231 Pinetuck Lane Winston-Salem, NC 27104 336-765-9765
Mr. Henry Schacht
The Lucent Retirees Organization appreciates the time you, John Hickey and Kathy Fitzgerald spent with us in North Carolina on November 3, 2003 and the subsequent interactions. Your message of “let’s restart the interaction and be more interactive” was useful to us. We've used this time to reinforce the following conclusions:
· The LRO is a young, quickly growing organization with a membership that is very concerned with the impact of Lucent’s decisions. As the LRO grows, we are also better defining our objectives. In many ways, we believe we've had initial successes that have benefited both our membership and Lucent.
· The LRO fully recognizes the profound responsibility of its mission which affects the health, well-being and aspirations of its members, who typify more than one hundred thousand retirees and their dependents. Integrity, honest and open communications are critical to discharging this obligation
· We recognized early that our mission required shared goals and purposes through a signed code of ethics. It is now time to expand this to include a set of guiding principles.
The result of this reflection is the attached Overview and Guiding principles. We believe this marries the topics we discussed on November 3rd to our long‑range goals and mission.
In keeping with our mutual commitment, we suggest we have the follow up meeting we discussed on November 3rd to review this with you. We think it would be very beneficial to include one or more Independent Directors of the Board, who are fiduciaries responsible for the pension assets, in that meeting.
Att: LRO Overview and Guiding Principles
Lucent Retirees Organization
Overview and Guiding Principles
The Lucent Retiree Organization’s (LRO’s) mission is defined in its Code of Ethics, which is signed by each member of the LRO Board. The LRO is dedicated to three major purposes:
First: To urge the preservation and, if possible, the enhancement of pension, healthcare and other benefits earned by Retirees.
Second: To the extent consistent with Retirees’ interests, use its network of Retirees and lobbying and Public Relations assets, to support Lucent’s business initiatives.
Third: To work toward fairness and justice for its universe of Retirees.
The LRO’s membership is open to all Retirees of Lucent who are concerned about the well-being of the telecommunications industry and the equitableness of treatment being afforded Retirees by the Corporation. Members must meet the criteria and fulfill any procedural requirements established by the Board of Directors. The LRO Directors and Officers are volunteers drawn from the LRO membership universe. They perform their duties as a service to their fellow retirees, and Lucent people in general, on a non-salaried basis.
Achieve our goals
The LRO fully recognizes the profound responsibility of its mission which affects the health, well-being and aspirations of its members, who typify more than one hundred thousand retirees and their dependents. Integrity, honest and open communications are critical to discharging this obligation.
Build bonds to Lucent and the people of Lucent
Our heritage is embodied in the mission of Lucent and the people who are our successors. We commit to understanding the needs and expectations of today’s Lucent and its people, and to build a working relationship that is constructive, satisfying and mutually rewarding.
Affiliate with other organizations
The LRO will affiliate with other organizations to enhance its mission when common interests are present. These affiliations may include other telecommunications retiree organizations and national retiree organizations, such as the NRLN. Such affiliations shall be for the purpose of influencing decision-making institutions and organizations and to help create results that can benefit our members and affiliates. The LRO Board shall approve a formal agreement with each alliance.
Respect for individuals
The LRO is dedicated to respect for all individuals in both its actions and its communications. It shall stress the positive contributions of members, retirees, alliance members, corporate executives and board members. The LRO shall retain the option to make public comments on performance and activities that are detrimental to the interests of its membership and the retiree community, in general.
Recognize the inherent difference in interests
The very nature of the mission of the LRO will lead to circumstances in which the interests of retirees and the goal of strengthening Lucent may not converge. In each case, the LRO shall try, through negotiations and communications, to resolve or minimize differences. Where the information available to the LRO is either incomplete or contradictory, it will proceed with the best interests of retirees as its guide.
Gather and disseminate information
The LRO mission places a special requirement on the LRO to use every practical means to distribute information concerning retiree’s interests and to listen and be governed by the needs of its membership. The LRO shall actively analyze, probe, assess and audit all available information sources to accomplish this role, employing outside experts when necessary. The LRO believes that regulatory and other standards set a minimum for disclosures from and to Lucent. The LRO expects that Lucent and LRO disclosures shall exceed the minimum.
Advocate “best in class” policies
The LRO will search and collaborate with others in the retiree and business community to discover “best in class” policies that will advance the interests of retirees. The LRO believes that the broad changes in standards and policies for the governance of corporations, investments and mutual funds provides a wealth of examples of greater transparency and accountability to all stakeholders of the pension and benefit plans held in trust for retirees. The LRO will be an outspoken advocate for these changes.
The LRO believes negotiation and compromise are the preferred means for settling differences between retirees and plan sponsors. There will be times, however, when exercising legal rights is the best or only means available to retirees. When appropriate, the LRO will advocate, support and promote legal solutions it believes in the best interest of its membership and all retirees. In special cases, the LRO will provide financial support to these endeavors.
Legislative and regulatory decisions establish the policy environment in which corporations and retirees co-exist. The LRO will make reasonable effort to reach common or complementary positions with Lucent on issues they both face. However, in some cases the goals of corporate lobbies will not be consistent with the interests of retirees, and it will be necessary for the LRO to support positions opposite to Lucent's. This is quite appropriate in reaching solutions favorable to retirees in the legislative and regulatory arenas.
Communications is a bilateral activity
The public media is an essential arena for the LRO to attain its goals. Also, accurate and timely communications to retirees by Lucent is essential for the financial planning and well-being of retirees and for Lucent. The LRO believes that a mutual exchange of communications with Lucent in advance of publication can be useful and productive. Accordingly, the LRO will work to participate in and conform to a communications protocol to this end.