The AGC-supported Construction Labor Research Council has released its latest report on collective bargaining settlements in the industry. Settlements reported to CLRC between January and June 2014 resulted in an average first-year wage-and-benefit increase of 2.2 percent or $1.10. For newly negotiated multi-year agreements, the average second-year increase was 2.5 percent or $1.23, and the average third-year increase was 2.5 percent or $1.28. Each of these averages is very similar to the average increases negotiated in 2013 and slightly higher than those negotiated in 2012, CLRC reports. The percentage of settlements with no increases negotiated during the latest period was the same as that reported in 2012 but higher than that reported in 2013.
The median increases for the year to date were slightly lower than those of 2013, at 1.9 percent or $1.01 for the first year, 2.4 percent or $1.15 for the second year, and 2.5 percent or $1.24 for the third year. The report explains that the median – which is the rate at which half of the negotiated increases are higher and half are lower – is less affected by outliers.
Interestingly, the South Central Region (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX) was the region with the highest average first-year percent increase but the lowest dollar increase. “This is because the South Central region has some of the lowest rates, and a relatively small increase in dollars and cents turns out to be a relatively large increase when the percent is calculated,” CLRC explains.
The craft with the lowest average percent first-year increase was the Painters at 1.5 percent, and the craft with the highest such increase was the Operating Engineers at 4.2 percent.
The trend toward negotiating shorter-term agreements that began during the recession continues to subside. Forty-two percent of agreements negotiated so far this year were for one year, as compared to 68 percent in 2011, and 48 percent were for three years or more.
The full report, which contains additional information and graphs, has been distributed through the Union Contractors e-Forum and is posted in the Labor & HR Topical Resources area of AGC’s website under the main category “Collective Bargaining” and subcategory “Collective Bargaining Agreement Data.” The report is a preliminary one, with yearly averages and other data likely to change as additional settlements are added throughout the year. An updated report is scheduled for release in September.
AGC’s collective bargaining chapters are reminded to please send settlements information to CLRC (email@example.com) regularly and promptly after completion of bargaining.