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TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2015 NYC GE CONTRACT REPORT FROM NYC FROM BA- 5:10 PM

The IUE-CWA NATIONAL NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE (elected leaders) voted unanimously at about 3:45 PM today 11-0 to recommend acceptance of the Contract Offer to the IUE-CWA Conference Board delegates meeting tomorrow.

This was a very difficult vote for me, as this was a unusual negotiating environment due to many factors - business sales, lawsuits, jobs, various unions opinions and other issues. I will fully explain the reasons for my recommendation to accept when I return to the Local. But here is a quick summary.

There are a number of things in the Contract Offer that I do not like:

1. The fact that current pre-65 retirees (like myself), post-65 retirees, and future retirees got in a complicated legal mess (the fact that Unions do not have a unconditional right to represent retirees under law) and this conflict was imitated by GE when they took the unnecessary action to remove their salaried members from traditional GE post 65 insurance plans on Januarey 1, 2015 and put them in the exchanges with some GE subsidies.I feel like we all are in limbo now but I suspect there will be some movement of us into the salaried employees situation in regards to these plans. This now has been made  a complicated legal problem that GE did not need to initiate.

2. The $2,000 ratification bonus (going only to Locals that vote to ratify). That is a nasty clause and I question even its legality which is currently being reviewed by our lawyers. I fought hard to get that removed the last few days.It is very repulsive to me and I made it clear that type of clause should never ever be put in a contract again. You do not tell us how to vote or bribe us!

3. Three ACP payment lump sums. I expected one or two.

4. I wish we could have held down the Medical Contribution rates more in the last couple of years of the contract

However, there are some really good provisions for the country and our Local:

1. The No Pension freeze letter is huge - as it will guarantees at least 8 more years of the Defined Pension Plan for our middle aged members.(assuming ratification votes of both IUE-CWA and UE).I did not expect that to be achieved.

2. A Decent Pension Update (not as good as last time but significant) and this helps many current 201 daywork and former piecework members members, including a large number of pieceworkers that already have retired.

3. The pension supplements and disability pension supplements were renewed and improved. The Guaranteed Pension tables also were improved

4. There was a one time update payment for into the Retirement Savings Plan for those not in Defined  Benefit Pension Plan

5 There are 2 VRIP opportunities also and they are in February 2016 and February 2018 - giving a lot of workers 2 chances to qualify or take one into retirement. Plus, the February date  help with extra vacation and sick time payments.

6. Medical deductibles, co-pays and out of pocket maximums are frozen for the life of the Contract

7 There will be a 3 year period with no increase medical contribution increase from Jan.2, 2014 through December 31 , 2016 (unless you are under working spouse provisions)

8 There will be no change in generic/targeted drug co-pays for retail and mail order

9 Emergency ambulance coverage was improved from 80% to 100%

10. There were improvement in a host of other areas like STD, LTDI, IEA, Dental, & Vision benefits

11. There is a small pension increase for retirees/ survivors whose retirements started on or before December 1, 2005. It is not nearly enough but it is structured right with the longest retirees getting more.

12 There are various new sub-contracting Article XXII changes that should help us reduce outsourcing, bring work into Lynn, and safeguard the future of our members jobs for years in Lynn. I will get into more details when I get to the Membership Information Meetings back in Lynn.

The key IUE-CWA CONFERENCE BOARD MEETING AND VOTE WILL BE TOMORROW MORNING .OUR 201 DELEGATES PETE CAPANO AND FRED RUSSEL WILL CAST VOTES FOR OUR MEMBERSHIP

Sincerly,

Ric

TUESDAY JUNE 23, 2015 NYC GE CONTRACT REPORT FROM BA - 3:05PM

We understand that the UE released the "Contract Summery" Offer early today after the "Summary" was already released by another CBC Union and after the UE Conference Board met and voted their recommendation in New York City this morning. I am sure it all over shop floors in plants across the country and in Lynn. The UE has yet to publish the results of their delegates recommendation vote.

The IUE-CWA National Negotiating Committee convened at 9:00AM this morning to review and vote a recommendation on the "Contract Offer". The meeting recessed around 10:00 AM due to some questions and issues that came up related to the package. IUE-CWA national negotiating members are now in a "holding' pattern right and there is not set time yet to reconvene the meeting

During the "hold" period, I  have been caucusing today with our 201 delegates President Capano and Fred Russell and other delegates who have arrived for tomorrows Conference Board delegates meeting and vote. I also have been in conversations with Company officials from Corporate, Lynn and Aviation regarding clarifications of some points in the agreement and voicing my concerns on other provisions of the agreement.

I am making no comments on the "Contract Offer" until after all our IUE-CWA Conference Delegates have a chance to see, review and vote on the offer tomorrow. I have only a National Negotiating committee"recommendation" vote as I am a pre-65 GE retiree. As currently scheduled,  Local 201' elected delegates Capano and Russell will cast Local 201's votes sometime tomorrow at the important IUE-CWA Conference Board Meeting

Sincerely

Ric

MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2015 NYC GE CONTRACT REPORT FROM BA -11:55PM

Our bargaining committee received a "Summary" and Memorandum of Settlement (MOS) of the "Small Table" Agreement around noon today. We had some discussion, questions and debate on it.

The committee could then spend the day reviewing and discussing  the 122 page MOS with other union representatives and key figures in their Locals in preparation for a "recommendation" vote tomorrow morning. I have not made a decision yet as to how I will vote tomorrow, as their are good points and some bad points (some particularly annoying and bothersome) in the package. It may be a long night going over it some more.

I was in touch today with Local 201 Policy Board  and our 2 delegates President Pete Capano and Fred Russell, who shall cast all of Local 201's per capita delegate votes Wednesday in New York at the Conference board meeting. This vote determines whether there is a "Tentative Agreement" or not.

Once that vote occurs Wednesday, Local 201 will be releasing information on the "package"

Ric

SUNDAY, JUNE 21, 2015 NYC GE CONTRACT REPORT FROM BA - 11:45PM

The GE Workers United Site announced that at 7:47 PM  tonight that at "tentative" agreement was reached at the "Small Table" between top GE and top union CBC bargainers.

At 10PM- the full IUE-CWA bargaining committee was officially informed by our Conference Board that indeed an "agreement" was reached. Under Conference Board rules- it is NOT a "tentative" agreement until the elected IUE-CWA Conference Board Delegates vote (this Wednesday) on the "Small Table"  agreed upon package- usually referred to as a "handshake' agreement.

The IUE-CWA elected bargaining committee representatives were given some verbal information on the package at 10:00 PM tonight. The Conference Board Staff is reviewing a  written summary of the package for accuracy and then it will be given to the full IUE-CWA bargaining committee members late tomorrow morning. It is entirely possible that information may leak out as to what is in the package from other CBC unions or GE. However, I am not going to comment on any of the leaks until I see the written summary of the entire agreement myself. I have already heard contradictory information regarding a couple of items in the package,

Once I receive that package tomorrow, I will review it and have some discussions with our Local Policy Board.

Our IUE-CWA National Bargaining Committee will vote a recommendation on Tuesday sometime.

The IUE-CWA elected Conference Board Delegates from across the Country then will make their critical per capita vote on Wednesday. If approved - the package becomes a TENTATIVE AGREEMENT and sent back to IUE-CWA locals for a secret ballot vote. If rejected ,  there is no agreement and bargaining and/or strike action would take place within a matter of days unless there is another agreed upon extension.

SUNDAY, JUNE 21, 2015 NYC GE CONTRACT REPORT FROM BA - 10:00AM

The full IUE-CWA Negotiating team got a briefing this morning at 8 AM from IUE-CWA representatives from the "Small Table". The reports, from Saturday up on GE Workers United and UE International sites, are the latest negotiations information, as "Small Table " bargaining is scheduled to begin today at 11:00 AM. It is clear there are still some major issues that need to be resolved today. It is likely that at some point today (or this evening) GE will present what they say is their "best and final offer". At that point the "Small Table" CBC leaders from the various unions will review that offer and make a decision whether they will make a "handshake" agreement or not with the Company on the "offer". If their is such "handshake" agreement or not - the full bargaining committees of the union who are "on call status" will be notified late afternoon or this evening. It is unclear whether details of the "offer" or "handshake agreement" will be released to the full union negotiation members late tonight or tomorrow morning.

My remarks on the post -65 issue from yesterday's report stand.

Ric

SATURDAY JUNE 20, 2015 9:30 PM NYC REPORT FROM BA

SATURDAY NIGHT JUNE 20, 2015 - 9:30 PM

1. Check out GE Workers United and UE International sites for reports from today's negotiations.

2. The IUE-CWA full bargaining committee will be getting an update from our IUE-CWA negotiators at the " Small Table" early Sunday morning.

3. OPINION:  I am not likely to recommend any offer that cuts out our members out from current or future access to post 65 medical assistance to Medicare - that includes our working members currently eligible, our current pre -65 retirees and our current post 65 retirees. It is about time the Company stopped listening to the high paid corporate nitwits who suggested going down this route way back in 2012 against their non- union Salaried employees and now stops listening to the "ideological  legal" arguments of their lawyers vainly trying to defend the legality and morality of this this outrageous attack on all our members - working and retired. It is condescending and repulsive to anyone that is familiar with the bargaining history regarding retirees between GE and the CBC! This shall destroy all relationships, as far as I am concerned, well into the future and just lead to business disruptions and more legal actions.

Ric

 

 

Saturday June 20, 2015 1:15PM NYC BA Report

1:15PM NEW YORK CITY

1. Last reports from "Small Table" on line are from Friday June 19 sessions. Those reports are up on GE Workers United and UE International sites. "Small Table" negotiations currently going on. Rest of negotiators (including me) in "on call" status.

2. I am reviewing the Contract Issue articles (#1- #9) up on our site by clicking "Contract Update" tab above. Report #9 is a key  summary evaluating tool I will use in judging a contract for important areas that need improvement. Then I will look at the details (in REPORTS #1- #8) of any changes made to the specific key areas to  see how significant they were if a "handshake" agreement is reached with the "Small Table". If negotiations follow past patterns, the "Small Table" could be still be in negotiations into Sunday night. One recent Contract - negotiations went into Monday morning.

FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2015 NYC REPORT FROM BA

Dear Local 201 Members:

There was some errors up on the GE Workers United Report earlier that I received calls on. The date scheduled for the important IUE-CWA GE Conference Board Delegates vote is NOT next Tuesday (It is next Wednesday and that now has been corrected on the Workers United Web Site)

If there is a "handshake" agreement with our "Small Table" Bargaining committee - any such package will be sent to the IUE-CWA GE National Negotiating Committee for a "recommendation" vote on Tuesday, June 23. The IUE-CWA GE Conference Board Delegate (per capita vote) is scheduled for Wednesday, June 24.  If  the package is approved at that body- it then at that time becomes a Tentative Agreement that will be sent back all IUE-CWA Locals for a national (per capita) membership vote per Conference Board rules that have been in effect for many years.

The Pension& Insurance and Contract Language Union/ Company Sub-Committees concluded their meetings today. It is clear that the Company understands the Unions positions and it priorities from these meetings the last week and from the 2 previous weeks at the "Large Tables".  What the Company does with this "understanding" is entirely another matter. There were some small tentative agreements made (pending a full package agreement) at the Pension & Insurance sub-committee over the last couple of days. However, the vast majority of major issues , from both sub-committees were now referred to the "Small Table" for intense negotiations on Saturday and Sunday.

It is likely there will be reports Saturday and Sunday, from top Union negotiators at the "Small Table", coming back to the full union bargaining committee who are now in basically "on call" status awaiting reports from the "Small Table".

Many veteran 201 Members are used to this whole "on edge" bargaining process that has gone on for years. It is not a healthy bargaining process (been saying that since 1994) and once again it does not surprise me that there is so many protests going on around the country and disruptions to the business in many cities and towns over the last few days. If you do not hear any substantial progress by the fourth week of bargaining, especially considering some of the Company's outrageous positions ---why wouldn't you expect anger and disruptions???

My gut reaction is that there has "some" progress on pensions, disability pensions, vision, dental and STD issues. But I do not think enough progress even in these areas yet. Other then that, I hear there has been almost no progress in all the other major areas- Wages/Medical, Job Security, Post 65 Medical for all members/retirees, contract language, and current retirees pension. Are we going to be able to reach a "TENTATIVE AGREEMENT" (meaning one gets the approval of the Conference Board Delegates next week) ? That is anyone's guess. I do know GE clearly understands our proposals and passion on the issues and they know many unions representatives are now disgusted with the 2011 Agreement. Due to this lousy bargaining process, I have seen GE make major movement in the last 2 days and I have also seen them make hardly any movement (but GE tries to make it look "major" by starting from such a low place ). Conjecture means nothing.

The facts of the package is what is important and what we are prepared to do once we study and understand the facts of the package is what matters.

All 201 members should watch GE Workers United and UE International updates over the weekend and keep checking in on our Local 201 site for any further information, clarification or corrections regarding rumors and any misinformation that may get  circulated. President Capano and our Board is in constant touch with me and they are keeping our members informed as much as possible, educated on the issues, ready, mobilized, and ready to analyze any "offer" in an intelligent way and then act accordingly based on that judgment. If you have not read our key issues yet- please go up to our Contract Reports #1- #9 on this site and study quickly as time is closing in for you to be an educated member on the issues.

In Solidarity,

Ric (Thanks to all 201 Members who protested out on Western Ave yesterday. It was noticed in NYC.)

THURSDAY JUNE 18th 201 PROTEST LACK OF PROGRESS IN NYC.
THURSDAY JUNE 18th 201 PROTEST LACK OF PROGRESS IN NYC.

MEMBERS RESPOND TO LACK OF PROGRESS IN NYC

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2015 LOCAL 201 REPORT & PROTEST!!!

After the last 2 days reports from New York City bargaining  both from the GE Workers United Site and the UE site, and after discussions with our IUE-CWA Mobilization campaign, IUE-CWA Local 201 is calling on our members to demonstrate to show our dissatisfaction with the lack of progress in New York City on reaching a fair and equitable agreement. Other Locals are planning actions of various varieties. Local 201 Members need to "STAND OUT" down the whole of Western Ave. in front of the plant to show our readiness to do what may have to be done to get a fair contract. We welcome community members and our retirees who are now also in GE line of fire by stripping all their GE medical plans they retired under leaving them with nothing.
 
Stand Out - Informational Picket
Thursday, June 18 @ Western Ave-Outside the Gate
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Second Shift
3:15 PM - 5:00 PM First Shift
 
 
---Better Less Costly Medical
Our medical plan is a disgrace. 4 years ago GE cost shifted millions of dollars on all employees while their profits rose to $16 Billion. Their top executives may be able to afford these costs not us!
And they want to give us bonuses rather than wage increases while implementing more major medical increases!
--Improve Pensions:
General Electric can afford significant improvements our pensions (that get eaten up by inflation) and should re-instate the Defined benefit Plan for all workers.The  401K type Plan they put 2012 New Hires in is inadequate and subject to big risk!
----Job Security
With all the sacrifices union members ( in Lynn and Nationwide) have made over the last 20 years in job flexibility, wage cuts, increased medical costs, new hire cuts, productivity improvements - it is about time that the Company stops downsizing the workforce and shipping jobs overseas : and make some commitments to their long term U.S industrial sites that built GE. And protect our youngsters by allowing an affordable retirement for a older substitute worker on a full benefit SERO not SERO "ZERO".
----Raise for Retirees:
The top five had a pension bump equal to 838 times what the average GE retiree makes. GE can afford to do better for our retirees.You can't live on pensions of  $500 to $$1500 monthly and then pay for GE's current expensive retiree medical coverage which now they seek to eliminate totally for current and future retirees.
-----Keep Post-65 Retiree Benefits
General Electric is threatening to break its promise of taking care of its retirees by providing Supplemental Health Insurance to current and future retirees. Disgraceful! No respect at all
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