News for the Hospitality Executive
Association of New York City and the New York Hotel
February 2012 - Five months before the current collective bargaining agreement expires, the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. and the New York Hotel Trades Council, AFL-CIO have reached a tentative agreement that will eventually impact as many as 30,000 unionized New York City hotel workers and their families. The proposed seven-year contract was unanimously ratified by the Hotel Association’s Board of Directors on February 3 and awaits a ratification vote by union members on February 13. The union expects its members will ratify the agreement overwhelmingly.
The contract will run from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2019. It contains compounded wage increases of 3.5% on July 1, 2012, 4% on July 1, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and 3.5% on July 1, 2016, 2017 and 2018, for a total increase of more than 29% over the seven-year life of the agreement. At the end of the new contract, in June of 2019, room attendants will be earning almost $60,000 a year, with full family medical, dental and optical benefits.
Under the terms of the deal, the Hotel Association also agreed to increase pension fund contributions over the seven years from 9% of payroll to 10.5%, for a total increase in pension contributions of 16.67%. The contract also calls for increases in employer health care contributions in stages from the current 20.5% to 24.5% of payroll (a total increase of 19.5%), and it guarantees that the hotels will continue to pay the full cost of family health and dental care for the next seven years and that these benefits will not be reduced during the life of the agreement.
The Hotel Association and the union realized the importance of providing a device to employees who enter guest rooms so they can summon help immediately in case of an emergency. The contract states that these employees will be provided with such a device.
The contract also extends union card-check neutrality to 32 counties, including New York City, Northern and Central New Jersey, Long Island, and the region from New York City northward to Albany and Saratoga.
There are a number of changes in the current contract language that will be included in the new agreement that will improve job security and arbitration rights for both parties.
“I am very pleased that the union was able to reach this new agreement with the Hotel Association five months before our current contract expires,” Hotel Trades Council President Peter Ward said. “We fully expect that our members will overwhelmingly ratify this contact and we look forward to working with the Hotel Association in the years ahead to keep our city as a number one travel destination and to ensure that tourism remains an economic engine for the city and state of New York.”
Hotel Association President Joseph E. Spinnato said, “In a constructive and cooperative spirit we were able to reach this early agreement, which is good for our members, the union and the City of New York.”
For the New York Hotel Trades Council, AFL-CIO
(212) 492-2155/(646) 739-6117
For the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc.
(917) 589-5443/(212) 575-4545
Linden Alschuler & Kaplan PR