New York University and a United Auto Workers (UAW) local reached a tentative agreement on graduate student representation. The deal includes wage hikes and health premium savings for graduate assistants. Under the terms of the tentative agreement, NYU graduate assistants will now earn $36,600 per academic year, a $1,000 increase from their salary last year. The university will also implement a tax­free child care fund to take effect January 1, 2016, and cover basic dental work for all graduate students, in addition to offering subsidies of up to 75 percent to cover family premiums.


United Airlines reached a cost­saving agreement with IAM represented aircraft fleet­service workers, avoiding the planned outsourcing of 800 of 1,100 aircraft fleet­service jobs. The agreement provides for reductions in wage rates of $2 per hour for the top base rate and a similar reduction in other pay grades, a suspension of United’s contributions to 401(k) plans, and allowing flexible scheduling, such as split shifts.


The United Steelworkers reached a tentative four­year contract with Royal Dutch Shell Plc. If implemented, the deal would end a nationwide strike that began on February 1, 2015. The proposed agreement includes annual wage increases, maintains the current ratio of the union’s health­care plan, and contains language addressing the union’s concern with worker fatigue.


The American Association of University Professors­American Federation of Teachers has reached a tentative four­year labor agreement with Rutgers University. The proposed agreement covers about 4,700 faculty members and teaching assistants. The tentative agreement provides that the university can only employ a “subject to” clause – limiting salary increases to university funding – if there is an emergency and financial documents support limiting raises. Other key provisions of the agreement include more flexible parental leave, better salary increases for professors who demonstrate sustained excellence, and a 2.5 percent increase for tenure­track assistant professors who meet certain criteria.


Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ members voted unanimously to ratify a four­year contract with the Bronx Realty Advisory Board covering more than 3,500 workers in 1,000 New York apartment buildings. The contract will provide each full­time employee with a wage increase of $10 per week in the first three years, and $14.75 per week in the fourth year. This agreement varies only slightly from the previous contract.


Members of an International Longshoremen’s Association at the Port of Baltimore negotiated a settlement with port management that was narrowly ratified. The settlement guarantees wage increases for approximately 1,000 longshoremen and deep sea cargo workers. An ILA trustee, who was appointed in December 2014 to replace local officers, helped negotiate the settlement. The settlement resolves a dispute spanning over 18 months between the two sides, and pardons a $3.9 million arbitration award the union was ordered to pay the port due to an unauthorized strike in October 2013. Based on the terms of the settlement, the union will only have to pay $1 million of the award, and only if it violates a no­strike clause of its master contract with the U.S. Maritime Alliance, which covers 14,500 workers on the East Coast and Gulf Coast ports, including Baltimore.


UNITE HERE and MGM Grand Las Vegas reached a tentative four­year contract covering approximately 4,000 casino workers. The agreement allows the workers to keep their health insurance and pension benefits unchanged, and has provisions that aim to bring laid­off workers back to work.


United Auto Workers leaders held a special convention on collective bargaining in Detroit. The stated purpose of the convention was to “bridge the gap” between wages of senior workers, newer employees, and contingent workers. The union officials voted on a resolution meant to serve as a blueprint for its negotiations with General Motors Co. and FCA US, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit. In addition to bridging wage gaps between union workers at all levels, other stated bargaining priorities include restoring outsourced jobs, protecting health­care and retirement benefits, and protecting workplace health and safety rights.


Data compiled through March 10, 2015 by Bloomberg BNA showed that the average first­year wage increase was 2.8 percent, one percent higher than the comparable period last year. Manufacturing agreements had an average increase of 1.8 percent, which is lower than the 2.3 percent reported in the comparable period last year. Outside of construction and state and local government contracts, the average all­settlement increase was 3.4 percent, higher than the 2 percent in 2014. State and local government agreements also increased, on average, 2.2 percent, which is higher than the 1.6 percent increase in 2014. Including lump­sum payments, the first year average increase was 4.1 percent, higher than the 3.1 percent in 2014. Outside of construction, the nonmanufacturing increase was 4.2 percent, higher than the 2.2 percent in 2014.


In Canada, large collective bargaining agreements reached in January 2015 provided covered employees with wage increases of 2.4 percent on average. This is up from the 1.5 percent average increases in November and December 2014 according to Labour Canada. The January figure is comprised of nine collective bargaining agreements, covering 16,860 employees over an average of 54.2 months. The sector with the largest growth was transportation with a 2.8 percent average increase, trailed by information and culture at 2.6 percent, public administration and education at 2.6 percent, and health and social services at 2.0 percent.