Steelworkers Representatives Outline Details of Interim Agreement with Arconic | Business
MASSENA — Representatives of the United Steelworkers have shared with their members the details of the tentative agreement with Arconic.
Officials announced May 14 that they had reached the tentative agreement, which members will be asked to approve in ratification votes on June 1.
“This tentative agreement is the result of a lot of hard work from all of us. Your bargaining committee has asked for and counted on your participation in the bargaining process. You’ve delivered by taking surveys, participating in solidarity days with stickers and shirts, rallying at the factory gates, beaming the bat across town, and building support for the community. At the height of negotiations, we called on you again and won unanimous support for a strike vote. Your support was key to the success of the negotiations,” officials said.
“Throughout the negotiations, we fought hard for the issues you told us were important, like guaranteed wage increases, maintaining our health care without premium increases, and retirement security. While we focused on key issues, we also made gains in many areas of our contract, some of which had not been improved in decades,” they said.
The tentative agreement runs from May 16, 2022 to May 15, 2026. It includes a 7% wage increase for all job categories in May 2022 and 4.5% wage increases in May 2023, May 2024 and May 2025.
“This represents an average cumulative increase of $6.54 per hour or 22.1% over the life of the contract,” United Steelworkers officials said.
An Essential Worker Appreciation Bonus of $4,000 will be paid in two installments – $2,000 on June 9 and 10, 2022 and an additional $2,000 on January 12 and 13, 2023.
“The bonus will be paid to all employees who have seniority rights as of June 1, 2022, including employees active at work, on vacation, S&A (illness and accident), workers’ compensation, uniformed service , layoffs and employees on probation. All employees who receive the first payment will receive the second. Arconic will not allow the bonus to be paid into your 401(k) savings plan account,” they said.
Employees with six months but less than 10 years of seniority are entitled to two weeks of vacation starting June 1, 2022, under the tentative agreement. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the third Monday in January was also added as a new paid holiday.
Shift premiums are increased from 39 cents to 55 cents per hour for afternoon shifts and from 64 cents to 90 cents per hour for night shifts. The hourly premium goes from 30 cents to 42 cents per hour.
The proposed deal eliminates factory-level incentive pay plans, in favor of larger wage increases. Incentive pay plans were first negotiated in 1993 to replace an underperforming profit sharing plan. The initial goal was to share profits and gains while focusing employees on critical business goals. Part of the payout was tied to the company’s financial performance and part was based on business unit location metrics.
“Over the years, the targets have been raised with the promise of better opportunities and higher payouts. The union has been promised the opportunity to review and provide feedback on the targets, thresholds and caps of the plan. However, the company retained ultimate control over the plans. Although pay-for-performance plans have paid well for some periods, they have become less transparent over time, the definitions of profit have changed several times and “, once reached, thresholds were raised to reduce payouts. For example, the Davenport plan paid nothing in Q1 2022, despite profits,” union officials said.
They said that during negotiations the union had advocated forcefully for “a meaningful and transparent profit-sharing plan based on publicly reported company-wide profits”.
“The company refused, insisting the profits would go to shareholders and executives. As such, the union has focused on getting maximum value for the pay-for-performance plans and increasing long-term wage rates, which will be paid equally across all four plants and for all hours worked, overtime, vacations and holidays,” they said. .
The tentative agreement also improves pension plan benefits for current employees. There are currently three pension plans for employees under agreement: the defined benefit pension plan for employees hired before June 23, 2006; a more modest defined benefit plan covering employees hired on or after June 23, 2006 and before January 1, 2020; and the defined contribution plan for employees hired on or after January 1, 2020.
Current retirement factors or “multipliers” for defined benefit pension plans that covered employees hired before June 23, 2006 and employees hired on or after June 23, 2006 and before January 1, 2020 will all be increased by $6 per month per year. of service, effective for retirements occurring on or after May 16, 2022. For an employee with 30 years of service, this is an increase of $180 per month.
The proposed agreement does not include any increase in employee health care contribution rates, deductibles, maximum outgoings or coinsurance. The maximum medical co-payment will increase from $60 to $80 per prescription for non-preferred brand prescriptions filled at retail and from $120 to $150 per prescription for non-preferred brand prescriptions filled by mail order, effective January 1 2023.
“Once again, the company has entered into negotiations demanding significant increases in employee health contributions and substantial reductions in health care benefits. The high level of member activism and demonstrations of solidarity in the workplace and in the communities has forced the company to back down,” officials said.
Employees hired or rehired after January 1, 2020 will no longer be eligible for retiree life benefits after retirement. Instead, they will see the retiree health care contribution to their 401(k) savings account increased by 5 cents per hour.
Company retiree health care costs are capped for employees who retired after May 31, 1993. The cost of retiree health care benefits in excess of the caps is paid by a care account health insurance for non-monetary retirees under the collective agreement.
Employees hired or rehired on or after July 1, 2010 are not eligible for retiree health care benefits. Instead, they receive a company contribution for retiree health care to their 401(k) savings account. Effective January 1, 2023, the company contribution will increase to 50 cents from the current 40 cents per hour worked. Employees hired on or after January 1, 2020 will receive a company contribution to their 401(k) savings account of 55 cents per hour beginning January 1, 2023 to reflect their ineligibility for retiree life insurance.