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Building service strike ends.

Ending a 12-day work stoppage, negotiators for the Realty Advisory Board and Local 32B-32J of the Service Employees International Union signed a new 3-year agreement, covering some 30,000 doormen, porters, elevator operators, handymen, and other building service workers in New York City. The Realty Advisory Board negotiated for owners of about 2,800 rental, cooperative, and condominium residential buildings. The major issue separating the parties was wages. Several other issues, including number of days off and a two-tier wage system, added to the dimension of the dispute.

According to the union, negotiations broke down after management proposed an agreement that called for wage increases of 3.5 percent a year, but no additional improvements. The union's last prestrike offer to management reportedly was a 3-year contract that included wage increases of 8.6 percent in the first year, 7 percent in the second year, and 6.5 percent in the third year. After the stoppage began, the union reportedly offered to sign separate 3year contracts with the individual building owners, with a wage and benefit package of 6.5 percent each year, plus an additional holiday.

The new 3-year agreement, which was expected to serve as a pattern for several hundred other apartment buildings covered under a separate contract that expires June 30, calls for wage increases of $18 a week for handymen and $16 a week for other building service workers retroactive to April 21, 1991; $21 and $19 a week, respectively, on April 21, 1992, and $23 and $21 a week, respectively, on April 21, 1993 (at the expiration of the prior contract, handymen reportedly earned $503 a week, and other building service employees earned $462.73 a week). Annuities for all job classifications are increased by $1, $2, and $1 a week, respectively, on the same dates as the wage increases.

Other terms include a cost-of-living allowance; an increase in the maximum monthly pension from $550 to $600; an increase in lifetime medical coverage from $2 million to $2.5 million; and the option of having a paid personal day off for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, birthday, Good Friday, or Yom Kippur; unpaid maternity/paternity leave, up to 2 weeks, to care for a newborn or adopted child; improvements in the legal service fund, including a 2,000 increase (to $6,000) in "one-time" legal benefits, expansion of immigration-related services, and establishment of new services related to housing, mortgage expenses, and obligations of home ownership; an increase in the scholarship fund from $448,000 a year to $496,000 a year, to include a new $16,000 undergraduate scholarship (previously, 20 scholarships) and a new $32,000 postgraduate scholarship (previously, four scholarships); an increase in the meal allowance from $7.50 to $10; replacement of employee-owned tools damaged during normal performance of work; and, in addition to full pay for unused sick leave, a $100 bonus for employees with perfect attendance for the calendar year.
COPYRIGHT 1991 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Title Annotation:Service Employees International Union and the Realty Advisory Board labor contract
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Jul 1, 1991
Previous Article:Maritime union restructures.
Next Article:The Competitive Advantage of Nations.

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