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PR- 116-10
March 17, 2010


Resolves Contract Disputes Dating as Far Back as 1995 without Impacting Future Water Rates

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3 Business Manager Christopher Erikson and Local 1320 President James Tucciarelli today announced that tentative contract settlements have been reached with two unions representing maintenance and operations personnel at the Department of Environmental Protection, ending litigation between the City and each union. The agreements, which are subject to ratification, cover Stationary Engineers (Electric) and Senior Stationary Engineers (Electric) - represented by Local 3, IBEW - and Sewage Treatment Workers and Senior Sewage Treatment Workers, represented by District Council 37's Local 1320. The agreements resolve long-standing contract disputes, dating as far back as 1995. The additional costs to the water system will be paid for with no impact on future water rates through the use of funding saved in anticipation of this agreement, spending cuts and available lower interest rates for water system debt. Significant productivity improvements related to sewer cleaning and wastewater operations will enable the department to substantially increase the amount of sewers cleaned every year, and to use new technology to provide an additional level of wastewater treatment.  All of the employees covered in the new agreements work in the City's wastewater treatment plants and pumping stations located throughout the five boroughs and in the upstate watershed.

"It's been far, far too long, but by continuing to come to the bargaining table we were able to reconcile substantial differences and forge an agreement that's fair to the City and to our employees," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The employees covered by these agreements are the backbone of our complex water treatment and distribution system, operating crucial facilities that handle more than one billion gallons of drinking and waste water each day." 

"After years of negotiations and legal wrangling, we have reached an agreement that fairly compensates some of this City's hardest working and most critical employees," said Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway. "And we have financed this settlement through a combination of offsetting cuts and other measures so there is no impact on the projected water rate for the upcoming fiscal year."

"Local 3 commends Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Hanley and Commissioner Holloway for their courage and foresight in reaching an honorable settlement with the people who maintain and operate New York City's multi-billion-dollar fresh water and waste water treatment systems," said Mr. Erikson. "For a generation, these dedicated and highly-skilled civil servants have stood by their posts, maintaining the very lifeblood of our city, waiting for a just settlement that gives them wage parity with the people who maintain heating/cooling plants in commercial and residential buildings."

The terms of the agreement for Sewage Treatment Workers and Senior Sewage Treatment Workers cover the period from July 1, 2002 through June 28, 2008. The hourly salary for a Sewage Treatment Worker will increase from an average of $21.44, based on the previous three-tiered pay scale, to one set hourly rate of $34.97. The hourly salary for a Senior Sewage Treatment Worker will increase from $26.89 to $38.52. There are 654 Sewage Treatment Workers and 192 Senior Sewage Treatment Workers currently at the Department of Environmental Protection.

The agreement for Stationary Engineers (Electric) covers the period from July 1, 2000 through October 7, 2007 and their hourly salary will increase from $32.37 to $45.49. The agreement for the Senior Stationary Engineers (Electric) covers the period from July 1, 1995 through October 7, 2007 and their hourly salary will increase from $27.51 to $50.39 or from $31.04 to $53.99. There are 199 Stationary Engineers (Electric) and 49 Senior Stationary Engineers (Electric) currently at the Department of Environmental Protection.

The Mayor thanked Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler; Environmental Protection Commissioner Holloway; District Council 37's Director of Research and Negotiations, Dennis Sullivan; Local 1320 President, James Tucciarelli; Local 3 Business Representative, Sean Fitzpatrick; Labor Commissioner James F. Hanley and his team; and Budget Director Mark Page and his staff for their efforts in reaching this agreement.


Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna   (212) 788-2958

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