SBC deal struck

(May 25, 2004) — (San Antonio-AP) -- There's a deal between SBC and the union that represents more than 100-thousand of its workers. Negotiators for San Antonio-based SBC and the Communications Workers of America reached tentative agreement today on a new five-year contract. Union officials say the deal improves wages and strengthens employment security for its workers. Agreement came soon after SBC workers returned to work early today after a four-day strike. The settlement - which is subject to member ratification - covers workers in 13 states, including Arkansas. The deal provides base wage increases averaging 2.3 percent per year - plus a one percent first-year lump sum in the first year and cost-of-living-adjustments in the fourth and fifth years. The initial wage increase is retroactive to April Fourth. The agreement also includes new access to jobs in the growth areas, protects health security for both active employees and retirees, and improves pensions.