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Avaya Bargaining Report #3

18 Aug, 2023

Introduction: The CWA bargaining committee recently concluded three days of intense negotiations with Avaya representatives in Denver. These discussions covered a wide range of topics critical to our members' interests, reflecting our commitment to securing fair terms and conditions for all. 

Key Discussion Topics: During the negotiations, both parties engaged in thorough and mostly constructive discussions on the following topics: 

1. Authorized Union Representatives: We discussed the roles and responsibilities of authorized union representatives, ensuring effective communication channels between labor and management. 

2. Constructive Relationship: The importance of a constructive and collaborative relationship between the Union and the Company was emphasized, seeking a harmonious working environment. 

3. Discipline and Personnel Records: We explored procedures for fair discipline and maintenance of accurate personnel records, aiming for transparent and just practices. 

4. The Alliance: Discussions centered on maintaining a program that provides enrichment and training opportunities for members. 

5.Education and Development: Both parties acknowledged the significance of education and development opportunities for employees, contributing to their growth within the company. 

6. Agency Shop and Collection Dues: We delved into the agency shop model and the collection of dues, vital aspects to sustain the operations of the union. 

7. Drug Testing: A balanced approach to the company's drug testing policies was discussed, emphasizing safety while respecting employees' rights. 

8. Seniority: The principle of seniority in employment decisions was a focal point, protecting the rights of longstanding employees. 

9. Remote Work: Considering the evolving work landscape, terms and conditions for remote work were debated, aiming to ensure fairness and flexibility.

10. Overflow Work and Contracting: Regulations for overflow work and contracting tasks to external entities were explored, prioritizing job stability. 

11. Force Adjustment and Layoff: Measures to manage force adjustments and potential layoffs were discussed, aiming to minimize negative effects on employees. 

12. Part-timing and Recall: The negotiation covered part-time work arrangements and recall processes, safeguarding employee rights. 

13. Termination Payments: Equitable termination payment policies were discussed to provide necessary support to affected employees. 

14. Career Transition Option Program: We explored the possibility of a career transition option program, offering alternative career paths within the company. 

15. Transfers, Travel Allowances and Moving Expenses: Terms for transfers, travel allowances and moving expenses were discussed, aiming to support affected employees. 

16. Reassignment Pay Protection: Pay protection for employees facing reassignment was explored, ensuring their financial security during transitions. 

17. Safety: Both parties emphasized maintaining a safe work environment and discussed strategies for enhancing safety measures. 

18. Military Service: Accommodations for military service were addressed, reflecting a commitment to supporting employees who serve in the armed forces. 

19. Benefits, 401K and Pension: Discussions centered on employee benefits, including retirement plans, such as 401K and pensions, seeking favorable terms for members. 

Challenges and Concerns: While Avaya expressed a desire for a constructive relationship, some of their proposals have raised concerns. The recent change in ownership and the new focus on cost reduction and flexibility have led to proposals that may impact job security and compensation adversely.

Proposal Impact: One notable proposal involves the elimination of retiree medical and dental payments. This proposal is of great concern to our members, as it directly affects their postretirement well-being. 

Conclusion: The CWA bargaining committee remains steadfast in advocating for our members' interests. The negotiations in Denver showcased both positive intentions for collaboration and concerns over potential consequences. As discussions continue, our goal remains securing a balanced agreement that protects the rights, security and compensation of our valued members. We are committed to ensuring a fair and prosperous future for all parties involved. 

In solidarity, 

Brian Sawyer, Staff Representative 

Sandra Strain, CWA Local 6016 

Richard Chittenden, CWA Local 6215


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