New Contracts at Queens Library and Brooklyn Academy of Music

By GREGORY N. HEIRES
Two DC 37 locals recently concluded negotiations, resulting in significant improvements in their contracts. These include gains in compensation and workplace protections.

Brooklyn Academy of Music

Local 1502 members approved a seven-year contract that provides security guards with a $2,000 yearly salary increase.

The contract boosts the differential — extra pay — of guards who get their fire safety director certification from $3,000 to $4,000. Workers certified after the contract ratification will receive a one-time cash bonus of $2,000.

The term of the contract is from July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2020 and includes a new $500 longevity payment when workers reach their fifth anniversary date. At 10 years, workers will receive a one-time $1,000 payment.

Upon retirement, members will receive the cash value of one-third of their accumulated sick time, in addition to any terminal leave.
Custodians who handle garbage of the BAM Café vendor will be guaranteed a minimum of two hours work with double overtime.
Bereavement leave will be expanded to include siblings-in-law.

Queens Library

Queens Library Guild Local 1321 upgraded the terms and conditions of its contract to recognize the contractual benefits of about 100 unrepresented library staffers who joined the union about a year ago.

Many of the new members wanted union protections because of the library’s practice of firing at-will employees without cause and freezing the pay of some non-union employees while they provided contractual salary increases to the unionized staff.

The newly organized workers have an array of titles. Many of the new members are information technology workers.

Through negotiations, the union successfully pressed the library to reclassify the workers so their duties would match those of their corresponding city titles.

The reclassification made sure the workers’ salaries were adjusted to be in line with the city salaries. The adjustments raised the salaries of many of the workers.

The new members are covered by the local’s grievance process. They also gained longevities, which provide extra pay for a worker’s years on the job. As local members, they have right to vote on the contract and to elect their union leaders.

The DC 37 Blog is an online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 125,000 municipal employees in New York City.

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