While the MTA and the TWU are still in negotiations, another big contract dispute has come to an end. The Con Ed workers in Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America have voted to approve a new labor contract with the power company, according to their reps.
The union says that 93 percent of its members approved the new contract. The deal came after Governor Cuomo intervened in the dispute late last month. The dispute between ConEd and its 8,500 workers was mainly about switching from a traditional pension plan to a cheaper one for new hires. As the Journal explains:
Cash-balance plans give workers a choice of taking a lump-sum payment on retirement or an annuity based on the amount in a retirement account. The plans have gained traction in other industries and are becoming more common at utility companies.
The company said it proposed the change as a way to control costs. Pension costs for the subsidiary involved in the union dispute—projected to be $741 million this year—have gone up nearly 10-fold since 2006. Union officials opposed the change, arguing that it created a two-tier system among employees.
In the end they seem to have folded. The new plan will bring in cash balance plans for new hires, but existing employees now have their traditional plans protected through July 1st, 2037.