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18,000 security officers with 32BJ ratify contract



The officers, represented by Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, sanctioned contracts tentatively agreed to in May with Security Contractors and the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, respectively.

The agreements, approved by 98 percent of voting union members, include wage increases of $3.50 over four years, a ratification bonus, pay hikes for new hires based on training incentives and Juneteenth as a paid holiday. 

Significantly, the guards, who help secure high-profile locations such as Hudson Yards and Rockefeller Center, maintain their employer-paid health-care coverage and training benefits. 

“With these overwhelming ratification votes, Security Officers have recognized these two contracts for what they are; a groundbreaking pair of labor agreements for the essential workers who constantly put themselves on the line so their fellow New Yorkers can go to work and school safely and without worry,” the director of the union’s security division and a 32BJ vice president, Israel Melendez, said in a statement. “After remaining at their posts during COVID-19 and the city’s recovery from the pandemic, these contracts vindicate Security Officers’ value.”

About 1,300 of the officers have a contract with the Realty Advisory Board, which negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of commercial building owners, managers and cleaning companies. Others are under contract with various companies, including Allied Universal Security Service, Arrow Security and Securitas.

According to the union’s last contract with the RAB, which expired April 30, there are four classifications of security officers. Those hired as Security officers I started at $16.70 an hour and maxed out at $19.65 after three years. Security officers II earned a minimum of $21.98, while security officers III made at least $24.33. Armed guards, the fourth classification, earned a minimum of $31.15.

A union spokesperson said the officers would receive across-the-board raises of 22 percent. 

“We are proud to come to a fair and reasonable agreement that will benefit employees and the industry,” the RAB’s executive vice president, Robert Schwartz, said in a statement. “We thank 32BJ for partnering with us to achieve this deal.”

This is the RAB’s second major contract agreed with 32BJ in recent months. The union secured a deal for 20,000 commercial building service workers just days before the expiration of their contract at midnight on New Year’s Day.

The cleaners in February overwhelmingly approved the agreement, which will provide them 12.6-percent raises over the course of the four-year deal and also keep them in their employer-paid health plan.


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