Tom Runnion Elected New D9 Vice President

President Santora with D9 VP Tom Runnion

President Santora with D9 VP Tom Runnion

At the 75th CWA Convention, new officers were elected including Tom Runnion as District 9 Vice President.  Tom has extensive experience in all aspects of the union including being the chief negotiator for the last two rounds of bargaining with AT&T-West.

CWA 9003 delegates to the convention unanimously supported Tom and we are delighted that he will lead our District for the next 4 years.

Other new National officers include President Chris Shelton (formerly D1 VP), Secretary Treasurer Sara Steffans (formerly D9 Staff) and Telecom & Technologies Vice President Lisa Bolton (formerly CWA 7777 President).  Also elected as our Regional Diversity Executive Board Member was Frank Arce, EVP of CWA 9400.  Congratulations to all.

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Councilman Koretz presenting T with his resolution. CWA 9003 Executive Board and Committee Chairs joined in.

Councilman Koretz presenting T with his resolution. CWA 9003 Executive Board and Committee Chairs joined in.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Paul Koretz honored T for his 30 years of continuous service as an elected Local officer and CWA Staff Representative on April 21.

Councilman Koretz read and presented the resolution signed by the Mayor and the entire City Council.  In his remarks, Koretz noted that T was already actively involved as a CWA political activist when he began his career in politics 30 years ago.  “I can’t remember a time in my career when T wasn’t there.”  Before election to the LA City Council, Koretz served as the Labor Committee Chairman for the California State Assembly.

T thanked the Council saying, “As electeds, we know nothing is accomplished alone.  This is not about me.  It’s about the work. So I thank you for honoring my work along with that of my amazing colleagues, some of whom are here with me today, and the thousands of Communications Workers of America who live and work in our beautiful city.”City Hall - 7 resolution

The lengthy resolution concludes with, “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Los Angeles City Council salutes and celebrates T SANTORA and that the City of Los Angeles thanks him for thirty years of utmost humanity, exemplary leadership and stellar service.  Through steadfast ways and caring deeds, T Santora has made the City of Los Angeles and this nation better places in which to work and live.”

Congratulations T!

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Frontier Buyout Questions

FrontierAs previously announced, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed persistent rumors that a deal was reached with Frontier Communications to sell its former GTE properties in California, Texas and Florida.

While the deal must meet governmental agency approvals at both the federal and state levels, CWA is developing our formal position on the acquisition based on the answers to many questions.  We have been compiling questions for several weeks since the sale was announced.  Please see those that have already been posed below.  As we receive answers to these, we will post them here.

As in any complicated and large deals like this, more questions are bound to surface along the way.  Both corporations anticipate final decisions by the second quarter of 2016.

Questions for Frontier (FTR)

What is the current financial status of FTR?
What are the expiration dates of all FTR Labor Contracts including the Union and Geographic Area?  And what is the approximate size of the Bargaining Unit?
Where are FTR Call Centers located, include line of business and Union affiliation and or vendor Centers?
What is the FTR Interstate transfer process?  Will FTR back fill employees that leave while Verizon? 
Are the Frontier Pension Plans integrated or are they individual by Bargaining Unit?
At what percentage is the FTR Pension funded at now?
Will our Pension Plans be integrated with others or stand alone?
Does FTR have both an age and points based retirement formula, if no what is the formula?
Has FTR continued the “lump sum pension” option after bargaining a first contract with CWA/IBEW?  Please list the bargaining units that currently have a “lump sum pension” option.
What does FTR offer currently in Medical Plans, premium coverage provided by Frontier and types of Medical Plans?
Does FTR provide Retiree Medical, if so has it continued after bargaining new agreements after acquisitions?
Will Kaiser continue to be an option after the transition to FTR?
Does FTR have Cable Splicers and Lineworkers?
What are the plans for staffing in the California Bargaining Unit after the sale?  Will there be a surplus or hiring of new employees?
Does FTR require a 6 month or longer period, prior to rehiring after retirement?
What are the plans for the Copper only areas?  Will there be a FiOS build out?
There has been conversations regarding a 1 year grace period, does this apply to the California Bargaining Unit employee and if so how?
Does FTR have affiliation with VZ Wireless?
Does FTR have a Stock purchasing program?
Is Home Dispatch going to continue after the sale?
Does FTR provide hot water in bathrooms?
What contract call centers are currently being used by FTR and VZ?
What are the plans for call routing post acquisition?
What does FTR plan to do with leased properties as those leases expire?
Does FTR plan to sell real estate after the acquisition?
Does FTR have plans to form a REIT with any acquired assets?
What is the current head count at each FTR property with a contract?
Does FTR have any contracts that provide for Retiree Contingent workers?
Will FTR allow for VZ retirees to stay post acquisition as “Retired in place”?
What options will employees have in departments not slated for the sale?
Does FTR intend to extend its partnership with AT&T wireless in California?
What are or will be FTR’s attendance & safety policies?
Who has controlling interest in FTR?
What about our tools? Do we keep them or will we get different tools?
What happens to disciplines, etc. related to VZ policies?
What are FTR’s plans to increase revenues?
Who are the plan administrators for FTR benefits including pension, 401k, disability, etc.?
Will VZ retirees lose their medical benefits if they “rehire” with FTR after 6 mos. and what are the rules for hiring former VZ employees by FTR?


Questions for Verizon (VZ)

What is the anticipated time line for Regulatory approval?
Will Verizon Wireless provide a discount rate for employees that transition to Frontier?
Will VZ continue to offer Concession to employees that transition to Frontier?
What will happen to 401K accounts with the sale?
What is the current funded amount for the pensions for both VZ Core and Logistics?
Will the “lump sum” continue to be an option through March 2017?
Does VZ anticipate an ISP offering prior to the conclusion of the sale and if so in what locations and titles?
Does VZ anticipate layoffs prior to the sale?
Is there a list of who will remain with Verizon from the Bargaining Unit?  If not when can we expect to get a list?
Are the VHO employees moving to FTR?
What happens with the VZ Head End?
What happens with the FIOS name after 5 years?
What percentage of Frontier will VZ keep and what liability will VZ hold?
What does VZ plan to keep as proprietary software programs?
What and why is VZ equipment inventory being moved to VZE?
Is VZB being sold, and if so to whom?


Questions for CWA and/or Regulators

What type of working relationship exists between Frontier CWA/IBEW?
What are the gains and losses in pension/medical benefits?
What happens if FTR goes into bankruptcy?
Is Frontier more service oriented than VZ?
Is there a Government Agency (state or federal) that monitors a Utility Company’s ability to be financially capable of operating long term?
Under what circumstances can our employer stop providing the “lump sum”?
Is it better for employees eligible to retire to leave under VZ or FTR?  Will the benefits differ in anyway prior to the end of the contract in March 2017?
For employees that retire from VZ prior to the transition, will negotiation continue with Verizon in regards to retiree benefits?
Will CWA do in-depth research into FTR’s financial ability to make the purchase?
Does FTR have Tech III’s and if not what will happen to them?
Did any previous acquired areas experience cuts in wages after the purchase?
Does FTR have a JPD program?
Does CWA have any Neutrality/Card Check language in contracts with FTR?
What are the expiration dates of other CWA or IBEW FTR contracts?
When will CWA submit requests for intervener status at each of those agencies?
Who will take responsibility for monitoring those proceedings?
Are there any titles that we have in our VZ contract that are not in FTR contracts?
How will the Pension Portability rules apply to FTR employees?
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