NEW YORK CITY- The Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RAB) and service workers union 32BJ have reached an agreement on a package of protections and extended health benefits for residential and commercial building service workers during the coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19.  The two parties will work hand-in-hand to ensure employees have the neccesary support so that critical building services can continue.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has noted that building workers are essential employees, and the agreement aims to create greater flexibility to allow them to fulfill their work duties during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also tending to personal and family health issues.

Highlights of the agreement include:    

  • Employees who are laid off/ineligible for health coverage on or after March 6th will be provided with an additional 30 days (for total of 60 days) of coverage.
  • If an employee is directed to self-quarantine because of workplace COVID-19 exposure, the employee will be paid 2 weeks of paid time off without reduction of existing entitlements.
  • If an employee self-quarantines for any other reason, the employer may permit the employee to use his/her PTO or statutory paid leave, if available.
  • For statutory paid leave, the mandatory paid leave provision applicable to the largest covered employer will apply to all regardless of their individual size.
  • In the event that a building needs to reduce staffing, the employer will attempt to offer displaced employees temporary assignments at other locations without regard to seniority, and including possible redeployment of staff from commercial buildings to residential buildings.
  • RAB and 32BJ have vowed to work closely together throughout the duration of the pandemic.

“The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic challenges all of us to be at our best for the good of our world,” said Howard Rothschild, president of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, in a prepared statement.  “The need for total cooperation among various parties is clear and vital. We are totally committed to doing our part for the good of our tenants and the entire city, and we are pleased to have such a positive relationship with 32BJ in addressing our respective needs during this important time.”