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Mayor de Blasio Announces Tentative Contract Agreement with Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association, Local 831

May 19, 2015

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Marks Tenth Uniformed Union to Reach Agreement, Brings Nearly 80 Percent of Workforce Under Contract

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the City of New York has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, Local 831, which covers over 6,000 sanitation workers across the city. This agreement marks the tenth uniformed union to reach a contract agreement with the City, and brings nearly 80 percent of the workforce under contract.

This agreement conforms with the uniformed pattern established in December 2014 with the City’s agreement with the Uniformed Superior Officers Coalition, which represents eight uniformed unions spanning police, fire, sanitation, and corrections officers; in February, the City reached an agreement with the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association. The agreement also incorporates the unprecedented health care savings agreed upon with the Municipal Labor Committee, ensuring that these raises are affordable and responsible for the City and its taxpayers.

The proposed contract provides for 11 percent in raises over seven years, three months, and 30 days. It would begin, retroactively, on September 21, 2011 and expire on January 19, 2019.

“We rely on our sanitation workers to keep our streets safe and clean year round. This contract provides these hardworking men and women with the fair wages they deserve and protects New York City taxpayers – while moving forward our shared goal of a greener and more efficient collection system that helps us achieve zero waste to landfills by 2030,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, we’ve reached agreements with nearly 80 percent of our workforce – including ten uniformed unions – reflecting the productive and respectful dynamic we’ve worked to establish between the City and our employees.”

“This is a well-deserved day for the men and women of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association,” said Uniformed Sanitationmen’s President Harry Nespoli. “After nearly four years without a contract, it is a pleasure to deal with an administration that comes to the bargaining table with the goal of reaching a contract that meets the needs of our members.”

“This represents another example of how successful labor and management can be when they negotiate in good faith, and helps lay the foundation for the Mayor’s goal of zero waste to landfills by 2030,” said Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

As part of the agreement, the City and the union will create a joint Labor-Management Committee on Productivity, which will review existing programs to enhance productivity targets. As announced in OneNYC last month, the City and the union will work together to redesign the collection system to achieve the goal of Zero Waste to landfills by 2030. This includes an expansion of the organics program to serve all New Yorkers by 2018, single-stream recycling by 2020, expanded recycling opportunities, and other new initiatives and technologies that will dramatically improve the collection process. 

In total, the MLC and the City have agreed to secure $3.4 billion in health care savings through Fiscal Year 2018 (starting with $400 million in FY 2015 and building up to $1.3 million in FY 2018), and $1.3 billion in recurring savings every year thereafter. These savings are focused on cost-cutting measures that, for the first time, bend the curve of rising health care costs. The City has already detailed the $400 million in savings for FY15. These savings are guaranteed and enforceable by arbitration.
Fair Wages

The tentative contract agreement is consistent with the established uniformed pattern. Wage increases will constitute 11 percent over seven years, three months, and 30 days:

September 21, 2011 – 1.00%
March 21, 2013 – 1.00%
March 21, 2014 – 1.00%
March 21, 2015 – 1.00%
March 21, 2016 – 1.50%
June 2, 2017 – 2.50%
June 2, 2018 – 3.00%

The first wage increase was advanced to the first day of the agreement (9/21/11) by delaying the last two wage increases by two months and 12 days.  The agreement also includes a one-time $1,000 ratification bonus. 

The tentative agreement also includes benefit improvements funded by the three month, 30 day contract extension over the seven-year pattern: an annuity increase of $60 is effective September 21, 2016 and will increase based on future collective bargaining; a uniform allowance increase of $100 effective July 1, 2015; a longevity increase of $100 effective July 1, 2016; and the addition of an annual leave day for employees with over 10 years of service effective January 1, 2016 and the addition of another annual leave day for employees with over 15 years of service effective January 1, 2017.

Affordable Costs

The cost of today’s tentative agreement across the Financial Plan (from FY 2015 through FY 2019) is consistent with the cost of the other nine uniformed settlements reached so far and funded within existing budgetary projections:

Gross Cost: $271.1 million
Health Savings and Stabilization Fund: ($98.4 million)
Net Cost: $172.7 million

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