According to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA, contracts negotiated in 2015 had an all-settlements average first-year wage increase of 2.6 percent, compared to 2.1 percent in 2014. This increase was higher than 2014 increases in all sectors other than manufacturing, where the average increase dropped 0.2 percent. Second- and third-year wage increases in 2015 averaged 2.4 percent, compared to 2014 increases of 2.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. The weighted average increase in agreements rose from 2.6 percent in 2014, to 3.6 percent in 2015. Overall, 13 percent of 2015 contracts called for a first-year wage freeze.
Additionally, according to Bloomberg BNA, January 2016 contract settlements averaged a 2.8 percent wage increase, compared with an average 2.7 percent wage increase for the comparable period in 2015. The median increase for settlements reported to date in 2016 was 2.5 percent, and the weighted average was 3.6 percent, compared with 2 percent and 5.3 percent respectively, in 2015.
Major agreements reached in Canada during November provide covered employees with an average base rate wage increase of 1.7 percent, 0.7 percent larger than the average wage increase in October, but slightly smaller than the 1.8 percent average in September.
SEIU members ratified a four-year contract with the Hartford County Cleaning Contractors Association in Connecticut, providing 2,100 office building cleaners with annual wage hikes, employer-paid health benefit protections, and expanded access to paid sick leave.
Following a 27-day unfair labor practice strike in December 2015, members of Teamsters Local 727 voted to ratify a new contract with Coca-Cola Refreshments, covering over 300 workers at bottling plants in Chicago. The three-year contract provides for annual wage increases and improvements in employee health and welfare benefits.
After two years of bargaining, members of the International Association of Machinists at Hawaiian Airlines Inc. voted to ratify tentative agreements covering more than 2,200 mechanics and clerical workers. The five-year contracts provide retroactive pay raises, enhance job security, and stabilize employee health care costs and participation in profit-sharing and incentive programs.
Although the existing contracts do not expire until October 2016, Boeing Co. and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace reached tentative agreements on a pair of six-year contract extensions covering more than 20,000 engineering employees. The tentative contracts continue existing agreements largely intact. The extensions include language related to how Boeing will cope with the movement of work, as well as phasing out the company’s defined benefit pension plan. The union is recommending ratification, and votes will be counted February 10.
Days before Northeastern University adjuncts were scheduled to stage a one-day strike in protest of slow contract negotiations, university administrators reached agreement with the SEIU on a tentative three-year labor contract covering about 930 adjunct faculty members. The agreement increases per-course pay, promotes greater consistency in faculty course loads, and establishes a professional development fund to promote research and civic engagement.
SEIU Local 32BJ members overwhelmingly ratified two contracts with the Realty Advisory Board Inc., which covers approximately 23,000 commercial building service workers in New York City. One agreement was reached between the local and contractors, and the second was reached between the local and commercial building owners and their third-party managing agents. Under the four-year contracts, workers will receive an average year wage increase of 2.69 percent, expanded leave benefits, and increased employer contributions to their health and pension funds.
Nearly 80 percent of the 12,500 members of United Airlines pilots’ union voted for ratification of a two-year contract extension. The deal is a step forward for new Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Munoz, who has made efforts to improve labor relations and boost United Airlines’ on-time rates. The proposed agreement raises pilots’ pay by 13 percent in 2016, and provides for a 3 percent raise in 2017 and a 2 percent raise in 2018.
The longstanding bargaining impasse between New Jersey Transit and its unions remains unsettled after a second arbitration board, named by President Obama, endorsed the more labor-friendly recommendation of the previous board. In a report, the three-member panel chose the final offer of the New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Coalition as the most “reasonable.” The proposed wage increases in the union coalition’s offer would total almost 18.4 percent compounded over 6.5 years retroactive to 2012. The union coalition’s offer would reportedly cost New Jersey Transit an estimated $183 million. Under federal law, the parties are subject to a final 60-day cooling off period, during which both sides are prohibited from engaging in strikes or lockouts.