The carrier said it is offering three wage increases totaling 7.5 percent over the term of the contract and has offered to continue access to healthcare benefits at an “affordable cost.” Verizon said the offer also includes provisions for “generous” retirement benefits.
“From the beginning, our goal has been to reach an agreement that’s fair to our employees, good for our customers and helps our company better compete in the digital world,” Verizon’s chief administrative officer Marc Reed said. “This offer meets those objectives. A better offer would be hard to find.”
According to Verizon, employees who already had a job security provision in their contract would get to keep their layoff protection in exchange for giving Verizon more control over the management and deployment of its workforce through measures like voluntary retirement incentive offers.
Additionally, the offer would see the carrier maintain its 401k company match and continue pension plan participation for eligible employees with three annual increases subject to a 30 year cap.
Verizon’s latest bid is meant to sate the demands of nearly 40,000 Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union members who walked off the job on April 13. The strike followed 10 months of unsuccessful contraction negotiations between union leaders and Verizon. Employees involved in the strike have been working without a contract since August 1, 2015.
CWA District One vice president Dennis G. Trainor and CWA District 2-13 vice president Ed Mooney said Thursday “Verizon workers remain on strike and are standing strong on the picket lines” and called on Verizon to “get serious about negotiations and building a stronger company.”
The union is currently considering its next steps in the bargaining process, the pair said.
Union officials have previously expressed frustration with Verizon, accusing the carrier of failing to meet pledges to expand FiOS broadband and looking to move jobs out of the United States.
Though the strike has been ongoing, Verizon said Thursday more than 1,000 union-represented employees have already returned to work.