De Blasio administration announces $1.75b deal with municipal union

bill de blasio labor contracts dc 37
De Blasio stood with District Council 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts at City Hall on Wednesday to unveil their $1.75 billion deal that would give its members — which includes park employees, lifeguards and library workers.
Credit: Ed Reed/NYC Mayor’s Office

Almost exactly a month after announcing an agreement with the city’s teachers union, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed off on an agreement that covers about 100,000 city workers.

De Blasio stood with District Council 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts at City Hall on Wednesday to unveil their $1.75 billion deal that would give its members — which includes park employees, lifeguards and library workers — three years of back pay and a one-time bonus.

The compromise also means 60 percent of the municipal workforce have reached new agreements, according to the mayor’s office.

“We bargained hard, as did the administration, to reach this agreement, and we commend the Mayor for treating us with respect throughout the process,” Roberts said in a statement. “We think this agreement is a beginning for a new administration that is attempting to right the wrongs of the previous one.”

With the payout comes expected healthcare savings estimated at about $795 million, which if met would reduce the city’s cost to $995 million.

The administration said the agreement is smaller than the $5.5 billion contract with the United Federation of Teachers in May due to DC-37 members’s salary levels and that its members worked without contracts for a shorter period of time.

The agreement does, however, follow the pattern set forth by the UFT deal. Workers would get retroactive raises of 1 percent for the last three years, can expect a 1.4 percent bump this year, 2.5 percent next year and 3 percent in 2016.

Once ratified, workers would also get a one-time $1,000 bonus.

The deal also calls for a conversation between the administration and the union to figure out how the city can save money with the existing, in-house workforce, promising to finish talks by 2016.

“A lot of times we were promised a rose garden and we ended up with inflated costs and a lack of oversight and a lot of problems,” de Blasio said, distancing himself from the idea of privatization. “I believe in our public workforce.”

De Blasio declined to shed any light on the ongoing negotiations between his administration and the police unions such as the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, who in May said was at an impasse with the city.

Correction: A previous verison of this story stated the Municipal Labor Committee needs to approve the agreement. MLC does not need to approve individual agreements reached by the city and labor groups. We regret the error.

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria


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