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New 4-year deal with unionized technicians includes 3-year pay freeze

November 15, 2010

Auto Mechanics Union, Local 701, the union that represents journeyman, apprentice, semi-skilled and lube rack technicians, agreed in late July to a new four-year contract with about 150 Chicago area dealerships that employ the technicians. The contract took effect Aug. 1.

The new Standard Automotive Agreement (SAA) generally imposes a three-year wage freeze for all classifications and wage increases in the fourth year. Different rates apply for new and recent hires.

Many non-union CATA members maintain wages and benefits that at least meet and, more often, exceed those provided by the SAA. For that reason, key financial provisions of the 2009-2013 SAA are summarized here.


The current Apprentice progression remains in place for all four years of the contract. In addition, the minimum pay rate for Lube Rack Technicians increased to $8.25 on Aug. 1, 2009, to account for last month’s increase in the Illinois minimum wage.

Except for new/recent hires and Apprentices, the SAA contains the following wage schedule for the four-year term. New years below all begin Aug. 1:


                                    2008               2009               2010               2011               2012

Journeyman               $29.25            $29.25  &nb​sp;         $29.25            $29.25            $30.00
                                              &nb​sp;                        &nb​sp;                                               &n​bsp;     (+$0.75)

Semi-Skilled              $15.85            $15.85         ​;   15.85              $15.85            $16.10
                          ​                         ​                         ​                       ​;                         ​; (+$0.25)

Lube Rack/
Body Shop                 $8.25              $8.25       &n​bsp;      $8.25             &​nbsp;$8.25              $8.25 min.
                                         &nbs​p;                        &nbs​p;                        &nbs​p;                      &nb​sp;          (+$0.25)

Weekly Guarantee
(34 Hours)
(Incentive Jrny          $994.50          -0-         &n​bsp;         -0-          &nb​sp;        -0-           &nbs​p;       $1,020

Wage rates for all classifications year are subject to adjustment in the third and fourth year if certain conditions are met. CATA dealers will be updated as warranted.


The current dealership weekly contribution to the Local 701 Health and Welfare Fund remains frozen for all four years of the SAA. The current contribution rate is $215 a week.

Dealership weekly contributions to the Local 701 Pension Fund increase $10 (from $89 to $99) effective Aug. 1, 2009.  The contribution rate further increases $10 each contract year ($109 effective Aug. 1, 2010; $119 effective Aug. 1, 2011; and $129 effective Aug. 1, 2013).

Other Terms

Other key terms of the new SAA:

• Mandatory A.S.E. testing and certification requirements;
• Right to reclassify apprentices within first 60 days, and within first 2 years if employee does not pass required tests;
• Increased frequency of customer specials;
• Free multi-point inspection in conjunction with other repair work; and 
• New Year’s Eve holiday converted to a floating day.

The unionized dealers negotiated the contract as the New Car Dealer Committee, a multi-employer bargaining association.

Questions or requests for more details about the terms of the new SAA should be directed Dave Radelet, the CATA’s employee relations counsel, at FranczekRadelet P.C., (312) 986-0300. 

Copies of the contract will be sent soon to affected dealers.