Year-to-Date Collective Bargaining Results in Low and No Increases in Wages and Fringe Benefits

August 17, 2010
Collective bargaining settlements reported to the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) between January and June of this year resulted in an average first-year wage-and-benefits increase of $0.55 or 1.1 percent.  This is considerably lower than the $1.49 or 3.1 percent average increase reported for the comparable period last year.  The average second-year increase in newly negotiated multi-year agreements is $0.69 or 1.6 percent, and the average third-year increase is $1.01 or 2.2 percent.  These increases are also lower than those negotiated a year earlier, but by a smaller margin, according to CLRC.  As reported earlier in Human Resource & Labor News, wage-and-benefit increases negotiated in 2009 overall were the lowest in 13 years. CLRC found widespread occurrences of small or zero increases during the period.  "Almost a quarter of new agreements were freezes or reductions, and about two-thirds were less than two percent," CLRC reported in its latest Wage amd Benefit Settlements Report.  "Similarly, about two-thirds of the first-year increases were less than one dollar.  Almost all second- and third-year increases were under three percent," CLRC said.  This is not surprising given the economy, nor is the shorter duration of newly negotiated contracts.  Most parties agreed to just one-year agreements, with the vast majority of the remainder agreeing to three-year agreements. Of the 80 settlements covered by the report, 33 were from the East North Central Region, which covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, west Virginia, and Wisconsin.   The average first-year increase in that region was about double the national average at $1.11 or 2.0 percent.  The complete report - which provides an early indication of 2010 bargaining results and will be followed by further reports later this year -- is posted along with other CLRC reports on the Labor & HR Topical Resources page of AGC's website at  Select "Collective Bargaining" from the first pull-down menu and "Collective Bargaining Agreement Data" from the second for links to the reports.  For a searchable database of collectively bargained wage and fringe benefit rates, go to bargaining AGC Chapters are reminded to kindly send all settlements information to CLRC promptly upon completion.  Information may be submitted by e-mail at, by fax to (202) 347-8442, or by mail to 1750 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC  20006.
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