For all settlements reported through July 25, 2016, the average first-year wage increase was 2.7 percent, compared to 2.5 percent for the same period in 2015, according to an analysis of data by Bloomberg BNA. The median first-year wage increase was 2.5 percent, compared with 2.2 percent reported in 2015. The weighted average was 3.2 percent, compared with 3.5 percent in 2015. When construction and state and local government contracts were excluded, the 2016 all-settlements average, median, and weighted average increased to 3 percent, 2.7 percent, and 3.3 percent respectively, compared to 3 percent, 2.5 percent, and 3.7 percent in 2015. When lump-sum payments were factored into wage calculations, the all-settlements numbers for 2016 increased to 3 percent, compared to 2.9 percent in 2015.
Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters) ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement with Allegiant Air LLC covering nearly 700 pilots. Under the agreement, the pilots will receive wage increases based on position and longevity, with most pilots receiving a increases of 3 to 5 percent each year of the contract. The agreement also provides for an enhanced scheduling system, increases in retirement benefits and 401(k) match on a 200 percent basis up to the first 5 percent of pay, increased vacation, and an end to the pilots’ status as at-will employees.
Averting a protest scheduled for late July, SEIU members and Bentley University, with the help of a federal mediator, reached a tentative agreement on a four-year collective bargaining agreement covering more than 200 of the University’s adjunct faculty. The tentative agreement would provide minimum per-course wage rates that increase in each of the years of the contract, a 12 percent wage increase upon ratification for most adjunct faculty and a 30 percent increase over the next three years, and the establishment of a $25,000 fund for adjuncts’ personal development to provide adjuncts who have taught at least six courses with up to $1,000 per year for travel to conferences. The agreement also gives preferred faculty priority in course assignments, and would establish a joint committee of adjuncts and administration to address issues.
International Association of Machinist (IAM) members ratified a six-year collective bargaining agreement with Lockheed Martin covering approximately 2,900 flight line mechanics, assemblers, and support personnel in the company’s aeronautics plants in Texas, California, and Maryland. Under the agreement, employees will receive a $4,000 ratification bonus, $4,800 in cost-of-living adjustments, 16 percent in wage increases over the term of the agreement, maintenance of existing health insurance benefits, and 11 percent in increases to pension contributions.
IAM members ratified a collective bargaining agreement with VSE Corp., covering approximately 1,000 workers who repair and maintain army vehicles at the Red River Depot in Hooks, Texas. The agreement, which is retroactive to May 16 and runs only through the end of the year, caps out-of-pocket maximums under the health care plan to the levels maintained under the employees’ health benefit plan with their former employer. Out-of-pocket payments above the maximum will be reimbursed by VSE. The parties plan to negotiate a longer contract in the fall of 2016.
Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) members ratified their first three-year collective bargaining agreement with political news website ThinkProgress. The agreement, which will cover around 30 staffers, provides for a $45,000 minimum wage for reporters and editors, wage increases ranging from 2 to 2.5 percent, 12 weeks of paid family leave, editorial independence, revenue sharing, a merit-based discretionary bonus, and the continuation of the 401(k) with automatic 3 percent employer contribution and 2 percent profit sharing. ThinkProgress is the latest of a handful of digital workrooms organized by the WGAE this year.
Members of Local 60 of the SMART Transportation Division and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers were the last unions to ratify labor agreements with the New Jersey Transit, ending a five-year bargaining dispute that has twice prompted intervention by presidential emergency boards to avert strikes. The agreements will cover around 4,200 workers at the third largest commuter rail system. While full details have not yet been disclosed, reports say that the agreements will provide retroactive pay increases back to 2011, annual wage increases, and other benefits.
Members of the United Steelworkers ratified a two-year collective bargaining agreement with electric and gas utility National Grid, covering around 1,000 Massachusetts workers who maintain infrastructure, repair gas leaks, and respond to emergency calls. The agreement provides for wage increases of 2.25 percent each year. Under the agreement, new hires are eligible to participate in the company’s defined benefit pension plan and retiree health care benefits, and future pension contributions for existing employees will rise by nearly 5 percent, while maintaining workers’ contributions toward health care premiums at 20 percent.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached a tentative national collective bargaining agreement with the National Automobile Transporters Labor Division, which represents Jack Cooper Transport Co. Inc., Cassens Transport Co., and Active Truck Transport. The tentative five-year agreement would cover nearly 5,000 workers in the car haul industry and would preserve workers’ health care and pension plans and include minor economic increases. Specific terms of the agreement have not been publicly disclosed.
An arbitrator settled an impasse between the American Postal Workers Union and the U.S. Postal Service by awarding a 40-month labor contract covering about 200,000 postal workers in the clerk, motor vehicle, and maintenance crafts. The agreement provides for a 3.8 percent wage increase over the term for career employees and cost-of-living adjustments in March and September of each year of the contract, converts noncareer employees in the maintenance and motor vehicle crafts to career status, sets new subcontracting limits, provides protections against layoffs for all career employees, and sets a temporary moratorium on plant closings and consolidations until April 2017. The agreement increases the employee portion of the cost of health premiums by 1 percent per year over the next 3 years.
Members of the Independent Pilots Association reached a tentative five-year labor contract with UPS Airlines that would cover 2,600 pilots. Specific details of the tentative agreement have not yet been disclosed. The ratification vote is scheduled to take place on August 31, with a ratified agreement to go into effect September 1.
Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 members have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement with New York’s Consolidated Edison, Inc. covering 8,100 workers. The tentative agreement, which would run through June 20, 2020, would provide a wage increase of 12.55 percent over its term, enhance health care benefits while increasing employees’ health care costs by $8 per week, and protect the jobs of meter readers against layoffs due to automated meter-reading.
SEIU Local 105 members have ratified a four-year labor pact covering 2,400 Denver-area janitors working for 27 employers. Under the agreement, 70 percent of employees will receive hourly wage increases from $12.60 to $15 over the term, while the other 30 percent will receive increases from $10.50 to $11.90. The agreement also expands affordable child health-care coverage, while maintaining health care costs for the janitors.
SEIU Local 49 members approved various four-year contracts covering 2,000 janitors in Oregon and Washington. The agreements, applied retroactively to July 1, 2016, will provide employees with annual wage increases of 55 cents, 45 cents, 40 cents, and 40 cents. In addition to the wage increases, the agreements also retain health care benefits until January 1, 2018; include additional sick, short-term disability, and annual leave benefits; and incorporate new protections for layoffs, transfers, and full-time employment. The agreements also require that the janitors be given clear instructions about the tasks they are to perform, which must be reasonable.
The Fight for $15 campaign has announced that it will hold its first national convention in Richmond, Va. from August 12-13. At the convention, participants are scheduled to vote on a plan to organize workers paid less than $15 an hour.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio issued an executive order requiring retailers with at least 10 employees and occupying at least 15,000 square feet in development projects in the city, to enter into labor peace agreements with unions under which the employers agree to remain neutral during union organizing drives and the unions agree to refrain from picketing, work stoppages, and boycotts. Because the order limits a covered retailer’s ability to provide any information to employees during an organizing campaign, it is expected to make it easier for unions to organize retail workers.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and AT&T have tentatively agreed to two collective bargaining agreements covering approximately 2,900 former DirecTV workers who joined AT&T when it acquired the satellite TV provider in 2005. One labor deal covers more than 1,600 technicians, warehouse workers, and clerical employees in AT&T’s field services group across 14 states. The other agreement covers around 1,300 call center employees in Idaho and Montana. The tentative agreements provide ratification bonuses of $1,000 for call center workers and $250 for field services employees, wage increases over the term of the agreements, layoff protections, grievance and arbitration provisions, health care, a 401(k) plan with a company match, and a pension plan.
Ending months of contentious negotiations and plans to strike, nurses in the Massachusetts nurses Association/National Nurses United ratified a three-year collective bargaining agreement covering around 3,300 nurses at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The contract provides for wage increases of 2 percent over the term for all nurses. In addition,nurses that have reached the tip of their current pay scale are eligible for an additional wage increase to total 2.5 percent over the term. The hospital will also elevate staffing levels and increase measures designed to improve hospital safety. The contract also rescinds earlier efforts to implement a two-tiered employee health insurance system.
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1995 members ratified a four-year collective bargaining agreement with Kroger Co. covering around 12,000 employees in 93 stores across Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The agreement, retroactive to May 17, 2016, provides for wage increases of $1.10 over the term, the provision of $1,000 bonuses to certain employees, and the consolidation of four wage zones and schedules into two in an effort to achieve pay parity. The agreement also prevents large cost increases for health benefits, as it calls for an increase of the workers’ weekly premium contributions by only $1.00 in 2018 and 2019, as well as maintained retirement benefit levels.
Canceling plans to strike, UNITE HERE Local 54 members ratified collective bargaining agreements covering around 3,500 cooks, housekeepers, bellmen, and servers at Caesars, Harrah’s, and Bally’s casinos in Atlantic City. While details of the agreements have not been released, the union has described the agreements as worth more than $44 million. While Local 54 ratified the agreements with Caesars Entertainment, approximately 1,000 Local 54 members are on strike at the Trump Taj Mahal, which failed to reach a new agreement by the July 1 deadline.