As you all know, AT&T Wireline has reached an agreement with CWA that has been ratified effective August 10, 2017. Part of this agreement will result in great savings for our Local as the Company will now pay our wireline Stewards to represent our Mobility employees. This should result in a savings of over $50,000 a year for our local. Prior to this proposal, our local had to incur the charges for our wireline stewards to represent our wireless employees.
Although many are unhappy with this Contract, now is the time to move forward and do what’s necessary to prepare for 2020 bargaining which is only 2 and a half years away.
We as a union local are broken; fractured by the negativity that is around us. We as a District are so busy fighting amongst ourselves that we are not preparing for the fight that is ahead of us with the Company. Now is not the time to turn on each other. Now is the time to fix what is broken and unite our Union Brothers and Sisters, our Local and CWA as a whole in what will be our biggest fight ever.
We are facing many challenges legislatively with the attacks on Labor that are before us. We need to fight this anti-union legislation that is coming that will thwart our efforts to be united for a better future for the middle class working man and woman.
Now that the Tentative Agreement is behind us, we need a path forward to come together. How do we do that? I ask that you as leaders, Stewards and members to get involved in the Labor movement. Join our committees. Come to our meetings. Bring your insight and input to the table so that we can move forward in a positive way.
It starts with Mobilization and engaging our Membership so that they are informed and involved. First thing we need to do is acknowledge where we need to make improvements. We need to schedule a Mobilization meeting at our Local over the next few weeks and solicit new members for this committee.
I am working closely with our Mobilization Chair, Pamm Bell, to set up a meeting that will be posted on our social media. Our goal is to engage our membership and make certain that information pertinent to our local and our Union is disseminated in a timely manner. I have heard from many out in the field that there is a break down in our communication process. We need to fix this. We have a text blast system that is a great vehicle to deliver information. We will be reaching out to our membership to make certain that they know how to sign up for these blasts. A Big Thank You to Ryan Fell who has been a great asset to our local in assisting that information is communicated in a timely manner to our membership!
The next step is to arm our Steward structure with the knowledge, training and tools necessary to provide our union values and educate our steward structure so that we can provide the best representation possible. We will be scheduling both New Steward Training as well as Advanced Steward Training in the coming weeks so that we can have an army of stewards educated and prepared for our upcoming battles. Myesha Glover, as Chair of our Education Committee, will be working closely with myself and our Local Vice President’s to work on upcoming training here at the Local.
At our recent CWA Convention, we at District 9 attempted to make changes to the bargaining process to prevent the ongoing whipsawing of CWA Districts during Contract negotiations. We asked for, through a CWA Constitutional change motion, coordinated bargaining so that there would be one Vice President from CWA in charge of all of the AT&T bargaining. I presented a motion on the Convention floor to make this change. Although my motion was not successful, this opened up the dialogue amongst the Districts in CWA who recognize that a change needs to be made at the upper echelon of the Union in order to unite CWA and fix the issues that we face every round of bargaining.
Again, I ask that those of you who feel disenfranchised or unhappy with our current situation, please join in and become a part of the solution to rebuild our local and our Union!