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CenturyLink Bedford: Bargaining Report 1

The CWA Local 13000 Bargaining Committee reported:

The Union and company Bargaining Committees met over the last five days in Bedford, PA. The company entered this round of bargaining with several proposals to strip the CBA of protective language and reduce earning potential. The Union introduced a series of proposals based on your bargaining surveys and seeks to preserve your bargained for protections and in some instances, improve them. We have remained open to discuss the company’s issues and concerns and have worked to help the company find solutions that will not be harmful to the rights of the Unit but the company has insisted that they need to have their proposals their way.

While your Bargaining team was able to fight off many of the retrogressive proposals included in the company’s agenda, as bargaining concluded today, the company remained resolved to hold you to a lower standard than other workers and presented us with their Last Best Final offer. That offer contains a wage offer that is less than those agreed to in other parts of CenturyLink and leaves you behind current workers in other areas. Specifically after 3 years members would still be making 50 cents an hour less than what non-bargained for employees in the same title are making today. It has become apparent to the Union team that the company doesn’t take your needs seriously and has little interest in addressing them. As the contract nears expiration, we remain ready and willing to meet with the company to reach an agreement that is fair and will care for your needs.

Also included in the retrogressive Last Best Final offer is, the removal of Sunday premium time, combination of CST PTO schedules that will result in less time available to our CST’s, unlimited cross jurisdiction language, changes to bereavement leave that will continue to keep you far behind the company standard and the removal of the safety footwear reimbursement allowance, among other contractual givebacks.

We are not willing to accept anything that the company has offered that is less than what it gives to other employees that perform the same work as YOU do. Your bargaining team is not going to stop fighting for a contract that is fair for YOU. We will not quit working for a fair contract until the company shows that it respects YOU for the work that YOU do. YOU make the company what it is and deserve to be treated fairly and we will continue the fight!!!

YOUR action is needed here to move this company on these open issues. Express your discontent with the company’s retrogressive demands to your supervisor. Communication will continue with the company throughout the weekend and up to expiration on Monday. Updates will be relayed as events unfold.

TOGETHER WE BARGAIN. DIVIDED WE BEG!

In Solidarity,
Your Union Bargaining Team