A little over a month after the leadership of the building workers union Local 32BJ and the Board of Directors of the Realty Advisory Board (RAB) agreed on a new contract, the union membership finally signed the agreement on May 21.
The RAB had already unanimously approved the four-year contract on April 21.
“Wage increases, employer-paid health care and a secured retirement plan will give New York City apartment building workers what they need today and the security they will need in the future,” said Mike Fishman, 32BJ President, whose membership usually mail-in their vote. “Apartment building workers, like so many other hardworking New Yorkers, depend on steady wage increases and benefits to make ends meet.”
Around 3,500 apartment building workers at more than 550 buildings in Queens – and 30,000 building service workers citywide – received a 10 percent wage increase over the life of the contract and maintained their full employer-paid health care coverage, pension benefits, sick and vacation days, and overtime pay. They also got an increase in their health care and pension contributions by nearly 20 percent.
Wages and benefit increases had been sticking points for the parties whose 2006 contract expired at midnight April 20 since, according to both 32BJ and the RAB, neither had expected the impact of economic crisis. Howard Rothschild, president of the RAB that represents about 550 owners and managers in Queens and 3,200 across the city, however, expressed his relief.
“The Realty Advisory Board is pleased that Local 32BJ members ratified the new contract,” said RAB President Howard Rothschild.