New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and DC 37, the city's largest public workers union, announced Wednesday they've reached a tentative contract agreement. Union members had been working without a contract since 2010.
The contract follows the pattern set through a deal struck with the teacher's union which was ratified last month. DC 37's members, which range from clerical staff to civil engineers, will receive raises of 10 percent over seven years, and a $1,000 signing bonus if the contract is ratified.
De Blasio said the contract’s $1.75 billion dollar cost will be offset by $795 million dollars in health care savings, as part of the deal struck with the Municipal Labor Committee, an umbrella organization that negotiates healthcare services for the city’s unions.
The executive director of DC 37, Lillian Roberts, said her longtime relationship with the mayor played a significant role in the negotiations. “When he was in the city council we would go to him with our problems and so now we have someone that will listen,” said Roberts.
The contract still has to be approved by the union's rank-and-file members.
De Blasio inherited 150 expired union contracts from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His goal was to reach deals covering at least half of those workers by the end of this calendar year. The deal announced Wednesday puts the city ahead of that schedule.
“We now have full agreements or tentative agreements with unions representing over 60 percent of the city workforce. Over 60 percent,” said de Blasio.
Among those still outstanding are deals with the unions representing the police, fire fighters and sanitation workers.