Realty Advisory Board
FAX CHAIN BULLETIN No. 197
To: Representatives of Apartment Building Memberships in the RAB
- Subj: A. 1997 Residential Negotiations (BY FAX & Mail); B. "Me-Too"
or "U-2" Agreements
This Board has published and transmitted a preparedness manual in order
to help you organize you buildings prior to the expiration of the collective
bargaining agreement. If you have not received your copy, please contact
your agent or us at (212) 889-4100 to see that you do.
It is important that you inform residents and prepare them as soon as
possible in order to avoid any confusion should the parties be unsuccessful
in negotiating a new contract. Should a strike occur, a suggested letter
is included in the preparedness information.
We have received several inquiries at this office concerning "me-too"
or "U-2" agreements because several of the Union delegates have
already begun to explore the possibility of divisions within our negotiating
group as a tactic for the current negotiations. The following sets forth
To begin with, in the past the Union has never offered "me-too"
agreements to owners who wished to avoid a job action or strike. What
has been offered in the past has been an agreement which contains wage
increases and other modifications and merely states at its end that, if
the RAB negotiates less, they will get less.
By way of example, the stipulation offered by the Union in 1991 after
the beginning of a strike (there was no such agreement in 1994, since
there was no strike) consisted of seven pages and provided for increases
to $9.00 per week, an additional holiday and various other provisions.
At its end it provided for a lowering of those terms if the RAB negotiated
less. Such agreements have never been available before the commencement
of a strike because they traditionally have been similar to the final
pre-strike position of the Union at the bargaining table.
Obviously, if everybody signs the agreement which the Union sets forth,
it will undercut the position of your negotiators at the bargaining table
and, in effect, will tell them that those increases are acceptable. In
addition, the signing of such agreements puts pressure on the negotiating
committee to agree to similar terms and "ups the ante" for the
As we stated in our bulletin contained in the preparedness manual, you
must not sign any stipulation (or indicate a willingness to sign) for
the following reasons:
- A. By seeking an "easy way out" you will be weakening the
RAB and placing an intolerable burden on other Employers.
- B. You will lose the negotiating support of the RAB.
- C. A unified RAB is your best guarantee for a reasonable contract.
- D. All such stipulations have not been "me-too" agreements,
but have contained wage and benefit increases which are only lowered
if the RAB negotiates lower rates.
The RAB will apprise you of all new developments as they occur.