Local 2323, has a Member Assistance Program, which in conjunction with Local 2222’s assistance is second to none. Members and their families who are having difficulty with any number of issues can get the resources and help they need by contacting the local office. MAP programs are similar in structure to the company’s own Employee Assistance Program (or EAP), with the intent being that we as a brotherhood could be proactive in lending a hand to one another in a proactive way, rather than with our member’s more common reactionary involvement with Verizon EAP, usually resulting from discipline. Any member who is interested in getting involved is asked to contact the union office.
Safety continues to be the number one issue for the Union. Last week in Texas, there was a technician who was seriously injured due to coming into contact with overhead power lines. The job that our members perform is extremely dangerous and must be performed using all of the proper safety tools and precautions necessary. In Rhode Island, we continue to move forward with our safety committees in the I&M garages. These safety committees have been working to educate our members on safety and to promote awareness surrounding safety. Verizon management notified us that they will be conducting a day of safety for all SST’s and OPT’s over the upcoming months.
The Union and the Verizon management met in Boston on October 29th to discuss the state of the business year to date, in regards to the New England region, consumer and mass business departments. The total revenue year to date is 36 million compared to last year’s 40 million. The total expense is down 20 million due to the negotiated content cost (last year content cost was 57 million compared to this year’s 33 million). The reason for the savings in content cost is due solely to having more customers on the video portion of fiber network which gives the content providers more viewers which gives Verizon leverage to negotiate the price.
The year to date expense and capitol, for direct expense; projected was 166 million and the actual 186 million, management is looking at operational surpluses, favorable work, overtime management, and efficiency improvements to curb the direct expense. The year to date Capitol expense was; 96 million projected and the actual expense was 104 million due to some incremental build and the IIP program. The FIOS performance year to date is concerning, last year we had 100K NATB compared to this year’s 56K. It takes 4.5 installs for the company to keep one customer. The penetration rate for Massachusetts is 39.6 with Marshfield’s penetration rate over 60%. In Rhode Island the penetration rate is 28.6, with Coventry’s penetration rate over 46%. The number one cause for our poor penetration rate, in Rhode Island, is due to non-payment.
In the meeting we also covered the fiber migrations, specifically the Tech2door trial started in Rhode Island. Alison Cole, the Vice President of National Operations, thanked our Local specifically for the work our members have done to make this initiative a success. This work has been done by contractors and local managers, until we entered into a trial to perform this work. This year we have migrated 18k with a close rate of 67%, which is head and shoulders above the contractors and management.
We also covered the Lead to Succeed program where we were informed that N.E. has produced 4.8 million sales, compared to Florida, Texas, and California who produced 21 million in sales. We discussed quantum sales, which has increase 2.78 times compared to the 1st and 2nd quarters. Verizon management expressed how we must do a better job in quantum sales, stating that customers who are upgraded to quantum speeds don’t leave Verizon as a carrier, as well as, quantum is a direct revenue builder for the business.
The Union in many parts of the country continues to negotiate with Verizon. Local 824 in Florida, started bargaining in July has made little to no progress. Local 289 in N. Carolina, began bargaining in September, also has made little to no progress. Local 543 in California, began in July, no progress. The CWA in California has been negotiating for months and remain far apart on many issues. Both parties agreed to enter into mediation but have not made any progress.