Based on data released by Bloomberg Law through August 26, the first-year average increases across all industries remained steady at 3.1 percent, trending higher than 2017’s average of 2.6 percent. Through August 12, the average manufacturing industry contract averaged 2.9 percent, down from 3.1 percent through the same period last year. The weighted average, which takes in account the number of workers covered under each contract, rose in the manufacturing sector from 2.4 percent to 2.7 percent.

250 employees at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, ratified a five-year labor contract that increases wages by 3 percent in the first three years and 3.5 percent in 2021 and 2022 and preserves health care benefits. The new contract also adjusts tuition benefits and paid family leave benefits. Union stewards are also permitted to meet with new employees and discuss the union during orientation.

500 Trane Co. employees represented by the International Association of Machinists ratified a four-year contract, ending a four-day strike in La Crosse, Wisc. 

2,400 nurses and other health professionals at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, represented by United Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5098, approved a five-year labor contract, which offers workers raises of at least 2.75 percent, followed by 2.5 percent hikes in 2019 and 2020 and another 2.75 percent in 2022. The agreement also maintains existing retirement benefits and commits to no layoffs during the duration of the contract. This comes after months of negotiations and a four-day work stoppage in July. 

Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) ratified a three-year labor agreement with ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox TV, providing an overall 8.7 percent wage increase over term. The contract seeks to curb harassment by limiting private auditions and meetings. SAG-AFTRA also has guidelines for private auditions in its code of conduct on sexual harassment. 

Brandeis University agreed to a three-year labor contract with about 200 graduate teaching assistants, who joined the Service Employees International Union Local 509 in May 2017. The tentative contract would raise the per-course pay to $5,000 from the current $3,350 for teaching fellows and teaching assistants would receive $3,720 per course. The contract also places weekly hour caps. The ratification vote is scheduled for September and if ratified, will be the second successful labor agreement at a private university.