Collective Bargaining Yields Highest Increases Since 1990
Construction-industry collective bargaining negotiations completed in 2006 produced an average first-year increase in wages and fringe benefits of $1.74 or 4.5 percent, according to the Construction Labor Research Council’s (CLRC’s) annual report on settlements.
This is the greatest increase since 1990 and is significantly larger than the $1.53 or 3.9 percent average negotiated in 2005. The average second-year increase in newly negotiated multi-year agreements is $1.99 or 4.7 percent, the average third-year increase is $2.01 or 4.5 percent, and the average fourth-year increase is $2.17 or 4.7 percent. Nearly 20 percent of agreements were negotiated to last for four years or longer.
“The distinguishing feature of 2006 negotiations was the difference in results achieved in bargaining with large units,” the report states. “Contracts covering 5,000 or more workers were less than five percent of the total and covered about a third of all workers. The average first-year settlement for these large contracts was $2.11 or 5.2 percent, compared to $1.56 or 4.1 percent for all other agreements.”
Results varied by both geography and craft more than in other recent years. Remarkably high settlements covering a large number of workers came from Illinois, with a first-year average increase of $2.71 or 6.0 percent. The lowest came from Tennessee, where the average first-year increase is $0.76 or 3.1 percent. The union with the highest-reported settlements is the Bricklayers, with an average first-year increase of $2.12 or 5.1 percent. Settlements with the Boilermakers and Millwrights were the lowest, with average first-year increases of $1.48 or 3.5 percent and $1.34 or 3.7 percent respectively.
To access the full report, along with other CLRC reports, click here and look under “Collective Bargaining Agreement Data.”
AGC is a founding member of CLRC and supports its efforts to gather and report useful and accurate labor-related information for contractors. AGC chapters are reminded to send new wage and fringe benefit information directly to CLRC promptly upon contract settlement. Such information may be delivered via e-mail to CLRC@erols.com, via fax to (202) 347-8442, or via regular mail to 1750 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20006. Please note that the fax number and mailing address have recently changed.
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