An analysis of data compiled by Bloomberg BNA through the first half of 2015 shows that the average first-year wage increase was 2.7 percent, compared with 1.9 percent in the first half of 2014. The analysis is based on 322 collective bargaining agreements covering more than 440,000 employees. The median first-year wage increase for settlements reported to date in 2015 was 2.2 percent, compared with 2 percent, and the weighted average was 3.5 percent, compared with 2.6 percent reported in 2014. When lump-sum payments were factored into wage calculations, the all-settlements average first-year increase to date in 2015 was 2.9 percent, compared with 2.3 percent reported in the year-ago period. Median and weighted average increases were 2.4 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, compared to the 2 and 3 percent increases reported in 2014. The all-settlements (excluding construction and state and local government) average increase was 3.6 percent, compared with 2.9 percent in 2014; the median was 2.8 percent, compared with 2.7 percent; and the weighted average was 4.5 percent, compared with last year’s 3.1 percent.    


According to Labour Canada statistics, collective bargaining agreements reached in May resulted in average wage increases of 1.6 percent. The May average is less than the average posted in the first quarter of 2015, and less than the average for 2014 as a whole. On a sectoral basis, the largest average wage growth was in wholesale and retail trade. The May figures are based on 11 collective bargaining agreements covering 31,890 employees.    


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R) and Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees agreed to extend a current collective bargaining agreement through September 30, 2015 . The parties have yet to reach some type of settlement, and Gov. Rauner vetoed a bill that would have mandated the state and the union to undergo mediation and then binding arbitration. Council 31 represents about 40,000 state employees.    


Members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (GE) and the International Union of Electronic Workers, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) ratified two four-year agreements with General Electric that cover 12,780 employees. The contracts include: a $2,000 ratification bonus; four lump-sum bonuses totaling $8,000; a 60 cent wage increase; improved pension benefits resulting in employee savings of $600 annually; and an increase in health care premiums. GE also agreed to expand the benefits of its educational loan program, increase the reimbursement maximum for adoptions costs, and not to make any proposals freezing pension benefits until the next bargaining phase. The agreements are retroactive to June and expire in June 2019.    


Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), representing about 1,200 nurses and health care workers, reached an agreement with CarePoint Health Hospitals in Jersey City. The three-year contract, ratified by 90 percent of HPAE members, calls for 6.5 percent wage increases, improved nurse scheduling, and caps on health insurance costs. The agreement follows tense negotiations, which included picketing and the filing of unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB.    


Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556 and Southwest Airlines Co. reached a four-year tentative collective bargaining agreement covering nearly 11,800 flight attendants. Details of the agreement are not being released pending ratification.    


The Animation Guild, representing more than 3,000 employees, reached an agreement in principle with a group of Hollywood producers. The three-year collective bargaining agreement calls for a stay in the health care plan, a 3 percent annual compounded wage hike, and a 10 percent increase in pension contributions. The agreement also requires that its terms be applied to new media employees who work on productions distributed over the Internet. The agreement is set to take effect August 1, 2015 and will expire on July 31, 2018.    


Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 47 ratified two three-year contracts covering 4,020 workers. The first agreement, which was ratified with 86 percent of the vote, covers compensation and working conditions and provides a 9.5 percent wage increase over three years, a $1,500 ratification bonus, and a $750 tool bonus. The second agreement, which was ratified by more than 89 percent of workers, covers general employee benefits. The contracts are retroactive to January 1, 2016 and expire December 31, 2017.    


By a 97-19 margin, members of TWU Local 100 ratified a collective bargaining agreement with Motivate International Inc., which runs bike share programs. The agreement covers 191 Citi Bike mechanics, technicians, drivers, call center agents, and balancers in New York City. The agreement provides: a 20 percent wage increase over four-and-a-half years, with an immediate 10 percent raise; a 30-day notice for work schedules; a six-member workers’ council; eight weeks of paid parental leave; eight paid holidays; five days of paid sick leave; a minimum of 10 days of paid leave; and health, dental, vision, 401(k) and life insurance plans. The agreement is the first of its kind for bike share workers and will be used as a template for workers in Washington D.C., Boston, and Chicago, who all are currently engaged in contract negotiations.    


Members of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia Local 38010, an affiliate of CWA, ratified, voting 259-12, two two-year contracts with the Philadelphia Media Network, which publishes the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily, and Philly.com. The two agreements, which cover about 500 workers, feature a 100 percent increase in severance pay, a freeze on employee health care contributions, the creation of a buyout program, and the end of annual required two-week furloughs, allowing workers to be paid 52 weeks per year. The agreement for Philly.com workers, which was approved by a 31-1 margin, also includes an annual wage hike for junior employees.    


Members of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and Mesa Airlines Inc. reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement covering nearly 1,100 pilots. Details of the agreement are not being released pending further union review.    


In an unanimous decision, SEIU Local 32BJ members ratified a four-year contract with the Washington Service Contractors Association. Under the agreement, workers will receive a $2 wage increase over four years, paid leave for vacations, holidays and illness, one paid day for training per year, and free access to the union’s legal services fund. Full-time workers will maintain employer-paid health care benefits, while part-time workers will receive life insurance and limited dental benefits—a reduction compared to the previous contract, which provided full dental and vision benefits. However, the agreement will create up to 700 full-time positions. The agreement, which covers 10,200 commercial office cleaners and 30 cleaning companies in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, takes effect in October and expires October 2019.    


In a near-unanimous vote, nurses at three Providence Health and Services hospitals in the Los Angeles areas, ratified new collective bargaining agreements. The agreements, which range in length from two-and-a-half to four years, cover 1,600 nurses and provide wage increases ranging from 9.5 percent to 22 percent. California Nurses Association-National Nurses United represented nurses.