The American Arbitration Association (AAA) mailed out ratification ballots early this week. Many attending Tuesday's meeting reported already having received theirs. If you believe you are covered by the economic contract, but do not receive a ballot by July 28th, you should phone the AAA at 1-800-529-5218 or email UlerioS@adr.org.
The ballots must be delivered to the AAA by 9:00 a.m. on August 5th. It is very important that you accurately follow the instructions for filling out and sealing your ballots. A ballot that hasn't been prepared correctly will be invalid and not counted.
A great deal of information and clarification was provided at the meeting. A summary follows below. However, if you have further questions about the contract or your ballot, you are encouraged to contact President Eileen Muller, any member of the Executive Board, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Two Payments. The $1,000 Ratification Bonus and the Retroactive Wage Increases will be issued as two separate payments. The ratification bonus will come first, probably within a couple of weeks of the ballots being counted and the contract ratified. There is no information at this time on when Retroactive Wage Increases will be paid.
* The $1,000 Ratification Bonus. This will be payable on the date all valid ballots are counted and the contract is declared ratified. Taxes will be taken from the $1,000 total. All Local 1482 members who are on the payroll on the date of ratification will receive the bonus (in other words, don't resign or retire until after the contract is ratified!). New hires who are on the payroll on the date of ratification will receive the bonus.
* Why a $1,000 Ratification Bonus. You'll notice that the contract starts on March 3, 2010. Yet the first compounded wage increase of 1% doesn't kick in until September 3, 2011. This Ratification Bonus is the agreement DC37 and the City came to to compensate members for not receiving a wage increase during the first 18 months of the contract.
* Retroactive Wage Increases. Members will receive retroactive pay only on the first three wage increases covered in the contract. These are the compounded 1% wage increases for 2011, 2012, and 2013. Additions to gross pay (for example, overtime pay) will not be calculated into the retroactive payments or in the pay increases we receive for 2014 and 2015. Additions to gross pay will increase 3% effective September 3, 2016.
* No Change to Health and Welfare Benefits. It is understandable that members are looking forward to seeing their pay increase and receiving their bonuses and retroactive payments. However, this provision of the contract is an important victory because it means we still do not have to pay premiums for our basic health benefits. Unless you elect to purchase riders on your policy, your health care, and the health care of the 120,000 members of DC37, is still free!
We'll keep you posted as more information becomes available. Remember, send in your ratification ballots before August 5th!