New clerical unit contract addresses inequality among workers

By GREGORY N. HEIRES

The new contract for the DC 37 clerical unit addresses inequities within the group by making all titles eligible for recurring increment payments, (RIP) which are pay increases added to members’ base salary.

Until now, about two-thirds of the 12,000 covered workers received the increase.

“In this round of bargaining, the committee agreed to use the additional compensation fund to deal with inequality within our own group,” said Fausto Sabatino, president of Court, County and Dept. of Probation Employees Local 1070.

“We were happy to work out an agreement that reflects one of the most important principals of unionism: fairness,” he said.

The RIP schedule is a mini-step-pay plan that rewards workers for their years of dedicated service, and it encourages them to stick with their careers. RIP payments begin after an employee completes six years of service and continue through 18 years.

All full-time city service counts toward the calculation of the time period. Part-time service is pro-rated and adjusted if the person later worked full time.

Money set aside in the 2011-17 general contract, formally known as the economic agreement, will fund these increases. The 2010-17 economic contract’s “additional compensation fund” — equivalent to .52 percent of payroll — gives unit bargaining committees the opportunity to make allocations according to the needs of their members.

The titles covered by the new RIP schedule start at $370 after six years and increase incrementally up to $2,512 after completion of 18 years. For titles in the existing plan, the increases at the 18-year step amount to an additional $200.

Also under this agreement, Reporters/Stenographers in District Attorney offices will have a new service increment payment after seven and 10 years.

Besides Local 1070, the unit contract covers clerical titles represented by Amalgamated Professional Employees Local 154, Housing Authority Clerical Local 957, Finance Administrative Employees and City Investigators Local 1113, Board of Education Clerical-
Administrative Employees Local 1251, and Clerical-Administrative Employees Local 1549.

The agreement also increases the uniform allowance for Police Communications Technicians and Supervising Police Communications Technicians from $1o3 to $300.

“The extra money is very important to our members at NYPD because over the years, they have been burdened by a steady cost increase for their uniforms,” said Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez, who is also president of DC 37.

Sr. Associate Director Moira Dolan, who coordinated negotiations for the clerical bargaining unit, said the union plans to work with the city to schedule a payment date in April. Once the pay orders and final unit contracts are available, copies will be distributed to union representatives.

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