Administrative Manager Bargaining
Update as of…
December 3, 2013
On December 3rd, with less than a month before Michael Bloomberg finishes his third term as Mayor of the City of New York, the Communications Workers of America, Local 1180 and its members (CWA), filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging gender and race based discrimination. CWA intends to initiate a class action lawsuit charging the City with violating the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and New York State’s Equal Pay Law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related state and local human rights laws.
This complaint comes after the City was found to have acted improperly when CWA brought these concerns to the City's attention (See attached decisions). The current complaint seeks injunctive relief to remedy discriminatory pay practices due to a suppressed minimum salary for Administrative Managers. This job title, CWA alleges, is a segregated and female dominated position in which women are underpaid for their work, even after decades of service to the City.
Arthur Cheliotes, CWA Local 1180 President, said "The pattern and practice of this administration stonewalling and acting in bad faith has hurt all our members, but it has been especially devastating for women and members of color who earn thousands less per year than their white male counterparts. While there is a long history of challenges in collective bargaining, fair pay and workers' rights, these matters deteriorated under the Bloomberg administration."
CWA began representing Administrative Managers in 2009. Upon review and analysis of these new members' salaries and work histories, CWA discovered the pattern of discriminatory pay practices. Historically, Administrative Managers were predominately white men. Over time more women and minorities were appointed to the position. Today, over 78% of Administrative Managers are women, and many are women of color. During this migration, the minimum salary for the position was suppressed even as the maximum salary rose. As a result, according to the City's own records, 82% of Administrative Managers making under $60,000.00 are women, yet in a position overwhelmingly female, little more than half of all Administrative Managers who make more than $85,000.00 are women. Further, women with the same experience make less than their male counterparts. For example, women with 20 to 30 years of experience working for the City make on average almost $7,000 less per year than their male counterparts with the same experience.
October 23, 2013
On October 23, 2013 the Board of Collective Bargaining of the City of New York ruled in favor of CWA Local 1180 in connection with two Improper Practice Proceedings stemming from contract negotiations on behalf of employees in the designated title of Administrative Manager.
In the first proceeding, the New York City Office of Labor Relations alleged that the Union failed to bargain in good faith by engaging in surface bargaining and setting preconditions to negotiation during the parties’ contract negotiations, the OCB rejected all claims stating that the record of evidence failed to support any of the allegations.
In the second proceeding, the Union alleged that the City’s initial Improper Practice Proceeding was filed solely for the purpose of delaying negotiations indefinitely, the OCB concurred that the actions undertaken by the city were “meritless”, “frivolous” and amounted to a breach by the City to bargain in good faith.
"These ruling from OCB are tremendous victories for New York City employees and Collective Bargaining Law in NYC,” stated Arthur Cheliotes, President of Communications Workers of America, Local 1180. “The Board has affirmed what labor has asserted for years, the Bloomberg administration that has intentionally ignored their legal obligation to bargain in good faith with unions representing city workers who provide vital city services to all New Yorkers.”
July 25, 2013
A hearing on the City’s Improper Practice Petition against Local 1180 was held at the Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB) on July 11, 2013. Both the City and the Local made opening statements and presented witness testimony. Renee Campion, Associate Commissioner at the Office of Labor Relations (OLR), testified on behalf of the City and our President, Arthur Cheliotes, testified on behalf of the Local.
These charges are nothing more than a stalling tactic by the city. The bargaining committee at the hearing shared that opinion when the charge by the city was not backed up by the testimony of their witness. They charged that the union had issued an ultimatum, leaving the city to believe that unless we got a starting salary of $108,958 we would not sign a contract. But the witness was not able to offer specifics, only feelings.
The evidence presented by the union indicated that our well-documented presentation was clear. In response to the city’s offer to keep the minimum at $53,373 and cut the maximum to $85,000, we stated and presented documents explaining three methodologies that could be used to calculate the minimum:
- 1) The percentage increases in the maximum since 1978 paid Administrative Managers - $108,958;
- 2) The percentage increases since 1978 paid to Principal Administrative Associates - $85,024;
- 3) The increase in the Consumer Price Index since 1978 - $78,971.
Of course our first demand was for the greatest increase possible, which is not an ultimatum but a basis for further negotiation, just as we accepted their outrageously low wage offer as their first offer in negotiations.
At a secondary hearing held on July 25, 2013, the city was given the opportunity to present additional testimony to challenge the union’s testimony. The city was unable to produce such testimony. Final Briefs will be submitted before the end of July for consideration in the Hearing Officer’s decision.
Our struggle continues, the union persisted and demanded that OLR bargain and stop stalling negotiations. We sent a letter to OLR Commissioner James Hanley calling for OLR to come to the bargaining table while the hearing was pending. He responded with a resounding “no”.
We turned the tables on the OLR and filed an Improper Practice Petition against them for refusing to meet and negotiate. Following the hearing, we sent a second letter demanding they bargain pending the Hearing Officer’s decision. Perhaps this administration will have an epiphany, come to their senses, and respect the collective bargaining process. It doesn’t work if the parties aren’t meeting.
June 10, 2013
On April 9, 2013 a pre-hearing conference was held at the Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB) on the City’s Improper Practice Petition. At that conference the Union asked the City to resume bargaining, the City refused. OCB requested that the City and the Union engage in mediation. The Union agreed immediately but in a letter dated May 7, 2013 the City refused to resume bargaining with a Mediator. On May 14, 2013 the Union sent a letter to the City requesting to resume bargaining with or without a Mediator. On May 20, 2013 the City replied that it would not negotiate until the OCB case on their Improper Practice Petition is completed. As a result the Union has filed and Improper Practice Petition against the City for refusing to bargain. Our petition asks that OCB dismiss the City’s petition and order the City to negotiate in good faith with the Union.
Hearing dates are scheduled for July 11 and 25 on the City’s petition.
March 21, 2013
In response to our last bargaining session on January 23, 2013 the City filed an Improper Practice Petition against the union with the Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB) on February 7, 2013. The City claims that the union is setting pre-conditions on the bargaining process and is acting in bad faith. They specifically claimed that the union is preparing a lawsuit against the City and that if an impasse panel awards something less than the minimum salary the union is seeking that the union will file a lawsuit. On January 23the union did present information that could be the bases of a discrimination lawsuit. We stated that this union was prepared to work with the City to mitigate any punitive penalties it may face by moving quickly to bargain an agreement that will correct the discrimination we have now brought to their attention. We offered several options for establishing a minimum salary for Administrative Manager. Our attorneys don’t see any improper action on our part and they have prepared a response to the City’s petition. We believe that we have a strong case and this is a delaying tactic by the City.
Non-profit Contract Negotiations
Contract expired on December 31, 2012 - negotiations for new contract ongoing.
SUSTAINABLE SOUTH BRONX
Contract expired on December 31, 2012. Negotiations were delayed due to the organization was nearly defunct. Financial situation improved and in February 2013 both parties agreed to a 3% increase retroactive to September 1, 2012. May 22 or May 23 is tentative date to initiate new contract negotiations.
NEW YORK CONVENTION CENTER (Jacob Javitz Center)
Contract expired on March 31, 2008. Collectively all unions including 1180 have avoided negotiations since 2008 as management dogged insistence on givebacks including having employees contribute to their health coverage.
In 2012 a new president desired to renew negotiations. Negotiations proceeded with a tentative agreement of substantial increase. Employees rejected ratification of agreement. New dates have been submitted to restart negotiations.
UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM
Contract expired in March 2011. 8 unions including 1180 represent this shop. Management is bent on concessions from the employees and thus all unions have not engaged in negotiations. The unions have sued the employer for implementing changes without prior negotiations. Negotiations are at a standstill while the legal process takes place.
Contract expired on December 31, 2012. Negotiations have been difficult as the organization has financial issues and want members to start paying for health coverage. Members do not want to open the door on this issue as once it is open it will be impossible to close.
Feb 6, 2014
CWA e-Newsletter: Feb. 6, 2013
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