• Senior members said to receive $4,000 if contract approved
  • New deal said to do away with formation of health-care co-op

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is offering a $4,000 ratification bonus for so-called first-tier United Auto Workers members in the new tentative agreement, up from $3,000 in the proposal that members rejected almost 2-to-1, said two people familiar with the matter.

The new agreement also drops language about forming a health-care co-op to try to lower costs for all employees at the big Detroit automakers, a suggestion that many members had expressed concern about, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details haven’t yet been given to members. The union will still study cost-saving efforts, the people said.

The UAW’s National Chrysler Council, made up of leaders from union locals, is meeting today to vote on whether to send the new accord to rank-and-file members for a ratification vote. It includes raises for second-tier workers to eventually earn about $29 an hour, nearly matching what the more senior members will earn by the end of the contract, people familiar with the terms have said. Entry-level workers now earn as much as $19.28 and could’ve seen their wages rise to $25.35 under the rejected proposal.

The new tentative agreement avoided a strike on Thursday by 40,000 union members.

Shawn Morgan, a spokeswoman for Fiat Chrysler, declined to comment on the details. Brian Rothenberg, a spokesman for the UAW, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.

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