Due to the situation regarding the coronavirus globally and in the US, along with instructions from our D6 VP, Claude Cummings, we will not have any meetings or large gatherings, including the monthly Executive Board & Membership meetings until further notices.
This is to inform you that we will be announcing the application process for the CWA Joe Beirne Foundation’s scholarship for the 2020-2021 school year.
You will find a copy of the Beirne Foundation scholarship rules at the link shown below.
The Foundation’s Board of Directors has approved the awarding of sixteen (16) partial college scholarships of $4,000 each for two years. Eligible for the scholarships are CWA members, their spouses, children, and grandchildren, including the dependents of retired, laid-off, or deceased members. Applications will be available solely online for submission on the Foundation’s website at http://cwa-union.org/beirne-application.
Please follow this link at www.cwa-union.org/beirneposter for the poster that you can distribute to members and post on local websites to encourage participation. Full program details can be found on the website at:
This valuable scholarship program is made possible by the funding of CWA locals. For those locals not yet participating in funding the Beirne scholarships, I urge you to do so. Financial arrangements can be made to accommodate your local’s needs.
For more information and assistance, please call 202.434.1320.
Launching New Union Plus Legal Program
Union Plus is pleased to announce the launch of the new Legal Program. Union members can now choose from two levels of savings:
Union Plus Legal Program – Premium
Members must enroll at a low monthly fee and have access to a high level of premium legal savings:
All attorney fees are paid by the plan for covered matters
Unlimited access to legal assistance
No limitations such as hour or dollar caps on covered matters
Expert legal advice and representation, in person or by phone
Network of 15,000+ attorneys
Union Plus Legal Program – Basic
Members register for free and get access to:
Free initial consultation, up to 30 minutes
25% off attorney’s hourly or flat rate fees
Access to over 6,000 in-network law offices
Note, members can view the list of participating attorneys online before joining.
This plan replaces the existing free Union Plus legal program. Please note these important changes to the lawyer referral process.
The list of participating lawyers for the free discount plan is no longer available online.
For access, members need to complete a simple registration form online.
After registration, members are sent an immediate automated email with the referral toll-free number.
The legal referral call center will direct members to the appropriate participating lawyer in their area.
Please do not publicize the referral toll-free number. Members must first register online before calling for a referral.
The E-Board and Membership meetings will be held on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.
Executive Board meeting 5:30pm
General Membership meeting 6:30pm
Please mark your calendar & make a commitment to attend the monthly union meetings. As members we all have the privilege to attend, vote and speak at these meetings. It is not just for officers and stewards, we all( officers, stewards, all members), make up the “union”. We are also gearing up for the D6 Mobility contract expiring February 2020.Bring any questions, comments or concerns that you may have. We will have a few topics to cover and provide updates on things going on in our different departments and areas. Please come and join us.
The E-Board and Membership meetings will be held on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 due to the Labor Day Holiday.
Executive Board meeting 5:30pm
General Membership meeting 6:30pm
Please mark your calendar & make a commitment to attend the monthly union meetings. As members we all have the privilege to attend, vote and speak at these meetings. It is not just for officers and stewards, we all( officers, stewards, all members), make up the “union”. Bring any questions, comments or concerns that you may have. We will have a few topics to cover and provide updates on things going on in our different departments and areas. Please come and join us.
We are also gearing up for the D6 Mobility contract expiring February 2020. We were at the Mobility Call center on August 24, 2019 to begin having our members fill out bargaining proposals and surveys to let the District know what is most important to them along with changes that they would like made. Personal contact sheets are also filled out so that we can keep the members informed of updates and any mobilization activities regarding bargaining. We will be going to the RSO stores and back at the Call center on the following dates so that all Mobility members and those that would like to join can have input involving the next contract:
Mobility Call Center RSO Stores
Thursday, 09-12-19 8:00a – 5:30p 82nd Street Thursday, 09-12-19 2:30p – 5:30p
Tuesday, 09-17-19 8:00a – 6:00p Milwaukee(Canyon West) Tuesday, 09-17-19 2:30p – 5:30p
University & 6th St Thursday, 09-19-19 2:30p – 5:30p
2019 ANNUAL ENROLLMENT
Dates: October 1, 2018 through November 16, 2018
Times: 7:00am – 7:00pm Central Time
* Have 7 weeks instead of 2 weeks to enroll
* During the enrollment period changes can be made. ONCE
the period is over NO Corrections to make changes will be
available – unless there is some unusual circumstances
* Make sure to keep your confirmation of coverage. Again, you
can make any changes during the enrollment period & you
should get a confirmation on your secure website every time
* Even if you do not want to make changes from the option
you currently have go in & confirm it. (Last year some
did not do anything & found out later that they were
switched to a different option)
* Please check that you are on the right option before submitting.
It has been found that Option 2 automatically pulls up 1st
instead of Option 1
** Notice: Option 2 is cheaper regarding monthly premiums but
discounts for your prescriptions will not take affect until you
have met all your deductibles
***Voluntary Options – – 3rd party vendors
These will be discussed at the Membership meeting, along
with a few other benefit topics on October 2, 2018 at 6:30p
You can enroll online or by calling the AT&T Benefit Center.
Remember that Daylight Saving Time began today, March 10th 2013 and will last until November 3rd 2013.
Brothers and Sisters, as we all know at this point District 6 is declaring that the AT&T Southwest Tentative Agreement has passed. I don’t think anyone should be surprised by this announcement; when our leadership declared that they had a ‘new’ TA which contained only two minor changes, and that they were going to spend tens of thousands of dollars to modify how votes were cast and counted it was very clear that they were attempting to manipulate the vote.
District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings stated that his intent was to make sure that more people voted, as ‘very few’ votes caused the first tentative agreement to fail. At the time of this writing (3/1/2013) District 6 has made a brief announcement that the new agreement passed, but is either unwilling or unable to provide any vote total information. This should come as no surprise; Vice President Cummings has been uncommunicative about vote specifics in the past. This lack of transparency has long been a point of concern. Here at CWA Local 6203, we announce yes and no vote totals to our members whenever there’s a vote; we feel that the members are entitled to this information.
We also make it easy to vote at CWA Local 6203; our Secretary-Treasurer traditionally visits each job site, verifies the identity and membership status of a member and then allows that member to cast a secret ballot. We also make voting available at the union hall, and our officers volunteer a lot of extra time to make sure that everyone interested in casting a ballot has the ability to do so.
Let’s compare that to this new contract. District 6 had ballots mailed out directly to members. Those who did not receive a ballot were instructed to call Scott Boswell of the American Arbitration Association during a three hour window by 2/21/2013. This announcement was posted to Facebook on 2/14/2013, giving members six total opportunities to request a ballot; all of them during regular work hours. I don’t suppose District 6 was intending to pay lost time to members who had no choice but to take time away from their job duties to request a ballot. Keep in mind that the rules stated that the only person who could request a ballot was the member who had not received a ballot; our membership was specifically barred from seeking assistance from our locals on this important matter.
On the one hand, we have a member-friendly approach to voting, one that allows members the choice to either vote before or after work, on a break, or during lunch at their place of employment and also affords members the ability to vote off-site at the local itself. On the other hand, we have mail in ballots which may or may not have been mailed out and an extremely short time frame for requesting a ballot should one not arrive in a timely manner. This is pretty classic vote suppression. It seems like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings are of the same mind when it comes to voting rights.
Now, a lot of people are talking about what should be done about this. District 6 has recently purged the vast majority of comments from their Facebook page and posted a ‘commenting policy’ to explain it. It’s a sad comment on the state of things that District 6 is more interested in censoring the Facebook comments of its members than it is in bargaining with AT&T Southwest.
Before the great purge, there were several calls to either leave or attempt to decertify the union. Look folks, AT&T Southwest would like nothing more than for us to take these actions. So-called “Right To Work” laws are designed specifically to bankrupt unions so that we have no job protections whatsoever. Decertification of the union would be the end of the contract, and I am sure that AT&T Southwest would lose no time in eliminating pensions, destroying benefits and slashing pay. These are not the answers.
The answer is our leadership. We need leaders with a good grounding in what a union is supposed to be, one who will fight tirelessly for our membership. We need people who understand – truly understand – that generations of workers who came before us literally fought and died for things like an 8 hour work day. Everything we have was paid for in blood, and it’s so easy for uncaring leadership to throw it all away.
National President Larry Cohen often talks about coalition and movement building; we’re often told that we’re just not in quite good enough a position to hang onto everything we have. Wrong. The companies we work for are enjoying year after year of record profits. The CEO’s of America’s companies make more money than every single American Union Worker combined. It shouldn’t be this way.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is reported to have made over $22 million dollars in 2011 – and his healthcare is paid for, too. Does Randall Stephenson deserve a good salary? Absolutely. He runs a great company, and he runs it well. Can Randall Stephenson and AT&T afford to take far, far better care of its employees? Absolutely. Easily. Would executive multi-million dollar pay packages suffer if they did? Probably. If an executive has to make ends meet with a few million less dollars per year so that the people at the bottom can both put food on the table each day and go see a doctor once a year then that’s a fair trade.
Personally, I work for AT&T Mobility and am not directly affected by this contract, but I cannot sit idly by while my fellow members and our community are hurt like this. Offsetting raises with rising healthcare and spiraling retirement hurts the community at large. Solidarity isn’t just a catch phrase; we are literally all in this fight together, from the member who hired on yesterday all the way to the top.
We need leaders who understand and live the union vision and life. Vice President Claude Cummings has proven that he is not such a leader. I’m not sure what would motivate our leadership to endorse this contract, but it’s clear that the good of the members was not on their minds. Let’s make sure that when we have the chance to select our leaders, we select leaders who will consistently put the membership first. In the meantime, there are actions we can take to make sure we are heard on this contract. The CWA Constitution has provisions for filing a complaint against the union or its officers. The rules state that all complaints must be in writing, signed and submitted to the president of the union within sixty days of the time the complainant becomes aware of an alleged violation. I feel that ignoring the voice of the membership and taking steps to force the ratification of an unwanted contract is a violation and that complaints are warranted. If you agree, take the time to file a complaint. Get together with other members of your local and file complaints as a group. Be heard!
If there’s anything I can do to help, please feel free to contact me any time.
In actual solidarity,
Curtis R. Martin
Reminder: The town hall call for our current TA will be held on Tuesday, February 12th at 7:00 PM. Join us at the union hall or register to listen elsewhere at The District 6 Website.
In looking through the new final bargaining report released by District 6, we noticed that page 2 of the PDF contains the following language, also found on page 4 of the PDF from the failed tentative agreement: “If the agreement is ratified on or before January 31, 2013, a ratification bonus of $1000 will be paid to each eligible employee.”
CWA Local 6203 is working to determine whether this means there is not a ratification bonus on the table with this TA, or if in the rush to conclude early bargaining as quickly as possible the bargaining committee simply included information from the failed TA in this TA in error.