• Bloomberg BNA conducted an analysis of data compiled for all settlements through March 18. Among other findings, BNA found that the average first-year wage increase was 2.1 percent, compared with 1.7 percent in the comparable period of 2012. The median first-year wage increase was 2 percent, compared with 1.9 percent in 2012, and the weighted average was 1.61 percent, compared with 2.8 percent in 2012.
  • Bloomberg BNA conducted an analysis of 914 collective bargaining agreements covering more than 1.2 million workers and found that lump-sum payment provisions (in lieu of general wage increases) are on the rise. In 2012, lump-sum payment provisions were contained in 18 percent of all non-construction contracts, compared to 15 percent in 2011. The 2012 percentage is still far below the high of 36 percent in 1988. The most common form was a flat-dollar amount found in 80 percent of contracts with a lump sum. The 2012 flat-sum average lump sum was $1,429 in the first year, $681 in the second year, and $554 in the third year.
  • Members of five United Food and Commercial Workers (“UFCW”) locals ratified separate three-year agreements with Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. The agreements cover approximately 40,000 workers at 250 retail food stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The agreements contain wage increases for full-time workers with more than 24 months of service and a health care plan that will be compliant with the Affordable Care Act.
  • Security guards belonging to the SEIU ratified a three-year contract with seven security firms. The contract, which covers approximately 2,000 workers in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area, was announced and ratified after a one-day strike in February. The contract raises wages by $1.20 an hour, guarantees more full-time work, places limits on subcontracting, and increases maximum sick leave to three days per year for more experienced employees.
  • Members of the UFCW ratified a one-year contract covering 10,200 employees in the Minneapolis area working for various grocery chains, including Cub Foods, Rainbow Foods, Lunds, Byerly’s, Kowalski’s, and several smaller markets. The agreement extends previous contract provisions for one year in order to get past the implementation period of the Affordable Care Act, which poses unknown costs to the employers. The contract has a wage progression scale, which increases wages for employees who have not reached the top step. The contract also provides employees health care benefits without premium contributions.
  • On March 14, the United Steelworkers (“USW”) Local Union No. 888 ratified an agreement with Newport News Shipbuilding that will cover approximately 11,000 painters, welders and pipefitters. The one-year agreement provides wage increases of $3 per hour, a reduction in health care premiums of 15 percent, and increases in pensions.
  • AT&T Mobility has reached a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America (“CWA”). The agreement, which covers more than 20,000 employees across the country for four years, includes yearly wage increases, maintains pensions for all employees, and makes no changes to retirement savings plans. Other benefits, including health care benefits, will be bargained separately. The tentative agreement is subject to ratification by the membership.
  • Unions representing school faculty and staff at two Michigan universities have reached bargaining agreements. The American Association of University Professors–American Federation of Teachers Local 675 and Wayne State University ratified an eight-year contract covering 1,950 faculty and staff members. The contract includes terms for tenure, job security, and “academic freedom,” and establishes committees regarding technology and health care benefits. Similarly, the Lecturers’ Employee Organization and the University of Michigan have tentatively reached a five-year contract covering approximately 1,500 non-tenure-track instructors. This second agreement covers compensation and other provisions of employment. Once the agreement is ratified, the details of the contract will be released. Meanwhile, Republicans in Michigan’s legislature are objecting to both agreements claiming they violate the intent of a new state law banning union security clauses.
  • Hyatt Hotels reached five-year agreements with UNITE-HERE Local 23, covering 370 employees in Colorado, 150 employees in Philadelphia and 210 employees in San Diego. The parties have not released the details of the agreements, but report that they include wage increases and higher company contributions to pensions and health care.
  • Members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace ratified a contract offer by Boeing Co. that covers 15,471 engineers for four years. The contract extends most terms of the previous contract, including a 5 percent boost to the salary pool and level employee costs for medical coverage. The main point of contention during negotiations was the fact that the contract eliminated the defined benefit pension in favor of a 401(k) for employees hired after March 1, 2013. Ratification follows the union’s rejection of an identical contract and authorization of a strike, which was ultimately averted.
  • After two years of negotiations, the United Transportation Union and Amtrak reached a tentative agreement covering 2,300 conductors, assistant conductors, yardmasters, and dining car stewards. The contract provides significant retroactive back pay to the employees. The parties declined to provide additional details, and the ratification vote is scheduled to be completed by April 10.
  • Titan International Inc. and members of USW Locals 890, 164, and 745 ratified separate collective bargaining agreements for 1,500 employees located in Ohio, Iowa, and Illinois. The contracts took affect immediately and include increases in wages of 6 percent over their terms, an increase from $1.25 to $1.85 per contributory hour for pension benefits, and lower health insurance costs for workers at several manufacturing plants. The main contention during bargaining concerned forced overtime. The new contract limits the number of mandatory overtime hours that can be scheduled, provides more time off between shifts, and provides greater predictability for Saturday work.
  • Members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers–California Nurses Association ratified their first contract with Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center for hospitals in San Francisco. The contract covers three hospitals and 750 service workers and licensed vocations nurses. Significantly, the agreement includes an organizing agreement that will be followed if the union attempts to organize non-union employees at the hospital. Employees will also receive a 2 percent wage increase. Members of the United Healthcare Workers West will also end up receiving more favorable terms in a “me too” contract at a fourth California Pacific Medical Center hospital.
  • Members of UNITE HERE Local 2, ratified a contract with Hilton San Francisco. The five-year agreement was ratified early, almost five months before the current contract expires. The contract allows employees to determine the allocation of annual increases of wages and benefits. Employees will meet each year to determine how to divide a total of $6.82 in increases among heath, pension, and wages. The contract also ensures that employees and their families and retirees continue to receive fully-paid health care. Finally, the contract tackles food and beverage costs by forming a joint food and beverage committee.
  • The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians affiliate of the CWA and ABC Inc. have reached a tentative four-year agreement. The agreement was reached after more than two years of bargaining and covers approximately 2,500 staff and daily hire employees, including broadcast technicians, telecommunications specialists, news-writers, producers, desk assistants, publicists, and plan maintenance personnel. The proposed contract includes wage increases totaling 9 percent over the next four years and requires early negotiations for the next agreement to begin by October 1, 2016.
  • Members of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 223 ratified a four-year contract with DTE Energy Co. that covers 3,600 employees in Michigan. The contract was ratified after approximately two months of bargaining. Under the new agreement, employees will receive annual wage increases totaling 12 percent over the contract term, signing bonuses, no increases in employee health care contributions, increased company matches on 401(k) accounts, and a new two-tier pension for new hires.
  • AT&T Inc. and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers System Council T-3 reached a tentative agreement for a four-year contract covering 6,500 wireline employees in Illinois and Indiana. The proposed contract terms include wage increases totaling 10.5 percent over the term of the contract, a ratification bonus of $1,000, an increase in pension bands of 4 percent, increased employee contributions to health care premiums, and an increase in job security.