Contact: Kevin Carleton, 617/353-2240 | firstname.lastname@example.org
(Boston, Mass.) — Boston University and Local 615 of the Service Employees International Union have reached agreement on a contract covering about 660 employees in the custodial and trades areas. Agreement on the proposed contract was reached at 5:30 a.m. Friday, October 31, the day the contract was due to expire. Members voted to ratify the contract in two voting sessions held mid-afternoon and late evening on Friday to accommodate all three shifts.
Key issues focused on wages and the cost of health care benefits. Employees will receive a 3 percent increase in the first year, 3.25 percent the second, and 3 percent in the third year. The University agreed to add 25 cents to the base hourly pay of the approximately 450 custodians before computing percentage increases.
A contentious issue was the share of health care costs borne by the University. Previously, the University provided 66 percent of the cost for all health plans offered, and the union was asking that the share be increased to 75 percent. Under the agreement, one of the existing plans, BMC Preferred, will be available at 75 percent employer contribution, and a new Tufts plan will be made available at 75 percent. The others will continue to be available at 66 percent employer cost.
“We were very pleased to reach this agreement,” said Manuel P. Monteiro, associate vice president for human resources. “The employees covered by Local 615 are, and always have been, valued members of the community. With this agreement we keep them at or among the highest paid employees in their fields among area colleges and universities.”
[Note: Published reports have suggested that all health care plans would be available at 75 percent employer cost. Only one existing plan will be available at that percentage, as will one new plan; four plans remain at 66 percent. Also, there have been reports that the University would adjust parking rates; that is not true. Weekly costs remain at $17.40.]