Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Niagara Mohawk Agreement

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Niagara Mohawk Agreement

Article excerpt

ra Mohawk agreement The Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. and 12 Electrical Workers (IBEW) locals negotiated a 3-year collective bargaining agreement covering 8,300 utility workers in upstate New York. The contract, which covers line crews, meter readers, customer service representatives, and maintenance employees, provides for wage increases of 13.65 percent over the term of the contract and for an early-retirement option for long-term employees.

Terms of the agreement call for a 4.25-percent wage increase retroactive to June 1, 1990, 4.5 percent on June 1, 1991, and 4.9 percent on June 1, 1992. (The average hourly rate under the prior contract for line crewmen was $18.67.) An additional 0.25 percent will be paid each year if Niagara Mohawk resumes paying dividends on common stock. (The company stopped paying dividends a couple of years ago.) In addition, the eligibility requirement for normal retirement was changed to age 55 (previously, 60), provided years of service and age equal 90.

Other terms include $500,000 (previously, $400,000) maximum lifetime major medical benefits; annual health care deductibles for basic medical benefits set at $ 100 for individual coverage and $250 for family coverage (previously, $100 per individual); elimination of the $25 deductible for x rays, laboratory services, and radiation treatment; a 10-percent increase in the dental schedule in each year of the contract; modification of certain work rules expected to generate cost savings, including reducing the crew size from three to two; a new cost containment feature which allows for the coordination of health benefits when spouses are enrolled in the health plan of their employer (the spouse must first file against his or her health plan; and, if the spouse's plan does not pay the full cost the spouse can file against the employee's health plan for the remainder of the payment); a 2-cent increase in both second and third shift differentials (previously, 55 cents and 75 cents, respectively) in each year of the contract; and a $1 increase in the deductible for both generic drugs and name brand drugs (previously, $1 and $2 respectively) under the "prescription drug card plan. …

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