According to an analysis of data by Bloomberg BNA, of all settlements reported through June 1, 2015, the average first-year wage increase was 2.7 percent, compared to a 1.9 percent reported in the comparable period of 2014. The median first-year wage increase was 2.3 percent, compared to 2 percent in 2014. The weighted average was 3.8 percent, compared to 2.7 percent in 2014. When construction and state and local government contracts were excluded, the all-settlements average, median, and weighted average increased to 3.4 percent, 2.6 percent, and 4 percent respectively, compared to 2.2 percent, 2.6 percent, and 2.8 percent in 2014. When lump-sum payments are factored into wage calculations, the all-settlements numbers to date for 2015 increased to 3.1 percent, 2.5 percent, and 4.4 percent respectively, compared to 2.2 percent, 2 percent, and 3 percent in the comparable period of 2014.
According to Labour Canada, major Canadian collective bargaining agreements (involving 500 employees or more) settled in Canada during April 2015 produced average base rate wage increases of 1.9 percent, more than the 1.7 percent average in March 2015, but less than the 2.0 percent increase in February 2015. The April 2015 average of 1.9 percent was the same as the 1.9 percent average for the first quarter of 2015. The April figure was based on 16 collective agreements covering 35,760 employees, with durations averaging 55.1 months. On a sectoral basis, the top three greatest growth sectors in April were seen in utilities and transportation (each 2.7 percent) followed by public administration (2.1 percent).
Members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), representing more than 196,000 employees who work as clerks, mechanics, vehicle drivers, and custodians, will begin a mediation process with the United States Postal Service (USPS) that is expected to last approximately 60 days. Collective bargaining negotiations between APWU and USPS reached impasse on May 27.
The American Federation of Musicians Local 802 and 54 Below, a New York City Jazz Club, reached their first collective bargaining agreement covering hundreds of musicians that play at 54 Below each year. The agreement calls for compensation equal to area standards, contractual workplaces protections, and contributions to union pension and benefits funds.
Members of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) tentatively agreed to an amended collective bargaining agreement with Delta Air Lines. The tentative agreement, which would cover nearly 12,000 pilots, would provide an immediate 8 percent wage increase and increases totaling 12 percent over the three-year term. The tentative agreement also provides for an increase in employer contributions to the pilots’ defined contribution plan, higher entry pay, and higher per diem limits. A report from ALPA stated that the tentative agreement would give more than 12,000 pilots an 8 percent wage increase immediately and would increase wages by 12 percent over the next three years.
Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-346 ratified a four-year collective bargaining agreement with BP Plc, covering 330 employees at BP’s Toledo, Ohio refinery. The agreement, which ended a four-month strike, calls for annual wage increases of 2.5 percent in the first year, 3 percent in the second and third years, and 3.5 percent in the last year of the contract. The agreement also keeps in place an employer contribution of 80 percent of health care premiums as well as addressing union concerns regarding workplace safety.
Members of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild Local 32035, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America, ratified a two-year labor contract with the Washington Post after nearly eight months of negotiations. The agreement, covering 860 editorial and commercial workers, provides for a 4.5 percent salary increase over the term of the deal and bonuses upon ratification. The agreement also includes a freeze of pension benefits with a shift to a cash-balance plan, maintenance of the current severance plan, and continuance of health-care coverage for part-time staffers.
Members of Teamsters Local 120 ratified a three-year contract with Supervalu, covering 723 warehouse workers at Supervalu’s distribution facility in Hopkins, Minn. The agreement provides for wage increases each year of the agreement, protection of benefits, improved scheduling procedures, and will lead to new full-time positions.
Members of the USW ratified a five-year contract with Century Aluminum Company, ending a month-long lockout. Sixty-eight percent of workers voted in favor of the agreement, covering 560 workers in the company’s smelting plant in Hawesville, Ky. The agreement provides for annual wage increases of 2.5 percent in the first year and 2.75 percent each of the following four years. The agreement also includes a cost of living adjustment, a wage increase by $1.50 per hour for craft employees, maintenance of the current pension plan, and increases in healthcare premiums.
Ending a strike that began in February, members of the USW ratified a four-year collective bargaining agreement with Marathon Petroleum Company. The agreement, covering 1,200 workers at Marathon’s Galveston Bay refinery in Texas City, Texas, provides for annual wage increases of 2.5 percent in the first year, 3 percent in the second and third years, and 3.5 percent in the final year. The agreement also maintains an employer contribution of 80 percent of health-care premiums, as set forth in the parties’ previous agreement.
Members of the Committee of Interns and Residents, an affiliate of the SEIU, ratified a three-year collective bargaining agreement with Mount Sinai School of Medicine, which operates its residency program at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, N.Y. The agreement applies to 140 resident physicians (post graduate trainees). The agreement provides for wage increases of 1.5 percent in the first year, 2.5 percent in the second year, and 3 percent in the third year. The agreement also provides for ratification bonuses for the residents ($1,800 for first and second years and $2,400 for third years), educational expenses, the opportunity to apply for scholarships, resting rooms limited to four residents at a time, a detailed grievance procedure, and regular meetings between management and the union.
United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 892 tentatively agreed to a labor contract with Faurecia Interior Systems, a Ford Motor Company supplier. The tentative agreement, covering 1,400 hourly production workers, avoided a strike that the UAW called the day of the tentative agreement. Details of the tentative agreement have not been released.
Members of a coalition of unions tentatively agreed to a three-year collective bargaining agreement with Kaiser Permanente, a non-profit health care insurer/provider. The tentative agreement, covering 105,000 nurses, maintenance and service workers, lab technicians, and other employees represented by 28 unions, calls for annual wage increases of 2 percent and 4 percent depending on region and contract year. The agreement also creates standard retiree medical benefit plans, amends the current employee health plan, creates a standard tuition reimbursement program, and puts more money into trust funds to pay for employee training. The agreement is expected to be ratified at some point later this summer.
Members of the National Nurses United ratified a four-year contract with MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. The agreement, covering 1,900 registered nurses, provides for wage increases of about 11 percent over its term. The agreement also calls for top of the market wages, bonuses related to professional development, methods of communicating concerns to hospital officials, maintains health and retirement benefits, and reflects management’s commitment to provide a more permanent night shift.
Weeks before the UAW is set to begin negotiations for new collective bargaining agreements with the Detroit Big Three automotive companies – Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler – the UAW has announced its goal to restore pattern bargaining, under which one of the automakers would begin negotiations with the UAW and set a pattern for the other agreements. The UAW has not indicated which of the automakers with which it will seek to bargain a first contract. The UAW stated its goal of eliminating two-tier wages in favor of standardizing wages between veterans and newer workers. The UAW and Ford have also stated that health care costs will be a major issue in bargaining. The UAW’s labor contracts with the three automakers are set to expire September 15.
The New York State Nurses Association tentatively agreed to a four-year collective bargaining agreement with three New York hospital systems—New York Presbyterian Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospitals in Manhattan, and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. The tentative agreement, covering 8,500 nurses, provides for a 3 percent wage increase in each of the first, second, and fourth years and a 3.5 percent wage increase in the third year. The tentative agreement also provides that the three hospitals will collectively hire 330 more nurses over the term of the agreement and create professional practice committees to address staffing concerns.
Members of the International Union of Electronic Workers, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA), and members of the Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America ratified four-year national contracts with General Electric Co. The agreements, covering nearly 16,500 workers, increase compensation by over $15,500 over four years, which includes three cash payments totaling $8,000, a $2,000 ratification bonus, four cost-of-living increases regardless of inflation, and one general wage increase. The agreements also expand health care coverage, and preclude increases to health care contributions in 2016 and deductibles or co-insurance maximums during the term of the agreements. The agreements further call for up to 6.25 percent improvements in the guaranteed pension table and a one-time update that will raise the regular pension for eligible long-service union employees by an average of 15.9 percent.
Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) ratified two three-year collective bargaining agreements with AT&T, which were named the “Midwest Contract” and the “Legacy T Agreement.” The two agreements collectively cover 16,500 AT&T workers. The Midwest Contract covers about 12,000 workers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin and was ratified by 52 percent of membership. The Legacy T Agreement covers about 4,500 workers nationwide and was ratified by 77 percent. Both contracts are retroactive to April 12, 2015 and include annual wage increases of 3 percent in the first and third years and 2.25 percent in the second year. Both agreements also provide two options for health plans (one with low premiums and high deductibles and the other with high premiums and low deductibles) that new hires pay more than current employees for healthcare, and union employees will be allowed to participate in a previously-exclusive wellness program.
The Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia, an affiliate of CWA, tentatively agreed to a two-year collective bargaining agreement with Philadelphia Media Network, which publishes the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com. The tentative agreement, covering 435 editorial, sales, and marketing workers provides that employees will be paid 52 weeks a year without a required furlough and the current healthcare plan will stay intact for at least the first year. The tentative agreement would also include a two-step layoff plan where senior employees would be offered buyouts and a segment of employees labeled “essential” would be prevented from being laid off.