Inflation rose 5.0% from May 2020 to May 2021, due to a large bump in May, so some UPS Teamsters will get a 33c per hour cost of living (COLA) raise on August 1, in addition to the contract wage increase of 90c. This is per Article 33 of the contract, which provides for a COLA raise to Teamster employees “who have completed their appropriate wage progression schedule.”
Teamsters in the progression will not get the 33c raise until they have completed the full progression.
The 33c is calculated by a formula using the previous year change from May to May in the Department of Labor’s inflation index called the CPI-W. When inflation exceeds 3%, the COLA kicks in and provides an increase in the top-scale wage.
While 33c is less than a 1% raise for a top rate driver, it does provide a boost to the 90c, making a total of $1.23 due on August 1. This is about a 3.2% raise for the year for a full-scale driver.
UPS Freight (now TForce) Teamsters do not have a cost of living clause in their contract.
Want the details? The May 2020 CPI-W index is 249.521. The May 2021 CPI-W index is 263.612. (CPI-W is the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.) The contract requires deducting 3% of 249.521 from the difference; the remainder is 6.605, and Article 33 provides a 1c increase for each .2 in that figure. That leads to 33c. The June 10 release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics has more details. Article 33 of the UPS contract is available here.