Cincinnati Bell reaches tentative agreement with labor unions

Waiting until the final day, local labor unions finally reached a new 39-month labor contract with Cincinnati Bell before the previous one expired at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

The Communications Workers of America, CWA and its Locals 4400 and 4401 have been negotiating for the last three weeks for better wages and healthcare.

"It's not everything we wanted but that is how negotiations go. It does manage to keep jobs in Cincinnati so we're very pleased with the agreement we were able to reach," says Paul Hubbard, President of CWA Local 4400.

The new contract includes a 6.75 percent salary increase, quality healthcare coverage and depending on the employee, either the continuation of pension credits or enhancement of 401k benefits.

"We always want more but we understand with the economy today that keeping mostly our healthcare was a big concern for the members," says Altha Hunter, President of CWA Local 4401.

Together Hunter and Hubbard represent 1,000 Cincinnati Bell employees ranging from repair and installation workers to clerical and sales associates.

"I'm happy that it's over," says Hunter.

A detailed summary of the new agreement will be sent to each employee before the contracts are finalized.

CWA members of Locals 4400 and 4401 will vote to approve the agreement. Ratification is expected sometime in June and will be by mail ballot.

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