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City Announces Contract Agreement Between Local 891 School Custodians and 32BJ Public School Cleaners and Handypersons

November 23, 2014

Agreement conforms to existing pattern settlement, includes 18 percent wage increases over nine years and guaranteed health care savings
NEW YORK - The de Blasio administration announced today that a contract agreement has been reached between Local 891 School Custodians and their employees, 32BJ cleaners and handypersons. The 32BJ cleaners and handypersons work primarily in the City's public schools, but they are not employees of the City; rather, the Local 891 School Custodians serve as the individual employer.

The nine-year agreement covers October 22, 2007 through October 21, 2016 and includes 18 percent in raises over the contract term and a $1,000 bonus, as well as required health savings that will offset the cost of the contract. The settlement conforms with the established pattern that was fully accounted for in the City's adopted budget and labor reserve, meaning that there are no new costs for the City as part of this agreement.

The agreement maintains existing benefits for the approximately 5,000 full-time equivalent school cleaners and handypersons who keep New York City public school buildings safe and clean for more than one million children.

The gross cost of the agreement is $211.1 million, which will be offset by approximately $21 million in guaranteed health savings - resulting in a net cost of $190.2 million.
Under the agreement announced today, employees will receive a total of 18 percent in raises over the nine years of the contract. This includes approximately eight percent in restructured payments for the 2008-2010 round of bargaining, in lieu of the raises that had been granted by the previous administration to much of the rest of the municipal workforce, provided in incremental lump sum payments through 2020. The employees will also receive a total of roughly 10 percent in raises through 2016, for the 2010-2017 round of bargaining.
"This agreement between Local 891 and 32BJ public school cleaners and handypersons means yet another step forward in ensuring respectful and productive relationships with the employees who serve New York City and its people," said Mayor de Blasio. "By conforming with the established pattern, including guaranteed health savings, this agreement is affordable for the City and its taxpayers, while still providing workers with the fair wages they deserve."

"I am pleased that the collective bargaining process has brought about a fair wage increase for the hard working members of Local 32BJ," said Robert J. Troeller, President and Business Manager of Local 891 International Union of Operating Engineers. "The custodial workers in the public schools have worked far too long without an increase. Due to numerous budget cuts, these workers have become increasingly productive.  It's good to see these men and woman recognized and rewarded for their work."

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