Sign up For DC 37 News


Public Employee Press

DC 37 News

Local 1359 members approve new contract

NEW CONTRACT: Local 1359 President Dennis Ifill and DC 37 negotiator Michele Trester shake hands with the city’s negotiators after reaching a five-year contract deal last December.
Members of Rent Regulation Service Employees Local 1359 on Jan. 11 overwhelmingly approved a five-year contract with 2 percent annual increases, voting 341 to 10 in favor of the contract at five worksites around the city.

This economic agreement mirrors the current contract that covers tens of thousands of other state workers represented by the Civil Service Employees Association.

“With about 95 percent of our coworkers voting ‘yes,’ it’s pretty clear that Local 1359 members are happy with the new contract,” the local’s president, Dennis Ifill, said. With a broad smile, Ifill playfully added, “They wanted their money.”

Besides the raise, the contract makes a number of key improvements over the previous economic agreement, Ifill said. The contract creates a new, $4,500 longevity that kicks in when employees reach 15 years at the top of their pay grade. The new longevity goes into effect April 2, 2020.

On April 2, 2019, the first longevity payment at five years at the top of pay grade will increase from $1,250 to $1,5oo and the second, 10-year longevity at the top of the pay grade will go up from $2,000 to $3,000.

The maximum days for bereavement and care for an ill family member will increase from 15 to 25 days a year. The agreement makes possible the option for members under salary grade 22 to receive compensation time rather than extra pay for overtime.

In side letters, the union and management agreed to set up committees that deal with telecommuting, paid family leave for all titles, and career opportunities for associate and senior attorneys.

Significantly, the new contract holds the line on the premiums for individual and family health-care coverage, though it allows for some co-pay increases in 2019.

For promotions, the basic salary used to calculate pay increases will now not only include wages but longevities received during the year before the promotion. This takes effect in 2020. The term of the new contract runs from April 2, 2016, to April 1, 2021.

Local 1359 members work as rent regulators for the New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Its membership includes attorneys, clerks, hearing officers, rent examiners, housing and community renewal specialists, auditors, rent inspectors, office assistants and secretaries.

— Gregory N. Heires