New York City Local 246

Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC

New Non-Economic Agreement Addresses Union Concerns

A new non-economic agreement reached between the Union and the City of New York puts in place several changes that address concerns impacting members.

Local 246 President Joe Colangelo said the non-economic agreement, which is negotiated separately from the contracts, deals with issues such as dues checkoffs, grievance procedures, overtime, transfers, working conditions, and safety. “With changing duties and evolving responsibilities of our members, we have run into several issues during the last contract term that needed to be addressed prior to starting current negotiations,” he said. “Once something is added to the non-economic agreement it becomes a grievable item, which gives our members added protection.”

While there were several new items added, Colangelo said the most significant are:

  • Temporary transfers that are limited to a period of not more than 30 calendar days, will now be limited to no more than two per employee per year
  • All vacancies that are being posted must include shift start and end times so applicants know exactly what position they are applying for
  • All road call vehicles shall be equipped with all necessary safety devices, including emergency lights and (where necessary and practicable) traffic deflection lights; flares and/or safety triangles; safety vest; radio; cones; and spill absorbent
  • Where an employee is working alone, such as in a confined space or an isolated location, the employer shall account for each employee at reasonable intervals appropriate to the job assignment to ensure the employee’s safety. Where sight is not practicable, the employee shall be provided a device capable of being used for emergency communication.
  • The City agrees to take all necessary steps to safeguard all tools and tool cabinets brought on its property by the members of Local 246 in the titles covered by this agreement

What makes this non-economic agreement stand out, Colangelo said, is that it’s the first time in almost four decades that he has been involved with the Local that a side letter has been attached to the document. In the Department of Sanitation, members will now be provided with prior notification regarding non-emergency overtime.

Colangelo said this side letter was crucial as members were not being given sufficient notice of required overtime and were therefore unable to arrange and rearrange personal schedules to accommodate the overtime hours. Any members with questions about the new non-economic agreement should be in touch with their Shop Steward.

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