On February 10, 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for the month of January 2022. January was the final month of the six-month measuring period used for determining the cost of living allowance (COLA) for those covered by the National Agreement.
Every full-time career employee in every step and grade will receive an annual increase of $1,310 or 63 cents per hour. In percentage terms, the median percentage increase across all steps and levels for career employees will be 2.3%. The hourly rate for career part-time flexible employees will be adjusted up accordingly. The new rates based on this COLA will be effective on February 26, 2022, the start of Pay Period 6-2022. The $1,310 will be the third highest COLA increase received in APWU’s history.
However, this COLA will only go into effect if the 2021-2024 National Agreement is ratified. This would be first of six COLAs career employees will receive under a ratified 2021-2024 National Agreement. COLAs are in addition to the general increases that employees will receive in November of 2021, 2022, and 2023.
Due to the timing of the ratification process, the exact date the increase will begin to show in pay checks has not been determined. If the contract is ratified, the COLA will be paid retroactively to February 26, 2022. In addition, the results of the ratification vote will affect the November 21, 2021, general increase as this increase would be paid retroactive to November 21, 2021.
“Today’s inflation numbers show how important maintaining full COLA for every career employee was in the 2021-2024 negotiations.” President Mark Dimondstein said. “A ‘yes’ vote for ratification will ensure our members receive this COLA and the other wage increases negotiated as part of the new agreement” he continued.
Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman added, “Not only does a ‘yes’ vote preserve your COLA and wage increases, but it also allows the other negotiated portions of the CBA to go into effect including the new work hour guarantees for PTFs, advanced leave provisions, and guaranteed PSE conversions. I encourage all eligible members to vote on ratification and to vote ‘yes’ today!”
All union members eligible to vote have been sent a ballot and non-members have also been sent a ballot. Non-members can have their vote counted if they return the enclosed PS-Form 1187 with their ballot. The American Arbitration Association (AAA) is handling the balloting and counting process and have reported that completed ballots are flowing in from the membership. Ballots must be received by 9:00 am on February 23, 2022 by the AAA. If you have not received your ballot packet or need a replacement, please contact the AAA by calling 1-800-529- 5218 or 1-800-273-0726 between the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET, Monday through Friday.