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June report from the President

Fellow Members,

This first half of 2020 has been a continuous series of unexpected challenges and once in a lifetime events that not one of us could have ever anticipated. The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to be one of those significant events which is showing recent resurgence in many of the States and will likely be a part of our daily lives for some time. Be vigilant in your personal and professional environments, challenge your employers to adhere to best safety practices and above all stay safe. As Kirk Allan used to remind me “We don’t live to work, we work to live”.

We do have several bargaining unit items to share with you. First, Working Systems bargaining, which we began 4 months ago, reached a Tentative Agreement on June 26th. Our Committee is currently working on a summary and redline copy of the contract which we will share with you this week. The vote will be scheduled a couple of weeks out.

Second, CenturyLink had declared a surplus prior to COVID-19 precautions taking effect. Unfortunately, without hesitation or consideration for current events, they proceeded forward with the layoff. Several of our longtime members elected to retire and three members were eventually separated involuntarily. As each of us know, the employer reduced our ability to meet the demands of the workload and have caused an unreasonable amount of work on those that remain. Going forward, they will likely not admit their overreaction and will continue to repeat the same short sighted decisions.

Lastly, the time has come to have a honest discussion regarding the future of our local representation. By now you should all be aware that our Local has entered discussions with Local 7804, Tacoma, to propose a joint merger. After much discussion with representatives from both Eboards, we have reached a tentative agreement to merge our Locals. We are prepared to present the proposed merger agreement and bylaws to our respective membership. These documents have been shared by email, Union bulletin boards and/or this newsletter for your consideration. On July 16th, each Local will meet with their members to discuss the proposals and conduct a vote. I would encourage each of you to attend this meeting and take part in the discussion about how to proceed forward. This is your Local, your representation and your future.

Be strong, stay safe, take care of yourselves and each other.

In solidarity,
David Hyde

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