Bloomberg BNA has calculated that the average first­year wage increase for contracts in 2015 was 2.6 percent, up from 2 percent for the same period in 2014. When data on construction and state and local government contracts were added, the average increase was 3.1 percent, compared with 2.5 percent the previous year. The median was 2.3 percent, up from 2 percent in 2014, and the weighted average was 3.5 percent, up from the 2.6 increase reported for the same time period in 2014. The all­settlements average, excluding construction and state and local government contracts, increased an average of 2.9 percent, up from 2.3 percent for 2014. The median was 2.5 percent, up from 2.1 percent in 2014, and the weighted average was 4.1 percent, up from 3.1 percent.


Labour Canada reported that major agreements in Canada for the second quarter of 2015 included an average base rate wage increase of 1.6 percent, down from the average of 1.8 in the first quarter. There were 48 agreements in Canada for the second quarter, covering 117,400 employees. Agreements in the private sector provided for wage increases averaging 1.7 percent, while the public sector agreements provided for wage increases averaging 1.5 percent. The largest wage increase occurred in the wholesale and retail trade, with 2.3 percent growth, with manufacturing and public administration following with 2.0 percent increases.


Shuttle bus drivers in Silicon Valley, represented by the Teamsters, voted 75­0 to ratify a labor proposal with Compass Transportation Inc., which provides services to clients such as Apple, Yahoo, and EBay. The three­year deal provides for a first­year raise between $3 and $7.50 hourly, depending on the employees’ current salary, and for a 75 cent raise in the second and third years. The contract also provides the option of taking a premium for working split shifts or to opt out of working both a morning and evening shift. Under the deal, Compass is also required to make contributions to the employees’ health and pension benefits. Compass must seek final approval from the technology companies for which it is a contractor.


The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Pacific Gas & Electric reached a tentative agreement that would cover 11,000 clerical and field workers in California. The agreement provides for a 13 percent wage increase over four years, access to more voluntary short­ and long­term disability and paid family leave benefits, and a revised sick pay system providing for 80 hours of sick leave per year. Medical, dental, and vision benefits are the same as established in the previous contract, which was ratified in 2012 and froze employee health care costs for nine years. The 2012 contract expired December 31, 2014, but the parties agreed to a one­year extension in May 2014. If approved, the proposed agreement will take effect January 1, 2016 and expire December 31, 2019.


Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers ratified a contract with Kellogg Co., covering 1,300 workers at cereal manufacturing plants in Lancaster, Pa., Battle Creek, Mich., Omaha, Neb., and Memphis, Tenn. The five­year contract includes a moratorium on plant closings for five years, as well as wage and pension increases and the maintenance of health care costs.


Members of the New York State Nurses Association voted to ratify contracts covering 17,000 registered nurses at 12 hospitals in the New York City area. The contracts provide for a 3 percent wage increase retroactive to January 1, 2015, a 3 percent increase in 2016, a 3.5 percent increase in 2017, and a 3 percent increase in 2018. The contracts also address member concerns about staffing levels and increased hiring.


Pilots represented by SkyWest Pilots Association approved an agreement with SkyWest Airlines. The contract, which covers approximately 3,500 members, was approved by 66 percent of the pilots and provides for an immediate wage increase with additional 1.5 percent increases in 2016 and 2018. The agreement also includes guaranteed profit­sharing, changes to work rules, and an increased match to 401(k) accounts.


A tentative agreement was reached between FedEx Corp. and the Air Line Pilots Association, which would cover approximately 4,300 FedEx Express Pilots. The union will decide whether to send the contract to its members to ratify. The current contract was up for amendment beginning March 2013.


United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) members working at Ohio Kroger’s stores ratified a five­year contract. The contract, which covers 12,000 workers, includes wage increases for each year as well as an increase to employee health care premiums. Workers will also receive a $150 credit for completing a confidential annual health risk questionnaire and biometric screening.


Thirteen local unions of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) ratified a three­year contract with producers from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television producers. The agreement, which covers more than 43,000 workers, includes yearly wage and pension increases, and a guarantee that the health plan will not be cut or have an increased cost to employees. The contract is retroactive to August 1 and runs through July 31, 2018.


TAG, a local of the IATSE, ratified a three­year contract with animation studios from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The contract covers 3,000 animation and visual effects artists. The agreement includes a 3 percent annual wage increase to contract minimums, a 10 percent pension increase, 30 percent increases to contribution hours, and changes in pay structure and benefit contributions for freelance timing directors.