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District, 32BJ agree on contract

The District and its blue-collar union agreed Monday on a four-year contract that freezes wages until 2016 and under which union members will contribute between $5 and $45 a week back to the schools.

The agreement avoids layoffs for most of the 2,700 members of SEIU 32BJ Local 1201-- although they will occur as the District closes schools -- and staves off threatened privatization of the work that its members do. Their jobs are primarily in building maintenance, cleaning and transportation.

A longer memorandum of understanding explains in full the terms, which include maintaining national standards for cleaning and maintenance. The District had said it needed at least $50 million in concessions to avoid privatizing the services. City Council, from which the District was seeking an increase in funding, also urged it to reach an agreement with the union rather than privatize. 

Officials said this contract will save $100 million.

 

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Dale Mezzacappa

@dalemezz
Dale is a contributing editor at the Notebook. She has reported on education since 1986, most of that time with The Philadelphia Inquirer.