• FedEx Express and the Air Line Pilots Association settled a 24-month labor contract that includes pay increases for 4,500 pilots in 2011 and 2012. Vacation and retirement benefits remain unchanged. The parties stated that they opted for a short-term agreement given uncertainty as to proposed regulatory changes that may affect various issues that the parties would likely otherwise be unable to change if the were bound by a longer term agreement.
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 and JBS beef processing settled a three-year contract that provides for wage increases (most will receive an increase of $1/hr effective immediately and some will receive additional increases of up to $3/hr to $5/hr over the course of the contract), increased paid vacation, and a reduction in health care premiums and employee out of pocket costs. The UFCW won a union election at the plant in 2010.
  • Approximately 17,000 nurses and nurse practitioners in California will receiving a four percent wage increase, additional lump sums payments each year, a defined benefit pension plan, and fully employer-paid retiree health care under a newly ratified contract with Kaiser Permanente. The new agreement provides the employees a greatly expanded role in staffing and scheduling issues.
  • The Teamsters and Southwest Airlines reached agreement on a contract that provides employees wage increases up to 13.5 percent and increases SWA´s contribution to their 401(k) plans from 7.3 to 9.3 percent. Additional terms concern work rule changes and job protection terms.
  • The SEIU reached a three year contract with HealthPartners that covers 1,500 nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians, nurse practitioners, and physicians´ assistants who work at HealthPartners´ 27 Minneapolis–St. Paul area clinics. Highlights of the agreement include maintenance of no cost health insurance for individuals and only a $70 monthly premium for family coverage. Wages will increase one percent twice a year during the term of the agreement, and an incentive pay system was implemented tied to patient satisfaction surveys.
  • Airline pilots working for Pinnacle Airlines Inc., Colgan Air Inc., and Mesaba Aviation Inc. ratified a five-year labor agreement. The three airlines are owned by parent company Pinnacle Airlines Corp. and the 3,000 pilots covered by the agreement are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association. Over the course of the contract, half of the covered pilots will receive wage increases of between two and three percent for each year of the contract. This means that some pilots stand to receive a 15 percent wage increase over term.
  • IBEW Local No. 1049 and National Grid utility, based on Long Island, New York, settled a four-year contract that provides for up to a 10 percent wage increase over term and increased shift differential pay for the 2,700 employees of the company. The agreement shifts an increasing share of health care costs to employees, though, and medical and dental premiums will increase each year of the contract.
  • International Association of Machinists represented flight attendants ratified a 20–month contract with Continental Airlines. Under the short–term contract, the 9,300 flight attendants will receive a series of pay increases, as well as incentive pay when they reach a certain number of flight hours. The contract also provides for profit-sharing, 401(k) matching, and an increase in per diem hourly rates.
  • Analysis of bargaining data compiled by BNA through February 21 for all settlements showed an increase of 0.1 percent in the average first-year wage increase from the comparable period of 2010. The data showed that the average first-year wage increase was 1.7 percent, compared with 1.6 percent in 2010. The median first-year wage increase for settlements reported to date in 2011 was 1.5 percent, the same figure that was reported in 2010. When lump-sum payments were factored into wage calculations, the all-settlements average first-year wage increase to date in 2011 was 2 percent, compared with 1.8 percent in the comparable period of 2010.