According to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA, the average first-year wage increase for contracts settled through the first three quarters of 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 2.6 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 3.4 percent this year.    


According to Labour Canada, six collective bargaining agreements were reached in Canada in August 2015 covering approximately 13,600 employees. Five of those agreements covered employees in the public sector. The length of the agreements averaged 48.3 months. Base rate wage increases averaged 1.3 percent, down from the rates in May, June, and July. There were no major work stoppages during August.    


The Atomic Trades Labor Council, part of the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, and UT-Battelle agreed to a five-year labor contract covering 600 workers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., a multi-program research and developmental facility. Details of the proposed labor contract are currently unavailable.    


The UAW and General Motors Co. agreed to a tentative four-year contract covering nearly 50,000 workers. The contract gives senior workers two 3 percent wage increases during the contract term and two lump sum payments of 4 percent of annual pay. It also brings second-tier workers’ wages closer to those of traditional autoworkers. Senior- and second-tier workers get full vision and dental coverage with no co-insurance or deductible and workers who retire between February 1 and May 1 could be eligible for $60,000.    


Multiple bargaining units consisting of 4,200 American Red Cross employees in 24 states represented by the American Federation of Teachers; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Communication Workers of America; SEIU; UAW; UFCW; and United Steelworkers ratified a three-year labor agreement with the American Red Cross. The employees work as nurses, drivers, phlebotomists, and donor representatives. The agreement took effect October 3, 2015, and expires September 30, 2018, and it provides for wage increases, improved health insurance benefits, standardizes employee paid-time-off benefits, improves premium pay, and provides for a $1,000 ratification bonus for all full-time employees.    


Deere & Co. and the UAW settled a new six-year bargaining contract covering 10,000 UAW members at 12 Deere & Co. facilities in Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas. Highlights of the agreement include a $3,500 signing bonus, guarantee of no plant closings during the term, no big increases in health insurance premiums and annual wage increases. The new agreement was ratified by a wide margin.    


Members of the Pantex Metal Trades Council (which includes 10 unions) ratified a four-year contract with a Pantex nuclear weapons maintenance plant near Amarillo, Texas, ending a 37-day strike. The contract covers 1,200 workers and includes an annual wage increase of 2 percent and improved medical coverage for members.    


Members of the UAW and Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. reached a plant closure agreement covering 1,000 production and maintenance employees who are members of UAW Local 2488 at Mitsubishi’s Normal, Ill. plant, which is set to close its doors next month. The contract maintains most of the terms of the previous collective bargaining agreement (including hourly wages at $24 for production associates and $28.50 for skilled workers), but also includes severance packages and a continuation of benefits for a period of time for all members.    


Members of the UFCW ratified a three-year contract with Rite Aid Corp. covering 6,000 retail clerks, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians in Southern California. The contract includes annual hourly wage increases as well as improved health and pension benefits.    


Members of UFCW also ratified a four-year collective bargaining agreement with Rite Aid Corp. covering approximately 2,500 hourly pharmacy technicians, retail clerks, pharmacists, and shift supervisors in Northern California. The collective bargaining agreement provides substantial annual wage increases over the four-year term (rather increases based on “progression steps,” which was the prior policy), ratification bonuses of $500 for full-time retail clerks and pharmacists who have been with the company more than six years ($250 for part-time retail clerks and pharmacists), and protects the employees’ health benefit funds.    


Members of the UFCW ratified a new three-year contract (through April 2018) with Macy’s Inc. covering approximately 1,200 workers at seven stores in the Seattle, Wash. area. The contract provides for retroactive wage increases (35 cents retroactive to May 2015; 20 cents effective May 29, 2016; 25 cents effective November 27, 2016; and 45 cents in 2017); retirement plan changes; revised health care benefits (employees working 30 or more hours are eligible for health care benefits); and, changes to Macy’s holiday policy.    


Security guards represented by SEIU Local 32BJ employed by Allied Barton Security Services, Chesley Brown, G4S, Securitas, International Investigative Services, ISS, SOS, St. Moritz Security Services, and Universal Protective Services at Pittsburgh office buildings larger than 100,000 square feet ratified a three-year agreement covering 1,000 workers. The terms of the agreement include: a minimum wage increase to $11.75 per hour (70 cents per hour in the first year; 65 cents per hour in the second year; and 60 cents per hour in the third year), employer-paid health care plan premiums, job protection during contractor transition, a grievance procedure, and job training.    


Transport Workers Union members ratified a five-year contract with Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C. covering 75 Bikeshare workers. Under the contract, expiring in January 2020, employees will receive a 25 cent wage increase every six months and a workers’ council will meet regularly with management to provide employees a voice on the job.    


SEIU Local 32BJ members ratified a four-year agreement with Building Operators Labor Relations Inc., a division of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Philadelphia, covering approximately 2,800 commercial office cleaners who work at 168 office buildings and facilities in Philadelphia. The contract allows the union members to maintain their health care and pension benefits with no changes. It also provides wage increases of $1.70 over the term of the agreement.    


UFCW Local 8–Golden State members ratified a four-year labor agreement covering 130 Safeway stores and a four-year agreement with several Vons stores. The agreements cover 9,000 employees at Safeway and Vons supermarkets in central and northern California. The agreements include wage increases, bonuses, and health care and pension benefits.    


The CWA reached a tentative four-year collective bargaining agreement with AT&T Inc. covering 24,000 workers in the Southeast United States. Terms include: a weekly cap on overtime, wage increases (3 percent in the first two years, 2.25 percent in the third year, and 2.5 percent in the fourth year), an increase in pension bands (1 percent), and an increase in health care insurance cost share (1.5 percent in the first year and 1 percent in the second through fourth years).    


FedEx Corp. and members of the Air Line Pilots Association ratified a six-year contract covering 4,000 FedEx pilots. Pilots will receive compensation gains worth $1.42 million dollars over the life of the contract, including pay increases of 10 percent initially and slightly more than 3 percent a year through 2021, plus one-time signing bonuses worth $22,000 to $39,000 per pilot.    


Southern California grocery chains, Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons, ratified a five-year contract with the Teamsters covering 2,000 drivers, warehouse workers, and dairy and manufacturing employees. The contract provides employees with increased wages and health care benefits, as well as retirement security.    


School bus contractor, First Student, settled a five-year collective bargaining agreement with members of the Teamsters covering 20,000 workers across the country. The agreement provides for “improved safety and training, quicker turn-around for employees returning to work because of an injury or health reasons, an improved defined progressive disciplinary system, and a health care committee with binding authority to explore future health options for employees.” The agreement is intended to serve as a framework for local unions to negotiate wages and other economic terms.    


Members of the IAM ratified a three-year contract with Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz. covering 1,300 workers. Terms of the agreement include: wage increases for workers (2.5 percent in 2015, 2.75 percent in 2016, and 3 percent in 2017); no cap on health-care premium contributions; no co-payments for health-care services (but higher deductibles); a ratification bonus of $750; $500 payments every January during the term of the agreement; and health savings account plans.    


After three years of negotiations, UNITE HERE Local 5 ratified a three-year collective bargaining agreement with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii covering 1,900 housekeepers, medical assistants, transporters, lab assistants, receptionists, and surgical technicians at Kaiser facilities on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, and Maui. The agreement includes wage increases of 9.5 percent over the term of the agreement, free retiree medical care, a lump sum bonus based on compensable wages earned, no monthly medical premiums, and no increase in medical co-payments. The agreement also preserves employee pension benefits.    


Members of the Teamsters ratified a three-year collective bargaining agreement with Republic Airways Holdings Inc. covering 2,100 pilots working at Republic Airways Holdings Inc. subsidiaries Republic Airlines and Shuttle America averting Republic Airways Holdings Inc. from going bankrupt. The agreement increases pilot wages to those at the top of the regional industry. Pilots will also receive significant ratification bonuses up to $10,000 and an bonus after one year of the agreement’s term ($10,000 for pilots and $5,000 for co-pilots).