The Value of a Union Contract


In 2004, the Communications Workers of America members reached a 5 year agreement with SBC Communications that achieves the unionís major objectives of strengthening employment security, new access to jobs in growth areas, protecting health care security for both active employees and retirees, and improving wages and pensions.The agreement covers 100,000 CWA members.


Here are some of the key highlights of the settlement:


         No layoffs for the life of the agreement (5 years).

         Rehire several hundred workers previously laid-off.

         Bring back jobs from overseas.

         Across the board compounded wage increases of 12% plus

an additional 1% lump sum in the first year and cost of living adjustments in 4th and 5th year.

         Pension increases of 13% over the contract term.

         If SBC phone lines are sold, buyer assumes union contract as is.

         Health care benefits will continue to be paid for by the employer,

although there are increases in co-pay for certain medical services and prescription drugs.

         To offset increases in co-pay there will be cash bonuses for active employees of $1000

††††††† and cash bonuses for retirees of $2500.



The above agreement items were negotiated by SBC employees because they had a union contract and are members of CWA.


Contrast this with what has been happening to IBM employees in the US :

        Terms and conditions of employment NOT protected and can be changed unilaterally by IBM.

        Job cuts continue with no rehire policy.

        Pension values have declined.

        Pay increases not given to many employees.

        Pay cuts of 15% and up on selected job families and groups

        Drastic increases in medical co-pay for current employees and retirees.

        Jobs being offshored.


These and many more examples we canít list due to the volume of improvements in a union agreement, show the value of a union contract. Now compare how YOUR next 5 years will compare with the next 5 years of a CWA member at SBC. Based on the information above. Donít you think you and your family deserve what SBC employees have? Join Alliance and support the drive for a contract!