CUNY Members Overwhelmingly Approve New Contract

CUNY chief negotiator Pamella S. Silverblatt and DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido shake hands on the CUNY contract settlement on Nov. 1. Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera

By GREGORY N. HEIRES

Members at the City University of New York voted by more than 98 percent in favor of a 52-month new contract that provides a raise of more than 8 percent with no givebacks.

The contract–which covers 10,000 members–includes a new paid family leave benefit, which will go into effect in 2019.

“It’s a good contract,” said information technology assistant Anthony Chambers, a Local 2627 shop steward. “It’s in line with what the other city workers got, it’s equitable.”

“We are proud to have negotiated a no-giveback contract, with a decent wage increase, that protects our benefits and provides a great new benefit,” said DC 37 executive director Henry Garrido. He expressed his appreciation to the union’s negotiations committee and staff for working hard on the contract.

DC 37 and the City University of New York reached agreement in record time, on Nov. 1. The previous contract took seven years to negotiate because former Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn’t take the negotiations process seriously and apparently didn’t care if workers struggled to survive on stagnant wages.

The agreement provides for 2 percent raises at the beginning of February in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, preserves the premium-free health-care coverage of members, and will include back pay. It also protects the health benefits of CUNY retirees.

In addition, the deal calls for CUNY to increase its annual contribution for union benefits.

The contract covers DC 37 members in locals 375, 384, 983, 1407, 1597, 1797, 2054, and 2627 who work on the university system’s 24 campuses.

DC 37 carried out an aggressive information blitz  to ensure members were able to make an informed vote on the tentative economic agreement. Meetings were held on CUNY campuses across the city. Details were also provided on the DC 37 website, via email, and on social media.

For more details on the CUNY contract including calculators regarding wage and salary increases, click here.

The DC 37 Blog is an official online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 121,000 public service workers in New York City and surrounding areas.

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