A day after their union reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement with Cablevision Systems, 262 cable company technicians ratified the pact by a strong margin.
The workers ratified the pact at a special meeting Feb. 14 at the Brooklyn headquarters of the Communications Workers of America, Local 1109. The contract was the first the workers had signed since agreeing to be represented by the union in 2012 and make them the first Cablevision employees to have union representation.
“We are glad to have these contentious negotiations behind us, and now we look forward to our employees continued efforts to provide the best connectivity and service to Cablevision's Brooklyn customers,” Cablvision said in a statement, adding that the company has maintained the flexibility to apply its new performance-based standards to its Brooklyn employees, ensuring the same level of service for all Cablevision customers across the company’s entire service territory. .
Cablevision and Local 1109 said they had reached a tentative agreement on Friday, ending what had been a three-year battle. According to the CWA, the new contract goes into effect on March 1 and includes substantial wage increases for the Brooklyn workers (bringing them to 96% wage parity with Cablevision workers throughout the rest of the company); allows for a three-step grievance and arbitration procedure, providing for independent arbitration disputes under contract; stipulates that employees can only be disciplined or discharged for “just cause;” gives workers in Brooklyn the same health and 401(k) pension benefits as other Cablevision employees; and gives workers the right to post materials on a union bulletin board inside Cablevision garages in Brooklyn.
“We are looking forward to opening a new page in our relationship with management,” said CWA national vice president for CWA District One Chris Shelton, in a statement. “Our members stuck together for 3 years and in the end, persuaded Cablevision that a fair deal acceptable to management and labor was possible. This is an historic achievement at Cablevision.”
Said CWA Local 1109 president Tony Spina in a statement: “CWA members are proud of what we achieved working together, and that’s reflected in today’s vote. While no contract is perfect, our members will receive solid raises, a strong benefits package, and a voice on the job,” said Spina. “This agreement begins a new chapter in the Cablevision – CWA relationship.”