Note: This story was last updated at 10:02 p.m.
Union workers at the Y-12 National Security Complex ratified a new five year-contract on Thursday that includes 3 percent annual wage increases and a $2,500 signing bonus, an official said.
The first 3 percent wage increase goes into effect on Monday, December 7.
The new contract, the first “full-blown” contract since 2004, expires on June 22, 2020, said Steve Jones, president of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council, or ATLC.
Negotiation teams from the ATLC and Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, which operates Y-12 for the National Nuclear Security Administration, had reached a tentative agreement on Monday on the new five-year labor agreement.
CNS and ATLC began negotiating a new labor agreement on October 26. The current agreement is scheduled to expire December 8, and the new agreement will go into effect then.
The ATLC is the bargaining unit for 13 local unions representing approximately 1,100 employees at Y-12. More than 900 workers voted from 12:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jones said, although he declined to release information on how many voted in favor of the contract.
CNS released a statement after the vote ended early Thursday night.
“CNS management is pleased that negotiations led to a labor agreement that provides stability to the workforce and recognizes the ATLC membership’s important contributions to Y-12 and national security,” the contractor said.
Jones said the last “full-blown contract,” meaning everything was on the table, was in 2004, and it expired in 2009. There have been contract extensions since then that negotiated wages. The agreement ratified Thursday is the first full contract under CNS, which began operating Y-12 and the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, on July 1, 2014.
There are some changes to health insurance, but the costs are staying essentially the same, Jones said. Employees pay 20 percent of their premiums and that stayed the same, although it goes to 21 percent in the last year of the contract, but employees employees will pay a little more in out-of-pocket expenses.
Union leadership had recommended the contract to members.
“We think it’s a good contract,” Jones said.
Neither side got everything it wanted, Jones said, but “it was a civil negotiation, respectful across the table.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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