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Forging Ahead

It’s been five years since the inception of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Association of Wall Ceiling & Carpentry Industries of New York and the New York City District Council of Carpenters. That agreement took more than a year to negotiate and provided changes which had previously seemed impossible to achieve. It was the beginning of full mobility and the two man job without the assignment of a Shop Steward. It also introduced electronic time reporting and daily access to that information by employers and Journeymen Carpenters while providing a $14.13 per hour increase in wage and benefits over five years ($6.13 in the first ninety days), the first increase in more than two years. This all took place while under the consent decree, the oversight of the Review Officer, supervision by the U.B.C., and what seemed like an ever changing District Council leadership. This agreement expires on June 30, 2017. It is time to negotiate a new agreement for the foreseeable future.

In preparation for these upcoming negotiations our association, along with the Building Contractors Association of New York, has had preliminary informal discussions between contractor employers and the District Council Officers and Delegates to build relationships and to understand each other's concerns and ideas for the future. These meetings were specifically void of negotiation and concentrated on cooperation. The actual upcoming negotiations will take place shortly with new and different circumstances. Market share for the union sector continues to decline, the new administration in Washington has yet to make clear its position on organized labor and a significant number of General Contractors and Construction Managers have chosen not to continue as signatory contractors with the New York City District Council of Carpenters. Fortunately we go forward with a stable, experienced and committed Council leadership. I believe all parties understand the need for economic change while protecting the welfare and security of the current Journeyman Carpenters and fulfilling the promises made to them throughout their careers.

While I dare not predict the future of our industry, I am confident that labor and management is fully committed to producing an intelligent and progressive Collective Bargaining Agreement which will be in the best interest of our industry and satisfactory to all parties. That is our obligation and as I said in my very first Executive Director’s message, “WE ARE NEW YORK”.

— John DeLollis

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