NEW YORK – 32BJ SEIU’s Long Island bargaining committee and the Realty Advisory Board have reached a tentative agreement that would provide raises of thousands of dollars yearly over four years, maintain health care and increase funding for retirement benefits. If ratified by the members, the contract would cover over 150 porters, handypersons and supers in 50 buildings in Nassau and Suffolk Counties serving 15,000 Long Islanders.
“As residential development in Long Island continues to grow, it’s important to have an agreement that honors and respects the valuable work of the men and women who keep these buildings clean and running,” said Lenore Friedlaender, Assistant to the President of 32BJ SEIU and head of the Long Island division. “Our members made some important gains at a time that employers push back on paying for health and retirement benefits. This deal will help them to continue making a good life in the city.”
The tentative agreement comes a week before the four-year contract was set to expire, and two months after a similar settlement with RAB covering 31,000 members in New York City. The agreement protects health care benefits for the workers, while providing increases to retirement benefits and strong wage increases that helps members keep up with the rising cost of living. These job securities ensure that these workers will be able to continue serving Long Island families while providing a good life for themselves and their families.
32BJ members, who are part of the bargaining committee, said they planned to vote for the contract and encourage their co-workers to do the same.
“We are very pleased this contract reflects what we need to continue building a good life for our families,” said Alfreda Simpkins, who works in Mineola and was part of the bargaining committee. “The employers let us know that they appreciate the hard work we do, and we were able to work together toward this deal that will benefit not just us, but thousands of Long Islanders.”
Members will meet to vote on ratifying the new contract on June 19 in Hempstead.
With more than 163,000 members, including 2,000 who live and work in Long Island, 32BJ is the largest property service workers’ union in the country.