Collective bargaining negotiations in the construction industry
settled between January and September of this year resulted in an average
first-year wage-and-benefits increase of $1.01 or 2.2 percent, according to the
Report issued by the AGC-supported Construction Labor Research
Council. For newly negotiated multi-year contracts, the average
second-year increase was $1.12 or 2.4 percent, and the average third-year
increase was $1.10 or 2.3 percent. As percentages, the averages negotiated for
contract years one and two are higher than averages for those contract years
negotiated throughout 2011, but the average for year three is higher than in
2011. In straight dollar amounts, the new average increase is higher than in
2011 for year one but is lower for years two and three. Negotiation of
zero-percent increases was less common this year than last year.
The trend toward negotiation of contracts for a shorter duration, which began
when the market downturn took hold in 2008, has continued so far this year but
appears to be slowing down. Of the settlements reported so far this year, 51
percent are for one year and 40 percent are for three years or longer.
In a second report recently issued by CLRC called the Wage
and Fringe Benefits Settlements Analysis, CLRC advises that, for
craft-weighted results, 33 percent of the increase negotiated in 2011 was
applied toward wages. That percentage grew to 45 percent in negotiations
settled between January and September of 2012. CLRC found that 27 percent of
the increase negotiated in 2011 was allocated for health-and-welfare funds and
39 percent to pension funds. These data compare to 16 percent to
health-and-welfare and 38 percent to pensions as of September in 2012.
“Craft-weighted” indicates that an average was taken of the results for the 15
crafts represented in the study so that each craft counts as 1/15th of the
result; each craft is weighted the same regardless of how many settlements were
analyzed for that craft.
Looking at settlement-weighted results, 32 percent of the increase negotiated
in 2011 was applied to wages, 22 percent to health-and-welfare, and 46 percent
to pensions. In 2012, as of September, 34 percent of the increase was allocated
to wages, 16 percent to health-and-welfare, and 49 percent to pensions.
“Settlement-weighted” means that an average was taken of all settlements so that
each settlement was weighted the same, without equal consideration of the crafts
To read the complete reports, which contain additional data and charts, use
the links above, or go to AGC’s online Labor & HR Topical Resources library
and select from the pull-down menus main category “Collective Bargaining” and
subcategory “Collective Bargaining Agreements Data.”