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DynCorp workers narrowly approve pact Print

By Garthia Elena Halbert - cdispatch.com

Signed, sealed and delivered.

After two months of negotiations, the contract between DynCorp and the local chapter of the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers-Communications Workers of America was ratified late last night with a vote of 151-140.

“I called the ratification in at about 10:30,” said Danny Woodcock, president of IUE/CWA local 83770.

"It's a very dynamic contract. ... It encompasses a lot of different wage benefits, longevity and health care,” he continued, noting many of the employees' concerns were met.

DynCorp employees voted overwhelmingly July 17 to reject the initial proposal and threatened to strike, citing issues with wages, health insurance, the 4-year duration of the contract and 401K plans.

DynCorp, which employs about 500 people at Columbus Air Force Base, contracts with the base to provide aircraft maintenance and other services.

The contract proposed in July included wage increases of 4.5 percent for the first year, 4 percent for the second and third years and 5 percent for the fourth year. The new contract, which was negotiated for three years, includes a 5.5-percent wage increase in the first year and 5 percent increases for each of the following two years.

“The basic wage package contracted to be about $12.5 million for a three-year contract. ... That includes wages, fringes and benefits,” Woodcock elaborated.

The original contract was about $14 million over four years.

“A four-year contract is always better because it gives you more in the fourth year, but they (DynCorp employees) didn't want that,” Woodcock noted.

Corporate officials could not be reached this morning for comment.

Concerns over the ever-increasing cost of health care also were answered in the revised contract.

“The health care rates changed dramatically from the last contract,” said Woodcock, citing a small increase in bi-weekly payments for employees while DynCorp absorbs a larger share of higher health insurance premiums.

“They (DynCorp employees) wanted bi-weekly payments lowered and they didn't want to absorb all those costs. Now, the company is drastically absorbing costs across the board,” continued Woodcock.

The bargaining committees agreed on an equitable contract, which addressed most of the issues employees had concerns about with exception of 401K plans, said Woodcock. “The 401K is standard. We didn't negotiate any changes to that.”

Committees for both the union and DynCorp helped each other in the bargaining process to come to an agreement satisfactory for both entities, especially the workers, said Woodcock.

“I would like to thank the DynCorp bargaining committee and the union bargaining committee for a hard-fought contract. It was with all their hard work we were able to come to a ratification last night,” he added. 

 
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