Union hopeful on
By Steve Raabe
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Officials of Qwest's largest union
say a newly negotiated contract proposal might fare better with
members who voted down an earlier deal.
The proposal for Communications Workers of America District 7
replaces the previous three-year contract offer with a four-year
term and codifies language on measuring worker performance.
About 20,000 Qwest employees are represented by CWA. In
late September, they voted to reject a deal that had been
negotiated by CWA and Qwest officials.
Aside from an extra year and adding performance language, the
new contract proposal mainly has the same terms as the previous
• Annual wage increases of about 3 percent, totaling 12.55
percent over four years.
• A first-year increase in family health-insurance premiums from
$33 a month to $75 with additional increases in years two and
• A 3 percent increase in pension payments for workers retiring
after Oct. 12.
The new performance language stipulates that before workers can
be disciplined or discharged for not meeting work quotas, Qwest
must "abide by a set of principles that (actions) have been
applied properly and that give people a chance to get their act
together," said CWA spokesman Al Kogler.
Qwest spokesman Bob Toevs said the contract language "is
reaffirming our commitment to coaching and development for
workers on productivity measures."
Kogler said union leaders have expressed "optimism" that the
performance measures and four-year term will persuade workers to
approve the deal.
Steve Raabe: 303-954-1948 or