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Labor-Friendly NYC Mayor Cleaning Up Bloomberg's Union Contract Messes

Teamsters Local 237 has announced a new agreement with the City of New York for school safety agents and special officers. In reaching a contract, Mayor Bill de Blasio makes good on a campaign promise to settle a pay equity lawsuit that had been lingering for four years. The city will pay $38 million in back wages to current and former safety agents, who are largely female.  

Details of the lawsuit, as explained by the New York Times:

Despite having the same duties and training — both are unarmed guards who can make arrests — a $7,009 pay gap divides the agents and the special officers, who are assigned to public buildings, such as hospitals. Seventy percent of school safety agents are women, while men make up 70 percent of special officers, according to the union.

The tentative contract raises wages by 10 percent over seven years, and both job titles fall under the same seven-year pay step plan, making a maximum of $46,737 annually by March 2017. Currently, school safety agents can earn up to $35,323 annually, while the maximum salary for special officers is $42,332.

The proposed settlement, which would come with an additional $68 million in raises for the workers, still needs court approval. The city will also spend $47 million to accelerate the raises. 

Since the contract is retroactive, agents employed for at least three years (as of September 1st) and retired agents who worked between March 5, 2010 and August 31st will receive $7,000 in retroactive pay.  

de Blasio waxed ecstatic:

“This is a major win for our workforce and our city, providing fair pay to school safety agents and special officers and eliminating the risks of an open contract and open litigation, all while securing unprecedented health savings and protecting our fiscal health.”

The previous mayor, Michael Bloomberg, left office with a vast majority of the city’s unionized workforce devoid of contracts. As of this settlement, 62 percent of the city’s workforce is now contractually sorted.  

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