Neighbors

No doormen strike: Building workers union says it has a new agreement

By Jennifer White Karp | April 20, 2022 - 9:30AM

Late yesterday afternoon, the Realty Advisory Board, which represents building owners and managers, said it reached a tentative deal with 32BJ SEIU, the union for residential building service workers, averting a strike.

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New Yorkers who live in 3,000 luxury buildings can breathe a little easier: Late yesterday afternoon, the Realty Advisory Board, which represents building owners and managers, said it reached a tentative deal with 32BJ SEIU, the union for residential building service workers, averting a strike.

A strike would have been the first in 30 years, impacting 550,000 residents, who would have seen abrupt changes to their daily routines. Building managers told Brick that residents would have been asked to take out their own garbage and do their own cleaning. At some buildings, residents were told that moves, apartment showings, and renovations would have been put on hold and large deliveries not accepted—among other disruptions.

Tuesday was the deadline for both sides to come to agreement on the current contract for 30,000 door persons, porters, and handy persons and supers that expires on April 20th. Union members had unanimously authorized a strike if a new contract was not reached.

Initially it appeared the two sides were far apart, but the union won wage increases without giving up any benefits, in a recognition of the increased responsibilities building workers have shouldered since the pandemic.

The new contract also removes a central grievance: Building workers objected to being asked to contribute to their healthcare costs. Under the new contract, they will continue to receive full family health insurance coverage.

Under this tentative labor agreement, which still needs to be ratified by vote of the union’s members and the board’s directors, 32BJ members will continue to be among the highest-paid residential building service workers in the country, according to a statement from RAB.

The average annual wage increase over the four-year agreement equals 3 percent, bringing the total wage for a typical door person to about $62,000 by the end of the contract. The agreement also includes a one-time, $3,000 bonus after ratification of the new agreement.

“The industry is proud to have reached a fair agreement that will continue to create and support middle class jobs for more than 30,000 workers over the next four years,” Howard Rothschild, president of RAB, said in a statement.

“The agreement builds on the important work RAB and 32BJ accomplished together throughout the pandemic—protecting jobs and maintaining solid health benefits,” he said.

“We have a deal! We got a deal done that protects healthcare, with no premium sharing. We got a deal done that protects paid time off. We got a deal done that provides the economic security our members need in a time of rising inflation," said Kyle Bragg, president of 32BJ in a statement.  

“This contract honors the indispensable contributions that 32BJ members made throughout the pandemic and includes pay bonuses—a powerful recognition of our members’ sacrifice,” Bragg said.

 

Jennifer White Karp

Managing Editor

Jennifer White Karp steers Brick Underground’s editorial coverage of New York City residential real estate and writes articles on market trends and strategies for buyers, sellers, and renters. Jennifer’s 15-year career in NYC real estate journalism includes stints as a writer and editor at The Real Deal and its spinoff publication, Luxury Listings NYC. She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the New School.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.
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