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2011 Kindness Campaign

Our Local Union and Verizon are working together on the 2011 Kindness Campaign.  Working together, we will be assisting many families within the Tampa Bay area be able to put food on their tables.  All of our donations will be going to the Feeding America Tampa Bay, which is the nation's largest charitable domestic hunger relief organization.  The Tampa Bay chapter works with fellow food banks and various food distribution networks to feed over 400,000 people in our area.

We are asking every member to participate by bringing non-perishable food items to one of the following locations:  Tampa Main building, Tampa EAX, Westside CO, St. Pete Main, any Verizon Plus store or a work center when you come to work.  Collection bins have been placed in all of those locations. 

This is an excellent opportunity, as Union Members and employees of Verizon, to show that we care about the communities that we live in.  There will be advertisements in the newspaper that state that IBEW and Verizon are involved in this community event.  Excerpts from the print ad:

It's a powerful promise that can bring hope to the hundreds of thousands of people in the Tampa Bay area who rely on food donations from Feeding America Tampa Bay for their meals. 

Join the members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 824 and employees of Verizon to give the gift of Kindness.  We can all do it.  Today!

There is also a commercial running on chanel 8 (NBC) and periodically throughout the FIOS network stating the same. (If you have not seen the commercial, you can email your Rep at the hall and they will email you a copy)

Buried Service Wire Group Contract

On Friday, April 1st, Buried Wire technicians in Local 824 and Local 543 voted to ratify a new 3-year agreement.  The agreement is retroactive to March 13th, 2011.

IBEW Unity Fund

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has established a Unity Fund to help Union brothers and sisters across our country defend our UNION way of life against the attacks by legislatures in many states.  To read and/or contribute, please click on the pdf file.

BSWG Tentative Agreement

Today the Union and Company reached a Tentative Agreement on a new 3-year agreement for the Buried Service Wire Group.  Kevin Curran, the International Representative who chaired the Union's Committee would like to thank all of the BSW members that attended the Bargaining Information meetings that were held at the Union Hall during this process.

The following are the changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement that will be voted on by the BSW Members:

  • 3-year agreement                    (previously 4-year agreement)
  • Bereavement                           (add Great-Grandparent)  **This will also apply to the Verizon Florida, Verizon Livesource and Verizon Supply contracts
  • Dental Plan                             (Company will increase their contribution for dependents from 50% to 80% - 30% savings to employees, same as Core CBA)
  • Holidays                                  (add Day after Thanksgiving and 1 additional Personal Day with 2 hr increments)
  • Layoff Letter                           (allows Union to be notified in advance of possible layoffs and allows Union to discuss options other than layoff -

                                                      currently Company does not have to discuss options with the Union)

  • MOA's                                      (all MOA's not addressed here remain as they currently are)
  • Medical Plan                            (add Out-of-Network coverage for Substance Abuse and Mental Health, same as Core CBA)
  • LTD                                         (change from 12 to 18 months for monthly benefits, same as Core CBA)
  • Pension Minimums                    (increase amounts, same as Core CBA)
  • Pension Plan Survivor               (change to language in Core CBA)
  • TIP                                           (new incentive plan)
  • Termination Bonus                   (allows for $10,000 payment in addition to any ISP, same as Core CBA)
  • Wages                                       (2.75% each year of CBA for total 8.25%, same as Core CBA)

Ballots should begin to be mailed out by Monday, March 14th.  All BSW members should make sure that the Union Hall has your correct address on file so you will receive a ballot.  An email will be sent to all BSW members once the ballots have been mailed.

IBEW Founders Scholarship

Dear Sisters and Brothers:


The IBEW Founders’ Scholarship honors the dedicated wiremen and lineman who organized the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Each year the officers of the IBEW are pleased to offer its working members scholarships on a competitive basis. It is hoped that the awards will not only contribute to the personal development of our members but also steward the electrical industry that our founders envisioned. An application for the IBEW Founders’ Scholarship is available and can be copied from the IBEW website ( In an effort to make the IBEW Founders’ Scholarship as inclusive as possible, we no longer require applicants to take the SAT or ACT to be eligible.


All IBEW members who have been in continuous good standing for four years preceding May 1 of the scholarship year in which they plan to apply are eligible for the IBEW Founders’ Scholarship. Please note, if a member has been on honorary withdrawal at any time during the aforementioned period, he/she will not be eligible to participate.


Spouses or children of IBEW members are not eligible for the IBEW Founders’ Scholarship. Union Plus has a scholarship that is available for IBEW members, as well as their spouses and dependent children. Please visit the Union Plus website ( for more information about other scholarship opportunities.


I encourage all interested eligible members to participate in the IBEW Founders’ Scholarship Program. Please make the Founders’ Scholarship opportunity known to your members and urge them to apply.


With best wishes, I am


Fraternally yours,


Edwin D. Hill

International President

VZLife/EAP Changes

Anthem to Provide Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Services in 2011

Beginning January 1,2011, Anthem will replace Value Options as Verizon's provider of EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and work/life services.  Anthem's Web site and phone number will also replace VZ-LIFE as the point of contact for Verizon's associates to access these benefits. More information concerning Anthem's complete offerings will be sent to you in the first quarter.

Please make a note of the new EAP and work/life services contact information. Contact Anthem at 888.441.8674 or visit www. for free confidential assistance 24/7 from the
team of qualified EAP experts. Anthem can help you cope with many work/life and EAP needs including:

- Ways to manage challenges in both your personal and work life
- Interactive search tools to locate child and elder care in your area
- Health database powered bye Web MD
- Financial calculators to help plan for major purchases or life events
- Practical tips on topics such safety, traveling and pets
- Eligibility for up to five free counseling sessions with a licensed therapist
- Discounted financial and legal advise

If you have already received a referral for counseling sessions from VZ-LIFE in 2010, you may complete these session with your current counselor. As of January 1st authorizations for EAP counseling will be managed by Anthem.

ISP Payout

For members who retired with more than 30 years and left the property under the ISP in October, there was an error in the payout due to those members.  As we understand, everyone who did retire with more than 30 years was only paid the $1100 per year up to 30 years.  The Company realizes this error and all members with more than 30 years will be receiving a letter to acknowledge this error and it will state that another check will be mailed to them on November 12, 2010 to correct the payout.  If you retired in October and do not receive the letter or the corrected check, please contact the Union Hall.

US Savings Bonds

If you have payroll deduction for U.S. Savings Bonds, the following correspondence will be sent to you shortly:

Our records indicate that you purchase U.S. Savings Bonds through a payroll deduction. Effective Dec. 31, the U.S. Dept. of Treasury will no longer offer traditional paper U.S. Savings Bonds through employer payroll deductions.

As a result, your final savings bond deduction through payroll deductions will be in your Oct. 28 or Oct. 29 paycheck. You will be notified in the upcoming weeks on how remaining balances will be reimbursed through payroll.

While paper savings bonds will no longer be available through payroll deductions, the U.S. Department of Treasury offers a program to automatically save and redeem electronic savings bonds through Direct Deposit using TreasuryDirect. This free online service allows you to purchase, manage, and redeem electronic (paperless) savings bonds 24/7. You can also purchase Treasury marketable securities (bills, notes, bonds, and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) to expand your savings portfolio.
In addition, you can convert the paper savings bonds you already own to electronic versions using a feature called SmartExchange. This government program is an excellent example of the Network Effect in action.

To enroll in TreasuryDirect go to the TreasuryDirect website ( to create an account. You will be e-mailed your TreasuryDirect account number. Within two weeks you will receive an “access” card from TreasuryDirect. You will then have everything you need to set up future electronic savings bond purchases.

Benefits Renewal Enrollment

The annual enrollment window for active associates is open from November 1 through November 12, 2010.
Associates will retain their current elections unless they make a change through the Benefits Center or Your Benefits Resource website. There are no benefit changes other than those which were bargained to be effective January 1, 2011 or July 1, 2011, and those changes required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Here is a summary of how PPACA Group Market Reforms will be implemented effective January 1, 2011.  Active Associates will be notified of these Group Market reforms, both in their Annual Enrollment communications, and a separate legally-required notice to be sent to their homes.

The following market reforms under the PPACA are required for active employees.
·        Medical coverage (including vision) will be extended to adult children up to age 26 regardless of student status, provided they are not eligible for coverage through their employer or their spouse’s employer, including COBRA.
·        The market reforms do not apply to dental coverage and therefore age 26 dependents are not eligible and student status rules still apply.
·        Lifetime and annual dollar maximums for essential health benefits will be eliminated. 
·        Over the counter medications (except insulin) without a prescription are not eligible for reimbursement under the Health Care Spending Account.

Union Plus Scholarship Program

The Union Plus Scholarship Program deadline is January 31, 2011.  The Union Plus Scholarship application can now be accessed online at

Please note that the application is six pages long.
Unlike the IBEW Founders’ Scholarship Program, the Union Plus Scholarship Program is also available to the child dependents of IBEW members and other AFL-CIO affiliated unions.

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