Deal must be ratified by 32BJ membership, protects healthcare benefits, full time jobs and overtime
SCARSDALE, NY – Today, 32BJ SEIU and the Building & Realty Institute of Westchester & the Mid-Hudson Region (BRI) reached a tentative agreement, averting a strike of 1,400 residential building workers in the Hudson Valley.
The tentative agreement includes:
- Historic 15.71% wage increase over four years
- Protection of 100% employer-paid healthcare
- Protection of full time jobs and overtime
- Pension improvements
- Maintenance of sick leave and vacation benefits
- Strengthens employees’ right to honor Juneteenth and 9/11 as an elective holiday or personal day
- Stronger protection against discrimination in the workplace
- 14-day notice for shift schedule changes
- Maintenance of funding for worker legal and training funds through 2026
The historic agreement comes after 32BJ SEIU members rallied and voted to strike if necessary on Sept. 20, following proposals by the BRI to begin healthcare premium sharing after a 4-year agreement, increase workers’ hour threshold to receive healthcare, allow unlimited expansion of temporary work without benefits, and eliminate overtime accrual after 8pm.
“We have gone through so much and given so much to keep our residents and buildings safe during the pandemic – before the vaccines and before real PPE,” said building superintendent Tony Castiglione. “This agreement feels like we’re getting some recognition for all that we’ve sacrificed.”
“I guess we won’t be going on strike. I have been working as a doorman for 35 years, and the last two years have been like nothing I’ve ever seen,” said doorman Felix Cano. “When the pandemic hit, we got inundated with packages. It feels good to get a tentative agreement that honors all that we’ve done.”
“Hudson Valley workers exercised their power and have now won a phenomenal agreement,” said 32BJ President Kyle Bragg. “Not only have they won excellent wage and pension increases to keep up with the rising cost of living, but this tentative agreement crucially protects their great employer-paid healthcare while maintaining the integrity of their bargaining unit. I want to express my congratulations to these essential Hudson Valley workers!”
“We showed up, we rallied to make our voices heard, we organized our colleagues, and now we have won a contract that honors the essential work of door-people, porters, handy-people and superintendents across the Hudson Valley. Residential building service workers went above and beyond during the pandemic, at great risk to themselves and their families,” said 32BJ Executive Vice President and Director of the Hudson Valley District Shirley Aldebol. “I want to thank our members for organizing their colleagues and our negotiating partners at the BRI for working in good faith and reaching a fair deal for both sides.”
“The property owners, managing agents, co-op shareholders, and condo residents who make up the BRI appreciate the essential and hard-working men and women who staff residential buildings throughout the Hudson Valley,” said Tim Foley, CEO of BRI. “We are very glad to have reached an agreement that maintains their benefits and delivers the highest annual wage increases since our contract began, but structured in such a way as to make it affordable and sustainable for middle-class residents being squeezed by higher energy, utilities, insurance, and building supplies costs. We respect our workers for their exceptional performance during the difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic and the effort they put in every day to keep the residents who rely on them safe, and look forward to continuing our partnership to keep New Yorkers in housing that is secure, dignified, and affordable.”
With more than 175,000 members in 12 states and Washington DC, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.