THE BRONX - Contract talks resumed this afternoon between Con Edison and union representatives following the lockout of more than 8,000 workers.

The utility proposed a new contract to the workers' union today that would include wage increases of more than 10 percent over four years and maintained pensions for all employees hired before July. Employee contributions to health care plans would remain at 17 percent for the first year of the contract and grow to 24 percent by the fourth year.

Union officials have not yet commented on the proposal.

The company has been using managers in the field to keep the lights on and gas working for its customers since the contract expired more than a week ago.

Con Ed says it can handle the city's power needs until a deal is reached, but it has closed walk-in centers, suspended meter readings and limited work on major construction projects.