Labor Negotiations

Sandia National Laboratories aerial view

2017 Labor Contract Updates

The Metal Trades Council (MTC) collective bargaining agreement with Sandia National Laboratories expired Sept. 29, 2017. The agreement covers approximately 430 employees. Negotiations for a new contract have been underway since Sept. 5.

The Labs provided a comprehensive business and benefits update to the MTC on Aug. 8, in preparation for upcoming negotiations. The Labs and the MTC discussed the possibility of exchanging initial proposals the week of Aug. 28, but determined to do so at the start of negotiations, Sept. 5.  

Please refer to this website for any significant updates on the contract negotiation process. 

Last, Best and Final Offer | FAQs | Lost Wages Tracker  

Oct. 10, 2017, update

Bargaining between Sandia and representatives of the Metal Trades Council (MTC) concluded Oct. 9 with union members ratifying a new collective bargaining agreement. This new agreement is effective Oct. 10, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2020.

The proposal represents hard work over more than a month by Sandia's and the MTC's bargaining committees.

Sandia's represented employees are highly valued and visible employees. Their work enables success in nearly every aspect of our missions.

Oct. 5, 2017, 5:15 p.m. update

Sandia and MTC negotiating teams met this week to address remaining issues and Sandia has revised its contract offer. The MTC has announced a ratification vote on Monday for the revised offer. 

Sandia’s offer continues current world-class benefits, provides wage increase in all three years of a new agreement, and simplifies a number of confusing and duplicative areas in the current contract to better support Sandia’s critical national defense mission. Sandia is pleased that the MTC will provide Sandia employees an opportunity to ratify the new three-year contract and respects the union’s wish to communicate the offer directly to its members, so is not posting further details at this time. 

Sandia encourages all its MTC-represented employees to participate in the contract vote on Monday.

Oct. 4, 2017, 6 p.m. update

At this time, our MTC-represented employees continue to report to work, helping Sandia carry out its national security mission. Sandia and the Metal Trades Council bargaining teams have continued discussions surrounding Sandia’s last, best and final offer. Sandia remains committed to bargaining in good faith to reach an agreement that is fair to MTC members who work at Sandia and that supports Sandia’s national security mission.

Oct. 3, 2017, 11 a.m. update

MTC-represented employees continue to work at Sandia National Labs today, and Sandia looks forward to sitting down and listening to any proposals or questions the union has about the Last, Best and Final Offer. 

Yesterday, Sandia responded to media inquiries about the union’s allegations that Sandia used unfair labor practices. Allegations of this type are a common union tactic during negotiations. Sandia disagrees with the allegations and will respond promptly through the National Labor Relations Board process. All information about Sandia’s proposal was first shared with the MTC negotiating team at the bargaining table prior to discussing it publicly.

Sandia also responded to inquiries yesterday regarding the union’s claim that Honeywell, not Sandia, led the negotiations. Sandia’s leadership and Labor Relations teams drafted the proposals, led the negotiations and made all decisions in bargaining. 

Sandia remains committed to bargaining in good faith to reach a new agreement that is fair to employees and supports Sandia’s national security mission.

Oct. 2, 2017, 10 a.m. update

Sandia remains in a “business as usual” mode today with MTC-represented employees arriving to work. Sandia’s Labor Relations team remains willing to continue discussions with the MTC about the terms of Sandia’s Last, Best and Final Offer. The ratification bonus included in that offer expired Friday night.

Sandia has bargained in good faith in an attempt to reach an agreement that is fair to MTC members who work at Sandia and that supports Sandia’s national security mission.

Oct. 1, 2017, 9:30 a.m. update

Sandia’s Labor Relations team and the MTC bargaining committee are exploring the possibility of continued discussions for a new contract. The current contract expired Friday. MTC members can continue working without a contract while the bargaining teams continue discussions regarding the last, best and final offer.

Sept. 30, 2017, 9:50 a.m. update

The Metal Trades Council has advised the Labs that its represented employees last night rejected Sandia’s last, best and final offer and authorized its bargaining committee to call a strike. A strike authorization does not mean a strike is imminent, and union leadership has not notified the Labs that MTC-represented employees will strike.

Sandia remains available to answer questions about the last, best and final offer and is hopeful MTC-represented employees will continue working while both parties negotiate.

Because Sandia is obligated to meet our customer deliverables even if MTC-represented employees are off the job, the Labs is prepared to implement plans to continue normal operations to protect our vital national security interests in the unfortunate event of a strike.

Sept. 29, 2017, 3:15 p.m. update

Sandia National Labs presented its Last, Best and Final Offer to the Metal Trades Council today at 1:50 p.m. in an effort to reach agreement on a new contract before the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires. MTC leadership has not yet notified Sandia that it will be put to its membership for a vote.

Sandia’s management hopes that its employees represented by the MTC will be given the opportunity to decide for themselves if they want to accept this new offer. After four weeks of robust give and take at the bargaining table, the proposal includes many significant benefits for employees, and employees deserve the chance to consider them with a vote.

If a vote is scheduled, the Laboratories encourages each individual employee to make his or her voice heard by voting after considering the elements of the last, best, and final offer.

Sandia has been negotiating in good faith with the MTC since Sept. 5. The current contract expires at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 29.

If the new contract is ratified tonight, Sandia is providing a ratification bonus up to $2,000 per MTC member.

It is a fair and equitable proposal for the represented employees that also recognizes Sandia’s obligation as a steward of taxpayer resources and its responsibility to effectively carry out its national security mission. Details of the offer are posted to this website.

While Sandia and the MTC were not able to reach a tentative agreement to put forward to the MTC membership, Sandia worked to incorporate language to reflect the tentative agreements that were reached during the weeks-long negotiating process.

Sept. 29, 2017, 5 a.m. update

The parties bargained until after 2 a.m. this morning but talks stalled when the parties could not make progress on several key remaining items. The Labs has already offered wage increases each year of a new three-year contract and continuation of Sandia’s competitive benefits.

Both sides agreed to break for the night and meet again in the morning to try to reach a new agreement before the current one expires tonight. The Labs informed the MTC that if the parties do not reach agreement, it will pass its last, best and final offer in time for represented employees to vote on ratification and receive a ratification bonus up to $2,000 in exchange for having a ratified agreement by 7 p.m. today.

Sept. 28, 2017, 5:10 p.m. update

Sandia and the MTC held its third negotiating session of the day this afternoon, with a fourth scheduled for late afternoon. The parties continue to make movement and reached more tentative agreements, including some in earlier areas of concern. Sandia is encouraged by the movement forward, although there is still much work to do before the current agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow. Sandia’s negotiating team will work around the clock as needed to reach an agreement that is fair to MTC members and that supports Sandia’s national security mission.

Sept. 28, 2017, 3:20 p.m. update

The parties returned to the table again early this afternoon and made progress on several issues. Both sides continue to work hard and are making progress on key issues. 

Sandia continues to offer a ratification bonus up to $2,000 if the union ratifies a new agreement by 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, before the current contract expires, and remains willing to negotiate through the night if needed to reach an agreement that supports the Labs’ critical national defense mission and is fair to Sandia employees.

Sept. 28, 2017, 1:30 p.m. update

Parties met this morning for almost two hours to continue working through remaining issues. They plan to reconvene this afternoon. High-level representatives of the Metal Trades Department and the International Association of Machinists from Washington, D.C. participated in today’s negotiations in support of the Metal Trades Council. Sandia remains committed to working around the clock to reach an agreement with the MTC prior to the expiration of the current contract at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow.

Sept. 27, 2017, 4:15 p.m. update

The parties worked late last night and resumed negotiations at the table this morning. Both sides fully engaged and continued working through the large number of remaining issues. 

Many rumors continue to circulate about the negotiations. Sandia and MTC negotiators remain focused on trying to reach a new contract and cannot respond to all rumors. Employees are urged to allow the negotiators to do their job, and know that if something sounds wrong, it probably is.

Sandia’s goal remains to bargain in good faith to reach an agreement that is fair to MTC members who work at Sandia and supports Sandia’s national security mission.

Update – Sept. 26, 2017

The Labs is disappointed to report that the parties are a day closer to contract expiration with no further progress so far today. The MTC was not prepared to meet until 11 a.m. today. The parties spent less than 30 minutes negotiating at that time and have not been back to the table since. The current contract expires at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. The Labs remains committed to bargaining around the clock to reach a new agreement before then that supports our critical national defense mission and is fair to our employees.

We will continue to update this website to keep all employees informed. We will also post additional information shortly to address questions and concerns we continue to hear from our employees.

Afternoon Update – Sept. 25, 2017

The MTC was not prepared to resume negotiations this morning as the parties agreed yesterday, but did return to the table this afternoon. In the three weeks since negotiations started, the parties have spent less than 24 hours at the negotiating table, with the union declining to negotiate on three regular business days. Most of the open issues currently are sitting with the union for discussion and response. 

In an effort to encourage more discussion and emphasize Sandia’s commitment to reaching a new agreement prior to the contract expiration, Sandia this afternoon proposed a ratification bonus up to $2,000 per MTC member payable only if the parties have a ratified agreement by 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. This bonus would be in addition to any wage and benefits improvements negotiated in the new contract, but will expire if the MTC does not confirm ratification of a new agreement by that time.

Regarding the outstanding issues, Sandia has offered to continue current benefits the same as those offered to other Sandia employees, much as already exists in the current contract, and to discuss wage increases, in exchange for streamlining the contract and improving workplace efficiencies. Under the Sandia proposals, MTC-represented employees would remain well over the area market in both wages and benefits. The current agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29.

Sandia management understands that employees can be distracted by the uncertainty of negotiations and the rumors that often arise, but please remain focused on working safely. Sandia remains committed to bargaining in good faith, around the clock if needed, to reach an agreement that is fair to MTC members who work at Sandia and supports Sandia’s national security mission.

Morning Update – Sept. 25, 2017

Sandia and MTC representatives on Friday requested assistance from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service mediator assigned to these negotiations. The parties negotiated through the weekend with the mediator’s assistance and made progress on a number of open issues, but have many more to go. The current contract expires at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29.  

Sandia remains committed to bargaining in good faith to reach an agreement that is fair to MTC members who work at Sandia, and that supports Sandia’s national security mission. Negotiations continue to make progress.  

Update – Sept. 22, 2017

The current MTC contract with Sandia National Labs expires in just a week. While progress has been made, many issues remain outstanding. The Labs passed its economic proposals to the union this week, so the union now has all of Sandia’s proposals.

This is the time, from prior experience, that rumors take hold. Sandia’s management asks employees to stay focused on working safely and let the parties do the negotiating at the table. Regardless of any rumors that may be circulating, here are the facts regarding negotiations to date:

  • The Labs and the MTC have already signed tentative agreements on more than 25 Articles.

  • The Labs has not proposed any pay cuts and has told the union it will consider pay increases as other tentative agreements are reached.

  • The Labs is not proposing any changes to MTC members’ seniority.

  • The Labs has proposed to simplify confusing and sometimes conflicting language, and to eliminate redundancy. This will create a more understandable contract that provides a foundation for members to work productively. Even after proposed consolidation of articles, a total of 44 of the original 54 would remain.

The Labs respects the union, their bargaining team, and the bargaining process, and will continue to work diligently with the MTC to achieve a new ratified contract before the current one expires.

Update – Sept. 20, 2017

Sandia is disappointed to report that the union left negotiations today without spending any time bargaining on the many open issues. In the only time at the table, which started at 2:30 p.m. and lasted less than 10 minutes, the union gave three more “information requests” on subjects previously discussed at the table. When Sandia returned to the table shortly after that to provide responses, the door was locked and the union had left the building. 

This is the third business day since negotiations started Sept. 5 that the union declined to engage in bargaining at the table. The current contract expires at 11:59 p.m. next Friday, Sept. 29. The Labs remains committed to working around the clock if needed to reach a new agreement by that time that supports our mission and is fair to employees. Sandia has told the union that it will pass a last, best and final offer before that time, and hopes the union will join Sandia at the table to negotiate the new contract.

Update – Sept. 18, 2017

Negotiations began Sept. 5. Since that time:

  • Negotiations so far have focused on the parties' respective non-economic proposals. The Labs has presented a number of proposals to simplify the contract, eliminate redundant and conflicting provisions, and make it easier to follow.
  • All proposals have been with the aim of reaching an agreement that is fair to MTC members and that supports the Labs' national security mission.
  • The union has been reluctant to change many long-standing provisions, but Sandia believes updating the contract best supports its mission and best serves employees and managers who operate under the contract.
  • Discussions have been professional, and the parties have reached a tentative agreement on a number of operational items. Both sides continue to work hard toward reaching an agreement before the current one expires.