Construction peace guaranteed as three building trades unions sign new pacts

By ED FINKELSTEIN
Publisher

The assurance of continued unfettered construction peace in the St. Louis region is again assured as the only three major unions with contracts expiring this summer have completed new contracts: IBEW Local 1, Iron Workers Local 396 and Elevator Constructors Local 3. Substantial wage and benefit gains for their members were made in all contracts.

IBEW LOCAL 1
“It’s a solid contract in which we’ve picked up things we gave up in 2010,” said IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs in reporting that his members will see a 12 percent wage increase over the life of the agreement amounting to $8.80 an hour spread over the three years.

Additionally, improvements include additional hours of double time on Saturday, two more overtime hours during the week, roll up on pension and income security payments, a $5 increase to $10 if a member has to change jobs during the day and a five percent wage boost for 4th and 5th-year apprentices when they are in school.

Three other changes include a guarantee of 90 percent of the union’s negotiated wages if members work on a prevailing wage project that has a different wage scale, the addition of Martin Luther King day as an additional holiday and a 20¢ increase to the Apprenticeship Training Fund.

IRON WORKERS LOCAL 396
Their new three-year pact includes an average of 3.6 percent increase over the three years, said Local 396 Business Manager Mike Heibeck, calling it “The largest raise in the history of the Local.”

A key improvement is additional funding for their apprenticeship school programs.

“A major change that everyone is ecstatic about is equalizing the out-state pay rates with the St. Louis metro rate. In the past outstate work was at a lower wage scale, now all will be paid at the St. Louis metro rate.”

Heibeck complimented both the management and the union’s negotiating teams, officers and executive board for approaching talks with a determination to find the best solution for everyone and the industry.

“Management understood that a significant raise and equalization of pay rates across the board were our focus and they came through,” he said.

ELEVATOR CONSTRUCTORS LOCAL 3
“It’s the best contract we’ve ever negotiated, and everyone is pleased,” said Elevator Constructors Local 3 Business Manager Costel Zamfir in reporting their new five-year pact will see a 3.5 percent increase each year.

Unlike the other two unions where negotiations are done locally, Local 3’s contract is a national agreement negotiated by the International Union in Washington and applicable to all locals in the U.S.

“One of the most important accomplishments of the negotiating committee,” Zamfir added, “is the addition of Article 28 – ‘Safety’ – to the contract. The most important goal of our union is that each member makes it home safely at the end of the day.”


 

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