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Alcatel-Lucent Outsources Benefit Plans

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CWA has been notified that Alcatel-Lucent has contracted the administration of Short Term Disability (STD), the Sickness and Accident Disability Plan (SADBP), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), State Family Leave Act (SFLA), and Leaves of Absence (LOA), for the U.S. and Puerto Rico, to Aetna effective January 1, 2008.  The Company has stated that, by outsourcing this activity, Alcatel-Lucent will be able to "harmonize" plan criteria across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Employees will continue to apply for FMLA, SFLA and/or Leave of Absence by notifying their supervisors of the leave request at least thirty (30) days in advance, or as soon as the need is known.  However, employees will then be required to complete and submit the application through Aetna, by either calling the toll-free number (800-552-5506), or by accessing Aetna's secure website at


For non-work related sickness, the process used to report the first and second day of absence to their supervisors has not changed.  However, on the third day of absence, employees will be required to report their absence to their supervisors and to Aetna.  For on-the-job injury/illness absences (work-related), employees will be required to notify their supervisors and Aetna on their first day of absence.  The new process to report and administer associated absences has been distributed to Managers.  An employee communication was distributed on December 21, 2007.

The Union contends that the change in the absence reporting requirements is a contract violation and has so notified the Company.  Further, the Company procedures state that the employee must notify Aetna and their supervisor(s) on the third day of absence.  As the third day of absence would not be eligible for FMLA, (unless a weekend falls between the first and second scheduled tour missed), the requirement to report the absence to Aetna on the third day doesn't make sense.  However, if you are instructed to do so, do not refuse.  Follow the instructions given to you by your supervisor and file a grievance.

The Union continues to have questions, to which answers are still pending.  One such question is whether or not the EAP Program has also been outsourced to Aetna.  I had received "unofficial" notification that EAP was to be included, but there is no mention of that in the Company's letter to CWA.  The Union also needs to clarify what information has been sent to the Bargaining Unit employees.  As stated earlier, the document attached to the notification letter was distributed to management employees, but is referred to as the document distributed to all employees on the 21st of December.  Once the information has been received, we will post the information on the website.  Until then, should you have any questions regarding this issue, please feel free to contact me by phone on (202) 434-1291 or via e-mail at

In Unity,

Martha Flagge
CWA Representative
Communications & Technologies

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