Machinists at NAS Whidbey ratify four-year agreement

URSWhidbeyVoteOAK HARBOR — Machinists Union members who work as civilian contractors at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station have won wage and pension increases with a new collective bargaining agreement.

The workers ratified a four-year agreement with URS Corp. on July 24 with a 98-percent “Yes” vote.

The agreement covers about 140 Machinists at URS who maintain U.S. Navy E/A-18 Growlers based at NAS Whidbey.

“These workers maintain jets that are essential to the defense of our nation,” said IAM 751 President Jon Holden, who led the union’s bargaining team. “They are highly skilled specialists and they deserve a contract that recognizes and rewards them for all they do.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the Machinists at URS will receive:

  • Wage increases of 2.5 percent in the first year, 2.5 percent in the second year, 2 percent in the third year and 3 percent in the fourth year, plus an additional 8 cents an hour starting in November of this year;
  • Increases in employer payments into the IAM National Pension Plan, which will rise in steps from the current rate of 60 cents an hour to $1.40 an hour in January 2019;
  • Improvements in shift differential and special assignment pay, paid time off and work rules, plus improvements in health care cost-shares for those who opt to enroll in the employers’ health care plan.

The union’s negotiating team had recommended approval of the agreement, noting that members had identified wage and pension improvements as their top priorities before the start of talks, and the proposal had made gains in those areas.

“The bargaining committee worked hard, kept the membership unified and made sure everyone knew what was at stake,” Holden said. “They stuck together and spoke with one voice. It was a great job by our members at URS.”

Machinists Union District Lodge 751 represents nearly 200 civilian workers at NAS Whidbey who are employed by URS, Delaware Resources Group and Doss Aviation. All have joined the union since 2010.

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at the Boeing Co., District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents nearly 34,000 working men and women at 52 employers across Washington and California.

Think you’d be better off working under a union contract? Click here to contact an IAM 751 representative about how to join the Machinists Union.

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