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TAMPA, Fla. - Verizon and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 824 today reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year bargaining contract that provides for a 12 percent wage increase, improved benefits and a continuation of provisions in the existing contract. The agreement covers 5,300 Verizon employees in the six Florida counties where the company provides local phone service.
"The provisions of this agreement will allow Verizon to continue providing outstanding service to our customers in Florida," said Kurt Naser, Verizon's chief labor negotiator in Florida.
Capitalizing on their growing relationship, Verizon and IBEW Local 824 reached agreement nearly three months before the current contract expires this August.
"This tentative agreement provides the membership a fair and equitable wage increase and also retains key provisions that were successfully bargained in prior negotiations," said Danny Johnson, business manager, IBEW Local 824. "Our members must continue to have the security provided by our current collective bargaining agreement, which this agreement provides. The union's negotiating team recommends this package in whole."
IBEW Local 824 leadership plans to present the tentative agreement to its membership for ratification during the next several weeks, Johnson said. The vote is scheduled for June 29. Ratification requires a simple majority of those voting. Once ratified, the new contract will go into effect Aug. 4 and run through July 30, 2005.
In addition to the general wage increase, the proposed contract includes:
- A "team performance incentive plan" that rewards employees for meeting higher service, performance and other standards.
- An additional personal holiday, bringing the total to six per year.
- Benefit enhancements for medical, vision and dental plans.
- Improvements to sickness disability benefits.
- An adoption assistance program that provides reimbursement to the employee for adoption expenses.
The contract covers employees, principally technicians and service representatives, who provide all aspects of sales and servicing of Verizon's telecommunications products and services in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.