According to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA, the average first-year wage increase for contracts settled through November 2, 2015 was 2.6 percent, compared to 2 percent for the same period the prior year. Year-to-date increases in the manufacturing industry averaged 2.3 percent, down from 2.7 percent in the comparable period in 2014. First-year wage increases in the nonmanufacturing industry rose from 2.3 percent last year, to an average of 3.3 percent this year.
Labour Canada reported that major agreements (those with 500 or more employees) in Canada for the third quarter of 2015 included an average base rate wage increase of 1.4 percent, down from the average of 1.6 in the second quarter. There were 33 collective agreements in Canada for the second quarter, covering 82,640 employees and durations averaged 52.4 months. Twelve agreements in the private sector provided for wage increases averaging 1.5 percent, while the public sector agreements provided for wage increases averaging 1.4 percent. The largest wage growth in the third quarter occurred in manufacturing, with 2.9 percent growth, with transportation and information and culture both following with 2.0 percent increases.
UAW members voted to ratify new contracts with Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. In a narrow victory, Ford's U.S. union workers voted to accept a four-year contract that included across-the-board raises, $9 billion in factory investments and $10,000 in ratification bonuses per member. The deal was ratified by 51 percent of production workers and 52 percent of skilled-trades workers. The UAW-Ford agreement, which is patterned on deals at Fiat Chrysler and GM, provides a path for newer workers to climb to senior wages of about $29 an hour over an eight-year period. Veteran workers will receive 3 percent pay increases in the first and third years of the contract, and 4 percent lump-sum payments in the second and fourth years. Additionally, the Ford agreement reportedly agreement includes wage increases of $10,633, plus a variety of bonuses and guaranteed payouts that would boost the average production worker’s pay by $32,513 over the life of the contract while skilled-trades workers’ total compensation will grow an average of $35,098 over four years. In exchange, Ford won expansive new rights to outsource production to Mexico and other lower wage countries, among other things.
The General Motor’s–UAW agreement was ratified after revising work rules to appease skilled-trades employees. The majority of the UAW members voted in favor of the of the agreement but the skilled-trades group—which includes employees such as plumbers, electricians and millwrights—rejected it. Union leaders met with GM negotiators, who agreed to changes that protect core trades classifications and seniority rights. The union's council of local leaders concluded that the skilled-trades issues were addressed and gave it their unanimous support. The contract includes raises, bonuses and improved benefits. Labor costs per vehicle are expected to remain stable, as the contract allows GM to use more temporary workers.
UFCW Local 8–Golden State, reached a tentative four-year agreement with Raley’s, a grocery chain, in West Sacramento, Calif. The agreement will cover between 4,000–5,000 workers, reports vary on the actual number of employees covered. The union is urging a yes vote on the proposed agreement, which is being mailed to Local 8 members. Contract terms are not yet available.
National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) represent 1,400 mental health workers in Northern California reaching a tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente after five years of strikes and negotiations. The three-year agreement provides for wage increases—six percent in the first year, followed by 4.5 percent increases in each of the following two years. This is the first agreement negotiated for the mental health employees, including psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists, since they elected union representation in 2010. The agreement averted a strike on patient care issues which was set to begin on November 16. The agreement would establish a ratio of one new patient for every four existing patients a clinician sees. The ratification vote will take place over the next several weeks. Negotiations are still ongoing for 1,500 mental health workers in Southern California who are also represented by NUHW.
SEIU members settled a tentative agreement with iCare Management LLC and Genesis HealthCare, which operate 20 nursing homes in Connecticut. The two-year contract would raise the wages of the lowest-paid nursing home workers to $15 per hour and other workers’ wages by 3 percent. A spokeswoman for Genesis HealthCare stated that the pay raises are “contingent upon adequate funding from the State of Connecticut,” whose legislature budgeted $26 million for nursing home operations. To avert a strike, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy intervened in the dispute between the parties.
United Continental Holdings Inc. and its pilots’ union reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension, which runs through January 2017. Although specifics of the proposed deal have not been officially released, a letter from the chief of the pilots’ union asserts that pilots can expect industry leading compensation. Reports leaked to the media suggest that new terms would raise pilots’ salaries 13 percent in 2016, 3 percent in 2017, and 2 percent in 2018.
Members of a joint union association, CWA-IBT, ratified a five-year contract with American Airlines covering 14,500 passenger service and reservation employees. The accord won approval by a vote of 6,993 to 2,522, (73 to 27 percent). The agreement boosts wages and allows the carrier to merge the workforce under the same set of rules. The contract will provide an immediate wage increase averaging 30 percent and raises of 2 percent in each of the next two years and 2.5 percent in the fourth and fifth years. Approval of the deal also will provide the protection of a labor contract for pre-merger American Airlines employees, who previously were unrepresented. The association and American agreed to negotiate a new health care plan by June 1, 2016.
Adjunct faculty at Point Park University in Pittsburgh ratified their first labor contract since being organized by the United Steelworkers in June 2014. The 3.5 year agreement covers about 350 faculty members and provides grievance and arbitration procedures, in addition to a 23 percent wage increase over the course of the contract, as well as payments to instructors whose classes are unexpectedly canceled on short notice.
Members of the SEIU Local 32BJ ratified two separate four-year collective bargaining agreements with the Managers, Owners and Contractors Association in Pittsburgh that cover about 1,200 commercial office building cleaners, 800 in downtown and 400 in suburban Pittsburgh. The employees covered by both contracts work as office cleaners, freight operators, laborers, window washers, and utilities/grounds workers. Both contracts took effect retroactive to November 1. In addition to wage increases under both contracts, the employees in downtown Pittsburgh will for the first time receive six days of paid sick leave, pursuant to the city’s new paid sick leave ordinance. Under both contracts, employees enrolled in single-only health insurance coverage will continue to not pay a premium, but both contracts include increases in family coverage health-insurance premiums.
Members of the International Association of Machinists ratified a seven-year labor contract, effective February 1, 2016, covering 975 workers at the Harley-Davidson motorcycle assembly plant in York, Pa. The deal includes annual wage increases and maintains the company’s flexible manufacturing model, which allows factories to fluctuate production based on demand and use “casual workers” on an as-needed basis.
The Teamsters ratified its first collective bargaining agreement with Compass Transportation Inc., which provides employee shuttle services to various companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Apple Inc., Yahoo Inc., eBay Inc., Genentech Inc., Zynga Inc., Evernote Corp. and Amtra. The agreement has s 3 year term and covers 200 drivers. The agreement provides for immediate wage increases to at least $24 per hour, and wage increases of 75 cents per hour in the second and third years of the agreement. Additionally, Compass will pay 70 percent of health insurance premiums and the employees pay 30 percent.