DC 37 Gets Ready for Contract Bargaining

By GREGORY N. HEIRES

The union is preparing to start bargaining with the city for a new economic agreement this fall.

Union delegates are expected to vote on demands at their monthly meeting on Sept. 26.

The demands will be in part guided by an on-line survey in June of members covered by the union’s master contract. The union’s Negotiating Committee was scheduled to vote on the demands in late August.

“We are hoping to enter negotiations in earnest as soon as possible,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “We would like to see a quick settlement, but we also know the road to a new contract has historically often been a bumpy one filled with obstacles.”

The 2010-17 economic agreement was originally set to expire on July 2. But earlier this year, members voted overwhelmingly to extend the economic agreement to Sept. 25 to help the union’s welfare plan shore up its financially troubled prescription drug benefit, which faced a $40 million deficit in the current fiscal year.

Under this contract extension, the city raised its annual contribution to the welfare fund by $200 for each covered member and retiree. At the beginning of the year, the DC 37 Health & Security Plan implemented a copay hike to help address its funding shortfall.

The economic agreement covers tens of thousands of members from mayoral agencies, NYC Health+Hospitals, the New York City Housing Authority, libraries and cultural institutions. It does not apply to prevailing rate workers, City University of New York employees, Urban Park Rangers, Traffic Enforcement Agents, uniformed Emergency Medical Service employees and Fire Protection Inspectors.

The 2010-17 contract provided for a total wage increase of 10.41 percent and a $1,000 signing bonus.

In subsequent negotiations stemming from the contract talks, the city and municipal unions agreed to a $3.4 billion plan to hold down health-care costs. The agreement allowed members and retirees to continue to have a premium-free health-care plan through 2018.

This article was published in the September 2017 issue of Public Employee Press.

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