An analysis of data compiled by Bloomberg BNA through March 20, 2017 showed that the average first-year wage increase for all settlements was 2.6 percent, down from the 2.7 percent average increase that was reported for the same year-to-date period in 2016. The median first-year wage increase for settlements reported to date in 2017 was 2.4 percent, and the weighted average was 2.5 percent, both the same as last year.     

Data from a Bloomberg BNA survey conducted in October and November 2016 among 142 eligible employers that have collective bargaining agreements expiring in 2017 shows that employers are confident they will achieve their bargaining goals. According to the report, most employers will seek to negotiate three-year contracts, and the bargaining climate this year remains “tough” for labor unions overall. The study shows that this year's bargaining plans suggest a greater willingness among employers to boost pay, but wage increases will likely be relatively modest. Additionally, health care and insurance benefits will remain a leading target for concessions by employers.     

AT&T and the CWA reached a tentative agreement on a four-year agreement covering 20,000 wireline workers across five states: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.  The agreement calls for wage increases and a robust health care package, including two weeks of paid parental leave. The agreement would also return approximately 3,000 offshore, call center jobs to the United States. If ratified by April 7, employees will get a $1,000 bonus.     

Nurses at 28 hospitals and clinics in Nevada and California ratified two separate four-year term bargaining agreements with Dignity Health. The bargaining agreements cover 13,000 nurses at three hospitals in Nevada and 25 medical facilities and clinics in California. The contract provides for annual wage increases totaling at least 12 percent.      

The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians reached a four-year tentative agreement with ABC Inc. The proposal covers 2,700 workers, including broadcast technicians, telecommunications specialists, news writers, producers, desk assistants, publicists, and plant maintenance personnel, at ABC Network and ABC Sports operations at four television stations in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco. The agreement includes a total wage increase of 9 percent over term for all covered workers and sick leave for “daily hire” workers.      

Adjunct faculty at the California College of the Arts ratified their first contract with the university. The contract will take effect July 1 and covers 500 adjuncts at the San Francisco and Oakland campuses. The agreement includes a 17 percent wage increase over three years, health benefits, and guaranteed one- or two-year teaching appointments. The workers are represented by SEIU Local 1021.     

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union members ratified two contracts covering 15,000 Kroger Co. employees at 103 retail food stores in southeastern Michigan. The four-year agreements provide annual wage increases, and reclassification of some 1,300 part-time workers to full-time status.      

After a five-month lockout, United Steelworkers Local 816 workers at Texada Quarrying in Texas are heading back to work in the limestone mine. Union members narrowly voted to ratify a four-year agreement that maintains seniority rights and secures wage and benefit increases. The agreement also includes a back-to-work protocol to help striking workers integrate back into their jobs.     

After nearly two years of labor negotiations, pilots at Hawaiian Airlines Inc. approved a new 63-month contract that calls for immediate wage increases for some 670 crew members. By the end of the term of the agreement, pay rates will have increased 36-86 percent depending on a pilot’s crew assignment, years of service, and aircraft type.     

Agreements reached at two New York-based private colleges will provide faculty with pay increases and more predictable teaching assignments. Ithaca College reached an agreement with 250 contingent faculty represented by SEIU Local 2000. The agreement followed a year of bargaining and came just in time to avoid a scheduled strike. Non-tenured faculty at Barnard College, represented by the United Auto Workers, voted 89-7 for contract ratification.   

Teamsters ratified a five-year multiemployer collective bargaining agreement with car transporters in Illinois, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The national agreement and general monetary proposal covers approximately 5,000 car-haul drivers for Cassens Transport Co., based in Edwardsville, Ill.; Jack Cooper Transport Co. Inc., in Kansas City, Mo.; and Active USA, in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. Several other smaller companies also are covered by the contract. The agreement is effective retroactive to September 1, 2015 and expires May 31, 2021. Under the terms of the agreement, covered workers will receive a $1,600 “back-pay settlement” for their work between the previous contract’s expiration and the new one taking effect, changes to a provision regarding job security, and employer contributions toward workers’ health, welfare, and pension benefits.