Nearly 20,000 AT&T workers in the Midwest will be voting on a tentative contract that their union, the Communications Workers of America, spent the last half year negotiating. The tentative agreement, reached yesterday, will be submitted to the membership for ratification.

The terms of the contract that expired April 4 were continued while negotiations took place.

The union won company agreement on pay and pension hikes in each year of the proposed three-year contract, as well as provisions that address cost-of-living adjustments. Workers will retain their health care benefits.

According to the union the agreement also includes “new transfer opportunities and broader earnings and job opportunities for some employees with sales titles and for technicians who install AT&T services in customers’ homes.”

CWA President Larry Cohen said the negotiations “reflected the current tough economic times and demonstrate again that the current health care structure in the United States is unsustainable. I’m pleased that AT&T will continue to work with us and others on comprehensive health care reform, so that companies like AT&T that provide quality health care are no longer penalized in this country.”

Negotiations continue in four other regions where contracts expired April 4.

Members of the Electrical Workers (IBEW) are also in negotiations with AT&T in Illinois and northwestern Indiana where contracts expired June 27.

CWA contracts in AT&T’s Southeast region expire Aug. 8, and negotiations in that region will begin on July 20.

Almost 125,000 workers are covered under the various CWA contracts with AT&T.

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