Open Enrollment, the annual period when University employees make their benefit choices for the coming year, ends today. This is the only time of year when you may elect or change your coverage for many benefits, unless you experience a…
SU, SEIU Local 200United reach accord on new three-year contract
SU, SEIU Local 200United reach accord on new three-year contractJune 22, 2007Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
Following months of close collaboration and several weeks of negotiation, Syracuse University and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU Local 200United) have reached agreement on a proposed contract that includes a complete redesign of the wage system, including the elimination of a longstanding multiple step system.
SEIU is the largest union at SU, representing more than 790 Physical Plant, University Library and Food Services staff members.
In a ratification vote held today, bargaining unit members overwhelmingly approved the proposed contract.
“We’re pleased that we were able to reach a fair and equitable agreement ahead of schedule with our SEIU employees, which was a direct result of the constructive dialogue and discussion that took place between the two negotiating teams during the past several months,” says Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “We look forward to building on this positive momentum with SEIU in the months and years ahead. “
“Due to the hard work and unity of our members, we were able to forge a mutually beneficial contract with SU that was overwhelmingly endorsed,” says Jerry Dennis, president of SEIU Local 200United. “This landmark agreement is a solid foundation for improved labor relations on campus.”
The new contract includes a general wage increase of 3 percent per year; lump sum increases in Year One and Year Two for employees at the top of the grades; and the elimination of the Step System, moving all employees within a classification to a single job rate for each position by Year Three of the agreement.
The two sides came to agreement on the non-economic policies and procedures of the new contract several weeks ago; recent negotiations have focused solely on economic wage and benefit negotiations. Progress at the negotiating table helped SEIU and SU find common ground and account for the economic realities of both the University and its staff members.
As a result, in addition to the key economic enhancements outlined above, the new contract also includes refinements in many economic and non-economic policy areas, including:
- increased contribution for the SEBF dental plan to $100 per year and access to the SEBF optical plan for those enrolled in the SEBF dental plan;
- formal establishment of a union seat on the Health Care Advisory Committee;
- Letter of Understanding providing 32 hours per month for a union leader to work on joint labor-management initiatives;
- the inclusion of four proposals jointly developed by union and management that improve internal processes for the wage rate and overtime processes for employees working in temporary assignments, the bidding process and employees receiving upgrades;
- establishment of a twice per year review of subcontracting projects with union representatives;
- establishment of a summer and winter temporary pool for Food Services employees subject to layoff that will be utilized prior to hiring seasonal workers from outside the University;
- contract language to help control the appropriate distribution of overtime; and
- improvements in the online bidding process and the information exchange regarding internal bidders and those awarded positions.
Agreement on the new contract was reached ahead of schedule, following the negotiating session of June 14. The current contract, set to expire June 30, was successfully negotiated in 2004. SU’s contract with SEIU is scheduled for renewal every three years.
For more information, visit http://humanresources.syr.edu/bunit.