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GTE Northwest job action ends.

GTE Northwest job action ends Ending an 18-day work stoppage, negotiators for GTE Northwest, Inc. and Local 89 of the Electrical Workers (IBEW) reached a 3-year agreement covering about 3,200 installation and repair workers, service and business representatives, operators, test technicians, and other telephone company personnel in Washington, Oregon, and northern California. The major issues in the dispute were wage increases and job reclassification. The company's final prestoppage offer included a 3-percent wage increase retroactive to June 3, 1990, 2.5-percent wage increases in June 1991 and May 1992, and a lump-sum payment equal to 1.2 percent of an employee's gross annual earnings paid upon ratification. In addition, the company proposed a number of job reclassifications that would have upgraded some jobs and downgraded others.

In negotiations conducted after the dispute began, the company made "significant" changes in their prestoppage offer, which were accepted by the union leadership and the rank and file. Wage terms of the ratified pact include a 3-percent wage increase retroactive to June 30,1990, a 3-percent increase in June 1991, and 1.5-percent increases in December 1991 and June 1992. The contract also calls for reclassifying five job classifications, including the up-grading of about 200 employees in two job classifications and the downgrading of three other classifications in which the current 20 employees would be "grandfathered" at their existing levels.

Other terms of the accord include enhancements in sick leave that allow employees with at least 5 years of service to receive full pay for all sick leave used for the first two illness within a 90-day period and a 1-day waiting period before sick pay begins for all subsequent illness during the 90-day period (previously, full pay for sick leave was available only for the first illness during a 90-day period); the establishment of a child care referral program; new health care coverage for vision care, and alcohol and drug abuse treatment for an employee and his or her dependents; and a flexible reimbursement plan for dependent care expenses.

"Developments in Industrial Relations" is prepared by Michael H. Cimini of the Division of Development in Labor-Management Relations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is largely based on information from secondary sources.
COPYRIGHT 1990 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Developments in industrial relations.; GTE Northwest Inc.-International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers contract
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Oct 1, 1990
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