Recent News

January 20th, 2018

 As stated in my email to DEX members, CWA is recommending the signing of a one year extension to the current Labor Agreement. There will be a call next Tuesday night to discuss the details, and we'll be providing additional details at that time. Ballots will be going out shortly thereafter to either ratify or reject this extension.


The CWA 7214 E-Board met on 1/11 to set goals and look forward to the coming 3 year term. Lots of great ideas and suggestions came forward at this meeting. These included: More member engagement, organizing, training, steward recruitment, legislative work, stabilizing our finances long term, and working together as a group for success of our membership.


At the membership meeting 1/25 we will be discussing these opportunities in much greater detail. Some of the potential changes we are talking about are to be VERY significant. I encourage you to attend (by phone if you'd like) to hear some of the ideas we're considering. 



January 8th, 2018


A note from Network VP Jamie Voelk:


Wishing all of you a great New Year!


Communications Workers of America, Local 7214, is here to serve you.  We are concerned about work place safety, fair treatment within our work groups, our customers, retaining and improving the professionalism of our crafts, employee discipline, and enforcing the current, “Agreement Between Qwest Corporation & Communications Workers of America,” which was bargained for on our behalf.  In addition, we will focus on other Local Agreements we can attain to better our working conditions, problem solve and improve quality, and create additional win win agreements between management and craft employees over and above what we have already bargained for that makes sense in our local areas.  I am encouraging employee involvement at all levels because your ideas and knowledge can improve working conditions and morale, enhance company policies, and increase company profits.  


The following is a partial list of members of CWA 7214 who have selflessly agreed to help others in time of need and to assist with their voice and knowledge for the well being of us all.


President, Andrew Marks, Duluth (SDC) Office 218 727-3100, 218 481-2881 cell.


Executive-Vice President Kenneth (Casey) Cusick (SDC)  cell 218 310-1869.


Area Vice President-Network, Jamie Voelk, Mora (COT) cell 651 274-7659


Network Steward, Matt Feiock, Duluth (Net Tech) 218 491-5851


Network Steward, Tim Mcevoy, Duluth (COT) 218 393-0797


Network Steward, Ron Morse, Pine City (Net Tech) 218 380-2964


In Solidarity,


Jamie Voelk



December 27th 2017


I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season!


In early January the Executive Board members (listed below) will will be meeting to discuss our budget and priorities for 2018. Additionally we will be discussing Steward training for members throughout our Local 7214. CWA State Staff Rep Jeff Lacher is likely to visit us in March 2018 to conduct a training session for all new and existing Stewards. Please let us know if you would be interested in becoming a Steward in your location! Jamie Voelk is going to be focusing on recruiting members in the Network orginization for Steward positions, please contact her (or any of us) if you would like a larger role in our union!


Beth Johnson and Rachel Vacura have agreed to serve on the audit committee for Local 7214 in 2018. Their audit, in conjunction with a review of our books by Jeff Lacher when he comes up here, will serve to close out the books for 2017. This will set up a clean slate for 2018 when our new Secretary Treasurer Stepahnie Wallraff takes over the financial reporting duties for our Local 7214.


The results of the CWA 7214 officer election are final. Beginning 1/1/18 the officers will be as follows:


President- Andrew Marks


Executive Vice President- Kenneth (Casey) Cusick


Secretary Treasurer- Stephanie Wallraff


Area Vice President for Network- Jamie Voelk


Departmental VP for Wholesale- Judy Chesney



November 17th, 2017



The tentative results of the CWA Local 7214 Officer Election indicate Jamie Voelk will serve as Area Vice President- Network; and Andrew Marks will serve as President. Casey Cusick will serve again as E-VP, Stephanie Wallraff will begin her term as Secretrary Treasurer. Judy Chesney will remain in her role as Dept VP- Wholesale. The 3 year term for the elected officer positions will begin on 1/1/18.


I want to thank all candidates for their willingness to serve, and there were many valid and constructive issues raised in the campaign. I encourage all who are willing to help strengthen our union to get in touch with us. Whether you would like to be a steward, an Officer, or just a want to be more involved, there are ways do this, and we'd love to have your talents on board!


With the arrival of new officers and the potential of adding additional stewards, we will be looking at our budget in the coming weeks to formulate a plan for training and development for 2018. Thanks again to all of you who have stepped forward, and please don't hesitate to contact us to learn more about our union and what we can do together.


November 13th, 2017


The Election Committee has announced a change to the CWA 7214 Local Officer Election vote tabulation date. The tabulation will now occur in the 4th floor lunchroom (or Pioneer Room) in the Duluth Melrose building on Nov 16th from 3-5pm. Official results will be reported at the Membership Meeting that evening at 6pm in the union office.



November 6th, 2017


Open enrollment for CenturyLink  employees has begun. There has been some confusion reported to me from from members about the available medical plans. This is likely due to your ability to see some of the plans that are NOT for CWA Legacy Qwest employees. I confirmed with Susie McAllister at the CWA District 7 office today that the plans will continue to be what they were previously. Please see the Labor Agreements page and click on Q-165e in the downloads section for a quick medical plan comparison chart.


Ballots have been mailed for the CWA 7214 Officer election, and most of you should have them in your mailbox by now. If you haven't received a ballot yet please contact Election Committee chairperson Jane Moder at jmmoder@gmail.com so she can check your name against our member list, the Committee can arrange for a ballot to be provided to you if needed.




October 27th, 2017


The Election Committee intends to mail ballots for the upcoming CWA 7214 Officer Election on 11/1/17, ballots will be due back in the Duluth post office by 11/15/2017 to ensure inclusion in the vote tabulation. A link to CWA 7214 officer election information (including candidate profiles) is on a green button on the home page, or click HERE.


October 24th, 2017 


With the merger of CenturyLink and Level 3 Communications nearly complete, CWA will be reaching out to Level 3 employees regarding possible membership in our union. As there is no obvious employee list available list at this time, CWA members are being asked to obtain contact information when possible during your interactions with your soon to be co-workers. Whether they choose to become members or not will obviously be for them to decide, however if we can develop trust and solidarity with new CenturyLink co-workers, together as a union, we will become stronger. Please forward any details to us regarding any contacts (names, email, phone etc.) you may be given. Thanks for your support in strengthening our union!!


I was recently introduced to the new manager at the Arrowhead garage, and while we haven't had a formal meeting yet, Troy Mack has stated we will be shortly, and we will continue to meet on an ongoing basis. Please forward to me any specific concerns or problems you may be having so they may be raised in these meetings. An email outlining the details of the problem, your proposed solution, and any violations of the contract (or possible violations) are appreciated. It is our goal to establish the precedent that fairness, equal treatment and decent conditions are expectations of CWA, and we will pursue these goals every time we meet.


Ballots will soon be going out as the Election Committee prepares to conduct our Local Officer elections, likely in early November. In fairness to all candidates, I will not be editorializing further on election activities here. As all election information provided to the membership through this website will be done with the approval of the Election Committee. There have been discussions about including candidate profiles on the website, and should the election committee deem this appropriate, they will be published here at their descretion. Likewise its possible candidate profiles may be sent out along with your ballot, so please keep an eye out in the coming weeks.


Note: The Local Officer nominations of Executive Vice President- Kenneth (Casey) Cusick, and Secretary Treasurer- Stephanie Wallraff, were uncontested, thus they will be seated as officers on Jan 1st, 2018 by acclaimation. Since write in votes are not allowed, these positions will not appear on your ballot. Please offer your support for both Casey and Stephanie as they work to serve our CWA Local 7214 members!




October 4th, 2017


The final nominees for CWA Local 7214 officer positions for the 3 year term beginning 1/1/2018 are:


President: 


Judy Chesney


Andrew Marks- Incumbent


Executive Vice President:


Kenneth (Casey) Cusick, seated by acclaimation


Secretary Treasurer:


Stephanie Wallraff, seated by acclaimation.


Vice President- Network


Jamie Voelk


Matt Feiock- Incumbent 


In accordance with the CWA Constitution the Election Committee will prepare and conduct a vote of the full membership before the end of the year.


More election details and candidate profiles will be posted here at the direction of the Election Committee.





Sept 28th, 2017


Jane Moder, Mary Anderson and Karen Olson have agreed to serve as the Election Committee for this nomination and election period. They will certify nominations, tabulate ballots, and calculate and certify results. Thanks to all three of you for your service to our Local 7214.



Sept 18th, 2017


Matt Feiock has self-nominated for the role of Area Vice President-Network for CWA Local 7214.


Now with multiple nominees for the same office, an election shall be held before the end of the year to determine who will hold this position within our Local 7214.


Remaining nominations will be posted here as they come in. And an election for all Officer titles with multiple nominees will be held at the same time


Sept 14th, 2017


Jamie Voelk has self-nominated for the role of Area Vice President-Network for CWA Local 7214.


In the event there is any other nominee for this position, a full election will be held before the end of the year to determine the Area Vice President for Network employees. 


This holds true for any position. Any of the office holders below may also be nominated, and multiple nominees for the same position will result in an election for each contested position.


Current incumbents:


President: Andrew Marks


Executive Vice President: Kenneth (Casey) Cusick


Secretary Treasurer: Joy Marks


Area Vice President- Network: Matt Feiock



Remaining nominations are due by 9/30/2017. CWA Local 7214 commits to an honest, fair and transparent election process. We shall treat all nominees equally in accordance with the CWA Constitution; our Local 7214 Bylaws, and Working Rules.


Thanks to all of you who have an interest in supporting our union and serving our membership.


Only together can we be CWA STRONG!!



August 23rd, 2017


Workloads continue to be a major concern all over Local 7214. I have requested a meeting with Troy Mack to thoroughly review this. Recent reports of a proposed new pager structure at the Arrowhead garage, and Contractors being brought in to help in the Southern part of our territory have come up. Without confirmation of what the official position is on these subjects from management is, it's too soon for me to comment, except to say we need to KNOW what is being proposed, and act as a union in the best interests of our membership. More to come on these topics after we meet with Troy.


Nominations for all CWA 7214 Local Officer postions will open on September 1st, 2017 in accordance with the CWA Constitution. You may submit your nomination/s to me via email at andrew7214cwa@gmail.com, or mail nominations to the office at CWA 7214 301 W 1st St, Duluth, MN 55802. Suite 509.


Self nominations are perfectly legitimate as well. The nomination period will be open throughout the month of September, closing on September 30th, 2017. Verbal nominations are also acceptable, and may be told to us at any time during the nomination period, verbal nominations will be read into the minutes at the following membership meeting (in addition to being posted to the website). Provided the nominee accepts their nomination on or before Sept 30th, 2017, there will be an election for any/all postions for which there is more than one nominee. All nominees will be posted to the Local News Page by Sept, 30th. At that time more details will be made available regarding any election if warranted.


Local Officer positions to be open for nomination September 1st, 2017 are:


President

Executive Vice President

Secretary Treasurer

Area Vice President for Network.


*There is a 3 year term for all positions that will begin on January 1st, 2018*


Thanks to all of you who are condsidering a greater role in our union, remember it takes all of us!



August 10th, 2017


Workloads and Mandatory Ovetime have become a major concern recently at our garages throughout our Local 7214 area. Andrew has had recent discussions with Troy Mack about this. Troy has indicated he would like to bring staffing levels up, however getting approval for budgeting for additional staffing is always a source of concern between Troy, upper management and the union. We will continue to raise this issue until staffing is finally appropriate for the workload.


Local officer elections for our Local 7214 (and all District 7 Locals) are coming up this fall. The nomination period, including self nominations will be opening soon, and will be posted here. Nominations will be open for 30 days, should any sitting officer be challenged for their postion, we will conduct a full ballot election throughout our Local 7214. In the event nominations are uncontested, those nominated for their respective positions will begin their new 3 year term Jan, 1st 2018. If you would like any further information on running for a Local Officer position please contact us and we would be happy to discuss it with you. It has always been my (Andrew's) view that union members should be represented by those that have the greatest amount of support and confidence of the membership. So please don't hesitate to inquire if you're ready to support our fellow members in a larger capacity. Remember, the union is ALL of us!


July 7th, 2017


The new wage scale addendum has been added to the downloads page reflecting the increases in the new Labor Agreement- download Q197-a.



The CWA/CENTURYLINK Labor Agreement was ratified by the full CWA District 7 membership June 16th, 2017.


62% in favor.


38% opposed.


A supplemental to add and/or replace pages in your contract with the new language will be available soon. When they are, you will be able to download them here.


The contract expires 3/28/2020. 


Thanks to all of you for your support for CWA, and for your excellent suggestions for the bargaining committee. Please keep your suggestions coming! I want our Local 7214 to have has much influence as possible the next time we bargain.


In Solidarity,


-Andrew



June 16th, 2017 8:30am


CWA Local 7214 has reported our Tentative Agreement voting results to CWA District 7.


Ballots issued: 94


Yes votes: 57


No votes: 11


All Locals are due to report their results by noon today to the District 7 headquarters. The final results will be posted here the moment they are received.


In the event the contract is not ratified we will announce our next steps in bargaining early next week. Note we remain under contract, so we will not be immediately going on strike should this "Limited Bargaining" Tentative Agreement be voted down by the membership.


Thanks again to our Balloting Committee: Stephanie Wallraff, Sheila Liubakka, Dave Carlson & Beth Johnson for administering the voting and tabulation process for this year's balloting.


During the last contract, voting results were finalized and published by 5pm. I would imagine we will likewise see a final tabulation for this vote by this evening as well.


Check back for further updates



June 1st, 2017


Ballots to vote on the Tentative Agreement have been mailed. Thanks to all of you who took the time to email us your current contact information, we did have a couple old addresses in our files. Should we detect any errors via undeliverable returned ballots, you will be hearing from us to confirm your address.

A new download is available on the Labor Agreements page titled Wage Increase vs. Medical Increase, this will give you a bottom line figure as to what your net difference will be in real dollars over the term of the contract. The "New Wage Dollars - Health Care Costs" table will be at the bottom right of the chart.

Please make sure you mail your ballot to arrive back to us at the Duluth post office by June 15th for your vote to be included in our tally.

A special thank you to our Balloting Committee: Stephanie Wallraff, Beth Johnson, Sheila Luibakka and Dave Carlson for their handling of the voting and tabulation process, should you have any questions regarding voting, or need to make an address update, you may contact any of them, or simply send me an email at andrew7214cwa@gmail.com, and I will make sure they're notified of any updates.


May 21st, 2017

 The final tentative agreement documents (available to download) are available from the Labor Agreements page. Voting will take place in the coming weeks.To facilitate voting with the highest level of accuracy, we will also be conducting an audit of our member records to obtain accurate names, addresses, home email and cell phone numbers in the coming days. Normally we do NOT communicate through CenturyLink's email system. However, If you receive an email from us at work, please respond only during a break or lunch, and preferably respond using your home email account (forward our email to your home account, then respond). Once we have every member's accurate information (particularily home email) we will avoid using your work email altogether in accordance with the CenturyLink Corporate Communications Policy.


Below is an excerpt from a letter (also available for download) from CWA District 7 regarding bargaining.

 "Attached are the details of the Tentative Agreement reached between CWA and CenturyLink on May 17, 2017.  In late 2016 the Company made it clear to CWA that they wanted us to look like their non-represented units and management in regards to our Health and Welfare Benefits. They wanted us in “their” CDHP which costs more and has higher out of pocket costs and deductibles with a lower HRA. They wanted us to turn over the plan design for health care benefits to them, essentially giving up the right to bargain. The Company also indicated they wanted changes to disability, pensions, life insurance and the 401K plan.  In late March 2017 CenturyLink came to CWA and requested early, limited bargaining. The Company indicated they would like to discuss Health Care and Short Term Disability. CWA agreed to meet and told the Company we would be proposing wage increases and changes to the neutrality language in Article 1.4. Limiting the issues allowed us to preserve many of the benefits we have today.   We went to the table with the commitment that we wanted our members to be better off at the end of the Agreement or we would go to full blown bargaining in July. After negotiating with the Company we reached a Tentative Agreement. The increases in base wages are substantial and will cover the increased costs in Healthcare premiums.  


The BARGAINING COMMITTEE UNANOMOUSLY RECOMMENDS RATIFICATION! Next week we will have the contract ratification materials finalized and sent out to the Locals to conduct their ratification votes."

OLDER NEWS BELOW


May 18th, 2017


CWA and Century Link have reached a tentative agreement for a new Labor Agreement.The term of the agreement is from June 17th 2017 to March 28th 2020.The agreement was worked out in what was deemed "Limited Early Bargaining," this means only a very narrow range of issues were negotiated, and the rest of the contract would remain identical to what it is today.CWA District 7 will be providing the Locals a comprehensive breakdown of all aspects of the agreement shortly, however they are having internet issues in the Disrtict 7 office today, so what follows are the highlights as I know them to be right now.

Wages A wage increase of 3% on 6/17/2017.A wage increase of 2.5% on 6/17/2018.A wage increase of 2.5% on 6/17/2019.

Healthcare Premiums A 1.5% premium increase on 1/1/2018,A 2.0% premium increase on 1/1/2019.A 2.0% premium increase on 1/1/2020.

Short Term Disability A graduated change to the short term disability term going from 52 weeks to 39 weeks over the course of the 3 year agreement. There are more specifics to get into on this subject, however I will present all of the details to you when they are made available to us in writing by the Bargaining Committee.

Voting This represents the sum total of proposed changes to the exisiting Labor Agreement (a few details aside). The agreement is subject to ratification by a vote of the full membership. All available details will be provided to you in the coming days so you may make an informed decision when you cast your vote to approve or deny.  We are currently recruiting an election committee to handle all matters regarding the mailing and tabulation of ballots. and you can expect to see ballots within a couple weeks

Anything Else?There is not a ratification bonus, or any other changes to pensions, healthcare plans, Pathways, or any other policy in the current Labor Agreement.I would like to thank all of you that forwarded me your suggestions to bring to the bargaining table, I will keep all of these on file, and continue to compile them to have ready for bargaining in 2020. With this "Limited Bargaining" there was not an opportunity to crack open the rest of the contract and bargain for much beyond what was mentioned above. PLEASE keep your suggestions coming just the same! I look forward to the day when we do have the opportunity to more fully negotiate changes to the contract, and you have my word that your voice will be heard by our bargaining committee if you pass along suggestions to me.Thanks again for your support of our Local and your CWA bargaining team, I was very impressed with the Baragining Team we elected, and am confident they acheived a good result for our members in light of the huge challenges they faced at the table. Please let me know if you would have an interest in being on the bargaining team in the future, and we can discuss what that may entail for you.


OLDER NEWS BELOW


May 10th, 2017


The following was provided to Locals recently to advise where bargaining is, look for another update here shortly after the next conference call (should be around 5/17). 
Our bargaining team spent 2 days with Century Link attempting to get an early agreement.The Company’s focus was on Health Care and changes to their disability plans.They provided 4 Health care options;1. What we have today PPO, CDHP HDHP, which is our preference, since wewould continue to have the ability to bargain over plan design and premiums. This however would leave us in a risk pool of Legacy Qwest members only.2. We would eliminate the PPO and keep the CDHP and HDHP as they are today but in the option the projected premiums were higher than in option1. Again we would be in our own risk pool.3. Using their CDHP plans we would only get to negotiate the premiums thatwould be set for the length of this agreement and we would lose any abilityto negotiate after that time.4. Would be the entire CTL H/C plan with no ability to negotiate and we wouldbe in a combined risk pool.We have told them we are not interested in any plan that we are unable to negotiate the terms.As for the Disability plans they want to move from 52 weeks of STD to 26 weeks. At 26 weeks you would go on Long Term Disability.There would be new graduated pay schedule for the 26 weeks At the end of the 26 weeks you would go on LTD and receive 50% of your base pay instead of 60% but you would have to ability to buy up to 65%. We spent a great deal of time listening to the Company attempt to explain some of the nuances of the LTD plan, especially as the new policy relates to preexisting conditions. They could not clearly explain and will get back to us.Our bargaining committee passed 3 proposals:A wage proposal that we believe would make up for 4 years of lump sums, matchup to what the industry standard has been and add a bit of a premium for their need to bargain early. 2017 4%, 2018 3.5%, 2019 3.5%. An expansion of Article 1.4 Organizing and Neutrality. We have proposed anexpansion to all Centurylink affiliates and subsidiaries including but not limited to CenturyLink Inc. and Centurylink Communications.We have also asked that the newly organized Minnesota group be completely rolled into the legacy Qwest CBA. They continue to say they want all to look the same. We have scheduled another session for May 16 & and 17th. We will have another call on the 17th. If we cannot come to agreement we will be prepared to go to full blown bargaining.
We will commence our mobilization activities promptly should an agreement not be reached in early bargaining, details will follow here.