Collective Bargaining During First Half of 2020 Yields Average First Year Increase of 2.8%

July 15, 2020

Negotiators conducting collective bargaining between January and June of this year agreed to raise construction craft workers’ wage and fringe benefits by an average of 2.8 percent or $1.58 during the first contract year, according to the Construction Labor Research Council’s (CLRC) latest Settlements Report. This compares to 2.8 percent or $1.65 for the same period in 2019 and 2.9 percent or $1.67 for all of 2019.

CLRC reports that the “sweet spot where settlements [reported during the first half of 2020] landed more than any other range was clearly $1.76--$2.00.”  This range was higher than the full-year ranges in 2019 and 2018.

The highest average first-year increase by percentage during the period came from the from the Northwest Region (AK, ID, OR, WA) at 4 percent.  The lowest came from the South Central Region (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX) at 1.9 percent.

The union that negotiated the highest average first-year increase by percentage was the Sheet Metal Workers, at 3.8 percent.  The one that negotiated the lowest was the Iron Workers at 2.4 percent.

The first half of the Settlements Report provides an analysis of data from newly settled agreements as discussed above, while the second section also covers data from previously negotiated agreements that are currently in effect.  When previously negotiated data are included, the average increase across the first through third contract year is 2.9 percent.

All settlements data discussed in the report should be considered preliminary for the year, as additional settlements will be added to CLRC’s database during the second half of the year.  The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as craftworker shortages, could have a significant impact.

Additional data and analyses are provided in the full report, which is available to AGC members in the Labor & HR Topical Resources area of AGC’s website under the main category “Collective Bargaining” and subcategory “Collective Bargaining Agreement Data.”  (Be sure to first login as an AGC member.)  An updated report is expected in December or January.

AGC’s collective bargaining chapters are reminded to please send settlements information to CLRC at promptly after completion of bargaining.  Chapters and members are also reminded that CLRC is available to assist with custom projects, such as analyses of local market share, contract language costs, union vs. nonunion wage and benefits comparisons, and wage and benefits benchmarks, at a discount for AGC affiliation.  For more information about these services, click here or call CLRC at (202) 347-8440. 

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