2009 Collective Bargaining Yields Lowest Increases in 13 Years
Collective bargaining negotiations completed during 2009 in the nonresidential construction industry resulted in the lowest average first-year increase in wages and fringe benefits since 1996, according to the year-end settlements report issued by the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC). CLRC reports that the average first-year increase negotiated last year was $1.23 or 2.8 percent, as compared to $1.95 or 4.6 percent in 2008 - the highest percentage increase since 1999. The average second-year increase negotiated for multi-year agreements was $1.55 or 3.2 percent in 2009, and $2.25 or 4.7 percent in 2008.
The lower level of increases negotiated in 2009 was influenced by the almost 10 percent of settlements for zero increase, CLRC notes. Including those negotiations, 49¢ of the $1.23 average first-year increase was designated for pension fund contribution increases.
Settlements varied less by region than usual, CLRC found, with a few individual states as stand-outs, such as Illinois on the high end and Michigan on the low end.
Also noteworthy is the greater-than-usual number of contracts negotiated for only a one-year duration. Typically, about 40 percent of newly negotiated agreements are for three-year terms, but, in 2009, over half were negotiated for just a one-year term.
Click here to view CLRC's full report.
Click here for information about open-shop wage increases.
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