Skilled Trades Union members ratify new four-year contract


Members of the U-M Skilled Trades Union have ratified a new four-year contract with the university that provides annual wage increases, bonuses and additional short-term sick time.

Union members ratified the new contract in voting conducted June 6. It took effect June 7 and runs through May 31, 2027. Contract talks began March 14 and concluded with a tentative agreement May 25.

Annual wage increases provided for in the contract will be 5% this year, followed by 4% in each of the following three years. The contract also includes a ratification bonus of $1,500 and a retention bonus of $1,000 for current employees who remain with the university into the fourth year of the contract.

David Day, associate director of labor relations for University Human Resources, said it was the collaborative approach throughout negotiations that led to agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement.

“Both bargaining teams listened carefully and discussed each topic to make sure we understood the concerns and then focused on areas of common interest,” said Day, who led the negotiations on behalf of the university. “I truly appreciate the work and commitment of everyone involved in these negotiations.”

Ty Cole, president of the U-M Skilled Trades Union, said the contract “recognizes the value our union members bring to the university and acknowledges the impact of inflation on our membership.

“We appreciate everyone’s comments during negotiations, being able to talk things through and learn from each other. We appreciate the university working so closely with us,” Cole said.

The union represents about 500 U-M employees on all three campuses. Union members are involved in the maintenance, repair and renovation of the university’s physical properties; the installation, maintenance and repair of biomedical equipment; and specialty services like cabinetry, signage and painting.


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