The word union means we are all together. No one is out there on a limb by himself.

~ Leroy Abramson, 32BJ Member, New York

NY Security Contracts Raise Wages

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After nearly a year of planning and organizing, security officers in New York City have strong new contracts for the next four years! Bargaining between 32BJ and the employers for thousands security officers in New York started in February. In the division’s largest opening of bargaining yet, hundreds of security members turned out to see their elected bargaining committee begin talks with the their employers.

On April 25, a tentative agreement was reached with the Realty Advisory Board, representing major building owners and property service contractors. The new RAB contract ensures pay raises, provides thousands of dollars to maintain family health insurance entirely paid for by the employer and protects other important benefits that thousands of security officers rely on in New York. This contract was later overwhelmingly approved by hundreds of 32BJ security officers.

The contract for the remaining 32BJ security officers in New York expired on April 30 and negotiations with contractors continued. On May 12, the union reached an agreement with the contractors, averting possible strikes throughout the city. The contractors agreement gives security officers wage increases more paid days off! By 2017, security officers in commercial real estate buildings throughout the city will join thousands of other security officers who already have 100% employer-paid family health coverage, one of the main demands of their contract campaign. And the new contract creates a minimum wage of $15.50 by 2019! This contract was overwhelmingly approved by hundreds of 32BJ security officers.

Both contracts will cover security officers through April 30, 2020 and represent a major shift in the pay and benefits for security work in New York City. Just 10 years ago, security officers in New York could expect to make the minimum wage, with few benefits or days off, today these are good jobs that security officers can support their families on.

To get to this point is a testament to the hard work of 32BJ security members. Not only do they put their lives on the line each day to be #AlwaysThere for New Yorkers, but they were #AlwaysThere for each other in this fight for a good contract. They began planning for their contract campaign more than a year before bargaining committees sat down to negotiate with the employers. The strength of the new contracts reflects a strong division that built power using surveys, rallies, building meetings and the union’s first-ever leadership and shop steward certification courses.

Now that we can celebrate the New York Security Division’s good contracts, it’s also time for us to look to the future and keep working to make the division even stronger! If you are a 32BJ New York security officer interested in signing up for the next round of Security Leadership Courses, contact your rep or shop steward.

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