Building workers ratify new contract in Elmsford

After a month-long battle and the threat of a strike, 1,500 apartment building workers officially welcomed a new contract. The negotiations between building owners and the union representing building superintendents and maintenance workers came down to the wire last Friday.Members of local 32B-J came to Teamsters Headquarters on Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford and voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new contract Thursday night.

A threat to service through a possible strike was a tactic used by local 32B-J throughout the negotiations with building owners. The local represents thousands of workers maintaining over 600 buildings in the county. One major complaint was limited health coverage. A lifetime cap of $200,000 was a sticking point for much of the negotiations. The union threatened to walk out but then their was movement. In the end, the strike was averted after the negotiating team representing building owners agreed to raise the medical insurance cap to $2.5 million, almost a ten fold increase. That, along with an unlimited prescription drug benefit, was a great relief for most of the workers.

The contract that was ratified is a three-year agreement. Workers will also see a wage increase as well as employer contributions to their 401k plans.

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