CenturyLink employees voted to ratify an agreement that will extend their current contract by three years, enabling the telco to overcome another union negotiation obstacle.
The new contract covers nearly 10,300 employees in 13 different states: Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Over the term of the agreement, workers will get wage increases of 3%, 2.5% and 2.5%.
“This contract is a win for CenturyLink workers,” said Al Kogler, CWA District 7 media spokesperson. “We made substantial gains in base wages that will help offset the rising cost of healthcare for our members, and preserved the current pension and 401k plan.”
Getting to this point did not come without conflict.
According to the CWA, CenturyLink told the union late last year that it wanted to cut healthcare and welfare benefits, increasing out-of-pocket costs and deductibles.
Additionally, the telco indicated it wanted to make changes to disability, pensions, life insurance and the 401K plan. However, the CWA bargaining committee said it was able to push back on many of these items.
While approving this contract is certainly positive, CenturyLink and CWA 3176, which represents workers in Florida, are still working out an agreeable contract.
After a meeting was held on May 13, it was followed by a strike vote "only" on May 20.
CenturyLink’s negotiations with the CWA have gotten the attention of Florida State Senator Victor Torres. In a letter to Glen Post, CenturyLink’s CEO, Torres asked the company to find a solution that would satisfy the unions and the company.