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DC Circuit Court of Appeals Rules on Net Neutrality

On October 1st, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issued a significant ruling on Net Neutrality.  The court upheld the FCC’s elimination of the federal Net Neutrality rules which were put in place by Chairman Wheeler in 2015 under the Obama Administration.  However, the court also ruled that states can regulate broadband and that the FCC's action to preempt states from doing this was improper.  This means that the 22 states that passed their own Net Neutrality rules were within their rights to do so and any state is now free to set their own Net Neutrality rules.  Unless reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court or an act of Congress, the court’s ruling moves the Net Neutrality battle to the states.  

FCC Approves Funding for Broadband Expansion

The FCC recently approved 563 million dollars to expand broadband in 24 states in unserved rural areas.This will provide broadband access to 220,000 homes and businesses in these states. However, 24 million Americans still lack access to broadband. The funding for this effort comes from the Connect America Fund which was created in 2011.

IBEW SCT-3 Call Center Members Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract

The membership of the IBEW SCT-3 covered under the AT&T/DIRECTV Call Center agreement have voted overwhelmingly to ratify the tentative agreement.  The new four year agreement covers approximately 1,600 employees working in call centers located in Boise, ID, Chicago, IL, and Missoula, MT.  Highlights of the new agreement include:

Wage Increases:

  • 2.25% effective Aug 25, 2019
  • 3% effective Aug 23, 2020
  • 2.25% effective Aug 22, 2021
  • 2.25% effective 21  Aug 2022

$750 Ratification Bonus Lump Sum Payment.

In addition, a new higher wage schedule for Customer Care Associate and Customer Resolution Associate is being established at all steps. When combined with the general wage increase above, the cumulative raise at top rate is nearly 12%.  For employees in wage progression, the wage increase could total as much as 39% during the term of the contract.

Contractual language changes:

  • Mini-shift bids when new hires are released so that senior employees have more favorable schedule options.
  • Limits on the number of call observations that can be conducted each month by management. Employees also involved in selecting the calls to be reviewed. 
  • Increase the time for a grievance to be filed from 15 days of the incident to 30 days.

A special thanks to all of our members for their hard work, solidarity, attendance at the many contract explanation meetings, and ultimate acceptance of the contract.

Tentative Agreement Reached on the AT&T/DIRECTV on Technician Agreement

The IBEW SCT-3 and AT&T/DIRECTV have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract covering over 1,200 employees working for the company nationwide who install and repair AT&T DIRECTV services for customers in the states of Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Washington.  Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

Wage Increases:

  • 3% effective August 25, 2019
  • 2.25% effective August 23, 2020
  • 3% effective August 22, 2021
  • 2.5% effective August 21, 2022

Ratification Bonus-$1,000

Contract Language

  • Decrease in the minimum amount of required mandatory overtime per week from 17 hours to 14 hours.
  • Retained pensions for current employees and new hires. 
  • A new Letter of Agreement on Potential DIRECTV Prem Tech Work.  This letter requires the Company and Union to engage in discussions about the potential of moving work currently performed by subcontractors to bargaining unit employees. 
  • Retained Protection Against Layoffs Due to Subcontracting
  • Added 2 Weeks of Paid Parental Leave
  • Increased Severance Pay 

Net Neutrality-Federal-The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill which would restore the 2015 Net Neutrality rules developed during the Obama administration.  However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the bill is “dead on arrival” in the Senate.  The IBEW has taken the position that any Net Neutrality regulation should contain the following:

  •  No Blocking of Legal Content
  • No ISP may not 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). ·       
  • Transparency in Billing-No cramming or slamming customers
  • No Discriminatory Actions by Internet Service Providers
  • Consumer Privacy


Important Dates:

2019 Fall Council Meetings - Naples, FL.  Oct 29 - Nov 1, 2019

2020 BMT - Milwaukee, WI.  May 18 - May 22, 2020


Click to read more Telecommunications News...


Press Release:




New AS degree available in Cyber Security Technology. 
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Director: Robert J. Prunn

202 728-6160

About The Telecommunications Department:

Since its invention in the 1870’s, the telephone has become essential to our everyday life. Over the last 150 years, technology has revolutionized how we communicate with the rest of the world. Beginning in 1897 with the first local union of telephone operators, the IBEW has always been committed to servicing and advancing the telecommunications industry.

IBEW members are involved in all aspects of the field from telephone, to cable and satellite television, to wireless systems. Employees erect telephones lines, run lines into buildings, lay cables, install, maintain, and repair equipment, and service the community. As new means of communications are developed, they will continue to grow with the industry.

Through negotiated collective bargaining agreements with communications companies across the United States and Canada, the IBEW Telecommunications Department ensures that the rights of its 50,000 members are protected and that their interests are represented.It also helps strengthen local unions through training, research, and organizing.


NLRB/FCC Updates

NLRB Rules Employer Must Supply Subcontractor Agreements to the Union

The NLRB has issued an award in the DirectSat v. IBEW 21 case ruling in the Union’s favor.  The award requires DirectSat to supply the Union will a “full, unredacted” copy of its contract with DirecTV (referred to as a “Home Service Provider” agreement).  The Board said that because DirectSat made a proposal which referenced this Home Service Provider agreement, the Union was clearly entitled to it.

NLRB Overturns Union Organizing Win for Minor Voting Delay

In the attached unpublished NLRB ruling (Bronx Lobster v. Machinists), the Board overturned the majority vote of employees of Bronx Lobster who voted 14 to 12 to unionize.  The rationale for setting aside the vote was that there was a 7 minute delay in opening the polls.  There were 4 employees in the unit who didn’t vote.  The Board ruled that even though there was absolutely no evidence that the delay caused any of these 4 not to vote, it still had the “potential” to “disenfranchise” these 4 employees.  The Board used this to justify ruling against the union since had those 4 employees voted against the union, the employer would have prevailed.  Interestingly, the Board Agent running the election was the one who caused the 7 minute delay. 

NLRB Rules Union Does Have a Right to “Overscale” Wage Contracts

The Denver Musicians’ Association has a contract with the Colorado Symphony that allows individual musicians to negotiate a wage rate above the rates in the CBA.  After an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a higher wage with the employer, one of the musicians filed a complaint with the Union because she believed the employer’s offer was unfair and was less than wages being paid to other male musicians.  The Union requested a copy of all “overscale” contracts from the employer.  The employer refused on the basis that the Union waived its right to information because it agreed to allow individual employees to negotiate their own wages.  The Board ruled that a waiver of any bargaining rights by the Union (which includes the right to information) must be “clear and unmistakable” and cannot be inferred because the Union waived its right to bargain “overscale” wages.