NEW YORK – After more than 10 months of negotiating, Verizon today presented union leaders from the CWA and IBEW with an updated comprehensive proposal for about 36,000 wireline employees in the company’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
As part of this last, best and final offer, the company increased its wage offer to 7.5 percent over the term of the contract. The company is also offering continued access to high quality healthcare at an affordable cost and generous retirement benefits.
“We’re putting our last, best final offer on the table, one that provides the foundation for quality jobs now and in the future,” said Marc Reed, Verizon’s chief administrative officer. “From the beginning, our goal has been to reach an agreement that’s fair to our employees, good for our customers and helps our company better compete in the digital world. This offer meets those objectives. A better offer would be hard to find.”
Among the highlights in the company’s last, best final offer:
- Wages: 7.5 percent wage increase over the term of the contract.
- Job security (layoff protection): If an employee has job security today, that will be retained for the term of the contract provided the company gets increased flexibility in managing and deploying the workforce, through measures such as voluntary retirement incentive offers and other workforce flexibility changes.
- Retirement benefits: The generous 401k company match will continue. Eligible employees will also continue to participate in a pension plan with three annual increases subject to a 30 year cap.
- Healthcare: The company is maintaining excellent healthcare coverage, with increases in contributions and some plan design changes that will help in efforts to better manage escalating costs.
“Verizon has always offered excellent jobs with outstanding compensation and benefit packages, and with this very competitive contract offer that will continue,” Reed said. “The ball is now in the unions’ court to do what’s right for our employees.”
This offer also includes the company’s final proposals regarding call routing, contracting, and temporary work assignments. Specifics vary by region, but full details can be found at www.verizon.com/laborfacts.
Over the duration of the strike, now in its 16th day, thousands of non-union Verizon employees have been on special assignment filling-in for striking employees in call centers, in the field and in all facets of network operations. Together these employees have resolved tens of thousands of repair dispatches and have fulfilled thousands of new Fios orders.
To date, over 1,000 of the union-represented employees have returned to work and this number has been growing each day. The company also reports the strike has had minimal impact to its operations.