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Accords at Westinghouse.

After 5 weeks of contract talks, negotiators for Westinghouse Electric Co. and three of its largest unions signed 3year agreements, covering some 5.300 hourly workers. The agreements set a pattern for an additional 9,200 workers represented by 10 other labor organizations that bargain as part of the 13union coalition at Westinghouse. As occurred in the last bargaining round, the terms of the accords deviated somewhat from the recent General Electric settlements. (See Monthly Labor Review, September 1991, p. 30.)

The contracts provide wage increases of 2.5 percent in the first and second years and 3 percent in the third year. In addition, employees will receive five quarterly cost-of-living adjustment payments. The first two will equal 1 cent an hour for each 0.15-percentage-point increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), and the last three will provide 1 cent an hour for each 0. 125percentage-point rise in the CPI-W.

Several changes were made in the health care area, including restructuring of the alternate care option to include a 15-percent employee copayment and, for family coverage, an annual deductible of $300 and an annual maximum of $1,200 "out-of-pocket" expenses; a new managed care option with no deductible, "modest" employee copayments, and an "optout" provision with employee deductibles and increased copayments; establishment of a long-term care assistance insurance program; establishment of a $1.5 million lifetime medical benefits maximum (previously, no limit); and a program of preventive medicine. In addition, the contract established national health care provider networks with mental health/substance abuse treatment with no deductibles, an outpatient dollar limit (set at 100 percent of costs for the first 30 days for inpatient care and 85 percent of expenses, up to $4,500, for out-patient care), and a $750,000 (was $500,000) lifetime maximum; a prescription drug plan with no deductible and a 70/30 copayment; a new vision care plan, with a 25-percent increase in benefits and payment of 100 percent of the schedule; and a new dental care plan with no employee contributions and lower employee out-of-pocket" expenses.

Various changes were made in the Employee Security and Protection Plan, including renewal of a $7,500 bonus for employees (aged 55 or older, with 25 but less than 30 years of service) volunteering to retire; an increase in the moving allowance, from $750 to $ 1,000 for single employees and from $1,500 to $2,000 for employees with dependents; mileage rates of 27.5 cents for engineering service employees and 29.5 cents for apparatus service employees (previously, 27 cents for both groups); and payment of unused personal and sick days at time of death.

The pension plan was amended to increase the minimum monthly pension rate from a range of $18 to $25 per year of credited service to a range of $23.50 to $29 (the rate varies according to an employee's average annual preretirement earnings); increase the monthly early retirement supplement to $1 10 (previously, $100) per year of credited service; restructure the pension plan to give all employees who elect to contribute to it the same benefit and contribution formulas; renew the special 100-$200 early retirement supplement; and establish a voluntary retirement program (for those aged 55 with 25 years of service), with any resulting vacancies to be filled by employees on the "inactive seniority list" (that is, employees in layoff status).

Other terms include increasing the maximum rate of employee investment in the savings plan from 16 percent to 20 percent of base pay; a basic life insurance benefit equal to 1.5 times an employee's base annual pay, with a minimum of $36,000 (previously, $29,000) and a maximum of $50,000 (previously, $43,000); accidental death and dismemberment insurance equal to 50 percent of the basic life benefit; an increase in the maximum weekly accident and sickness benefit from $275 to $300; and an increase in the minimum weekly long-term disability benefit from $50 to $150.
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Title Annotation:Developments in industrial relations
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Words:667
Previous Article:Union membership statistics in 12 countries.
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