Details Emerge on NY Operating Engineer, Contractor Deal
While neither union or contractor officials have disclosed terms of a newly signed agreement with two operating engineer locals in New York, details are emerging on key work-rule changes, says an industry source.
The pact was reached June 30 between Operating Engineers Locals 14 and 15 and the Building Contractors Association, Contractors Association of Greater New York and Cement League.
The industry source says one significant change involves cutting overtime pay for workers who run inside and outside elevators at jobsites. Another modification would limit use of supervisory "master mechanics" on sites, the source says. The agreement with union officials still must be ratified by the rank and file, with a vote set for July 14. The source says the vote would be contentious.
According to the source, outside elevator operators would see overtime rates cut from double time after eight hours, to time-and-a-half, and inside operators would lose $10 an hour in overtime pay. Elevators can run 24/7 at jobsites, so overtime costs can be significant, the source says.
Also, under the new pact, the higher-paid master mechanics could only be used on projects of $50 million and higher, the source says.
Union and contractor officials declined comment.
Separately, Louis Coletti, president and CEO of the Building Trades Employers Association, termed the work rule changes "major modifications," but he declined to provide further information "until the details are on paper."
In addition, the District Council of Carpenters agreed to a 10-day contract extension June 30 with the Cement League, CAGNY and several other employer groups, says a spokesperson for the carpenters union.
"Most of the groups have extended the contract [with the carpenters union] and are waiting for a ruling from the courts regarding mobility issues," says Bryan Winter, executive director at the Cement League.
New York industry players have been closely monitoring this round of collective bargaining negotiations with the operating engineers, in particular. A walkout would have halted about $10 billion in unionized
building construction, according to New York Building Congress.
Teamsters Local 282 reached a four-year deal with the demolition contractors on June 20, says a Teamsters spokesperson. Teamsters members will vote on whether to ratify the contract on July 12 and, if ratified, a decision will be made then as to how the money will be allocated, she adds.
On Sunday, the Enterprise Association of Steamfitters Local 638 and the Mechanical Contractors Association agreed on a new three-year deal, says Coletti. Details of the agreement have not yet been revealed.