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May 23, 2017

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Local 153 Negotiates First Group into OPEIU’s New 401(k) Plan
Updated On: Apr 28, 2017
Local 153 has negotiated with Harvard Maintenance, Inc. (HMI) to be the first group into OPEIU’s new 401(k) Plan, announced Business Representative Dan Ross.
HMI is a successor employer to Perfect Building Maintenance, LLC (PBM), where their cleaning contract expired October 31, 2016 and the contracted company engaged HMI to do the work effective November 1, 2016. Therefore, PBM’s contract with Local 153 became null and void on October 31, 2016.
Upon receiving the news of a successor employer, the union immediately made demands on HMI to negotiate terms and conditions of employment for the 18 maintenance workers in the bargaining unit. After initially facing resistance from HMI, the company eventually conceded and commenced negotiations with Local 153.
The union was able to negotiate 3% wage increases in each year of the three-year agreement, including moving up the first wage increase by two months from 1/1/17 to November 1, 2016. The second and third 3% wage increases will take effect on 1/1/18 and 1/1/19.
The major issue in the negotiations was the union’s demand for continued participation in the Local 153 Pension Fund (Fund) where PBM was scheduled to pay $25.35 per employee per week into the Fund. Since HMI was never a participant in the Fund and has a set term of service with the contracted company, they preferred an alternate vehicle. After much discussion, the union convinced HMI to make contributions into OPEIU’s 401(k) Plan which is expected to become operational in 2017. All former PBM bargaining unit employees who have five or more years of service in the Local 153 Pension Fund are vested for a benefit payable at age 65. And, to make the deal a little sweeter, the contributions to OPEIU’s 401(k) Plan will increase by 12% the first year and 10% in the second and third years of the agreement.
Pedro Mandez, Mohammed Querishi and Tom Nasso assisted in negotiations. The contract expires on December 31, 2019.
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Updated: May. 22 (22:03)

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