Summary of the Tentative Agreement
A Message to members from the Combined Bargaining Committee on behalf of the Regional Bargaining Committees for District 1 (Verizon North), 2 and 13 (Verizon mid-Atlantic) and the IBEW.
After many months of bargaining with Verizon Communications, our united bargaining committees have reached an agreement in principle with management pending document review.
Throughout this process, we focused on ensuring our place in the work of the future. Our critical goals also included health care for active and retired workers, retirement security and a fair wage increase.
The involvement and mobilization of tens of thousands of our members made a huge difference in these negotiations. All of us together showed our strength, our commitment, our determination to get the best possible agreement.
We’re proud to have represented the 65,000 union members at Verizon in these negotiations.
Chris Shelton, District 1; Ron Collins, District 2; Ed Mooney, District 13; George Welker, District 1; Steve Holland, District 2; Sandy Kmetyck, District 13; John Miller, IBEW Local 827 and Myles Calvey, IBEW Local 2222.
Following is a summary of the tentative agreement.
a. Effective 8/3/2008 3.25 %
b. Effective 8/2/2009 3.5 %
c. Effective 8/1/2010 3.75 %
a. Effective 8/1/2010
b. One half of the increase in the CPI-W in excess of 3.75% between May ‘09 and May ‘10
- Corporate Profit Sharing
a. $700 minimum distribution
b. Paid in March of each year
- Pension Band Increases
a. Effective 10/1/2008 3.25%
b. Effective 10/1/2009 3.5 %
c. Effective 10/1/2010 3.75%
- Pension Lump Sum Cash-Out
a. Pension Distribution Options remains in contract with no change in the language by which the amount is calculated.
b. Available at any time, for the length of the contract
a. 445 Field Techs in plant contract with carveouts
b. 145 Inside Techs in plant contract with carve outs
c. Guarantee small and medium business exclusively for represented commercial
d. Bring new VZ-B work to CWA represented locations 100 at end of 2009 and 100 at end of 2010
- Video Head End – Video Work. Approx. 75 in plant contracts with carve outs
- Temps made Permanent (Approx 255)
- Three times a year discussion on union jobs and efficiency/growth
- Retiree Health Benefits
a. Fully paid, no retiree pays during life of agreement
b. Any changes in future health benefit plans for retirees will be negotiated with the Union in the same manner as that for actives and for future retirees.
c. No current retiree will pay for health coverage through the end of 2011.
d. No active employee who retires during the term of this agreement will pay for health coverage through the end of 2011.
e. Caps on the Company’s contribution to the cost of retiree health coverage in 2012 and after have been raised as follows:
- Prior to Age 65 and Medicare Eligibility
1. Retiree Only: $12,580
2. Retiree + 1 25,160
3. Retiree + Family 31,450
- Age 65 and after and Medicate Eligible
1. Retiree Only: $ 6,330
2. Retiree + 1 12,660
3. Retiree + Family 18,990
f. Employees hired after August 2, 2008 will be covered under a new retiree health program.
- Once they retire (under the same eligibility requirements as currently required), they will receive an annual payment equal to $430 times years of service (to a maximum of 30 years).
- The parties will negotiate this amount in future years to reflect changes in the cost of health coverage.
- Agreement to work for National Health Care Reform and provide $2mn a year during term of contract.
- New Dispute Resolution for Faster resolution of grievances
- Savings and Security Plan
a. Add a Roth option to the 401(k) plan
b. Allows investment of post tax dollars with no taxes applied to investment returns when assets are later distributed.
- Retiree Life Insurance
a. Company-paid retiree life insurance benefits will be frozen at one-time the wage level attained on 8/2/2008.
b. The minimum amount to be paid to beneficiaries of retirees who retiree after 8/2/2008 will be $20,000, even after age 65.
- Retirees who were hired after 8/2/2008 will be eligible for the minimum $20,00
- Commercial Issues
a. Collection work added
b. Marketing Campaign Letter
c. Local Presence Centers
- Accounting Issues
a. Billing printing/mailing/remittance work obtained
b. Downstate—Forced transfers reversed
- Live Source Issues
a. Job Share return to Full time offer
- Plant/TRG Issues
a. 70 new COEI positions
b. Upstate-24 new Field Tech positions for outside plant
c. Molding Trial
d. Duct work Trial
- TRG Warehouse Issues
a. Work completed temps returned to payroll
- Extend all existing District and Local Agreements and adjust all dates.
- CWA-NETT will discuss how to publicize
- Supplemental Retiree Life Insurance: five times implemented as soon as possible
Verizon Settlement Provides New Union Jobs, Protects Health CareFor Active and Retired Workers, Boosts Wages, Pensions for 65,000
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new tentative three-year contract settlement with Verizon achieves union employees’ major goals of promoting union jobs and expanding bargaining rights, providing good health care for both active and retired workers, and increasing wages and pensions for 65,000 workers from Virginia to Maine, the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers reported.
In a breakthrough agreement, Verizon will extend union recognition to 600 former MCI technicians at Verizon Business who have been seeking representation for nearly two years. These workers, who perform the same jobs as the union workforce, have received strong support from CWA and IBEW members in a campaign to “tear down the wall” between union and non-union sectors at Verizon. The agreement also includes new opportunities for union workers to provide customer support and service at Verizon Business.
The tentative settlement also eliminates subcontracting of work in a number of job areas, converts many temporary jobs to permanent and brings additional jobs associated with Verizon’s cutting edge FiOS technology into the union bargaining units. Overall, the settlement should create 2,500 new union jobs.
Verizon and the unions have agreed to meet regularly during the course of the new agreement to review technological and business developments affecting employment, which will allow the company to stay current with business opportunities while also insuring that the unions are able to continue to represent employees as the business environment changes.
The issue of health costs and benefits was a major focus of the talks, as it has been in contract negotiations in virtually every industry. The settlement preserves fully-paid health care premiums for all active and retired employees. Future hires will have a defined contribution formula for retirement health care with the amount of Verizon’s contributions subject to negotiation in each subsequent contract.
In addition, Verizon agreed to work with the unions in a joint effort to achieve meaningful health care reform. The company will provide funding of $2 million per year to the project.
The settlement calls for wage increases totaling 10.87 percent compounded over the three-year contract term. COLA (cost of living adjustment) language remains in the contract.
Pension bands also will be increased by 10.87 percent compounded over the term of the agreement.
The settlement also provides for a streamlined grievance dispute resolution system which will speed up a process that has been taking as long as three years to complete.
“This is a breakthrough agreement in many ways,” said CWA President Larry Cohen. “It creates new union jobs including major growth areas like FiOS, it takes a big step forward on health care and it brings hundreds of Verizon Business employees the union rights they deserve. We applaud management for agreeing to keep the best health coverage in America and for their commitment to work with us for real health care reform. This settlement provides a framework for growth at Verizon and a good standard of living with careers for our members.”
“This agreement is a tribute to the solidarity and activism of IBEW and CWA members working at Verizon,” said IBEW President Ed Hill. “Our members mobilized strong and negotiated hard for a good contract that will benefit workers and their families now and in the future. We congratulate union and company negotiators for finding solid common ground upon which we can build a better Verizon. With this agreement we have met our goals to protect the retirees who helped build this company and have negotiated important provisions that will ensure future jobs for union members.”
CWA represents 50,000 workers at Verizon and IBEW represents another 15,000 in the northeast.