District One Vice President Dennis Trainor is pleased to announce that CWA and the IBEW have reached a tentative agreement with Verizon on a three year extension of our current contract, which was scheduled to expire next August, 2023. The new agreement will expire on August 1, 2026.
This is an excellent contract that includes major gains in wages, increases pension benefits, adds a significant number of new CWA-represented jobs, and includes a new, extended Work from Home agreement. It also for the first time allows post-2008 hires to use their retiree health care stipend to purchase health care in the open market or on the ACA exchange, rather than being limited to purchasing only a Verizon plan. Over the life of the agreement, the compounded value of the wage increase will be 18.23%, which includes an additional 1.25% and 1% added to the wage increases that had been negotiated under the previous contract. A minimum of 500 new technicians will be hired in New York, and at least 225 call center employees will be hired into Sales & Service and Tech support positions in the NY/NE footprint. A committee has been established to determine whether additional sales and service employees can take over current online platform service work.
This agreement is a tribute to the militancy and determination our members demonstrated during the seven-week strike in 2016. That battle has now produced three contracts--the original agreement that ended the strike, the extension negotiated in 2018, and the current extension. Our members should be proud of what they have accomplished. At the same time, this agreement also reflects our changed relationship with Verizon. Especially with the impending vast federal and state investment in new broadband buildout over the next several years, it is clear that in some respects our interests overlap with management’s. Together, we want that buildout work to be performed by well trained, experienced, well compensated union employees--and only Verizon can provide that workforce.
There is always more to be accomplished and fought for, but this is an agreement that we can all be proud of.