Several inquiries have come through the Local and via social media regarding where we are in bargaining with the City for a new contract. As I have reported at every Membership Meeting since October 2018, we started the process when we elected our bargaining committee. Once we organized our demands that resulted from the surveys we collected from the membership, we then had to notify the Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations that we were ready to sit down and start negotiations.
Many of our members who are new to this process – and some who aren’t – have asked why DC 37 got their money and we haven’t, why OSA is in bargaining but we are not, and why we are concentrating just on the Administrative Managers and ignoring our other titles.
As DC 37 holds the bargaining certificate for city workers, they always negotiate first. What they agree to sets the pattern for all other locals that follow. Since we work under the auspices of the Citywide agreement, we collaborate with other unions under the MLC to negotiate citywide issues.
Once DC 37 has finished negotiations and the terms are ratified, then we have to bargain our own CWA Local 1180 Unit agreement. So far, we have had three sessions with the City this year. The first on March 18 was to present our bargaining demands; the second on April 4 was a technical meeting to discuss the costs associated with our economic demands; and the third on April 15 was our first meeting to present our Department of Education bargaining demands.
There are a lot of moving parts in the contract negotiation process, and as you know, it is definitely a long process. We are constantly working for each and every one of you, no matter what title you hold. That is why our staff and Executive Board are so important and work endlessly to make sure we do the best we can to represent you. Negotiating contracts is not easy and in order to get the most we can for our members, it takes time, and a lot of back and forth. The good news is that the terms of any new contract are retroactive to when the previous contract ended.
Once we have reached a deal with the City, then it’s up to you, the members, to ratify any agreement we make. I know some of you would prefer more regular updates, and we would be more than happy to give them if we had any news to report. As soon as we have finished our negotiations, we will of course notify everyone immediately.
Please keep in mind that while our contract expired in 2018, there are many city unions whose contracts expired as far back as 2015, 2016, and 2017. You can click here to see the end dates of some other unions’ contracts. We are at the mercy of the City’s schedules and staffing, and while we can put in requests for additional meetings, they are only requests. We have to follow those unions whose contracts expired way before ours.
To our NYCTA members, you are not forgotten either. The process with our members at this agency is quite different as funding comes from various sources. We first have to settle with the City in all bargaining actions, as well as the EEO case, and then we have to present those gains and wins to NYCTA in order to negotiate there.
While I understand the process can be frustrating for our members, please know that we are doing what we need to in order to get you the best contract possible. In the meantime, please feel free to continue reaching out if you have any specific questions.