Monday, June 22, 2015

Verizon Offers Pay Increase in Labor Negotiations

Verizon is offering a pay increase to approximately 38,000 Verizon East Wireline Employees as part of a three year labor package it presented to the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers


Verizon said its offer includes several key proposals:

Wages -- Provided there is a signed agreement by Aug. 1, upon ratification of a new contract there would be a 2 percent wage increase effective Aug. 2, 2015; a 2 percent increase one year later; and a $1,000 lump sum payment in the third year. The average annual salary and benefit package for a Verizon associate in the East is $130,000.  Verizon technicians in the New York City/Long Island region currently have an average total wage-and-benefit package worth in excess of $160,000 a year.

Pensions -- Pension-eligible associates would be given a choice of continuing to earn pension benefits under the defined benefit plan with some limitations and forgoing the existing 401(k) company match, or opting for the enhanced 401(k) plan currently offered to management employees (which includes a bigger company match and a profit-sharing contribution) with a frozen pension benefit. With the exception of union-represented employees hired since Oct. 28, 2012, employees under these collective bargaining agreements currently have both a defined benefit pension plan AND a 401(k) savings plan with a generous company match, a benefit structure that's from another era.

Healthcare -- Negotiating cost controls for the company's healthcare plans is essential. The cost of medical coverage for an East associate and one or more family members currently averages nearly $20,000 a year. In one of the company's East plans, the annual cost for this coverage is over $23,000 annually. By contrast, the national average for family healthcare coverage is about $16,800. The company is proposing an increase of $8.10 per week next year for individual healthcare premiums. Other reasonable cost controls are also important to help keep this Wireline business unit competitive.

Workforce management -- The company is seeking more flexibility in terms of managing the workforce consistent with customer demands.

"More than ever, we need contractual changes that position us to compete with new and emerging technologies," said Tami Erwin, president of Verizon's Consumer and Mass Business unit. "American consumers are communicating in new and innovative ways. The way we work and respond to our customers demands flexibility. Our contract rules and provisions need to be updated to reflect those changes."

http://www.verizon.com

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