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AGC of Greater Milwaukee finishes last collective-bargaining agreement

The Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee has reached its final collective-bargaining agreement in its latest round of negotiations with local labor unions.

The AGC of Greater Milwaukee, a trade group composed of more than 340 contractors and subcontractors in southeast Wisconsin, announced in a newsletter Friday that it had come to terms with the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 8. The agreement will cause union bricklayers to get a raise of $1.75 an hour in 2017-2018 and another pay bump of $1.85 an hour in 2018-2019.

The new wage rates are in effect as of June 12, the start of the first full pay period of the month. This latest contract is scheduled to expire at the end of May in 2019.

It comes as the fourth agreement the AGC of Greater Milwaukee has reached in recent weeks with local labor unions. Earlier this month, the trade group signed contracts with the North Central Regional Council of Carpenters, Local 599 of the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association and Local 113 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

Many of the collective-bargaining agreements used in Wisconsin’s construction industry were scheduled to expire this year at the end of May. Contractors and unions have spent the past few months at the bargaining table trying to hammer out new terms.

Beyond the AGC of Greater Milwaukee and the unions it works with, Local 139 of the International Union of Operating Engineers wrapped up the last of its contract negotiations this week after coming to terms with the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, an organization out of Madison. Local 139’s contracts, which have terms of either one or two years, hold the line on wages and preserve perks like the 8-hour work day.

Although this year’s negotiations have been about many of the usual subjects – wages, benefits and leave – there have also been a couple new wrinkles. Namely, this is the first time most union contracts have been negotiated since Wisconsin’s adoption of a right-to-work law and repeal of prevailing-wage requirements for school and local-government projects.

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