• The average first-year wage increase in contract settlements reached during all of 2009 was 2.3 percent, compared with 3.6 percent reported in 2008, according to a BNA analysis of contract data. The median first-year increase for 2009 settlements was 2.5 percent, compared with 3.3 percent in 2008, and the weighted average was 2.8 percent, compared with 3.6 percent.
  •  Members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee ratified a four-year contract covering 2,000 registered nurses at four Daughters of Charity hospitals in Los Angeles and the San Francisco bay area in voting that took place Nov. 23-25. The contract provides a 20 percent wage increase over term, did not increase health care premium contributions, and enhances retirement benefits.
  • Harley-Davidson announced that it will not close its facility in York, Pa. after members of the International Association of Machinists voted to ratify a seven-year contract covering 1,900 workers with the company. The agreement calls for a restructuring of Harley-Davidson’s two York-area plants into a single plant that will employ 1,000 workers by 2012, with those workers targeted for layoff receiving severance pay and a $10,000 bonus or the option to decline the bonus and remain eligible for recall.
  • Members of various unions representing 9,900 workers at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding facilities in Mississippi and Louisiana ratified a two-year extension of their current contract on Dec. 1, which was set to expire in March 2010. The extension provides for an hourly wage increase of $1.10 over term, a ratification bonus of $1,000, and maintains the same employee share of monthly health care premiums.
  • Service Employees International Union members ratified a four-year agreement with four Massachusetts hospitals operated by Caritas Christi Health Care covering nearly 4,000 workers. The contract establishes a new minimum “living wage” of $12.62, provides an 11 percent wage increase over term, and provides a new low-cost health plan with no deductible or co-payments.
  • Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99 ratified a three-year contract covering 24,500 supermarket employees in Arizona at Fry’s Food & Drug Stores, Smith’s Food & Drug Centers, and Safeway, Inc. The new contracts increase hourly wages $0.50 over term, provide ratification bonuses of $500 to full-time employees, and do not require contributions to health care premiums.
  • Communications Workers of America District 3 announced a tentative three-year contract with AT&T Southeast Region that would cover 35,000 employees in nine states. The tentative contract would increase wages 8.75 percent over term, increase pension benefits 6 percent over term, and require employees to contribute to their health care premiums beginning in 2011.
  • Members of the International Association of Machinists ratified a two-year contract extension covering 625 ramp service and stores agents, but in a separate vote, rejected a similar two-year contract extension covering 2,800 clerical, office, and passenger service employees. Both tentative agreements provided for 1.5 percent increases to base wages in both years of the extension and eliminated the current profit-sharing plan, shifting the workers to a company-wide performance-based pay plan. Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 310 ratified a three-year contract with Wisconsin Public Service Corp. covering 950 workers at the gas and electric utility’s Green Bay, Wis. location. The contract raises wages 7.5 percent over the term and maintains health insurance without an employee contribution to the premium.
  • The Communications Workers of America District 6 reached a tentative four-year agreement with AT&T Advertising Solutions Southwest Region covering 1,650 workers. The tentative contract provides workers with wage increases of 11.25 percent over the term and expanded pension benefits, but requires employees to contribute to their health care premiums for the first time.
  • Major collective bargaining agreements reached in Canada during October produced average annual base rate wage increases of 2.2 percent, up from the 2 percent average in September, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada reported Dec. 15.