Monday August 15, 2011- When GPS was introduced AT&T management touted the safety feature it contained where techs could send out an alert with a “key-fab” if they were in trouble. Then AT&T decided GPS should only be used to accuse our members of wrong doing and eliminated the safety feature. Since then many employees have been victims of violent crimes and suffered on the job accidents where they were unable to get help.
We are proud to report that because of your outrage, IBEW Local 21 convinced AT&T management to agree to trial a new safety “coin-fab”, a device designed to get employees help in emergencies.
As currently designed, the device will send an alert directly to your manager. If they don’t respond in 90 seconds, the alert will be escalated every 90 seconds until there is a response to your call for help.
While discussing the new system our Union and upper management identified possible problems and are working to address them. Both sides would like to see if the emergency alert can be sent directly to a call center to speed up the help process.
Two hundred “coin-fabs” will be delivered to AT&T employees working in hotspots in Chicago by September, 2011. We urge all members to work with your union representatives to identify problems during the trial period. The goal is to have more units delivered to members working in other dangerous areas in our jurisdiction.
IBEW Local 21’s Safety Representative and the Business Representative for U-Verse met with that departments Director and company safety managers to discuss concerns raised by our U-Verse members. During the recent extreme weather the heat index was well over 100 degrees, and technicians were required to work 10-14 hour days.
Our unions concerns about AT&T provided training along with the lack of safety awareness among employees could lead to very dangerous situations. It is vitally important that management take the proper precautions and provide proper training so its employees avoid suffering a serious heat related illness. After talks between the parties, management agreed to review the "AT&T Heat Illness Prevention Plan” with all members working in U-Verse. If you work in U-verse and have not received this important safety review, please see your manager immediately or contact your union steward.
In Marketing, the Project Coordinators in the ABS Global group are still going through the process for the open job requisitions and their selections on the STRs. Two PC’s tested and accepted positions. The six PC’s who didn’t take the SIPP are still at-risk. The next step is the VSIPP match. The Force Distribution Date is 9/14/2011.
AT&T has begun calling employees on the VSIPP list to see if they are interested in leaving the company to save a surplus person. Those called will have 24 hours to decide if they are willing to leave the company. If called, it will be prior to the FDD of 9/14/2011.
The at-risk Technical Associate in Springfield has been placed. All of the employees at-risk in Springfield Marketing were saved.
PAR II Grievances
Our union reached agreement with AT&T on the PAR II and ACE 2010 grievances. The settlement follows the framework of the settled PAR cases previously negotiated by Kevin Curran in July 2010. However, this time there are no open jobs available. The cash payout is based on full years of service at the time of dismissal, multiplied by the agreed to dollar amounts. This payout is less than the first settlement and ranges from $250-$500 per year.
All suspensions will be removed from their records and they will be shown eligible for rehire at AT&T in non-sales positions. As in the first agreement, there is no reimbursement of wages for the suspension grievances being removed. The Service Consultants will be shown as eligible for rehire at AT&T in non-sales positions but will not receive a payout.