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Local 155 Reaches
Agreement with
Competitive Media

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 increases immediately.

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 months.

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.

UE News - 10/98


Home -> UE News -> 1998 Archives -> Article

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