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Life Insurance Vendor Change

This is to inform you that all Verizon Life and AD&D insurance coverage will be underwritten by Prudential effective January 1, 2011 and Verizon will terminate its current life insurance contract with MetLife effective December 31, 2010.  Prudential has agreed to accept all existing policyholders and coverage amounts with no statement of health.  All beneficiary information will remain on file and employees will continue to have access to their beneficiary data via the Verizon Benefits Center.

Surplus 9-23-2010

Below is a link to view all classifications deemed surplus. There is NO involuntary surplus for any classification.

Union Dental Info

Are you interested in the Union Dental Program?

We are currently wanting to re-establish the Union Dental Plan and would like to know how many members would be interested in participating.  You can view information about the plan at www.ibew824.org and under the Member Resources tab, click the Union Dental link.

If you are interested in participating in the plan, please e-mail dalfonso [at] ibew824 [dot] org, with your name and the city and county you are in, and also include how many dependents would be using the service, so we can research providers in your area.

Safety and Health Compliance

The Company notified the Union that they were going to "implement" a new Safety Compliance Plan, effective today, Monday, June 14th, 2010.  This new policy dictates levels of discipline for various degrees of safety violations.  This information is suppossed to be covered with ALL employees in the near future.  IBEW, Local 824 DID NOT AGREE to this new Safety Compliance Plan and will file a grievance from the Hall this week.

We will be checking with the Chief Stewards over the next month to verify employees are aware of the changes.

Verizon Shareholder Meeting Report

The Verizon Shareholder meeting has just concluded in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The 3 Management Proposals were voted in by the proxies and all 7 Shareholder Proposals were defeated.

Several items of interest during the meeting:

  • Verizon has approximately 220,000 employees world-wide
  • CEO Ivan Seidenberg, when asked about potential future sales of wire-line businesses in other states, responded that there are NO plans to sell off any other properties.  Verizon will have a major presence in the 12 states where they will remain.

Hopefully, the last statement will ease the minds of many of our members in Florida about the possibility of Frontier (or some other company for that matter) to purchase the Florda Region.

Health Care Update

On March 23rd, soon after President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Verizon's Executive Vice-President of Human Resources, Marc Reed sent an email to all Verizon employees.  This email speaks in general about the difficulties of Verizon to gauge the precise impact on the Company, including all employees.  The email also states that they believe Verizon's costs will increase in the short term.  One of the reasons stated speaks of a 40% excise tax on what has been called "cadillac plans", which would begin in 2018.  This tax would apply to employees or retirees when the Company paid premium is 25K for a family plan.  This does not apply for employees or retirees at this time.

After the email was sent to employees, Congressman Henry Waxman (Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee), sent a letter to Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg (along with the CEO's of John Deere, Caterpillar, and AT&T) to appear before them to explain why Verizon believes what they sent in the email.  The Committee will meet on April 21, 2010 at 10:00am.  

As you can understand, we will be following the hearing and reporting thereafter.  If you would like to read the letter sent to the CEO's of the 4 companies, click the link below.

Letter

UPDATE April 16, 2010

The Sub-Committee meeting scheduled for April 21st has been cancelled.  Chairman Henry Waxman issues a statement saying the companies now believe the overhaul could actually ease their costs, if implemented properly.  We are hoping that the same Vice-President of Verizon will issue a new email telling their employees of their new outlook on the Health Care law?  If any new information becomes available, we will post on our site.

Paystub Changes

Ever since the Company changed the paystubs several years ago, the Union had been requesting that the paystubs actually reflect the amount of overtime hours worked, holidays, etc..  On January 10th, I posted on this site that changes were forthcoming for all Verizon paystubs.  We received a copy of what the new stub will look like and the different categories that will be shown.  Below is a partial breakdown of what will be on the new stubs:

Regular pay
Overtime pay
Excused day off (DAT/FH)
Holiday

The good thing about the new beakdown is that you will actually be able to look at your stub and verify that the amount of hours worked, including overtime and holidays is correct.  Currently, you have to look at the total amount of hours worked and figure out how many hours were base pay, overtime and holidays. 

We were told that the paystub changes will be in effect with the April 30th payday.

Surplus and Upgrades

We were hoping that we did not have any surplus announcements for the 1st quarter, but we received notification this morning that we would have a surplus of 1 General Clerk, located in a Tampa Verizon Plus store.

The 5 General Clerks in the Verizon Plus stores, located in Tampa, will be notified today and the package will be mailed on March 1st, 2010.  The Election period opens on March 5th and closes on March 18th, with a separation date of March 27th, 2010. 

On Wednesday, March 24th, we posted on the website 10 new job openings in Wage Schedule A, Design Technician.  Today, we agreed to upgrade the 7 Business Response Generalist in the Tampa MCO (Wage Schedule C1), to Business Response Specialists (Wage Schedule A) upon successful completion of all applicable testing.  In addition, there will be 7 more Specialist positions put up for bid. 

Final results for the 1st quarter will show 1 General Clerk surplus. On the positive side, we will add 24 new wage schedule A positions and 5 new wage schedule E positions.  Members who were in the bumping process from the announced 4th quarter surplus filled the 5 wage schedule E positions.  By using the 5 E wage schedule positions, 5 other members did not have to be bumped into other positions. 

We are reviewing all the bumps that originated from the 4th quarter (2009) surplus to see if any corrections need to be made.  We will update the website shortly afterwards.

GTE Federal Credit Union

The GTE Federal Credit Union has been a customer of GTE/Verizon for many, many years with our BZT I's installing and maintaining their equipment.  Recently, the GTEFCU has switched all of their data services and a large part of their voice services from Verizon to BrightHouse.  Many members have called the Union Hall to express their concerns over this move.  As you may or may not have known, IBEW 824 has several accounts with the GTEFCU, but we are actively reviewing other financial institutions (that use Verizon services and utilize our members skills) to transfer our accounts and will do so in the very near future.

Also, many members have notified us that they intend to relocate their personal accounts to another financial institution as well.  We would ask any member that intends to do this to verify that your new bank/credit union is a Verizon customer.

Job Postings

Due to receiving more work, there are 10 Design Technician (wage schedule A) positions open and they are posted on Verizon's site for bidding.  There was also 5 Business Response Rep (wage schedule E) openings, which were offered to employees who were in a surplus condition.  Check Verizon's website to see if this position is still available for bid if you are interested.

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