COURT APPROVES $15 MILLION SETTLEMENT AGAINST VERIZON-WEST

cashVerizon must pay a $15 million settlement ending a wage and hour class action Labor Code lawsuit brought against the company.

 

Filed separately by former Verizon employees Hector Banda and Scott Cerkoney in 2010, the cases were subsequently consolidated in 2011. The lawsuits allege Verizon violated the California Labor Code and the code’s Private Attorney General Act by not listing the pay period beginning date, applicable hourly rates and number of hours worked at each rate on the wage statements it issued to employees. According to the complaint, Verizon allegedly issued some 223,000 wage statements to its 6,800 California employees during the class period.

 

In the California labor law class action, the plaintiffs claimed Verizon issued inaccurate wage statements that omitted crucial information making it impossible for the workers to determine whether they had been paid properly. In addition to approving the settlement motion, Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff certified the proposed settlement class, which consists of employees paid biweekly in California who received itemized income statements from Verizon between April 1, 2009 and May 2011.

 

All covered employees will receive a Notice of Settlement letter from the Court. For those on payroll during the entire period, the estimated payout is approx. $1500. Unless they wish to opt out of the Class, they do not need to do anything in order to receive their settlement payment other than update their contact information in the event it has changed. The estimated time before checks are issued is up to 4 months. The Settlement Administrator is Simpluris Inc. They may be reached at (888) 406-0862.

 

The cases are Hector Banda et al. v. Verizon California Inc. et al., case number BC434587, and Scott Cerkoney et al. v. Verizon California Inc. et al., case number BC442358, both in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

 

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Verizon Bargaining Council to Set Priorities

verizon-logoOn February 5, CWA will convene the first National Verizon Bargaining Council in Philadelphia to determine the union’s priorities for our next rounds of bargaining with the core company. We need your input in setting those priorities.

The items selected by the Bargaining Council will guide the bargainers at each of the separate regional bargaining tables when those contracts come up for negotiations. The Bargaining Council meeting is a direct result of changes to the CWA Constitution that our Local supported in order to improve our bargaining position and avoid conflicts with other CWA Districts over issues like health care costs, pension/retirement benefits, job security, general wage increases, etc.

While our contract with VZ-West does not expire until March 4, 2017, the first round of major bargaining with Verizon will be next year for contracts that expire in August 2015 with VZ-East (Dist. 1) and VZ-Mid-Atlantic (Dist. 2-13).  Those will be followed by VZ-Southwest (Dist. 6) which expires in August 2016. The priorities set at the Philadelphia meeting will guide CWA’s bargaining efforts with Verizon for the next 3 years.

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AT&T Bargaining Council Adopts National Items

EVP Marisa Remski & President T Santora speak at the AT&T Bargaining Council Meeting

EVP Marisa Remski & President T Santora speak at the AT&T Bargaining Council Meeting

Delegates to the AT&T National Bargaining Council adopted a comprehensive list of bargaining items and goals at its first-ever meeting in Chicago.

Our Local was represented there by President T Santora and Executive Vice President Marisa Remski.

Below is an unofficial list of those items. The official list will be published by the National Union and distributed to Locals in the coming weeks. The items adopted were based on the text submitted by the CWA Telecom AdHoc.

President Santora, who Co-Chairs the AdHoc presented each item to the Council meeting and received overwhelming support from the delegates. These items will now be pursued at each of the six AT&T bargaining tables beginning in 2015 through 2017. Per the recent changes to the CWA Constitution, no bargaining committee may change, delete or modify these items without concurrence from all six CWA District/Sector Vice Presidents representing AT&T members. If no concurrence is reached, only the CWA National President may authorize a change.

Additional regional items may be added for each separate contract based on the unique issues and bargaining history of that unit. District 9 Local Representatives will develop and vote on our regional items for AT&T-West negotiations late next year in preparation for contract expiration in 2016.

AT&T NATIONAL BARGAINING COUNCIL ITEMS & GOALS

1- WAGES Item – General wage increase that leaves all members financially better off overall at the end of bargaining, than they were at the beginning, in terms of real earnings and new money.

2- BENEFITS

Item – Improvements in the healthcare benefits of current employees and retirees.

Goal – To include less premiums, less out of pocket cost and better coverage with no multiple tier benefits

Item – Mandatory post-retirement bargaining for future retiree’s pension and healthcare benefits.

Goal – Ensure that post-retirement healthcare and pensions cannot be unilaterally changed after retirement and that they keep up with the cost of living.

3- PENSION

Item -Defined benefit pensions for all employees.

Item – Improve pensions and other retirement-related benefits.

Goal – minimize early retirement penalties and maximize options, including early cash out of vested pensions, and lowering eligibility age and service requirements.

Item – Annual cost of living increases for all future and current retirees.

Goal – Add self-directed 401k option for all bargaining units.

4- EMPLOYMENT SECURITY

Item – Improve the current employment security clause on all levels including the premises technician and wire technicians.

Item – Guaranteed formal instructor-led company provided training for all jobs of the future.

Item – Watermark of 100% of headcount at the expiration of the current CBA for the duration of the new contract.

Goal – Enhance incentives for employees to leave voluntarily.

Item – Improve language addressing subcontracting, non-union subsidiaries, outsourcing and management doing what should be bargaining unit work, including existing and new technologies such as internet protocol for example.

5- ACCESS TO JOBS

Item – New work to be CWA represented and not migrated to lower wage scales.

Item – Keep and improve the National Transfer Plan.

Goal – Improve voluntary transfer rights to all entities within AT&T with seniority, benefits and pension protection.

Goal – Employees who are satisfactory in their current jobs are eligible to transfer.

6- TRAINING FOR THE FUTURE

Item – Form one Joint National 2020 committee with representatives of each bargaining unit and provide for committees on technological change, training and retraining and career development.

Goal – To identify skill and knowledge sets required and to create carrier paths for employees to successfully migrate to new jobs of the future.

7- RESPECT AND JUSTICE ON THE JOB

Item – Improve on Premises Technician (Wire Technicians) and higher rated titles issue regarding scope of work.

Item – Move all titles in appendices and addendums to the core contract.

Goal – Core overtime language (time and a half and double time) apply to all appendices.

Goal – Improve working conditions for all work center titles as it pertains to monitoring.

Goals – Improvement in the working conditions of all titles, including sales pressure on Service Representatives. Equitable treatment for all titles. Pay treatment for all titles to be commensurate with all work performed. No expansion of Premises Technician (Wire Technicians) Scope of Work.

8. – UNITY BARGAINING Item – Bring all contract expiration dates together. 

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