Talks on a contract between the union representing Sanitation Enforcement Agent supervisors and the city have broken down, and the union said last week that the reason was that the city declined to recognize its members’ status as part of the uniformed services.
“The mediation is over,” Robert W. Linn, Commissioner of the Office of Labor Relations, said in a Sept. 22 phone interview. “The union was requesting a settlement beyond the civilian pattern and we said no.”
Wants ‘Uniformed’ Deal
Kenneth Wynder Jr., president of the Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association, agreed in an interview that the union did not accept the civilian pattern, which provided 10-percent pay increases over seven years. Uniformed services, including the Police and Fire Department, received an additional 1 percent during that period.
Mr. Wynder said the City Council had passed a bill classifying Sanitation Enforcement Agents and their supervisors as members of the uniformed services. “The city refuses to recognize that,” he said.
He submitted a document issued in January 2014 by the city Board of Collective Bargaining that said, “employees of the uniformed sanitation service shall also include persons employed at any level of position or service by the sanitation department of the city of New York as sanitation enforcement agents and supervisors of sanitation enforcement agents.”
He said the difference in salary between his first-line Sanitation Enforcement Agent supervisors and the Sanitation Police was $50,000. “It’s discrimination,” he said, noting that his members were predominantly minority and female and that Sanitation Police were mostly white. “They got their money,” he added, referring to the Sanitation Police.
‘Throwing Us Peanuts
’“We’re not going to make up $50,000 in one contract,” he said, “but you’ve got to do better than the peanuts they’re throwing us.”
He said the union will seek arbitration.
Sanit Enforcement Supervisors Bound For Arbitration in a Bid for Respect
City Won’t Give Union ‘Uniformed’ Terms
LEEBA took over representation of Sanitation Enforcement Agents and their supervisors earlier this year after the employees chose to leave Local 1182 of the Communications Workers of America. Mr. Wynder said they were dissatisfied with the way their old union represented them in contract negotiations.
CWA officials said last December that Sanitation Agents were hoping that LEEBA could win major pay raises for them as it had for the 500 or so Environmental Police Officers that make up the bulk of its membership.
The union won an arbitration award five years ago that stated the city should bargain with them as law-enforcement officers, not civilian employees. The arbitrator, Alan R. Viani, ruled they should receive raises of 23 percent over a 4½-year period, matching what NYPD Police Officers got for a similar stretch, because of the increased training and other demands of guarding the city’s watershed area after 9/11.
In 2016, LEEBA also managed to exceed the de Blasio administration’s pattern for uniformed unions. The raise—26 percent over seven years—was made possible by lengthening the workday for Environmental Police Officers by 25 minutes, to nine hours. By the end of the contract, EPOs with 15 years on the job will see their salaries rise to nearly $70,000