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Monday, May 2...
Communications Increases Contract Offer to Wireline Unions
Verizon Communications revealed that it has increased its
contract offer to approximately 36,000 wireline employees in
the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The company noted that
its "last, best and final offer" to union leaders from the CWA
and IBEW will increase workers' pay scales by 7.5% over the term
of the newly proposed contract. Additional terms of Verizon's
proposal include tenets covering job security in exchange for
increased flexibility in managing and deploying workers; the
continued offering of 401K matching and pension plans with three
annual increases to a 30-year cap; increases in company
healthcare contributions and plan design changes; and a number
of other considerations regarding call routing, contracting, and
temporary work assignments that will vary by region. Verizon has
been in negotiations with the unions - which represent the
workers who began a work stoppage earlier in April - for nearly
a year. Full
contract details are available via the Verizon
Communications Web site.
Re/code: Google Hires Former
Motorola President to Lead Nexus Devices
Google has reportedly
hired Rick Osterloh, the former president of
Motorola who left
the now Lenovo-owned
company in March. Osterloh will serve as SVP and oversee a new
division that unifies "disparate hardware projects," a Google
representative confirmed to Re/code.
This new hardware division will include Google's flagship Nexus
smartphone and OEM partnerships, as well as a suite of products
for the "living room." This group comprises Chromecast; consumer
hardware, including Chromebook laptops; OnHub home routers;
Glass; and the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group.
Osterloh is expected, according to Re/code, to report directly
to CEO Sundar Pichai.
US FCC Adopts Real-Time Text
The US Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) approved a
proposal to provide "accessible and effective telephone
access" to disabled citizens who rely on texting to communicate.
The newly adopted rules are designed to recognize "real-time
text" as a replacement for text telephones - or "TTY" devices -
on wireless networks starting in December 2017, in addition to
exploring the possibility of a similar transition to IP-based
landline phone networks over time. Unlike traditional texting
services, real-time text allows messages to be sent immediately
as they are typed without having to press "send." It is expected
that, in addition to "fostering a conversational rhythm to the
interaction," it will greatly assist in areas such as emergency
and first-responder services. The technology allows users to
interact directly with voice phones, and can also function in
off-the-shelf devices such as smartphones. The new rules
specifically focus on extending interoperability; proposing
essential functions that need to be supported; connecting with
911 emergency communications systems; maintaining compatibility
with screen readers and other technology; and being generally
compatible with traditional voice phone features.
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