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Welcome to the CWA Staff Union. We represent members who are employed by the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO with the titles of CWA Representative, District Organizing Coordinator, Temporary Staff, Represented Attorneys and IUE CWA Staff Representatives from the CIO who merged with us.  We also represent professional and occupational employees who are employed by the Alliance for Growth and Development, and the PA State AFL-CIO Staff.

                                                                                                                                                             M M Smith, President 

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Updates

01-26-16 The Staff Union has come to agreement with CWA on a new tentative agreement.  Changes have been made to components of the original tentative agreement. Unfortunately we were ​unable to add a new permanent title to establish a path to permanency for our members in temporary titles.  There were also no changes made to the components of our pension plan. Both issues came down to economics.

Improvements were made in several categories. The temporary titles will be included in more contract provisions.  The job duties of the temporary titles were clarified. There were also additional commitments made by CWA to ensure the stability of the pension fund.  Reductions were achieved in the level of the Health Care cost share. 

01-21-16 The bargaining team continues to finalize several details with CWA.  We expect to have a TA in a day or two.  At that time a complete explanation package will be distributed.  Calls will be scheduled with every group to answer any questions.

01-15-16  Bargaining took place again today between CWA and the Staff Union.

Discussions took place on all of the issues. We feel that we are close to a TA. While all of the details are not finalized, these details should be finalized early next week. We are in the process of putting together a complete explanation package which will be distributed as soon as possible.

01-14-16  Bargaining continued today between CWA and the Staff Union.  

Discussions took place on the treatment of members in temporary titles.  Increasing the flexibility to move a member from their initial campaign to a different campaign in order to provide more time to be selected for a permanent position was considered. Including these members in additional contract articles was proposed. Adherence to SIF/GF guidelines during the selection process was discussed. CWA has yet to agree on the creation of a new permanent title.
 
Language to confirm CWA's commitment to maintain current pension benefits and agreed upon funding levels were discussed. CWA continues to maintain its position that increasing costs associated with the pension fund was something they cannot do. 
 
Modification of the Health Care cost share is being considered.  
 
Your bargaining team is continuing to work on a satisfactory resolution.  Talks are scheduled for tomorrow.​

01-13-16  Bargaining between CWA and the Staff Union resumed today.  

Talks continued on the creation of a new permanent title. The Staff Union again made proposals regarding the temporary titles. CWA has yet to agree on the creation of a new permanent title.
 
The Staff Union made proposals to address the pension fund situation. A review of options regarding ways to address the stability of the pension fund took place.  These options included changes to the design elements of the pension plan and cost reductions in other areas.  Changing the design elements of the pension plan do not result in any significant relief to the level of funding needed over the next decade.  Achieving adequate funding through cost reductions causes operational problems as well as a reduction in the level of benefits.  CWA continues to maintain its position that increasing costs associated with the pension fund was something they cannot do.   
 
Your bargaining team is continuing to work on a satisfactory resolution.  Talks are scheduled for tomorrow.​

01-12-16  Bargaining between CWA and the Staff Union continued today.  

There was a lot of discussion between the parties on the creation of a new permanent title. CWA expressed concerns over the viability of actually staffing such a title in light of its current financial constraints. The Staff Union stressed the need for a realistic opportunity for members in SIF/GF positions to transition to a permanent position. Both sides agreed to continue discussions on a potential new permanent title.
 
Further discussion took place regarding the pension fund. The cost impact to the fund as a result of adding permanent staff was reviewed. CWA maintains its position that increasing costs associated with the pension fund was something they cannot do. The Staff Union reiterated its concern over the long term stability of the fund.     
 
Detailed financial information was provided to the Staff Union.  This information is currently being reviewed and analyzed by the bargaining committee.  Talks are scheduled for tomorrow.​

01-11-16  Contract negotiations resumed today in Washington DC between CWA and the Staff Union. CWA expressed its disappointment that the tentative agreement was not ratified. Discussions took place identifying the primary reasons for the rejection.  The Staff Union indicated that the lack of a viable pathway to permanency for the SIF/GF positions and the stability of the Pension Fund were the two major issues.  

 
CWA was very clear that increasing costs associated with the Pension Fund was something they could not do.  The Staff Union expressed its concern over the long term stability of the fund.  A suggestion was made by the Staff Union to jointly explore creative options to ensure the long term stability of the fund.  CWA did agree to meet with its consultants and the Staff Union to discuss options. 
 
CWA and the Staff Union discussed the possibility of creating a new permanent job title that would be a pathway to permanency for the SIF/GF positions.  Concerns were raised over job security issues in the event of defunding, the selection process and the impact to the pension fund. The Staff Union shared ideas received from some of our members addressing these issues. CWA had been looking into this possibility as well.
 
We recessed for the evening.  Talks will continue tomorrow.

12-21-15  The contract did not ratify.  The count was 44 yes-76 no.  The bargaining committee will arrange to go back to the bargaining table after the first of the year.  Please send any issues that you would like presented at the bargaining table to your Executive Board member. 

11-30-15 Today we reached a tentative agreement with the CWA.  The five year agreement increases our financial position through increases to wages and the 401k plan, maintains health care coverage with reasonable cost share increases and takes steps to ensure the long term stability of the pension fund.  Other key components of our existing contract have been maintained.  Our members covered by the Growth Fund and SIF titles have received several contractual improvements in addition to the wages and 401k plan increases. 

A complete version of the proposed agreement is being finalized and will be distributed as soon as possible.  Shortly after it's distribution District conference calls will be scheduled to discuss the components of the agreement and answer any questions.

11-26-15 Over the past week the bargaining team has been continuing to try to resolve the final issues on the table.  Our expectation was that these issues would be resolved last weekend. Unfortunately, we have not been able to reach agreement with the CWA.  We will continue to work towards resolving these issues.

11-14-15 Progress has been made since our message on 11-6-15.  We heard your concerns regarding working without a contract and after discussions with the CWA that issue has been resolved​. Your bargaining team proposed changes to last weeks proposal from the CWA addressing concerns over wages, health care and job security.  Although nothing has been finalized, the initial response was favorable.  We feel that we are moving closer to an agreement.  We will update you as soon as more information is available. 

11-6-15 Since we last issued a bargaining report the process has stalled.  At that time we felt we were close to reaching an agreement with the CWA. Unfortunately we have taken several steps backwards.  Your bargaining team put together a comprehensive package that addressed both the concerns of our members and the CWA.  It included reasonable increases to wages and the 401k plan, addressed job security issues, health care cost issues and adopted measures to maintain the long term stability of the pension fund.  
 
Today we received a counter proposal from the CWA that reject the all of the elements that addressed our needs, but accepted the components that addressed the CWA's needs.  The CWA also sent us another message today.  We had an agreement to extend our contract until October 31. 2015.  Our expectation was that the extension would continue until we reached an agreement.  Today we were informed that they are not interested in extending the agreement.  As of now we are working without a contract.  
 
At this time your bargaining team plans on continuing to work through the process at the bargaining table.  If that doesn't work in the short run, please plan on mobilizing. We do not want to go down that road, but we are willing to take any and all measures necessary to gain a fair contract.

10-27-15  Your bargaining team is close to reaching an agreement with CWA.  Several critical issues still need to be resolved.  We are in the process of putting together a counter proposal to CWA's latest offer.  Meetings took place in Washington DC from 10-13-15 through 10-16-15.  During those sessions we moved closer on many issues, but remained apart on wages,pension, 401K, health care and several other issues. We hope to meet with CWA soon to finalize the agreement.  

10-01-15 We have extended the contract for one month as we continue to push for a fair and equitable agreement. When last we met we had presented a comprehensive proposal to the company. They have committed to reply to that proposal this week. Our next face to face meeting is scheduled for the week of October 12th but we will continue to to worrk via conference calls and email until then. In Unity, M M Smith, Pat O'Neil, Bill Bain and Tommy Thurston.

09-19-15 Talks continued today with CWA.  Additional proposals were made by both sides, which moved us closer on several issues.  However we remain apart on most of the major issues. CWA plans on sending us an updated proposal this week to review.  After that review future meetings will be scheduled.    

09-18-15  Bargaining sessions with CWA continued on Thursday and Friday.  Yesterday the entire session was spent discussing issues surrounding the New Growth Fund titles. The job security of all of our members was a major topic of these discussions.  Today we continued to discuss all of the outstanding issues.  There was agreement reached on a few issues, but we remain apart on all of the major issues.  A meeting is scheduled for Saturday.

09-16-15  The Union and the Company have been meeting the past two days.  The Company reviewed the financial status of CWA. This included the status of the pension plan and the required future contributions as well as a health care cost update.  CWA raised concerns over the cost of the motor vehicle plan.  Your bargaining team presented the complete package of bargaining proposals that was approved by the Executive Board.  So far no agreements have been reached.  We continue to work towards reaching an agreement.  Meetings are scheduled for tomorrow and Friday.

09-13-15:  Bargaining for our contract begins this week.  The bargaining team will meet in Washington DC for a prep session on 09-14-15.  Talks are scheduled with CWA from 09-15-15 through 09-18-15. We will update you as information becomes available.. Read more.