Verizon has reached a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) on a four-year extension of a current contract that covers more than 34,000 workers.
The contract was set to expire in August 2019 and includes call center workers, and central office and field technicians represented by the unions. By mutual agreement, negotiations on the contract extension were limited to wages and benefits, and the length of the new agreement, according to the CWA.
The agreement extends the contract through Aug. 5, 2023.
The ratification votes by union members are expected to take place by mid-August.
“This agreement ensures a better future and good, family-supporting jobs for thousands of Verizon workers,” said Dennis Trainor, CWA District 1 vice president. “Since the end of the 2016 strike, we have seen a marked improvement in the relationship between CWA and Verizon, and this agreement reflects the more constructive relationship that has developed since then.”
“We believe this contract extension is good for both Verizon and our employees, and will allow us to continue to focus on our customers without any distraction from collective bargaining agreements expiring in 2019,” said Marc Reed, Verizon’s chief administrative officer, in a note to employees.
The new wireline agreements provide annual wage increases of 2.5 percent in 2020, 2.5 percent in 2021, 2.75 percent in 2022 and 3 percent in 2023, Reed said. The 2016 contract already provides for a 2.5 percent increase in 2019, he said.
“The agreements include increases to medical premium contributions, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums consistent with those in the 2016 contracts and with our overall health-care cost management practices,” he said. “Employees who are eligible to participate in the traditional defined benefit pension plan will also receive a 1 percent pension band increase in years 2019, 2020 and 2021, while those hired after Oct. 27, 2012, will continue to participate in the 401(k) savings plan on the same terms as management employees.”
Following the 2016 strike, Verizon agreed to add 1,300 new East Coast call center jobs and reverse several outsourcing initiatives, according to the CWA. The four-year agreement also includes a first contract for Verizon Wireless retail store employees in Brooklyn, New York.