Local 155 Reaches
WEST CHESTER, Pa.
Members of amalgamated UE Local 155 employed by Competitive Media
Reporting ratified a new three-year contract on July 31 in a 52-27 vote. The contract,
which took effect Aug. 1, brings wage increases in several areas and reverses contract
language which protected the boss from increases in medical plan premiums at the expense
of workers paychecks.
Competitive Media Reporting (CMR) is a leading provider of national and
local competitive advertising agencies, advertisers, broadcasters and publishers. UE
members track ads.
The CMR-Local 155 committee won general increases of 45, 35 and 35 cents,
which will raise the average wage to about $11.80. The second and third shift premium
rises by five cents to 45 cents in the second year.
Workers in bilingual classifications will see an additional 20-cent an
hour increase to classification rates. Employees working the regular "D" shift
hours (Friday through Tuesday) will get an add-on of 75 cents per hour worked. With the
establishment of uniform rates for jobs in similar categories, all current lower-wage tier
workers (about half the workforce) realized between 16 and 29 cents in additional hourly
CMR workers gain new contract language which requires the company to pay
65 percent of the cost of medical premiums over the life of the agreement. The prior
contract set a maximum amount the employer would pay for single, two-person and family
coverage, with all increases borne by employees, except in the final year (beginning Aug.
1, 1997) when increases were shared 50-50. The new contract also replaces four US
Healthcare plans with two offerings: the previously existing Patriot X HMO and the Patriot
XV Quality Point of Service Flex plan (which has both HMO and indemnity plan features).
Short-term disability coverage also increases from half -pay to 60 percent of pay for 5
Language gains also include improved bumping rights, three days prior
notice of layoffs and better terms on discipline, overtime and consultation with a
steward. This contract also eliminates the hiring penalty for new employees: Instead of
starting at 50 cents under the minimum rate for a classification, new hires will come in
at the minimum. The agreement also provides improvements to the break and lunch schedules
when employees work overtime and limits the circumstances under which overtime is
required. The UE negotiating committee also undertook "housekeeping" changes to
make contract language more understandable.
The CMR-Local 155 committee consisted of Linda Longerbeam, Ann Prieur,
Sandra Santiago and Trish Malone. They were assisted by UE District One Pres. Connie
Spinozzi and Field Org. Jim Ermi.