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ILLINOIS BELL FIRST AMERITECH COMPANY TO REACH UNION PACT; ANNOUNCES EARLY SETTLEMENT WITH LARGEST UNION

 ILLINOIS BELL FIRST AMERITECH COMPANY TO REACH UNION PACT;
 ANNOUNCES EARLY SETTLEMENT WITH LARGEST UNION
 CHICAGO, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Illinois Bell and its largest union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), today announced they have reached an early, tentative agreement on a three-year contract that provides for higher wages, improved pension and family care plans, and many job upgrades.
 "The tentative agreement recognizes our mutual need to keep our company competitive, and reinforces our joint commitment to continually improve customer service," said Paul Downing, Ameritech vice president of labor relations.
 "The fact we were able to reach this settlement early is a win/win situation for both the union and the company," said Russ Hollingsworth, Illinois Bell general manager of Administration and Human Resources. "This continues the trend set by Illinois Bell and the IBEW to willingly work together to reach an agreement that is fair and focuses on individual employees and their families."
 "The proposed IBEW contract is a good one," said Paul Jones, president-business manager of IBEW Local 399. "The wage increases and improvements in benefits are fair an reflect the standards set throughout the industry."
 The IBEW represents nearly 13,000 Illinois Bell employees including technical support and outside/inside customer contact people.
 Union employees are members of locals 165, 188, 336, 383, and 399.
 The proposed contract now goes to IBEW members who have until May 8 to ratify the agreement. If ratified, the new contract will take effect June 28, 1992, the day after the current agreement expires.
 This Illinois Bell contract with the IBEW is one of several separate pacts that the IBEW and Communications Workers of America have with the five Ameritech Bell companies and other Ameritech subsidiaries. More than 34,000 Ameritech employees in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin are covered by the contracts pending settlement later this summer.
 "We're optimistic we can achieve settlements in our other companies that are as mutually beneficial as the agreement that Illinois Bell has reached with the IBEW," Downing said.
 Here are the highlights of the tentative agreement:
 Wages
 -- 10.5 percent wage increase over the three-year term of the contract. The proposed contract calls for a 3.5 percent increase each year of the contract.
 -- A cost of living adjustment (COLA), as currently provided for in the current contract, will be maintained for wage increases effective in 1993 and 1994.
 Job Upgrades
 -- Many jobs will be upgraded to reflect additional job responsibilities of some non-management employees. The additional responsibilities enable the company to meet customer demands and effectively compete in the marketplace.
 Pension Benefits
 -- Pension bands, which determine the amount of each employee's pension, will increase from 10 to 17 percent. The increase is effective Sept. 1, 1992.
 -- Effective Sept. 1, 1992, through Dec. 31, 1993, non-management employees who retire with a service pension will receive a payment equal to three months service pension payments calculated as a single payment.
 Benefit Improvements
 -- Increases in company payments for dental and vision care plans.
 -- Effective Jan. 1, 1993, union employees will participate in the company sponsored Health Care Network in areas where it is available.
 -- Implements a resource and referral service on a trial basis for children, teen and elder care.
 --Institutes a gradual return-to-work policy that will enable regular full-time employees returning to work from an approved care of newborn child, adopted child, or dependent care leave to return on a part-time basis for up to three months.
 Ameritech is the Chicago-based parent of the Bell companies serving Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin Bell, as well as several other information-related subsidiaries, both foreign and domestic, providing mobile communications, directory publishing, audiotex services, lease financing, systems integration and voice messaging. Its 1991 revenues were $10.8 billion.
 -0- 4/6/92
 /CONTACT: Mike Brand of Ameritech, 312-750-5219; or Laura Littel of Illinois Bell, 312-220-2381 or 312-220-2385; or Paul Jones of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 217-529-0033/
 (AIT) CO: Illinois Bell; Ameritech; the International Brotherhood of
 Electrical Workers ST: Illinois IN: TLS SU:


TS -- NY051 -- 5350 04/06/92 12:12 EDT
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Date:Apr 6, 1992
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