The union representing doormen and handymen reached a tentative agreement Friday with the Realty Advisory Board, averting a possible strike that would have affected thousands of city residents.
Service Employees International Union 32 BJ agreed to a four-year deal that includes a 11.3% raise for doormen, supers, handymen and porters who work in residential buildings.
If ratified by the SEIU 32BJ membership, the deal will cover 30,000 union workers in 3,300 buildings across the five boroughs.
The tentative agreement contained no givebacks and workers' pensions and health care packages are protected, the union said.
"We are proud to say that we have made it a little easier for 30,000 New Yorkers to make this city their home," said Hector Figueroa, president of SEIU 32BJ. "In a city that has become increasingly unequal, this contract will keep 30,000 building workers on a pathway to the middle class, which will also benefit the communities in which they live."
SEIU 32BJ's members are the highest-paid residential building service workers in the country. The tentative agreement includes a wage increase of 2.7% each year for four years.
That will bring the average wage for a New York City doorman from $44,389 to $49,402 by the contract's end.
The union's generous health care package - with no employee contributions - remains intact, as does its defined benefit pension plan.
Landlords and condos are raking the money in these days, with rents in Manhattan up and prices for available condos higher than ever, so why shouldn't the doormen and handymen get an 11.3% raise with no givebacks and share in some of that?
Here's how the New York Observer described the contract:
In a city with growing inequality, the doormen’s union has become a rare bulwark of the middle class.
The deal will keep members ahead of inflation and the rising cost of living, according to the union, working out to a wage increase of some $4,972 for doormen over the next four years that will bring salaries to just under $50,000 in 2018. Though union members’ salary is also supplemented via tips and the deal will protect members’ pension and health care plans.
“This contract will allow me to pay my bills and get out of debt,” said Manhattan doorman Donald Killings in a statement. “The truth is, it’s a matter of respect. It makes me feel like I’m really respected on the job. And I won’t have to take on another job, as I have in the past.”
I'll be frank - I want the 4%-4% all the other municipal unions got for the 2009/2010 pattern, but after that catch-up contract, I would be happy with a 2.7% wage increase with no givebacks per year for four years.
But I'm pretty sure the UFT will negotiate something that "scrapes the skies" and sells off the few protections teachers have left for a measly few percentage points.
That's been my experience in the three contracts I have been around for.
Of course, I suppose getting a few percentage points for a sell-out on work protections is better than agreeing to it for free the way they did with APPR and RttT.