As with most unions in New York City, contracts are long expired and officials are working now to negotiate new deals. The same holds true for Local 246 who held its most recent negotiation with City representatives on March 18.
With the DC 37 citywide contract resolved and approved, the Local 246 Contract Negotiating Committee has been in talks on the Union’s nine separate contracts for many months. In addition to the Union’s officers, Committee members include Rich Mazze representing Rubber Tire Repairers; Alex Soltanis representing Sign Painters/Letterers; Mark Bardes representing Sheet Metal Workers; and the general committee representing Carriage Upholsterers and Auto Service Workers.
Since the Union holds a joint bargaining certificate with IUOE Local 15 for Tractor Operators and Motor Grader Operators, a separate meeting was held with members in those titles on March 12 to update them on the status of those contract talks. The consensus of most 220 titles is that the ever-increasing pension costs now reported to be 34% or more will make it very difficult to negotiate a prevailing rate match with the private sector contracts.
President Joe Colangelo talked in depth about the contract negotiations at the March membership meeting. “We are almost finished with several contracts, and we have made significant progress on others. We don’t want to give out any specific details yet as amounts may fluctuate and change as we try to finalize everything,” he told members.
Since the previous negotiation meeting was December 11, 2018, and it took almost three months to get the meeting in March, Colangelo said the Negotiating Committee sent a list of unanswered questions to OLR representatives so they could already have answers by the time both parties met. “They did get back to us on most questions, but there are still some hanging out there that we don’t have answers to,” he said. “I am hoping to have everything wrapped up within a month or two, but when you are dealing with negotiations, you never know. It may take longer depending on what answers come back from some of the agencies.”
Current contracts expired as follows: Rubber Tire Repairer, July 16, 2017; Sign Painter/Letterer, July 25, 2017; Auto Service Worker et al (Oil Burner Specialist, Auto Body Worker, and Marine Maintenance Mechanics), December 7, 2017; Auto Mechanics and Machinists, October 1, 2017; Carriage Upholsterers, July 16, 2017; and Sheet Metal Workers, February 17, 2018. Members in all titles have been working under the terms of those contracts, and any new monies negotiated as part of the new contracts will begin the day after the previous contracts expired.
“For all contracts, the raises start the first day of the new contract, meaning everyone will have back money owed to them,” Colangelo said. “In addition, all raises are compounded, which means that when you get the second 2.25 percent raise, it is calculated on top of the first 2 percent raise. The final salary increase will be on top of the 4.25 percent. That raises the value of the overall contract. We are hoping that this will all be wrapped up fairly shortly and when all contracts are done, we will be able to provide the specifics.”