Teamsters Local 237

Skilled Trades (220 Titles)

Many skilled trades workers choose a civil service career because it provides them with annual paid leave, superior pensions, retirement, and health care benefits as well as a degree of job security not found in the private sector.

The collective bargaining process for Local 237 members working in the skilled trades for one of the NYC Mayoral agencies, HHC, CUNY, or the NYCHA is different from the one other 237 members have. This is because workers in the skilled trades fall under special state laws governing how they should be paid - New York Labor Law, Section 220 – thus the term 220 titles. (click here for more information on prevailing wage)

While the process of reaching a contract agreement with the City for 220 titles can be very complex and time consuming, members eventually come out ahead. Unlike most other union members, we can choose between several bargaining strategies available only to the skilled trades.

The negotiating committees for each skilled trade determine which strategy best meets their title’s needs. After reviewing all the compensation calculations (the total value of wages and benefits for each strategy) provided by Local 237 staff and consultants, the negotiation committee weighs each option and makes a decision. The committees can either accept a contract with wage and benefit changes similar to the citywide pattern (with or without modifications) or they can demand a contract based on the wage compensation package prevailing among comparable workers in the private sector. If they choose the second strategy, they can even include a challenge to the Comptroller’s findings of the determining private sector union and wage, if the committee believes the Comptroller’s determination is too low.

Which route will lead to the most successful contract for a given title can change from one round of negotiations to another. All Local 237 skilled trades titles covered by Section 220 have the right, by law, to pick anew at each collective bargaining period the type of contract they want to pursue. They can take an outside rate one contract, the citywide pattern another, and then go back to the private sector comparison the third round without penalty.

Regardless of which bargaining strategy is taken, one thing is constant; we are strongest when we are all informed, unified and involved. Click on your title below for more contract information:

Oral History Project

Hercules Cornish: Caretaker J Stores Man

Herclules CornishHercules 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.

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