The first negotiation meeting was held at the Office of Labor Relations (OLR) Monday, December 15th. Representatives of the City, NYCHA, workers from all seven 220 titles, as well as Local 237 staff and leaders, attended the session. No specific proposals were exchanged, but having formally begun the process, bargaining sessions will be convened for specific titles.
The City spoke in general terms about the city pattern established by DC 37, which provides a 10% raise over seven years.
Future contract negotiations will focus on raises, pension contributions, Health and Welfare Fund contributions and annuities for each title. Local 237 Trustee Ed Kane pointed out that health benefit contributions have already been negotiated by the Municipal Labor Coalition (MLC). Local 237 is working to lower health care costs.
During a union caucus, Local 237 Attorney Marty Glennon explained that the union is waiting for the City Comptroller's determination of comparable private sector pay and benefits for each of the seven titles that Local 237 represents. The union requested the determinations in 2012. Once the union receives these determinations, each title's committee will compare the outside rate to the city pattern and determine which is the most beneficial to members. Click here to learn more about the 220 negotiation process.
Other contract provisions, such as changes in work rules, are determined by either Local 237's Citywide or Housing Authority contracts. Local 237's Citywide contract was ratified in September and NYCHA negotiations have just started. When asked about the concessions that NYCHA management has recently called for in the press, Citywide Director Donald Arnold said, " Those issues will be decided in housing negotiations. But President Floyd has made it very clear that there will not be any discussions about work rule changes without just compensation."
Longtime Local 237 members know that the bargaining process for skilled trade titles can be lengthy, but in the end, 220 members have the key advantage of choosing between either the citywide pattern or outside prevailing rate.
Hercules Cornish went to work for the Housing Authority as a caretaker J in 1952 and retired 24 years later as a stores worker. He died the year following this interview, which was conducted in June 1999.
Originally I was from Harlem, but when I came out of the service in 1945 my wife had moved to the Bronx, so I moved there, too. I went to work for the New York City Housing Authority in 1952.