CWA: Workers Get Raise, No Pension Cuts

Union outlines new contract terms

Details of the tentative agreement between Verizon and striking CWA/IBEW workers show why the unions were celebrating Friday (May 27), when the tentative deal was announced, after the U.S Labor Department stepped in to help resolve the impasse.

Verizon agreed to add 1,300 U.S.-based call center jobs -- 850 in the Mid-Atlantic and 450 in the Northeast -- and to pull back on outsourcing, which will result in new tech jobs, according to the CWA and IBEW. Tthat includes a 25% increase in the number of unionized pole crews in New York State.

The new contract is for four years, and will provide an almost 11% raise over that time, plus signing bonuses, profit sharing more money for pensions and bringing approximately 70 Verizon Wireless retail store employees in two locations under contract for the first time.

The raises will be structured as a 3% boost upon ratification by the membership, with 2.5% on each of the next three anniversaries of the contract ratification.

The CWA and IBEW said all proposed pensions cuts have been withdrawn, plus there will be three, 1% increases over the four years.

"This contract affirmation of the power of working people,” said Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America.

Just under 40,000 workers were on strike for over 45 days.