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June 2011, Week 4

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Fri, 24 Jun 2011 20:23:51 -0400
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1)	IUE-CWA Reaches Tentative Agreement with General
Electric

2)	UE-GE Tentative Agreement Reached

3)	IUE-CWA Local 201 Leadership urges a No vote.




1)	IUE-CWA Reaches Tentative Agreement with General
Electric

http://www.cwa-union.org/news/entry/iue-
cwa_reaches_tentative_agreement_with_general_electric


After four weeks of intense negotiations, IUE-CWA has
reached tentative national agreements for about 16,000
workers at General Electric. Ratification votes are
expected to be held next week.

The four-year packages, bargained jointly by the unions'
Coordinated Bargaining Committee, include gains in wages
and pensions, while holding increases in workers' share
of health care costs to 2.5 percentage points.

IUE-CWA represents the majority of workers, with more
than 8,000 members at GE. "I congratulate our
negotiating committee on working hard to reach an
agreement that addresses critical issues for both our
union members and the company," IUE-CWA President Jim
Clark said.

Describing the talks as "hard-fought negotiations,"
IUE-CWA GE Conference Board Chairman Bob Santamoor said,
"We've made significant strides from where we started to
reaching a deal that we can bring back to the members.
The contract also offers a special early retirement
window for long-service employees, a key issue for our
union members."

Regarding health care, the agreements call for hourly GE
workers to pay 24 percent of the cost of their coverage,
up from the 21.5 percent they have been paying since
2007. Salaried GE workers began paying 35 percent of
their health care costs last year.

If ratified, the new contract will give workers a $5,000
cash payment in July, followed by wage increases of 2.25
percent next June, 2.5 percent in 2013 and 3 percent in
2014. Workers would also receive eight cost-of-living
increases worth $1.13 per hour over the life of the
contract.

In addition to across-the-board pension improvements,
Clark said the company is making an unprecedented
commitment that it will not propose any pension plan
freezes in the 2015 negotiations.

The contract also includes improvements in job security
language, retiree health care, vacation, sick and
personal time, vision and dental plans, and disability
benefits.

The proposals are under review this week by each union's
negotiating committee. The IUE-CWA committee voted
Wednesday to send the agreement to members for
ratification, which must be complete by June 30.



2)	UE-GE Tentative Agreement Reached

http://www.ueunion.org/unity2011.html

SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011 -- A tentative agreement was
reached at the small table between UE, the CBC unions
and GE for a new four-year contract after eight hours of
bargaining today (Sunday). The full UE-GE negotiating
committee met Sunday evening to review the settlement.

By agreement with GE, details of the proposed new
contract will be withheld until Thursday to allow the GE
Conference Boards of both the UE and the IUE-CWA time to
consider the agreement and make recommendations to their
respective memberships.

As in the past, we expect to provide a summary of the
tentative agreement on the UE website late Thursday.

UE General President John Hovis said, "While the
proposal contains important improvements and advances,
it also contains certain disappointments. However, given
the current economic climate overall it's an agreement
we can support."

UE was represented at the small table by Conference
Board Secretary Steve Tormey and General President John
Hovis.

For a detailed summary of the tentative UE-GE agreement.
please go to,

http://www.ueunion.org/unity2011_summary.html


3)	IUE-CWA Local 201 Leadership urges a No vote.

http://local201iuecwa.org/

GE CONTRACT 2011 - REPORT # 26

This afternoon (Friday, June 24) the IUE-CWA Local 201
Stewards Council voted unanimously to recommend
REJECTION of the proposed 2011 IUE-CWA/GE tentative
agreement. The vote was 37 -0 to REJECT. In addition,
all 201 2011 Contract canvassers, that were at the
Stewards meeting, voted to unanimously recommend
rejection.

The votes were conducted after the Stewards were given
copies of the full Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and
it was gone through page by page and discussed. The
reasons for the rejection vote were similar to the
reasons cited in the Local 201 Executive Policy Board
statement and in Report #23 (written by the Business
Agent). Both reports are up on line.

Stewards report much anger in the shop over the
"tentative" agreement and reported that they are hearing
in various mediums on line, that there is growing rank
and file resistance to this package in other locations
across the country .We have received information that a
couple of other locals have now decided to put it to
membership votes without any recommendation and another
smaller local's leadership has shifted their vote to now
recommending rejection.

The Local 201 Stewards are now armed with the Full
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (the official
document) for members to review. This will help in
countering the barrage of Company "summary" information
and  "spin" they are putting on a very dangerous package
for the future of all our locals. This full MOU may be
put up on our web site over the weekend.

There is a new Green union leaflet in the shop today
from the entire Executive Board. There will be a Summary
of the MOU out in next Local 201 Newspaper Tuesday. See
your Stewards for more information. IUE-CWA LOCAL 201 GE
CONTRACT 2011 REPORTS


GE CONTRACT 2011 - REPORT # 25

The IUE-CWA LOCAL 201 FULL EXECUTIVE POLICY BOARD voted
13-0 today (Thursday, June 23) to recommend rejection of
the national "tentative agreement" of the new GE
Contract. The Policy Board will be putting out the
reasons for the rejection recommendation by a leaflet in
the shops tomorrow and it will also be up on this web
site very soon. The reasons are consistent with the
reasons our Business Agent Ric Casilli, cited in Report
#23 on this web site, for his rejection vote in New York
and is consistent with the reasoning of all 4 of Local
201 Conference Board delegates who voted rejection in
New York also.

Our Full IUE-CWA GE Stewards Council will be given the
full Contract Memorandum Of Understanding at the
Council's meeting tomorrow for explanation and
discussion of its good points as well as it's terrible
points. The full Local 201 GE Stewards Council will then
take a recommendation vote to refer to the Local 201
Membership who vote next Wed. June 29. There will be a
Membership meeting next Tuesday, June 28 to review the
entire Contract with members before they have to vote
Wednesday, June 29.


3) HUGE TAKEAWAYS: VOTE NO!

GE CONTRACT 2011 - REPORT 23

by Business Agent Ric Casilli, IUE-CWA Local 201

THE IUE-CWA GE National Negotiating Committee, at about
12 Noon today (Tuesday June 21st), voted 9-1 to
recommend acceptance of the "small table agreement. That
recommendation now goes to a meeting all IUE-CWA GE
Conference Board delegates that shall begin at 9AM on
Wednesday June 22nd in NYC.

I voted to reject the "small table agreement. I feel
obligated to say why I voted to reject. I would also
like to say this is no reflection at all on any of my
fellow bargainers. They all did not like the provisions
I mention below and THEY ALL FOUGHT HARD AGAINST THESE
NEGATIVE THINGS I MENTION BELOW. But they felt, we did
the best we could with the state of the economy and the
political environment we find ourselves in.

The agreement clearly has some good points and some
gains in many areas - it clearly was a package designed
for members looking to retire this year, helps current
pre-65 retirees, is ok for current post-retirees and is
(in general) "ok" for members that are approximately 52
and older also. The agreement throws a lot of money into
taking care of these groups of people and get them to
the "promised land" of a decent retirement . The Company
paid more than they would have liked to upfront but it
was for a principle they so clearly articulated
repeatedly in negotiations  - to RESET the business for
the new economy. (meaning the radical elimination of
long time traditional programs that were fought and won
by our forefathers.)

The following are now gone for New Hires:

* The Defined Benefit Pension Plan for New hires
(replaced by a Defined Contribution Plan) * Pension
supplements, * Disability Pension * Post 65 Medical
Plans * Retiree Life Insurance Plan * Have to  pay 50%
of cost for pre-65 retiree medical insurance

In addition, the popular traditional SERO program, we
won in 1988 (as an important Job Security feature), has
been eliminated,(for all practical purposes, gutted and
rendered meaningless). If a person now volunteers for
SERO to protect a young service worker from being laid
of to the street, they shall get NO pension supplements
and have to pay 100% of the cost for pre-65 medical and
dental and are NOT eligible for any post -65 insurances.
Who is going to take SERO now? You get supplements
benefits if you are "directly impacted" but how many
members 55-59 with 25 or over years of service will get
ever be "directly impacted (except in a plant closing
type mode) ??? The removal of this key provision shall
lead to more layoffs and farmout in my opinion.

The Company also got their structural change in to as a
"reset" for the future in Health Care - we are now all
going into the high deductible Health Choice Plan
structure. We were able to modify some of the provisions
of it to make it better than the Salaried cost plan in
terms of our costs but it is still increased cost
shifting and lays the solid basis for additional cost
shifting in the future. In addition, if you get sick or
disabled (not work related) under this plan, you will
lose your free company paid medical coverage after one
year and not be eligible anymore for the extension of
coverage for an additional 1-2 years as is the case
now.You would have to pay for COBRA yourself.

The lump sum payment of $5,000 upon ratification helps
again members retiring in the next year or two as it is
up front money (applied to their pension calculation)
and they would not be working long enough to realize the
gain if it was in their base rate. But for members
working for many more years, the loss of that pay not
being in their base rate multiplies upon itself and
impacts benefit areas also. It may be very attractive to
a young worker on 2 tier wages for the short term but it
hurts in the long term. Lumps sums are pigs with
lipstick on them.

As I said there are clearly some improvement in areas
like Pensions and disability pensions (improvement will
not apply to New Hires) for current members and sick and
vacation time improved for certain "years of service"
brackets".

But these gains are overshadowed about the "reset" of
our pension and benefit packages - partially impacting
current members now and totally impacting our next
generation of new hires. If WE do not stand up for the
"new hires" - who is going to? it is only a matter of
time (likely in 8 years), that the "second class" GE
member will be the majority of the current members and
thus our current members aged 18-52 will see GE attempt
to freeze their Defined Benefit Pension Plan. (as the
majority will not be in it or care about it). It will
also lead to a "second class" of members that will not
care about pre-65 or post 65 health insurances of those
of us that retire, as they will not have it and we will
blamed for giving it away for them.

On the 3 big defensive issues - Health Care, New Hires
Pension & Benefits, and SERO - I feel we lost. We got
some upfront gains in areas at the cost of our
future.Contrary to some rumors I heard coming from the
Company over the last few weeks, that I would vote "no"
no matter what was in the Contract - that is absolutely
a ridiculous assertion! I have voted for 2 of the last 4
contracts (2000 and 2007). We were clear where we stood
in terms of priorities in this contract for the last
year and these 3 above issues were high on that list -
much higher than some areas where a lot money was thrown
in this contract.

The IUE-CWA Conference Board delegates shall vote
tomorrow (Wed June 22) and after that vote - detailed
information will be released to members in the shops
across the country beginning Thursday. Our other 3
delegates arrived in NYC today- Jeff Crosby, Ted Comick
and Len Redican for tomorrows meeting and vote.

____________________________________________

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