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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

Back to the table

Union, City work on citywide contract

Photos: Thea Setterbo
DC 37’s negotiations team meets with Renee Campion, commissioner of the Office of Labor Relations, during the first collective bargaining session on Sept. 28.

DC 37 got down to business with a new City administration to negotiate the new collective bargaining contract. The previous contract expired in May 2021, with the last raise for city workers taking place nearly a year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the months leading up to the Sept. 28 meeting with City negotiators,

DC 37 carefully prepared its list of demands with direct input from members. A survey to gauge members’ top goals for the contract was released in May. Nearly 15,000 responded, demanding pay raises reflecting the current economic conditions, hazard pay, teleworking, and support for health care priorities.

Those responses strongly reflected the realities wrought by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and framed the union’s priorities. Among the demands are essential pay for members who worked throughout the pandemic or in titles involving public safety and health, flexible telework policies, and establishing an Equity Fund to resolve pay inequities.

Executive Director Henry Garrido addresses the DC 37 Bargaining Committee before the first collective bargaining session with the City of New York on Sept. 28.
The union remains focused on the safety and health of every member. Among the demands are that the City provide DC 37 and other unions with all plans and procedures regarding the impact of Long COVID in the workplace and strategies for handling future infectious disease outbreaks. Additionally, the union demands the City maintain, at a minimum, a three-month supply of up-to-date personal protective equipment (PPE).

Additional demands include requiring security enhancements to protect workers from workplace violence, establishing a maintenance plan for HVAC systems, enhancing mental health services for members, and a Joint Committee to address indoor temperature conditions at work locations.

The union held a second collective bargaining session with the City on Dec. 1. The next session is tentatively scheduled in late January.