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IBEW LOCAL 2325
Central Massachusetts Telephone Workers
 
 
August 28, 2016
Action Center

ALL MEMBERS 8/18/16:

Members should have received new healthcare membership cards in the mail. Your healthcare provider has updated these cards with new information and distributed them via mail. If you did not receive new cards for every family member on your plan then notify your healthcare provider.

The company has notified the Union that beginning September 15th members may begin contributing up to 25% of eligible pay weekly into their 401K. This is a voluntary 9% increase from the original 16% you could put in prior to this new contract. Contributions can be made using any combination of before-tax, after-tax and or ROTH contributions. If you have any questions please call the Verizon Savings Plan Service center @ 1-888-457-9333. Representatives will be available from 8:30am till midnight.

The IBEW Unity fund will only accept applications for medical expenses incurred during the strike. Please do not submit any applications for any other expenses. The Unity fund committee has dispersed approximately a quarter of a million dollars to members in need. The fund is low therefore we can only accept medical applications. I would like to thank the committee for their hard work and dedication in organizing and dispersing the funds to the members. A special thank you to our own executive board member Jaime Gniadek who represented Local 2325 on the Unity fund committee. This local was well represented on that committee. 

IBEW System Council T-6
 

2015-2016 Final Bargaining Report

May 30, 2016

After 48 Days on Strike 39, 000 Members of the IBEW and CWA have a Tentative Agreement.

The Members within the IBEW SCT-6 Council took to the streets in order to force Verizon to negotiate a fair contract.  Without your efforts and sacrifice we would not have achieved our goal.  Nearly 11 months of negotiations have concluded in securing good jobs, wages, and benefits until August 3, 2019.

We have emerged from an ideological war with a corporation that believed that this was their opportunity to break the Union.  The exact opposite happened.  The Membership who took part in the Strike of Verizon in 2016 did not waiver.  When faced with no pay - we stood tall. When faced with the elimination of our medical coverage the company thought that would be a crushing blow; believing we'd fall apart. When that didn't happen the Verizon brass realized that they had severely underestimated our Solidarity.  

Strikes are not only for the immediate situation they are also to measure if those who currently do the work are employees first or if they are Union Members first. That question has been asked and answered.

This Membership has indeed earned the respect of the Labor movement.  When times of difficulty arise it affords an opportunity for people to distinguish themselves.  For character is not built.  It is revealed.  Only when placed in the midst of a dire situation will we discover what is within ourselves and each other.  When we went on Strike April 13, 2016 there was a great amount of uncertainty as to how long the Strike would last. But what became apparent immediately, in a very public forum, was the fact that the Members of the IBEW and CWA were prepared.  Prepared to fight for a fair contract. We stepped on the gas pedal from day one and never relented.  Great, Great Job!!

Thank you to every Member on the picket lines. Thank you to every picket Captain for keeping your line strong. And thank you to every member of the IBEW Bargaining Committee.

Taking pride in the "I" or "Me" of things is sacrilege; being proud of the "us" and "we" of things is what gives commonality....And that Brothers and Sisters is what achieves Solidarity.

In Solidarity,

Myles J. Calvey             Business Manager Local 2222 

Rita Sweeney               Business Manger Local 2313

Steve Soule                  Business Manager Local 2320

Craig Fields                  Business Manager Local 2321

Eric Hetrick                   Business Manager Local 2322

Steven Murphy             Business Manager Local 2323

John Rowley Sr.            Business Manager Local 2324

David Keating               Business Manager Local 2325

Peter McGlaughlin         Business Manager Local 2327

Highlights of 2016 Tentative Agreement

  1. Duration – Contract expires on August 3, 2019

  1. Wages – Effective Date at Ratification

Effective Date

The first Sunday after the Effective Date

3% increase applied to all steps of the basic wage schedule

The first Sunday following the first annual anniversary of the Effective Date

2.50% increase applied to all steps of the basic wage schedule

The first Sunday following the second annual anniversary of the Effective Date

2.50% increase applied to all steps of the basic wage schedule

The first Sunday following the third annual anniversary of the Effective Date

2.50% increase applied to all steps of the basic wage schedule

3)   Ratification Bonus- A one-time, single Ratification Bonus payment of $1,000 will be paid within thirty (30) days after ratification.

  1. Pension Band Increases -

Pension Band Effective Date

Percentage Increase

Ninety (90) Days After Ratification (“Pension Increase Date”)

1%

First Anniversary of Pension Increase Date

1%

Second Anniversary of Pension Increase Date

1%

  1. Health Care Reimbursement Card - $250 – to be issued in September 2016.  All Health Care Reimbursement funds MUST be used by December 31, 2108.

  1. Job Security – No Changes.

  1. CPS Award - Minimum $700 payable in 2017, 2018, 2019

  1. 401(k) Plan Changes – Within 90 days of effective date -Employees contributions level increased from 16% to 25%

  1. Local Contract Language – No Changes.

TO MAKE DONATIONS TO ASSIST STRIKING WORKERS PLEASE DONATE @https://www.gofundme.com/UnityNewEngland

Any member not receiving their paycheck or paystub on Friday can file a complaint with the Attorney General

Click on this web address:

https://www.eform.ago.state.ma.us/ago_eforms/forms/npwc_ecomplaint.action

and fill out the complaint form.

WHY WE WEAR "RED"

It has been a custom since 1989 for the members of the IBEW/CWA to show their solidarity by wearing red on Thursdays, but why and where did this day of red begin?

Well for one, it represents the color of blood that was lost in the strife to gain fair and equal rights for workers throughout the years. The day of red is also in remembrance of Gerry Horgan, CWA’s chief steward for Westchester County who died as a result of being struck by a car driven by the daughter of a second line manager as he worked a picket line in August 1989.

The red shirt brings together all of the IBEW/CWA members on one day a week. It gives a visual statement to management of the workers solidarity. The red shirt gives everyone a sense of unity and fellowship. The red shirt is also a visual reminder that checks and balances in the work place have to be maintained daily.

So next Thursday and every Thursday thereafter, if you are angered at the loss of jobs going off shore, WEAR RED.

Please contact everyone you know and ask them to WEAR RED. Talk to your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and members in your department. On Thursday, let's have a sea of RED in the work place. Just by wearing a RED shirt, or a RED dress, a RED hat, RED socks, a RED tie, or RED pants, you may be surprised with the results.

SO IF IT'S THURSDAY, WEAR RED!

 _________________________________________________________________________________________

Stay Safe: Storm Recovery Guidance

As we work to restore service to customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we must work effectively in emergency conditions – constantly focused on safe practices.


To maintain the priority on safety: 

Supervisors must make sure that Personal Protective Equipment and safety equipment has been provided, operational and calibrated.

All employees must follow all applicable Verizon safety procedures.  Here are some critical reminders:

 
Get Started Safely
  • Do not attempt to drive through water on a road.  Turn around and go another way.
  • Do not work in areas until power has been restored and a representative of the power company has verified.
  • Conduct a pre-job survey to identify hazards and unsafe conditions. 
Check Electrical Hazards
  • Use your 188A/FVD or the voltage detector provided for your work on anything that may conduct electricity.
  • Treat all electrical equipment, wires and cable as if they are energized.  Always test for electricity.
  • Do not replace or repair downed electrical wires, even if they appear to be de-energized.
  • Maintain the OSHA-mandated minimum approach distance to electrical hazards.  (Distance is dependent on voltage.  The greater the voltage, the greater the distance.)
  • Use insulating gloves and blankets according to approved work practice.
  • Use caution while working at residences, knowing that the homeowners may have generators powering their homes.
  • Be alert, and look to see if downed trees are in contact with power lines and our facilities.
Use Chain Saws Safely
  • Only certified employees are permitted to operate chain saws.
  • Always wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when operating chain saws.
  • Do not use a gas-powered chain saw aloft. 
  • If you are in a bucket, you can use an electric chain saw.  On a ladder or pole, you must use a hand saw.
  • Always start a chain saw on the ground, do not drop start.
  • Do not fell whole trees. Trim only to clear our cable.
  • Never fill a hot engine with gasoline.
Questions?  Call the Environmental, Health & Safety Hotline at 800-386-9639.

 In Memory of Steve Buckman

April 16, 2006 

___________________________________________________________________________________

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

LOCAL 2325

367 Burncoat St.

Worcester, Ma. 01606

Telephone:   508-853-2325

Fax:   508-853-2306

Informational Tape:   508-853-2311

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