The city is in a rush to settle with DC 37 so they won't have to deal with the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association who are heading for talks with a mediator and then probably arbitration. The PBA has a very strong case that police officers in NYC are paid much less than their colleagues in the suburbs. They won't get far in arbitration, however, because the city will settle up with a weak union such as DC 37 or the UFT to set a pattern for raises and then negotiators for the other unions will be basically stuck with that pattern. Arbitrators will use the pattern too if a union reaches an impasse with the city.
The PBA and other uniform unions usually get up to 1% over the civilian pattern but the pattern sets the framework for all unionized municipal workers as it has done for over forty years.
For those wondering what is on the table, DC 37 and UFT President Michael Mulgrew have pretty much told us what the parameters are. DC 37 has a letter out that is also on their blog that the UFT gave out to the Delegates yesterday. It shows where their negotiations stand. Mulgrew in his report to the DA gave us more information.
We learned from our President that the city is crying poverty (no surprise there) because of the tax reform bill in DC that will lead to budget cuts for NYC. We also found out that the state pattern is about 2% raises per year.
It's interesting how Mulgrew didn't even mention that the stock market is setting record highs and the city is doing very well financially. It was all gloom and doom from the chair.
We also found out from DC 37 that they are seeking a three year contract and that the city wants another $2.4 billion in healthcare savings from the MLC. We saved the city over $3 billion in the last round.
ICE-UFTBLOG predicts that DC 37 will have a contract in the next few months that will set a pattern for city workers of around 2% a year and there will be more healthcare givebacks. To put it another way, we will pay for much of our raise. Our contract will be done on time and it will mirror DC 37. Also, the UFT will soon agree to paid family leave paid for with a slightly smaller raise for all of us that will adhere to the state law that set a pattern in the private sector.
Some highlights from the DC 37 blog:
Union wants a three-year contract.The union’s 13 demands include a three-year agreement with a fair wage increase.
“We are looking to improve our standard of living,” David Paskin, DC 37’s director of research and negotiations said, commenting on the union’s overarching concern in these negotiations.
Paskin noted that members feel under a lot of financial pressure because of high rents, rising food and transportation expenses, and skyrocketing drug prices. Members are also anxious about their future because of the nationwide attack on public employee pensions and benefits, Paskin said.
The negotiations committee members met in caucus before the session to discuss the demands and the union’s bargaining strategy. They caucused again after they met with city negotiators to review Linn’s responses and to continue to evaluate the bargaining climate.
Linn said he would respond formally to the demands at the next bargaining session. But he did share his initial take on the demands with the union’s negotiating team, which includes the council’s executive officers and local union presidents.
Health care will be a major topic of discussion as the union aims to protect the benefit while the city seeks a three-year agreement with municipal unions to find $2.4 billion in health-care savings. City unions agreed to a $3.4 billion saving plan linked to the last round of bargaining, which helped fund DC 37’s 2010-17 contract.
Garrido is urging the Municipal Labor Committee — which bargains health care on behalf of all city unions — to hammer out a savings plan with the city. Without an agreement on health-care, negotiations will likely be more complicated because the city would not have a clear picture of its future financial commitments.
Linn expressed concern about the city’s $88 billion obligation for retiree benefits. In response, Garrido said, “Don’t mess with our retirees. They have paid their dues.”
The union’s demands include getting rid of the reduced hiring rate. Other demands include paid family leave; an annuity plan into which the city would contribute $5 a day; funding to reduce pay inequities; a floating holiday; an increase of meal and mileage allowances, and an increase in the city’s welfare fund contribution for each member and retiree.