The first-in, first-out rule does not always apply in the publicity business, or so Glaziers Local 1281 and the Window and Plate Glass Dealers have learned. Back in April, the two organizations were the first—of all New York City unions and contractors with contracts set to expire in the April-June cycle—to reach agreement. However, that news was only announced July 20, overshadowed in part by the highly publicized collective bargaining talks between the Operating Engineers Locals 14 and 15 and the Building Contractors Association, Contractors Association of Greater New York and Cement League, says Jerry Haber, a Window and Plate Glass Dealers spokesperson.

Photo: Carolina Worrell

Local 1281, which agreed last year to freeze its contract expiration date for a year, agreed in April to defer a $3.45 an hour raise for another year and to spread that raise over the remaining five years, says Haber. This is the third time the union agreed to defer the raise, which was originally scheduled to become effective May 1, 2010 and then deferred until this year. The glaziers trade, which is currently involved with the WTC memorial and Vornado’s 330 Madison project, is the only the trade that got a six-year package, Haber says.

This year’s agreement announcement was “forgotten about” because the person in charge of announcing it left BTEA and because the BTEA was pre-occupied with a potential operating engineers strike, Haber says.

To induce the union to wait until 2013 to receive the raise, the Window and Plate Glass Dealers agreed to an $8.80 package to be spread over six-month increments for years two through six of the agreement, Haber says. The union received a $0.50 an hour raise on May 1, 2011 and would continue to earn an additional $1.50 an hour on May 1 and an $0.85 an hour raise on Nov. 1 for the remainder of the contract.

The agreement also includes changes in work rules, shift work, crew size and make-up time. The changes include flexible start times, working on straight time on what was previously considered overtime and reducing [the schedule pertaining to the amount of workers] required for specific panels of glass, from 70% to 50%. There is also an option for working a 40-hour week on straight time, [as opposed to the 35-hour week under the former] contract.

Due to a good rapport with union representatives and a lot of cooperation”, exact dollar amounts were the only aspects of the new contract that were argued over, Haber says “Both sides saw the value in negotiating the contract sooner rather than later, in case things turn for the construction industry within the next few years,” he adds.

In other union news, the Operating Engineers’ June 30 tentative agreement with BCA, CAGNY and the Cement League was ratified on July 14, says Louis Coletti, president, Building Trades Employers’ Association. However, he would not disclose further details.

The District Council of Carpenters is still in talks, after agreeing to a 10-day contract extension with the Cement League on June 30.

Sheet Metal Local 28’s contract is set to expire July 31 and the union is in negotiations with the Sheet Metal Contractors Association, according to a Local 28 spokesperson.

Teamsters Local 282, which reached a four-year deal with the demolition contractors on June 20, ratified its contract on July 12, says a union spokesperson.