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Syracuse University, SEIU Confirm New Three-Year Agreement
Employees of Syracuse University represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 200United voted on Wednesday, Aug. 3, to ratify a three-year contract for 830 University employees, many of whom are food service providers, library technicians, skilled tradespeople, custodial and grounds staff.
“We are pleased to have a new three-year contract at Syracuse University. Both parties can be proud of the spirited debate at the bargaining table for the employees represented by SEIU,” says Scott Phillipson, president of SEIU Local 200United. “This contract demonstrates SEIU and Syracuse University’s commitment to advancing wages and benefits for low wage workers. In particular, the extension of lower cost health insurance helps those who struggle the most to provide for their families. These improvements come with a plan to provide real opportunities for workers to advance their skills for personal growth while maintaining the highest skilled workforce in Central New York.”
The package, which was strongly approved by the SEIU members, included:
- a plan to simplify and streamline reporting structure by incorporating custodians and skilled tradespeople under Central Physical Plant;
- an enhanced training and career development support initiative;
- specific language outlining double time and seniority tie-breaker procedures as requested by SEIU;
- significantly increasing the number of employees eligible for Schedule B health insurance, ultimately reducing health care costs substantially for lower-wage earners;
- the creation of a new Benefits Advisory Committee, in which the SEIU will participate, giving employees a say in benefits discussions across the entire organization;
- an extension of the trial period in new positions that gives SEIU members and the University 45 days to determine if the new opportunity is a good fit; and
- a guaranteed 2.5 percent wage increase annually over the contract’s three-year term.
“This contract demonstrates just how much we value, support and appreciate our employees’ tremendous contributions,” says Andrew R. Gordon, senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “This negotiation is a result of the constructive and open dialogue that took place between the two negotiating teams. I am grateful that both sides worked together in good faith to reach an agreement.”
The new contract will run from 2016 through 2019.