AT&T Reaches Tentative Agreement With Workers

AT&T (NYSE: T  ) released details yesterday of the tentative agreement between AT&T West and the Communications Workers of America District 9 union. The three-year agreement would cover more than 17,000 wireline workers in California and Nevada.

A union vote on the proposal is expected soon.

The negotiators have agreed to yearly wage increases for the length of the contract: a 2.25% increase retroactive to Oct. 1, 2012, 2.75% for 2013, and 3% for 2014. There would also be a 1% pension band increase each year for most employees.

The contract also calls for an increase in the number of "qualified surplus employees" that would have "a guaranteed job opportunity with AT&T," according to the company's news release.

Workers would keep current health care benefits but would see an increase in their contributions.

CWA members still have to ratify the agreement, and District 9 vice president Jim Weitkamp, writing on that bargaining unit's website, said he is asking the membership to approve the contract in spite of the bargaining committee determining "they cannot agree to or recommend this agreement."

"The tone of these talks has often been angry and the process has been agonizing," but still, Weitkamp wrote, "I am asking that you fully consider all of the facts and vote to ratify this contract." He said the bargaining process has been "exhausted" and that he did not think seeking further sacrifice from employees would yield "further tangible gain."

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