On June 24, 2019, we held our fourth meeting with the City of New York to work toward a contract settlement. That meeting was what’s called a technical meeting, which is where we work on costing out our economic agreement. As of now, we have another technical meeting scheduled for August 7. We understand that members are frustrated by the process. However, negotiations are a back-and-forth process and can take months, if not longer. Our Local 1180 bargaining committee has not stopped negotiating with the City, nor have we put negotiations on the back burner to deal with our EEO case as some have wrongly suggested. We are dealing with both of these simultaneously as we continue to negotiate with the City to reach an agreement that is the best we can get for all our members. Once we have come to terms, all members will be notified as you will have to ratify the contract.
I have said this numerous times in the past several months, but it is worth repeating. We report the ongoing issues of the Local at membership meetings, at borough committee meetings, on the website, on our social media, via email blast, and in the Communique. It has never been, nor will it ever be, our intention to withhold information from our members. In fact, we are the only Union in the City of New York that publishes the minutes of the Executive Board meetings so there is full transparency.
As soon as we have reached an agreement with the City, our members will receive retroactive pay to the date that the previous contract ended on May 5, 2018. No one is losing out on any money as we continue our negotiations. Yes, DC 37 has resolved the citywide agreement with the City. They did not come to that agreement overnight, however. It took DC 37 months – if not years – to settle, as they had Citywide issues to deal with as well as the economic agreement. As DC 37 holds the bargaining certificate for all City workers, they are always the first to negotiate with the City, as what they agree to sets the pattern for all unions. Since we work under the auspices of the Citywide agreement, we collaborate with other unions under the MLC to negotiate citywide issues.
There are a lot of moving parts in the contract negotiation process, and as you know, it is definitely a long process. Please keep in mind that while our contract expired in 2018, there are many city unions whose contracts expired as far back as 2015, 2016, and 2017 who have not yet settled their contracts.
Yes, we could get a contract faster. We could sit at the bargaining table and let the City give us their terms and conditions and not fight back. We could let them dictate all terms of a new contract for our members and we could have a settlement tomorrow. I can guarantee that would be a contract very few of you would appreciate or be happy with.
As President of this great union of which I am so proud to be a member of, my job – along with the rest of the Executive Board, Shop Stewards, and Bargaining Committee – is to protect our workers and make sure you all receive pay fairness for the work assigned to you. For those of you sticking with the union and supporting us as we continue to negotiate to get you the most we possibly can, we thank you. Your support and encouragement are what keep sending us back to the bargaining table to get you the best deal possible.