A new three-year contract that boosts the flexibility and competitiveness of union electrical contractors has been approved, effective June 30, 2013. The agreement covers members of both the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One and signatory contractors, represented by the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

The contract affects the 2,900 construction members of IBEW Local One and more than 115 union electrical contractors working in the City of St. Louis and 26 counties in Eastern Missouri, stretching from Lincoln County in northeastern Missouri south to the Arkansas border.

Terms provide a first year wage and benefits package increase of $1.55 per hour to journeyman electricians. Due to an 8.77% cut in total compensation effective in 2010, total compensation remains nearly three-quarters of a percent below the 2009 rates paid to union electricians. Incremental total package increases of $1.56 in mid-2014 and $1.66 an hour in mid-2015 will incrementally take the electricians’ package to a rate 5% above the 2009 rates, equating to an average raise of less than 1% a year over the six-year span.

The contract also covers residential electricians, providing a first year package increase of 96 cents per hour, a rate that is 1.93% below 2009 rates. Subsequent increases of $1.30 an hour in 2014 and $1.49 in 2015 provide a total package that is just 3.57% above rates paid in 2009, for an average annual raise of less than six-tenths of 1% for the last six years.

According to bargaining committee members, the joint focus of negotiations was to find ways to enhance the success of union electrical contractors and electricians by enabling innovation in crafting solutions to address the changing needs of industry customers.

“The new contract terms give our contractors an unprecedented ability to compete on more flexible terms to meet the unique needs of the construction buyers and general contractors they serve,” said Douglas R. Martin, executive vice president of the St. Louis Chapter, NECA. “In fact, we encourage buyers of construction to discuss ideas for innovative solutions suited to their operations with our electrical contractors who best know their needs.”