On Friday, October 27th, Mayor Eric Adams announced a landmark tentative contract agreement with the Uniformed Sanitation Workers’ Union Local 831, marking a significant milestone in labor relations and city management. This five-year, two-month contract, retroactive from December 28, 2022, and extending until February 27, 2028, sets a new precedent in the city’s approach to workforce agreements.
Mayor Adams, known for his “blue-collar” leadership style, emphasized the critical role of sanitation workers in keeping the city functioning. “New York’s strongest have always been heroes, but in the last three years, they have stepped up more than ever on behalf of our city,” Mayor Adams stated. He highlighted their unwavering commitment during challenging times, including the COVID-19 pandemic and extreme weather events.
The agreement, which covers approximately 7,100 sanitation workers, offers pattern-conforming wage increases between 3.25% and 4.00%, aligning with the Police Benevolent Association’s agreement earlier this year. Notably, the deal also introduces a new paid parental leave benefit for non-birth parents, granting one week of full-pay leave, a first for a city uniformed union.
Renee Campion, Commissioner of the New York City Office of Labor Relations, praised the agreement for recognizing the essential services provided by sanitation workers. “This contract reflects the essential role of all sanitation workers — people who never worked from home, never wavered in their commitment, and never gave up on our city,” she remarked.
The contract also innovates in waste management efficiency, replacing separate targets for recyclables with a single “all materials” target. This change aligns with the city’s expanding curbside composting program and reflects modern waste management realities. Sanitation Department Commissioner Jessica Tisch explained, “This contract moves from an old way of doing business with separate tonnage targets for every different waste stream to a single combined, fair target.”
Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitation Workers’ Union Local 831, commended Mayor Adams and Commissioner Tisch for their collaborative approach and innovative ideas. “With this contract, we have shown once again how this union works collaboratively with this agency to benefit the residents of New York City while providing justified compensation and benefits for the workforce,” Nespoli stated.
The total cost of the agreement is approximately $400 million, fully funded by the city’s labor reserve fund. The contract’s ratification by the union’s membership remains pending.