Note: This article was published prior to the announcement of a contract settlement between the Realty Advisory Board (RAB) and Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union.
New York City’s building service employees last negotiated their contract in 2010, when the city was still recovering from the recession and real estate values were soft. The market is healthier now and in some places even stronger than during the peak of the last real estate cycle.
In light of this new reality, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, which represents some 30,000 doormen, porters, superintendents and handymen in 3,300 buildings citywide, could argue for a significant wage increase.
Many nonunion buildings either hire a third-party vendor who employs the doormen and other staff, or, less frequently, hire nonunion workers directly. Nonunion building staff members typically earn wages similar to those of union employees, but often do not receive health benefits or a pension plan.
Dan Wurtzel, president of FirstService Residential New York, is quoted in this New York Times
article that highlights the factors many buildings consider when deciding to hire union vs. non-union building employees.