Tufts janitors avoid strike with agreement reached only hours before contract expired
The workers won't be standing at a picket line thanks to an agreement that includes higher wages and more full-time positions.
Tufts University janitors won't be striking thanks to a last-minute tentative agreement with the school's contractor, the union representing the workersannounced Tuesday.
About 200 janitors, represented by the32BJ SEIU,have been negotiating with Tufts' cleaning contractor, C&W services, since August. Just two hours before the contract was set to expire, the workersreached an agreement that will put their wages at $21.55 by 2020.
Workers last Thursday had authorized the union to strike for fair wages as the cost of livng in Boston increases, better pensions and more full-time jobs if they couldn't reach a new contract with the school before the current one expired on Monday.
The agreement also improves pension and training, along with creating more full-time work. Janitors originally argued that positions are too often designated as "part time" so that the employer doesn't have to pay for the workers' health care.
"This is a good agreement that opens a path to the middle class for hardworking men and woman who are an indispensable part of the Tufts community," said Roxana Rivera, vice president of 32BJ SEIU, in a statement.