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Contract Victories
Local 983

Urban Park Rangers gain full work week


Urban Park Rangers like Sydney Kay will see an immediate 14 percent pay boost under an agreement between the union and the city.
Local 983’s Urban Park Rangers overwhelmingly approved an agreement that will significantly boost their salaries by extending their workweek.

The agreement – worked out by DC 37, the Dept. of Parks and Recreation and city – was approved in a mail ballot vote, tabulated on June 2. The workers voted 90 to 1 in favor of the agreement.

“I am very happy our members are pleased with the agreement,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. “And they should be. This will make a big difference in their lives.”

The Local 983 members were the only group of blue-collar workers on the city’s payroll who didn’t have a 40-hour workweek. Like most municipal employers, they worked 35 hours a week.

The Urban Park Rangers will receive an immediate 14 percent pay boost for the extra hours.

Combined with the pay hikes in the 2010-17 contract and other increases won by the union since 2010, the deal means the starting pay of Urban Park Rangers will increase from $32,700 years ago to $47,135 today – a 44 percent jump.

Previously, the workers were entitled to overtime after 40 hours, but the Dept. of Parks and Recreation often limited their extra work to five hours at straight time to avoid paying overtime.

“This has been a long battle,” said Puleo, noting that members have wanted a 40-hour workweek for years. “We appreciate the city and Parks’ willingness to negotiate on this. It shows what a difference it makes when you are dealing with a reasonable administration.”

Under the deal with the city and the Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Urban Park Rangers will also enjoy a new recurring increment payment (RIP) schedule, which will provide $1,500 at five years, $1,778 at 10 years and $3,600 at 15 years. Before, Local 983 members only had a 15-year RIP.