BRONX APARTMENT WORKERS WIN NEW CONTRACT THAT RAISES WAGES, PROTECTS FAMILY HEALTHCARE
32BJ of the SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 14, 2011
BRONX RESIDENTIAL WORKERS WIN NEW CONTRACT THAT RAISES WAGES, PROTECTS FAMILY HEALTHCARE
--Borough-Wide Strike Averted--
--Workers Maintain Healthcare and Retirement Savings--
32BJ and the Bronx Realty Advisory Board (BRAB) reached a tentative four-year agreement this evening that raises standards for more than 3,000 apartment building workers by providing annual wage increases while maintaining employer-paid family health care and secured pension benefits. The agreement narrowly averted a strike, which would have affected 250,000 Bronx residents throughout the borough including Riverdale and the South Bronx.
“A strike would have been costly, not only to building workers and to landlords, but to the Bronx tenants whose buildings would have been affected. I am pleased that a deal has been reached, and that we have avoided what would have been a devastating strike,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) praised 32BJ and Bronx Realty Advisory Board for coming to the table to reach a tentative four-year agreement that provides for annual raises and maintains healthcare and pension benefits for building workers. Senator Rivera joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other legislators on Sunday, March 13, 2011 in calling for the Bronx Realty Advisory Board and 32BJ to reach a fair agreement to avoid a Bronx-wide strike of building workers. "Bronx workers stood together to make sure these jobs remained good jobs. Thousands of Bronx families will benefit from this contract, which provides much needed wage increases during this tough economy," said Kyle Bragg, 32BJ Vice President. "We want to ensure workers can support their families and save for their futures."
The tentative agreement provides a 6 percent wage increase. In addition, the agreement maintains employer paid family healthcare and pension benefits, which were sticking points during negotiations.
"We were able to keep what’s most important to our families, affordable healthcare and pensions," said Angel Ortega, who is a father of five and a Riverdale super. "It was a tough few months, but we're glad we didn’t inconvenience the residents and are eager to keep serving the Bronx."
The new tentative contract covers more than 3,000 supers, assistant supers, janitors, handypersons, porters, firepersons, doormen, elevator operators and garbage handlers. This deal averts a strike that would have directly affected a quarter of a million New Yorkers living in over 1,000 apartment, condo and co-op buildings in the Bronx.
Bronx members of 32BJ will vote on ratifying the contract later this month.
With more than 70,000 members in New York, 32BJ is the largest private sector union in the state. For more information, visit www.standwithbuildingworkers.org .