Labor Agreement Reached at Newport News Shipbuilding
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) said United Steelworkers Local 8888 members at its Newport News Shipbuilding division have voted 1,985-131 in favor of a new labor agreement. The new contract will run through November 14, 2021.
“This offer is fair, competitive in the industry and respectful of the needs of our great shipbuilders,” said Susan Jacobs, Newport News’ vice president of human resources and administration. “It’s an offer that also maintains our competitiveness in the shipbuilding industry and our flexibility to respond to our Navy customer’s needs in a cost-effective and timely manner. I applaud everyone who participated in the negotiations process.”
According to HII, highlights of the contract include:
- Wages: On day one, all represented employees receive 1.5 percent increases, to be followed by a 2.6 percent increase in 2018 and a 3 percent increase in 2019 and 2020. This averages to a 2.33 percent increase per year per employee.
- Pension: For eligible employees with continuous service on or before June 6, 2004, the monthly pension increases from $1,550 to $1,800 starting Oct. 1. In addition, there will be a $5 increase to the $30 per year supplement given to employees for each year of credited service after 30 years. Newport News’ Pension Earnings Plan increased by 0.5 percent, and the plan is now closed to new participants. All new hires after July 10 will participate in a Retirement Account Contribution Plan.
- Medical benefits: Significant plan design changes were made to support lowering overall medical plan costs while securing health care premiums that will not considerably impact employee wage increases. The new contract secures access to the HII Family Health Center and Teladoc, a program that provides employees with access to board-certified physicians via telephone, mobile application or computer. Various wellness programs are now available, and the changes implement a discount for employees who attest to not smoking.
- Maintained management rights and flexibility: The agreement continues to include language that enables Newport News to maintain critical flexibility to get work, keep work and perform work in a cost-effective manner.