EVERETT, Wash. - Verizon Northwest Inc. and the Communications Workers of America, Local 7670, have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract that calls for wage increases and improved benefits.
The contract covers approximately 450 Verizon employees in the company's Network Services, Wholesale Markets, Retail Markets, Enterprise Solutions and Fleet Operations groups in eastern Washington and Idaho.
Verizon began negotiations with the CWA Local Sept. 2. Results of a ratification vote by the employees are expected by Dec. 1. Upon ratification, the new contract will be effective through Sept. 26, 2009. Previous contracts for employees in the area had been for three years.
Highlights of the tentative agreement include a one-time lump-sum payment of 4 percent at ratification and general wage increases totaling 10.5 percent over the term of the contract; an increase in company contributions for retiree health care; an additional personal holiday; some improvements in the comprehensive medical plans for active employees; and an increase in pension minimums -- based on an employee's length of service.
In addition, changes were made in the existing job category of "term employee" that will provide the company an additional option for addressing work demands that are up to 36 months in duration. Employees in this category are eligible for union membership and specified benefits.
"The challenge is achieving the right balance in addressing the growing competitive threats we face in the marketplace, while also appropriately recognizing and rewarding our frontline employees for their contributions to the company's success," said Paul Gwaltney, who led Verizon's bargaining team. "In the Northwest, we are extremely fortunate to have a foundation of mutual respect and trust built through a partnership with the union that serves us well in working through these tough issues."
A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.