The agreement will result in more frequent maintenance services and repairs, benefitting nearly 400,000 NYCHA residents. On April 9, 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Teamsters Local 237 President Greg Floyd announced that the City has reached an agreement for a tentative contract with the union for fair wages and work schedules for maintenance workers. The agreement secures fair wages for approximately 1,000 NYCHA maintenance workers and approximately 350 maintenance workers at various other City agencies. The agreement is retroactive and covers a period from December 17, 2017 through January 1, 2022. It is part of the de Blasio administration’s promise to restore a productive relationship with the City’s workforce.
NYCHA maintenance workers are responsible for the routine operation and repair of buildings, public spaces and NYCHA apartments. Prior to the agreement, NYCHA maintenance worker schedule was Monday to Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Under the new agreement, NYCHA maintenance workers are required to perform basic repairs seven days a week with coverage expanded to Saturdays and Sundays until 7:00 P.M. Workers can now be assigned to one of four possible work schedules:
- Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.;
- Monday through Thursday from 8:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M., with a Sunday replacing Thursday approximately every three weeks;
- 8:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. four days a week, with every other Saturday included in the workweek; or
- 8:30 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. four days a week, with every other Saturday included in the workweek.
New wages agreements will reflect the new work schedules. Current NYCHA maintenance workers assigned to the new schedules will receive a one-time $1,500 bonus. All employees will continue to receive a 25 percent differential for working on Saturday as part of their regular workweek, and a 50 percent differential for working on Sunday.
Teamsters Local 237 Maintenance Workers are also receiving compounded wage increases. On January 17, 2018, the Teamsters Local workers received a 2.00 percent increase and a 2.25 percent increase on December 17, 2018. The next increase will be on March 17, 2020 at 3.00 percent.
The agreement also establishes the creation of a labor-management committee to discuss promotional opportunities for maintenance workers to prevailing wage titles.
The gross cost of the agreement is $42.2 million and is offset by $8.5 million in healthcare savings. The agreement will not require any additional funds to be added to the current City budget. The City’s budget will not be affected because the agreement follows the pattern set by previous union deals that already have been budgeted for future deals.
The agreement still needs to be ratified by Teamsters Local 237’s membership.
“With expanded work hours, our maintenance workers are going to help improve the lives of nearly 400,000 NYCHA residents by offering basic repairs faster and more frequently. Combined with December’s agreement that expanded the work hours for building caretakers and supervisors, NYCHA residents will begin to see better maintained buildings and experience an overall better quality of life. Maintenance workers also will receive wage increases that are fair to workers and New York City taxpayers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Having maintenance workers onsite at our developments all week long will ensure public housing residents receive the repairs they need and deserve. This agreement highlights how labor management cooperation can be a win for our employees and a win for our residents. With our partners at Local 237, NYCHA will continue to move forward to maintain affordable housing for all New Yorkers,” said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia.
“Our maintenance staff being on the ground seven days a week is a critical part of how the Authority will effectively preserve public housing and be the better landlord that our residents deserve,” said NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo.
By: May Vutrapongvatana (May is a CityLaw intern, and a New York Law School student, Class of 2019).