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NYCHA residents to get swifter capital repairs and access to union jobs and training through newly signed labor agreement with building trades union

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 3, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The New York City Housing Authority announced today an agreement with the Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) of Greater New York, as well as its affiliated unions, that will benefit public housing residents, who will not only see swifter capital repairs but get access to union jobs and training.

The Project Labor Agreement, or PLA, which applies to contractors and will impact major capital repairs such as construction and rehabilitation work, allows for greater flexibility in work scheduling and shift hours at affordable pay rates. This will enable projects to move faster and will help the Authority operate more efficiently without incurring high overtime costs.

“This agreement opens new opportunities for many NYCHA residents by creating quality jobs and much-needed stable employment that could help lift families out of poverty,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The agreement will also help our efforts to expedite repair services, and ultimately bring real quality of life improvements to families in public housing – this is a win-win deal, and an example of creative ways to empower NYCHA residents, reduce poverty and fight inequality.”

“This agreement benefits NYCHA residents in multiple ways – faster and better quality work, real-life convenience and above all, access to skills that will lead to good, long-term employment,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “We thank the Building and Construction Trades Council for their collaboration and support to improve the quality of life of our residents.”

“The BCTC is proud to partner with NYCHA and offer the high-quality and efficient construction work performed by our affiliates, as well as to provide training opportunities in pre-apprentice and apprentice programs,” said Gary LaBarbera, president of BCTC. “The work provided by this PLA will allow us to collaborate with NYCHA on creating training and employment for its residents which will lead to life-long and middle-class careers, which is a win for all.”

As part of the PLA, unions have agreed to adjustments on shift premiums, a no-strike or work stoppages clause and universal dispute resolution mechanisms that prevent interruptions in the project work. This will help reduce labor costs by approximately 3 percent, as well as improve the quality of our construction projects.

To benefit our residents further, NYCHA and BCTC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide our residents union jobs and training through pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs. The apprenticeship programs are an opportunity for NYCHA residents to not only learn a new trade but become union members, which opens doors to better jobs, better pay and more employment opportunities in the long run.

BCTC and its affiliated unions will reserve 10 percent of new apprenticeship classes to NYCHA residents (from both public housing and the Section 8 program). In recent years the class has averaged about 1,000 to 1,200 seats annually. Program participants gain access to union membership upon entry and attain journey-level status upon graduation. These are “earn while you learn” programs with on-the-job training and classroom instruction.

NYCHA and the unions will work with The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills (C-SKILLS), Helmets to Hardhats (H2H), Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment and Veterans Employment, and other such organizations to recruit residents, assess their construction aptitude, make referrals to apprenticeship programs or hiring halls, provide counseling and support and offer employment opportunities. Residents who have already been trained through NYCHA’s Resident Training Academy (NRTA) can also be referred to the apprenticeship programs.

Both the PLA and MOU became effective January 1, 2015, and are valid through June 2018.

Contact: media (at) nycha.nyc (dot) gov