CenturyLink Inc. and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 7 announced that they have reached a tentative agreement in contract negotiations. CenturyLink is currently in the final stages of working out an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 206, and expects to conclude those negotiations in the coming weeks.
"CenturyLink and the CWA are pleased that we have come to an agreement that provides our employees fair and equitable benefits and will better enable us to deliver on our mutual commitment to serve our customers," said Glen F. Post III, CenturyLink's CEO and president.
The new four-year agreement now will be sent to CWA bargaining unit members for ratification votes. The contract covers approximately 12,000 CenturyLink employees in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
The agreement covers a variety of areas, including wages, pension and health-care benefits. Throughout the course of the negotiations, the company has focused on three primary goals: 1) to provide employees with pay and benefits more closely aligned with similar jobs in their markets, 2) to more closely align work rules and policies with the need to provide greater flexibility to serve customers better and 3) to mitigate pay and benefits disparities among similarly-situated employees across the company.
The previous contracts, scheduled to expire Oct. 6, 2012, have been extended on a day-to-day basis while negotiations continued.