Hourly union workers at the Y-12 National Security Complex will vote Friday on whether to accept a 14-month contract extension and a 2.5 percent wage increase, an official said.
There would be no changes to worker benefits, said Steve Jones, president of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council.
If approved, the 14-month contract extension would become effective April 22 and last through June 20, 2014. It would apply to roughly 1,200 union members at Y-12. It would not affect ATLC members at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The extension could carry the workers through a transition from B&W Y-12, the current managing and operating contractor, to Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, which has won a five-year consolidated contract to manage and operate Y-12 and the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas.
“We hope this carries us through the transition,” Jones said. “It should.”
Friday’s vote is scheduled from 12:30 to 9 p.m. at the Machinists Union Hall on Lincoln Road. Jones said the contract extension has been recommended by the union officers and negotiating team. It has to be approved by a simple majority of those voting Friday.
The National Nuclear Security Administration authorized B&W Y-12 to negotiate with the ATLC, which represents 14 international unions.
“Our primary goal is to ensure the stability of the Y-12 work force during an upcoming transition to a new contractor,” said Steven Wyatt, public affairs manager for the NNSA Production Office in Oak Ridge.
He said the same approach was used at Pantex, where the Metal Trades Council voted in December to extend their contract through February 2014.
The existing ATLC contract has been in effect since 2008. It was set to expire June 22.
Jones said B&W Y-12 approached the union in late March for a potential contract extension. With the contractor transition expected, officials thought it was better to not conduct a complete negotiation, he said.
“To do a full-blown negotiation during that time is probably a heavy lift,” Jones said.
Announced in January, the contract award to CNS is being challenged. The U.S. Government Accountability Office is expected to rule on a protest by Nuclear Production Partners LLC by April 29, when the B&W Y-12 contract expires.
Note: This story was updated at 10:31 a.m.