New York, NY – Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) has come to an agreement with Con Edison, their largest employer, regarding the terms of their 2020-2024 contract.
On June 22, Local 1-2 President James Shillitto presented the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to the Union’s Executive Board, where it was approved and sent to the Members for ratification. Wages, benefits, and job titles were all enhanced.
Some of the highlights of the agreement are as follows:
3% increase across the board each year for life of contract, including .25% merit wage increase, with the compounded increase of 12.55% over the life of the contract
Medical costs kept reasonable, with lowest increases of employee contributions in years;
Increased weekly reimbursement for basic medical screening to offset weekly contributions;
Time off for Wellness exam with physician of employee’s choice;
Effective 2022, wage progression will increase from 52 cents to 60 cents during the course of the contract, the first increase in 16 years;
Effective June 1, 2022, move to top pay on the date of the 15th progressions to top pay;
Vacation chart revamped, with additional vacation day(s) for many members/ more days to carry over/more time to keep carry over days;
Pension remains the same for all, with improvements in Thrift Savings Plan;
Life insurance increases from $50k to $100k;
Meal allowance increases incrementally to $17.50 by end of contract;
Legal services plan now contractually offered;
New student loan refinance plan offered;
Job postings limit increased from 3 to 5 per year;
Work from home provision in contract, with company provided laptops;
Increased stipend for personal vehicles, starting at $850 and at $1050 by contract’s end;
Increased stipend for personal vehicles in storm from $135 to $140;
Add various job titles to Wage Acceleration Plan;
Personal Holiday replaced by Diversity Holiday;
Can use telemed in many instances to certify illness or injury instead of having to travel to Irving Place; and
Letter agreements which establish new titles in some departments, increase wages for current employees moving into new titles and /or provide stipends or wage increases when pass tests for various duties.
In addition, said the Union, they were able to reject Con Edison’s demands for givebacks, including:
Removal of certain titles from the bargaining unit, thereby making them subject to the company’s whim for wages, benefits and discipline, including discharge;
Reductions of medical benefits, pension benefits and sick time for new hires; and
Major increases in employee medical contributions while significantly decreasing benefits.
Shillitto noted that there were no givebacks in this contract, and that these improvements were achieved despite having to negotiate during a pandemic which has caused the greatest recession this country has seen since World War II. He said that Members’ Business Agents are prepared to answer questions about the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Shillitto said the continuing pandemic would not interfere with the Members’ ratification voting.
The Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) represents more than 50,000 workers in eight fields: Electric, Gas, Water, Nuclear, Call Center, Professional Technical (such as engineering, specialized clerical and accounting, that all pertain to utility) Public Sector, and Renewable Energy. Their reach extends to five regions across the country, from California to New York, with the North East, Region 1, being the biggest, and different states in between.