developing the middle class, which will save the country."
Delaney first heard about the act and Rite Aid's current controversy with workers wanting to join a union in Southern California through Jobs with Justice. Jobs with Justice is a national campaign to win justice in workplaces and work toward economic and social justice. It has helped lead protests throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Delaney chose Amesbury's Rite Aid branch because his parents live in town and he has a familiarity with the area.
"It's a blue-collar town, and people need to be aware and know how important it is to vote for the Employee Free Choice Act,' he said.
Both of Delaney's parents handed out leaflets in support of the protest.
Although out in support of the Employee Free Choice Act and California Rite Aid employees' rights, Delaney said he is not against Rite Aid.
"We aren't here to protest Rite Aide; we want people to still go to their stores, but we want people to know that they need to sign this union contract," he said.
Obama Creates Working
Families Task Force,
Issues Executive Orders Covering Contractors
Obama Jan. 30 officially launched a White
House task force aimed at raising the living
standards of middle class working families
and issued three labor-friendly executive
orders regarding the rights of workers
employed by federal contractors...
Click here for the full story.
The Union for the Information Age
155 West Rd, Portsmouth, NH 03802 603 436-4388
For more info contact: Ralph Montefusco (802) 862-4085, cell (802) 598-5613 or
Rand Wilson (617) 809-0799
FairPoint challenged to make good on it's job commitments at Vermont hearing
Montpelier - When FairPoint Communications bought Verizon's landlines in Northern New England, it made commitments in all three states to improve service, add jobs and increase access to high speed internet.
Last week it was
reported that FairPoint would outsource 40 to 50
Collections Department jobs they promised to
create in South Burlington to a vendor in
"We are outraged," said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400 at a joint hearing of the House Commerce and Senate Economic Development Committees on January 28. "Even before the cutover to FairPoint is complete, the company is reneging on its promises."
The hearing was co-chaired by State Senator Vincent Illuzzi (R- Newport) and State Rep. Warren Kitzmiller, (D- Montpelier).
Also testifying at
the hearing were Pam Porell, VP for Government
Affairs, FairPoint Communications, and David
O'Brien, Chris Campbell and Ron Behrns from the
Vermont Dept. of Public Service.
"This is our work. The revenue is generated in New England and the work should be done in New England," added Trementozzi. "These telephone jobs are important opportunities for all of us and hiring local people will ensure a higher quality standard of service. We can't afford to miss any opportunity for economic growth."
Click here for more pictures from the FairPoint hearing
Click here for President Don Trementozzi's Testimony
Click here for coverage in the Boston Globe
Click here for coverage on CBS channel 3 WCAX
Hello Brothers and Sisters,
On Tuesday, January 13th, CWA Dist-1 Staff Rep Paul Bouchard and I were invited to a meeting in Portland by John Polley, FairPoint VP of Labor Relations. At this meeting, FairPoint Treasury Vice-President Tom Griffin, who is based in Charlotte, N. C., gave us an overview of FairPoint's financial position. He then tried to justify their financial situation as the reason to pull back the 17 CWA awarded job bids for the new collection group. They planned on filling about 35-40 collection jobs in So Burlington and at least another 13 collection jobs in Littleton NH. They informed us they would outsource these jobs to Mississippi. We asked FP how they could justify the violation to our contract and how they could renege on their commitments to the 2 legislative bodies in NH and VT as well as the commitment to the communities? They said they had already decided and will be outsourcing this work.
I can tell you since Tuesday, we have received the full backing of our National Union Dist-1 VP Chris Shelton to support our fight against FairPoint's decision to outsource our work. We have asked the Vermont Legislature to bring FairPoint back into the oversight committee hearings. A red flag should being going off with the PUC's in all 3 states. It appears cutover hasn't even begun and FairPoint has started to back out of the 600 jobs they committed to hiring in all 3 states. What's next?
I am asking all of you to join together to fight Fairpoint and their unacceptable decision to outsource our jobs. Together with the CWA National Union we have already begun implementing our action plan. The VT Stewards Army will be updated and will inform all of you.
CWA Local 1400
Officer training February 2009. More here
Marlboro Chief Steward
Election Results are in...
Congratulations Maryellen McConville!
Cy Anderlionis 36
The Union for the Information Age
155 West Rd, Portsmouth, NH 03802 603 436-4388
CWA: AT&T Mobility Shows
Little Interest in Settling Contract
Washington, D.C. – Negotiations resumed earlier today between the Communications Workers of America and AT&T Mobility, but CWA said that union and company bargainers remain far apart on several important issues. No further talks are scheduled at this time.
CWA is prepared to bargain at any time. However, AT&T Mobility needs to come to the bargaining table ready to discuss and resolve some very complicated issues, and so far, the company has shown no willingness to do so, said CWA Executive Vice President Annie Hill.
The contract covering AT&T Mobility workers is set to expire at midnight. CWA sought a longer extension so that the bargainers could resolve some very complex issues, but AT&T Mobility has refused.
"CWA is disappointed that Mobility management seems unwilling to hammer out an agreement at the bargaining table. Instead, the company has used scare tactics to frighten employees, forcing CWA to file charges against AT&T Mobility with the National Labor Relations Board," Hill said.
In these negotiations, CWA represents 20,000 Mobility workers in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, the mid-West, Mountain States and the West Coast.
AT&T Mobility Members,
LIES...LIES...and MORE lies
The company is putting out a lot of lies to try to scare you and weaken us at the bargaining table. They want us to get only what they want to give us and ignore all the things we need. This is our only chance for the Union to try to get you a fair wage increase and fix some of our problems on the job. AT&T Mobility management wants to steal that chance from us and wants you to help them.
Lie#1 – Management can force you to resign.
The truth – They can not. You have a legal right to be a Union member and they cannot force you to quit.
Lie #2 – They can fire you on Monday if you don't resign and if we don't have a contract
The truth – They cannot. In fact it is illegal for them to try to scare you into quitting the Union or discipline you in any way for being a Union member.
Lie #3 – They can stop you from wearing signs of solidarity with the Union, like wearing a red pin or bracelet.
The truth – They should not. The law says you have a right to wear items in support of the Union unless they can prove it disrupts their business. If your boss demands that you remove your button, or other item, you should do it and find other ways to show your support. Let the Union know so we can fight it.
This illegal activity on the part of the AT&T Mobility will not go unchallenged. The National Labor Relations Act covers these violations. Don't fall for their tricks! Call the Union if you are approached with any of these lies. The only way we will win a good contract is if we stick together.
Please be sure to visit the AT&T Mobility section of our web site frequently.
Portsmouth union office locks glued shut after new officers elected
By GEOFF CUNNINGHAM Jr.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
PORTSMOUTH — Police say someone put glue in the
locks at a local union office on West Road and at
least one of the newly elected heads of the union
suspects it was not a case of random vandalism...
Click here for the full story.
Election results for Chief Stewards