Negotiators from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA), representing nearly 40,000 striking Verizon workers, announced they have reached a tentative contract with Verizon.
"This agreement will keep good middle-class Verizon jobs here in America, while getting our members back to work serving the consumer," said Boston Local 2222 Business Manager Myles Calvey. Calvey chairs IBEW System Council T-6, which represents IBEW Verizon workers throughout New England.
Striking workers will return to work on June 1.
Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Verizon agreed that no additional jobs will be outsourced overseas, while increasing the number of calls routed to domestic call centers. This will result in the creation of 1,300 new call center jobs with 850 in the Mid-Atlantic region and 450 in the Northeast.
"This was the major issue for my members: protecting American jobs and keeping them here at home," said East Windsor, N.J., Local 827 Business Manager Robert Speer, who represents IBEW Verizon employees in New Jersey. "This agreement makes a lot of progress in reversing the outsourcing trend."
Verizon also agreed to drop its demand that technicians had to be available to travel outside their home areas for up to two months at a time.
"Our members aren’t just Verizon employees, they’re moms and dads as well," Calvey said. "We’re glad that we’re able to make sure our members are able to come home to their families every night."
Also included in the tentative four-year agreement are:
- Wage increases of 3% for the first year and 2.5% year after,
- No cap on pensions and three 1% increases over the life of the agreement,
- Retaining competitive health benefits, and
- Strong job security language.
Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director Allison Beck brought the parties together for negotiations earlier this month.
"I offer my deep gratitude to Secretary Perez and Director Beck for their all efforts to help us reach a fair and mutually beneficial contract that gets our members back on the job," said IBEW President Lonnie R. Stephenson. 'I also thank every Verizon worker who stayed strong on the picket line and at the bargaining table to get us to this agreement, which is a win for working families everywhere."
Details of the tentative agreement are being provided to members who will vote on ratification after the return to work.