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Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums
CNYC
CNYC

Realty Advisory Board
1997

FAX CHAIN BULLETIN No. 197

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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 our position:

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 negotiation.

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.

 
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