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Frequently Asked Questions About the Mobility "Orange" Agreement

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What is the total percentage wage increase over the life of the contract for those at the top of the pay scales?

10.1% total over the life of the agreement.  Said another way; An Information System Technician’s pay will go up $114 per week over the 4 years of the contract. That’s about $6,000 per year.

Does everyone get the $1,000 ratification bonus or is it prorated like the wage increases meaning only those at the top get the entire $1,000?

Everyone on active status on April 5th will get the full $1,000 if the contract is ratified.

Is the contract an overall increase or decrease in compensation?

Without question, this contract is an overall increase in compensation for AT&T Mobility workers covered in the Orange contract.

Is there a difference between 10 days sick pay, or is it broken down into 80 hours?

It will be 10 full days or 80 hours.  If you use partial days, they will count towards the 80 hour cap.  

Does everyone move up on the steps? Or just those on the bottom steps? 

Reducing the number of steps on the wage table does not lower any employee’s wage rates. However, some employees benefit by moving to higher wage rates. Since the bottom 2 steps are being eliminated, all employees on the old steps 1 and 2 will move up to the old step 3 (now called step 1). Employees currently on Step 7, will move to the new Step 5. Other examples of this movement are posted here.

Is it possible to push to get toward pay for landline workers? 

That is want we democratically decided in our bargaining survey and we moved in that direction. 

If you quit, do you still receive earned time?

First, there is no change to vacation selection or use of vacation for those employees that remain on payroll for the full year. However, if you quit during the year, you will receive any vacation you have accrued and have not used based on the chart in the new contract.

I’m still confused about people who are on Step 15 now, how does the percentage increases work? every 6 months, once a year? 

If you are on step 15 now, you receive a General wage increase every February. The raises are 2%, 2.5%, 2.25% and 3% each year of the 4 year contract.  

After the 10 sick days, will we still be covered under FMLA? 

Yes, you will still be entitled to FMLA without getting a “point”, you will not be paid after 80 hours/10 days of FMLA

After two years, will we get to vote if a change in the attendance policy comes up?

No, there will not be a vote if the company changes the attendance policy.  

If the contract is ratified, what happens if someone has already taken more than 10 days of FMLA?

If the contract ratifies, the 10 days in 2013 will not start until April 5. In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, you will only be able to get paid for 10 days.

I’ve heard that employees who are above the top wage scale will receive the above general wage increase in a lump sum, can you provide clarification on this?

This only applies to employees who are making more than the Step 15 wage rate. Those employees were grandfathered into that wage rate thru a merger/acquisition that happened to them years ago.  If you are on Step 15 of the current contract, you will receive the negotiated wage increase in your hourly rate.  

In regards to the top and bottom pay scales, what do the percentages mean, and is the increase every 6 months? 

The percentages are the increase that is added to your current wage. If you are not at the top pay (Currently Step 15), you will still see an increase every 6 months. If you are at the top of the wage scale, you will receive a yearly wage increase every February. 

Is FMLA still covering families with illness?

Yes, the FMLA law hasn’t changed.  The only change is to the payment for that time.  The federal law guarantees no discipline for certain family illnesses and that hasn’t changed.  

If we haven`t achieved the 5 year tenure, will we still have that waiting period, or will it be paid out through FMLA? 

There was no change to the language in the contract regarding waiting period.  

If everyone doesn`t agree on the contract, what happens next?

If the majority of members voting do not vote yes to ratify the agreement there are several things that could happen next.  We can go on strike subject to the President of CWA setting the date or we can go back to bargaining. The bargaining team believes this is the best contract we can achieve, with or without a strike.  

What is considered short term disability versus illness? 

Short Term Disability is when you miss more than 7 calendar days for the same illness.  There is a process which your doctor must verify and the company has a vendor who decides whether or not your illness qualifies for short term disability pay. Illness is incidental (less than 5 work days, partial days, etc) when you are sick.  

I`m still unclear, does the 10 day sick policy mean if you are sick longer than that, do you just get paid for 10 days or is FMLA still available?

FMLA is a federal law which guarantees that you won’t be disciplined for missing time if you have a serious covered illness. The law does not guarantee payment for that time. If you are qualified under the FMLA law, you will only be paid for 10 days of illness. After you have exhausted your 10 days of pay, it will be unpaid time.  

What is the pay differential after 8pm? 

There was no change to the amount of night differential from the current contract. Employees will now be paid the night differential if actual time worked runs into the differential period. The current agreement only pays a night differential if the time is scheduled during the differential period.

Can you explain the ratification bonus?

If the contract ratifies, each employee (on active status) who is on the payroll April 5 and on the payout date, will receive a payment of $1000.  

If I’m currently at Step 15 on the pay scale, would I move to Step 13? And if so, am I then capped out?

Yes, if you are currently on Step 15, you will move to Step 13 which is the highest step in the new contract, but the amount at the top of the pay scale will go up each year, 2% in 2013, 2.5% in 2014, 2.25% in 2015 and 3% in 2016.

Article 13, Section 3 gives management the right to dictate who gets the jobs, was this addressed at the bargaining table?

That language is subject to the grievance and arbitration procedure. If we believe the company has acted arbitrarily or wrong, we can file a grievance.  

If an employee is already maxed out on pay scale, does the 2% get paid out for the entire year, or the last 6 months? 

The general wage increase is for the entire year.  It applies to all wages.

Is the day after thanksgiving still going to be a holiday? 

Yes, the day after Thanksgiving is still a holiday. 

There are many tenured employees who are not making the same rates as new employees. What was done to address that? 

The current contract language covers that and we did not change the language except as it related to transfers. 

Since floating holidays have been amended, will new employees as of Sept 2012 have those replaced? 

No, that change only applies to moving forward, not to the past contracts.  

Can you give more detail on the wage increase? What is “top” and what is “bottom?  

The top is Step 15 (current contract) or Step 13 (new contract) and the Bottom is Step 1.

Since you are penalized for it, why does it count as sick time?

Most employers have a policy which requires employees to be at work. The only change is regarding how many days you will be paid for not being there.  

Will an employee get paid for unused vacation pay if he/she was terminated for attendance or performance issues?

An employee will no longer be paid for “unaccrued” vacation time if you are terminated for attendance or performance issues.  

Is this a 2 year contract and will this be happening in NY?

This tentative agreement is a 4 year contract and does apply to New York.  

Do we get to see new wage scale before we vote? 

Yes, the new wage scale is posted on the CWA AT&T Mobility website.  

As for the 2-2.5% lump sum payment each year — does that mean for 2013 the 2% increase is paid out as a lump sum if an employee is at the top of the pay scale already? 

The lump sum only applies to people who are making a higher wage than Step 15.  These are usually people who were making more than that when their company got taken over by AT&T Mobility.  Everyone who is at Step 15 currently will receive the entire wage increase.  

Will there be a cost of living clause?

No, there is only a general yearly wage increase. 

In regards to an employee transferring to core or to mobility, is this up to hiring manager or someone else? 

The National Transfer Plan provides for transfer eligibility and governs how employees get selected for openings within different bargaining units. Selection depends on the job and what the requirements of the job entail.  

If the Contract goes active in April, will the retroactive pay be activated at a different time? 

The pay increases will be retroactive to Feb 10, 2013.  

Regarding the 10 sick days, do those include FMLA? 

Yes, the 10 days include intermittent FMLA.  If you are on short term disability running concurrently with FMLA, you would still be paid under the Short Term Disability plan which did not change.