COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA

LOCAL 4671

GRIEVANCES & MEETING MINUTES


Updated 10/14/2019



4671 Home Page

G2.2.18
Frontier
Company Not Soliciting Bids on Schedules for SST IIs by Reporting Location District Arbitration Case Number 4-19-21; initially denied - appeal made to CWA National President.

G2.3.18
Frontier
Company Combining Various Report Locations for Scheduling and Vacation Selection Purposes District Arbitration Case Number 4-19-07; initially denied - appeal made to CWA National President.

G2.1.19
Frontier
Company "Scheduling" Six Eight Hour Days for Sales and Service Technician IIs Appeal has been made to the District for arbitration. AAA Case Number 4-19-91 is assigned.

G2.2.19
Frontier
Company "Scheduling" Five Ten Hour Days for Sales and Service Technician IIs Appeal has been made to the District for arbitration. AAA Case Number 4-19-93 is assigned.

G2.3.19
Frontier
Company "Scheduling" Six Ten Hour Days for Sales and Service Technician IIs Appeal has been made to the District for arbitration. AAA Case Number 4-19-89 is assigned.

G3.1.18
Frontier
Company's Failure to Allow Early Starts for a Sales and Service Technician II on Forced Overtime AAA Case Number 4-19-05 is assigned; initially denied - appeal made to CWA National President.

G3.2.18
Frontier
Company's Failure to Allow Early Starts for a Sales and Service Technician II on Forced Overtime AAA Case Number 4-19-05 is assigned; initially denied - appeal made to CWA National President.

G3.3.18
Frontier
Company's Failure to Allow Early Starts for a Sales and Service Technician II on Forced Overtime AAA Case Number 4-19-05 is assigned; initially denied - appeal made to CWA National President.

G3.4.18
Frontier
Company's Failure to Allow Early Starts for a Sales and Service Technician II on Forced Overtime AAA Case Number 4-19-05 is assigned; initially denied - appeal made to CWA National President.

G3.5.18
Frontier
Company's Failure to Allow Early Starts for a Sales and Service Technician II on Forced Overtime AAA Case Number 4-19-05 is assigned; initially denied - appeal made to CWA National President.

G3.6.18
Frontier
Company's Failure to Allow Early Starts for a Sales and Service Technician II on Forced Overtime AAA Case Number 4-19-05 is assigned; initially denied - appeal made to CWA National President.

G3.7.18
Frontier
Company's Failure to Allow Early Starts for a Sales and Service Technician II on Forced Overtime AAA Case Number 4-19-05 is assigned; initially denied - appeal made to CWA National President.

G3.1.19
Frontier
Company's Mandatory Overtime (Scheduling More than Five Days per Week) for SST IIs Appeal has been made to the District for arbitration. AAA Case Number 4-19-97 is assigned.

G3.2.19
Frontier
Company Scheduling/Demanding Mandatory Overtime for Sales and Service Technician IIs Appeal has been made to the District for arbitration. AAA Case Number 4-19-84 is assigned.

G4.7.19
Frontier
Five Day Unpaid Suspension for Sales and Service Technician II Failing to Follow Work Rules No management response to the first formal step appeal. Has been appealed to the top step.

G4.8.19
Frontier
Final Written Warning Given to a Sales and Service Technician II for Failure to Follow Work Rules No management response to the first formal step appeal. Has been appealed to the top step.

G8.1.19
Frontier
Company's Harassment of Sales and Service Technician IIs Unable to Work Mandatory Overtime Appeal has been made to the District for arbitration. AAA Case Number 4-19-95 is assigned.

G22.2.19
Frontier
Sales and Service Technician II Being Terminated for Failure to Follow Work Directives Arbitration on District Case Number 4-19-57 denied; will appeal to CWA National President.

G22.3.19
Frontier
Termination of a Sales and Service Technician II Due to Failure to Follow Work Rules No management response to the first formal step appeal. Has been appealed to the top step.

G31.1.19
Frontier
Assignment of Overtime/Call-Out Work in Violation of the Compensated Availability MOA Company has been notified of the Union's intent to arbitrate.



Membership Meeting
Host Area: South
Saturday - September 28, 2019
Dino's | 2900 New Pinery Road | Portage

Meeting was called to order by President Steve Kotel at 4:10 p.m. Executive Board Members in attendance were: President Steve Kotel, Vice President Ann McNeary, Treasurer Sherry Gehring, North Area Representative Chris Loomis, and South Area Representative Ron Scott. In addition, one member was there and two guests. Secretary Jane Vander Kooy and CenturyLink Representative Jonathan Stevens were excused.

The financial report was given. Our ending balance for August was $26,451.80, with an additional $50,042.25 in savings. The grievance report was discussed. Most of the grievances have to do with scheduling and they have been appealed to arbitration. The version updated earlier today will be sent to the Board and placed on the website shortly after this meeting. Efforts need to be redoubled, especially in the Assignment Center, to educate members of their Weingarten rights to have a steward present if a discussion with their supervisor could lead to discipline. Many members are being coached or disciplined and they don't realize the importance of challenging this right away.

Steve reported that the Board made a visit to the Union office/storage location in Pardeeville this afternoon to see what needs to be saved and what can be destroyed. There were a number of boxes that were full of material just was no longer applicable or was water damaged (now moldy!) ten years ago when there was a fire above the old office. The room isn't really large enough to hold meetings there so we will start looking around for cheaper storage space and maybe some better containers.

Our bylaws and operating practices need to be updated to better reflect the nature of having a statewide Local - especially when it comes to elections. Ann will prepare documents with possible changes for the next Board Meeting and any proposed bylaws changes will be presented at two membership meetings.

There was a general discussion about company policies at Frontier - they cause people to waste time and, in some cases, falsify records because a certain field (which doesn’t apply or was impossible to do) is needed to close a ticket. Systems seem to be getting slower and slower - which causes additional work time - or they just don't function - like work telephones used when on compensated availability. Company procedures are causing a division between outside and inside workers and they don't serve our customers. It was suggested that "ride alongs" or "sit besides" be reinstituted - so that everyone understands each others' jobs. Rather than make things more cost effective and efficient, the Company seems to set unreasonable work rules with unattainable standards.

The schedules in the Assignment Center are still separate - with about 64 technicians upstairs and 113 downstairs. There is training that is needed to become truly one center. Ballots for the special election in the Center were sent out on Tuesday, September 24, and they will be counted on Friday, October 11. [Anyone needed a replacement ballot should contact the Local Secretary.] There are many issues that will need to be addressed by the new Assignment Center Representative especially dealing with inconsistency in the treatment of members.

M/S/C to adjourn at 5:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Ann M. McNeary (temporary notetaker)


CWA LOCAL 4671 BOARD MEETING HELD VIA CONFERENCE CALL ON AUGUST 25, 2019 AT 6PM.
Present: President Steve Kotel, Vice President Ann McNeary, Treasurer Sherry Gehring, Secretary Jane Vander Kooy, South Area Rep Ron Scott, CenturyLink Rep Jon Stevens
Not present: South Area Rep Chris Loomis

-Vice President Ann McNeary presented the grievance report, there was discussion and updates to the report.
Ann had discussed our Local supporting the Eduardo Diaz International Solidarity Fund as we have done in previous years. Our Local gives ten cents yearly for each member we have in our Local, this Fund helps with organizing Members outside the United States. Ann also presented for our Local to give one dollar per each Member yearly for the Pediatrics Aids Fund which is the CWA National Charity. Discussion was held by the Board, Ann McNeary made a motion that we give to the above to funds, the motion was 2nd by Jane Vander Kooy. The Board Members present voted yes, with the exception of Ron Scott who voted no. Motion was passed.

-Treasurer Sherry Gehring presented the Treasurers report.
Sherry did bring to the Board asking when the Assignment Center Area Rep position will be holding the nominations for the vacant Assignment Center Area Rep. Discussion was held and there will be 2 meetings held on September 11, 2019 in Sun Prairie, anyone wishing to be the Assignment Area Rep needs to attend the meeting to be nominated and accept or needs to have a written request and have someone nominate them and 2nd the nomination. Ann will be doing a flyer for the Boards in the Assignment Center.
Members in the Assignment Center don’t want to fill out the I9 form Frontier is requesting them to fill out, but if they don’t fill out the I9 the Members are feeling threatened.
The Members in the Center are on a point system now which is causing a negative impact on customer service.
Observations are being done on the Assignment Center Members and Members who are being helpful to the callers are having it held against them and they are being talked with, the Assignment Center Members are not suppose to be stepping up to help the callers.

-Secretary Jane Vander Kooy discussed the scholarships for the Locals Members. She had only received one form, it was decided the Area Reps and Board Members will be contacting Members in their Area to have them send in the scholarship form if they have Members that would be eligible.
Jane also discussed with keeping her updated on any changes in their areas when new Members start or other Members leave the Local.

-CenturyLink Area Rep Jon Stevens discussed there are Management changes in CenturyLink and the Management positions will be refilled.
There is a new contracting company and CenturyLink has 2 contractors in Black River Falls, 1 or 2 in Holmen, Prairie Du Chien and Rice Lake. The contractors are former Verizon and Frontier Members.
District 7 had come to their contract agreement in 4 days.
Jon will be requesting his Fellowship Fund once the new Budget year starts in October.
Jon brought up that everyone should get there vouchers in the Sherry, our Budget year ends the last day of September 2019.

-South Area Rep Ron Scott discussed issues with Members working through their lunch and Members not finishing their jobs for the day and turning them back. Members are feeling threatened by the comments the Supervisors are stating to the Members regarding these two issues.
There are 3 new positions being posted for 3 new techs jobs with Frontier.
Ron Scott will set up the September Meeting which will be held on a Saturday in the Portage Area.

-President Steve Kotel discussed the final draft of the Rhinelander contract.
There was a NLRB charged filed against the Local, that charge was dropped when it was determined there was no violation by the Local.
District 4 will be holding an Education Conference in Rosemont IL on October 29th and 30th of 2019, discussion was held on who would want to go to the Conference.
There was a motion made by Ron Scott to send up to 5 Board Members to the conference, the motion was 2nd by Ann McNeary, vote was held and motion passed. At the September Meeting it will be discussed as to wants to attend the Conference.

Meeting was adjourned when the motion was made by Jon Stevens and 2nd by Ann McNeary, motion passed and meeting adjourned at 8:25pm.

Minutes were respectively submitted by Secretary Jane Vander Kooy.

EXECUTIVE BOARD MINUTES FOR CONFERENCE CALL MEETING FOR JUNE 10, 2019 AT 7PM

Board Members in attendance: Steve Kotel, Ann McNeary, Sherry Gehring, Jane Vander Kooy, Ron Scott, Doris Wilson Townsend, Chris Loomis
Absent excused: Jon Stevens

--Treasurer Sherry Gehring reviewed and discussed the Financial Report.
Sherry advised the Audit for the Local will be done on June 21, 2019 and Andrea Wills and Ron Chase Rosenberry from the Assignment Center will be doing the audit.

--Vice President Ann McNeary discussed the grievance report, updates were provided by Area Reps and President Steve Kotel.
Ann brought up FMLA Training and scheduling a day for training to be available. The Board agreed summer months would not be a good time for the training. Ann will check with other CWA Local Presidents if they would want to do FMLA Training along with our Local. Ann will report back to the Board.
Ann asked about buying items for the CenturyLink bargaining, discussion was held but at this time nothing was being ordered.

--Secretary Jane Vander Kooy brought up that Area Reps need to provide her any changes with the members when they leave the Company, or if there are any transfers. Jane needs the Area Reps to keep her updated so the Local records can be updated.
Jane discussed the retiree dues amount to be paid, Sherry will be checking the National Bylaws.

--North Area Rep Chris Loomis who was involved in the Frontier Rhinelander contract advised the contract has been ratified.
Chris stated they may be a new grievance started for Compensated Availability.

--Assignment Area Rep Doris Wilson Townsend stated there is a new point system in the Assignment Center, there are 46 points per day for Assignment Reps.
Assignment Reps are getting push back a tech calls into the Assignment Center, there was a conference on what to do for the techs.
2 Assignment Reps were given a final warning and one Rep was terminated.
Miss Dee will be taking a 3 month leave of absence from the Board Meetings but will continue to represent the Assignment Reps and will go to the National Convention representing our Local.

--South Area Rep Ron Scott the National Convention and how the nominations were set up.
Ron advised Chris Ableman will be retiring on 6/27/19, best wishes to Chris. Sad news is Muscoda outside tech Steve Bird passed away on 6/10/2019, our deepest sympathy to his family.
Overtime is not being forced any longer, the company is scheduling 10 hour days.

--President Steve Kotel discussed there will be CenturyLink Bargaining Meetings in August and September. Steve will be meeting with members to discuss the upcoming bargaining.
Rhinelander contract was discussed and a couple items brought up were the members got a 2% raise each year for 3 years. Health insurance premiums will not go up for 3 years.
Steve stated he was just notified there are Board charges filed against Local 4671, Steve is waiting for the evidence from the NLRB.
National Convention will be attended by Steve Kotel and Doris Wilson Townsend, both will be representing our Local.

Motion was made by Ron Scot to adjourn the meeting, 2nd by Doris Wilson Townsend. Meeting was adjourned at 8:20pm.

Minutes submitted by Secretary Jane Vander Kooy.


MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER ON APRIL 3,2019 AT 6PM BY PRESIDENT STEVE KOTEL.
Members present were President Steve Kotel, Vice President Ann McNeary, Treasurer Sherry Gehring, Secretary Jane Vander Kooy, Assignment Center Rep Doris Wilson Townsend, North Area Rep Chris Loomis, South Area Rep Ron Scott, CenturyLink Area Rep Jon Stevens.

-Vice President Ann McNeary presented the grievance report and the grievances were discussed and updated.
Discussion for the Stewards list that Ann is updating and will be putting on the Local’s website.
Bridging of service from IBEW and CWA members was brought up, President Steve Kotel will be discussing with the District to get clarification.
FMLA 4 hour training was brought up to the Board and if we would have Stewards that would want to attend, the training would be held in Baraboo on a Saturday. Ann will check with the FMLA Trainer if she has any Saturdays open in June for training.
Discussion on the vote for the CWA National Convention was brought up and how the vote should be handled, Steve Kotel will be checking with the District and then get back with the Board.
Ann talked about an AFL-CIO Conference that will be coming up and the Board may want to look into it.
Ann brought up doing an audit for the 2018 and Treasurer Sherry Gehring will look into dates for the audit.

-Treasurer Sherry Gehring reported the Local the balances in the Local’s checking and savings accounts. Sherry will be finishing up the taxes and will be issuing payments for the bills and vouchers she received.

-Assignment Center Rep Doris Wilson Townsend discussed the Assignment Center will have their party in April with the Fellowship Funds.
Yvonne and Doris are working on schedules and training for the Assignment Center.

-CenturyLink Area Rep Jon Stevens discussed an Engineer Donna Smothers retired and there is no replacement for her position.
There are a lot of seasonal jobs with CenturyLink but at this time there is only one application. Jon stated if anyone knows anyone who is looking for seasonal work CenturyLink is hiring.

-Secretary Jane Vander Kooy discussed Board members need to keep her updated when members quit, retire or new members are hired. Employees that want to be union members need to fill out a union card. Cards needs to be turned into Jane so she can update in the system.

-North Area Rep Chris Loomis discussed GPS and how the company may use it for scoring techs.
A Customer Engineer employee retired and his job is being replaced with a Sales and Service Tech I.
Chris had discussed along with Ron Scott the forced overtime for the techs.
The point system discipline was brought up, Chris is wanting a copy of the companies rule book.

-South Area Rep Ron Scott discussed a new scheduling tool, unsure at this time what it will look like.
Simple Training started on 4/2/19 which the techs would have no need to call into the Assignment Center.
Ron was asking for arbitration updates, Steve will check with the District on the updates
Ron was asking for Steve to check into why Indiana techs can start at 7:30am and WI techs have to start at 8am.
There are 2 termination grievances going to top step that were discussed.
Ron Scott made a motion to send one person to the Leadership Training the end of April in Ohio, Sherry Gehring made a 2nd to the motion. The Board Members held discussion on sending a Board Member to the Training. Vote was 3 yes, 4 no and one Board Member abstained from voting. Motion did not carry.

-President Steve Kotel discussed the Local’s Budget and that we need to watch our expenses. We have been to several meetings and have had trainings which were costly to the Budget. Steve along with Jon Stevens discussed the Treasurer to set up a Budget Meeting were the Board Members can set up a budget for the 2019 – 2020 Local’s budget. This meeting should be held before the start of the new budget which is October 2019. Also brought up was the Audit Committee should meet at the same time as the Budget Committee if there are questions the Audit Committee may have.

Motion was made by Jane Vander Kooy to adjourn and 2nd by Doris Wilson-Townsend. Meeting was adjourned at 8:25pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Secretary Jane Vander Kooy,


CWA Local 4671 Executive Board Meeting
Host Area: CenturyLink Area
Wednesday - February 06, 2019
Susters Arcade | 117 North Wall Street | Denmark, WI


Meeting was called to order by President Steve Kotel at 10:59 a.m. Those present: President Steve Kotel, Vice President Ann McNeary, Treasurer Sherry Gehring, Assignment Center Representative Dee Townsend (arrived at 11:07 a.m.), CenturyLink Representative Jonathan Stevens, North Area Representative Chris Loomis, and South Area Representative Ron Scott. Absent excused: Secretary Jane Vander Kooy.

Discussion held on scheduling upcoming meetings with a thought to trying to avoid the worst of the winter weather in Wisconsin (like today!). M/S/C to hold five General Membership Meetings per year geographically throughout the state, including one in Sun Prairie for the Assignment Center, with the dates/times/locations to be determined by the Executive Board. [In person Executive Board Meetings will be held in conjunction with these.] Next GMM is planned for Tomahawk in May with the North Area Representative serving as host.

This meeting will include nominations for the CWA National Convention to be held in Las Vegas at the end of July. The President is an automatic Delegate and M/S/C to send one additional Delegate. The Elections Committee will be notified and necessary arrangements will begin - need to get a Post Office Box, … There will be an election for Vice President of CWA District 4 as part of the Convention. The Board reiterated that when representing the Local at any meeting, conference, training, or convention, the attendee has a duty to be there and to give a report afterwards informing the membership of what was learned and/or what took place.

Also, to clarify the mileage policy, M/S/C that members attending Area and/or General Membership Meetings will be paid round trip mileage for all miles in excess of thirty. We did talk about the importance of documentation and vouchers being filled out completely (and on a timely basis). With the pay raise in the Frontier/CWA contract effective on 02/10/2019, the lost wage amount will be $32.58 per hour which is an increase from the current $31.95 per hour. [Found in Schedule Q.] The IRS also raised the mileage amount, effective 01/01/2019, to 58 cents per mile which is up from 54.5 cents per mile.

In addition, concerning lost time, it was reaffirmed that if someone is off work representing the Local, they will only be paid (1) if they are actually scheduled to work that day and (2) the number of hours paid are "capped" at eight since that would have been the number of hours scheduled. It needs to be understood that there are times when the meeting or assignment takes more than eight hours in one day or falls on a scheduled day off. It is hoped that members would not manipulate their schedules to cause more hours to be paid than necessary.

Both the North and the South areas are dealing with the "work expectations" document that has been circulating. Steve was on a conference call earlier today about this and will be going to Ohio in two weeks to discuss this with the other Locals affected. Work schedules and/or vacation schedules continue to be combined although not completely consistently. The Union is fighting this with the goal to be to return to a more logical and practical workgroup size based on location. Also scheduling, especially vacation days at a time and personal days, is really causing problems. In at least one area, NO Saturdays are available for nearly all of the year - which is not fair (and unworkable) for those routinely scheduled on Saturday. Essentially the only way to get a Saturday off is if you can get the entire week off for vacation - which is unlikely and not the best used of vacation time.

There also is the continuing problem of not being paid overtime for hours in excess of eighty per paycheck because of Frontier's interpretation of vacation days vs holidays. Anyone with pay stubs showing eighty plus hours, with no overtime paid, should get a copy to their Area Representative for further action. This issue needs to be addressed in our next bargaining with the Company.

Ron asked about the bridging of time when coming from or going to an area represented by IBEW - is there reciprocity? It doesn't seem to be consistently handled. Steve will contact IBEW Local 51 - which seems to send members our way - to further investigate. The feeling was that if it truly is reciprocal, then it is fine but possibly not all IBEW Locals will do the same thing with this issue. Also is the Local getting contractor reports? COE-I has just one employee left so most of their work is being done by contractors. Will any/all of those jobs be filled? Steve will check into this further.

Jon said that they still haven't been able to get a current CenturyLink seniority list and are not being notified about new hires and/or separations. The HR functions now go thru a centralized "pool", with no one directly being responsible for Wisconsin so requests seem to be ignored. A couple of people left and hopefully jobs will be backfilled. And possibly voluntary separation packages were offered but there seems to be some confusion on this - Company says yes they did make offers but members say no (there was no offer received by anyone). Organizing within CenturyLink was discussed and will be brought up at the General Membership Meeting this evening.

Dee reported that there has been quite an uproar in the Assignment Center which is being addressed. The extreme weather has caused a number of problems - no time off being approved even though the local, county, and state government operations in Dane County shut down for a number of days. There has to be a remedy to this besides "flex time" - which really isn't always practical and isn't contractual. There will be a grievance filed about upgrades not being approved for those in the Center performing Facilities Assigner/Cutter work (Schedule L in the contract). Also, since this upgrade involves more pay, the work should be offered by seniority. And scheduling, between those upstairs and downstairs, continues to be an issue. Those with less seniority (upstairs) are getting better schedules than those downstairs - earlier starts, fewer Saturdays, … In addition, the day at a time vacation/personal holidays scheduling is way behind so people are not able to make plans.

Sherry handed out the financial reports for December and January and changed the format just a bit to indicate the money that was shifting into savings from the checking account. The audit for 2016/2017 was finally done in January. Those auditing the records were concerned that a number of receipts were missing or vouchers didn't include sufficient information to understand why an expense was paid. So, in addition to the other clarifications talked about earlier in the meeting, it was reinforced that ALL expenses need to have a receipt and that vouchers need to clearly indicate the date and reason for the expense. And they need to be submitted on a timely basis - for the Executive Board, that should be once a month. Anyone else should NOT wait for months to request payment. Sixty days was suggested as a limit. Chris and Sherry will be meeting at the office on Saturday so Chris can look over the Rhinelander materials stored there.

The grievance report was thoroughly discussed and the updated version will be posted as per usual. Ann asked about ordering clothing/items for members this year. The plan is to do something thru the website - with an e-mail being sent - rather than getting the handwritten or scanned order forms and the Assignment Center will have a revised sign up form. Please think about possible designs or things to purchase for the members. She was on the nationwide conference call about Frontier and its many service problems. Unfortunately, based on legislation that was passed some time ago (which AT&T really pushed), Wisconsin does NOT have good consumer protections anymore on service standards. We do have someone from the School for Workers to do a four-hour FMLA training for the Local so now need to schedule a date. It will most likely be a Saturday and will possibly be held in the Dells again, which seemed to work alright for getting people in from across the state. We also want to provide localized information for the various companies on how the application process actually works internally - where do I get the form to fill out, who handles it, …

Steve discussed the conference call he was on this morning about the new work expectations being rolled out. He will be going to Ohio to discuss this further and the Presidents will plan a strategy to address this. The Rhinelander contract is up soon and proofing/printing of the contract will be discussed during bargaining. What was finally recently received seems to have some discrepancies and there are no signatures on the document. On the call, they also discussed "buzz" service - calling the customer, changes to "Take the Lead", and new dispatch systems for scheduling among other things.

M/S/C to adjourn at 5:41 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Ann M. McNeary (temporary notetaker)