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Director: Martha Pultar
About The Telecommunications Department:
When Alexander Graham Bell received the first ever telephone patent in 1876 he probably did not recognize the dynamic industry he was helping to create. In fact, the telecommunications industry has proven to be one of the most challenging and evolutionary industries in the United States and the IBEW is proud to say that we have played a vital role in helping to make this industry a success since as early as 1897.
The Telecommunications Department oversees contracts covering 100,000 highly skilled and sought after IBEW workers employed by the nation’s telecommunications industry. Our members have helped implement the ever-changing technology that is currently deployed by the telephone companies, cable television industry and wireless enterprises. They install, maintain and repair the switches, multiplexors, transmission equipment and associated emergency generating equipment required to keep the communications network viable. The new age of communications and entertainment is having a profound affect on every aspect of our lives, and only with the expertise of IBEW members can the technology thrive. The IBEW represents thousands of customer service representatives and operator services employees throughout the industry. These IBEW members experience a great sense of accomplishment working with the sophisticated equipment that links these various communication formats, while enjoying the protection and advantages contained in several hundred collective bargaining agreements.
The IBEW Telecommunications Department also provides local unions assistance with national negotiations, local union negotiations, legislation, health care initiatives, training, research and organizing.
IBEW members can be confident that as this industry continues to evolve, the brotherhood will be there in force to ensure that our members are there meeting the challenges of the future.
IBEW SCT-3 and AT&T Reach a Tentative Agreement
We are pleased to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers System Council T-3 (IBEW STC-3) and AT&T which covers approximately 5,000 employees throughout the United States. The highlights of this historic five year agreement are as follows:
-13.25% wage increases over of the term of the agreement.
-$1,000 signing bonus.
-Pension increases in each year of the contract.
-401k plan enhancements increasing the amount of Company-matched dollars.
-Job security improvements including a no layoff commitment through March 1, 2018.
AT&T has also announced it will hire 1,000 people into IBEW-represented jobs in the next five years, including a new call center in Chicago.
FCC Chairman Attempts to Dismantle Net Neutrality Rules
On April 26, 2017, the new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his intent to overturn the Net Neutrality rules put in place by former FCC Chairman Wheeler in 2015. The FCC is scheduled to vote on Pai’s proposal on May 18th. Below are the rules that would be eliminated:
No Paid Prioritization
This means an ISP can’t give certain companies’ web traffic priority over other web traffic because they pay them a fee or give them other considerations. It must treat all web traffic equally and not create so-called “fast lanes” and “slow lanes”.
No Blocking of Legal Content
No ISP may block any legal content for any reason.
No “Throttling” of Content
An ISP may not “throttle” or degrade any content (e.g. slow a website down).
Broadband Classified as a “Title II” Service
The previous Net Neutrality rules just mentioned are generally accepted by most interested parties. This rule, however, has caused extreme controversy.
The FCC voted to classify broadband as a “common carrier” service instead of an “information” service which means it will fall under Title II regulations. This also includes wireless service which has never been classified as a Title II service.
The current Net Neutrality rules faced significant legal challenges and Congressional opposition. If the FCC votes to eliminate these rules, that would effectively make these lawsuits irrelevant.