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Union Carpenters in Boston and Eastern area local unions affiliated with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters last night ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement that will provide modest wage increases and funding sufficient to maintain benefits. Ninety percent of members voting in the 13 Local Unions cast a ??yes?? vote.
The agreement, which will expire August 31, 2012, includes increases to the total wage and benefit package of $1.75 in each of the first two years and $2.25 in the third year. Each of those annual increases will be split in six-month increments. The first $0.88 increase In the first year will be added September 1, 2009 and allocated as follows: $0.75 will be added to the hourly contribution to the pension fund; $0.02 will be added to the UBC training fund. For the remaining $0.11, in Boston, $0.05 will be added to the Boston Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee and $0.06 will be added to hourly wages; in the Eastern Area, $0.11 will be added to hourly wages.
The new agreement also includes several language changes governing work.
--Off-site pre-fabrication of concrete forms must be performed under economic terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
--Residential weatherization work funded by federal stimulus money is now included and will be paid at wood-frame residential rates.
--Saturday, /Sunday and holiday work is now defined as regular shift duration unless prior notice is given.
--Definition of leveling plates has been clarified to apply to plates on leveling nuts as carpenters rates.
--Existing drug testing language from the 1987 agreement was clarified to require employers who wish to use the program to require lab test for reliability.
Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, who chaired the union??s negotiating committee said the agreement is fair given the economic climate.
??We met our goals of preserving the solvency of our benefit funds, getting language changes we needed and providing a little extra for the members. In these tough times, I??m very pleased both with the contract and the confidence the members have shown through the ratification vote.??