Brothers & Sisters,
The contracts, which cover over 22,000 members at AT&T Southeast, Utility Operations, & AT&T Southeast Billing have expired, with many critical issues including; job security, wages, healthcare, and others yet to be resolved. Our bargaining team has made significant progress on several issues that are important to our membership and we believe that reaching an overall tentative agreement is possible.
Considering the progress that our bargaining team has made over the last few weeks, we elected to extend the contracts for one week in hopes of reaching an agreement. That extension expires tonight at midnight and will not be renewed. Negotiations will continue with the current contract expired. Our members will continue to report to work, although we are keeping our option to strike open. Our members, by a 95% vote, have overwhelmingly authorized CWA to call a strike if a fair contract can’t be reached.
Our bargaining team has reached some tentative agreements on the following issues:
- Job Security – Improved Skill Groups for certain job titles
- Job Security – Priority placement - Article 7 over Article 10
- Job Security – Improved grouping - Essentially the Same Type of Work (ESTW) for employees in wage scale 20 and below
- Job Security – Improved surplus process for the CPE Organization
- Job Security – Improved SIPP & Optional ESIPP processes for all employees
- Job Security – Improved surplus grouping for technicians
- Job Security – Improved surplus grouping for Sales Associates & Sales Consultants
For now, we are going to keep our fight for fair contracts going while we stay on the job but we have not extended the contracts. For weeks, we have pressed AT&T Southeast to move off of their bargaining demands that will hurt workers, their families, and our communities. We are ready to bargain for a fair and just contract, but we need AT&T Southeast to be ready to do the same. Through two months of difficult negotiations, the combination of our mobilization activities across District 3 and our team’s efforts at the bargaining table, has moved the company closer to meeting our demands and settling the contracts.
Rest assured in knowing that our bargaining team will not stop fighting. Please join me in placing your trust in them. While our members will continue to report to work and our bargaining team continues to negotiate towards a fair and just contract, things will not be “Business as Usual”. Talk to your coworkers, ban together in unity, reach out to your local CWA leaders, and together we will send a strong message to AT&T that we are willing to do whatever it takes to get the contracts that we deserve.
Vice-President CWA District 3