NY Waterway Boatmen Ratify 5-Year Contract

 

March 2015

 

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SIU members employed by passenger ferry operator NY Waterway have ratified a new contract calling for yearly wage increases and many other gains while maintaining benefits. The five-year pact, ratified Dec. 29 and retroactive to Nov. 1, boosts the starting hourly wage, improves overtime pay, and calls for an additional paid holiday.

 

Additionally, the new contract safeguards benefits offered through the Seafarers Pension Plan and the separate Seafarers Money Purchase Pension Plan. It also continues to facilitate training for NY Waterway crews at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center in Piney Point, Maryland.

 

Other highlights include new provisions for leaves of absence, and enhanced protections of seniority and rates of pay.

 

The SIU negotiating committee was composed of Atlantic Coast Vice President Joseph Soresi, Patrolman Mark von Siegel, Captains George Sullivan and Tim Byam, and Deckhands George Schumpp and Israel DeJesus.

 

“The negotiating committee did an outstanding job during several rounds of contract negotiations with the company,” said von Siegel. “This contract is fair and equitable to both parties, but most importantly, it is a very beneficial contract for the membership at NY Waterway.”

 

“I think it’s a fair plan,” said Byam. “I’m very excited about the return of the pension contributions; now we can work extra hours towards that plan.”

 

“We got a lot of things fixed that we didn’t expect,” remarked Schumpp. “With the new contract, we can make up our contributions to the pension plan by working weekends.

 

“It’s a big pie, and you have to break it up into pieces,” Schumpp added. “You can’t make everyone happy, but with this contract, we did the best we could.”

 

Nearly 150 SIU members sail aboard NY Waterway’s 32 vessels. Seafarers on those boats have been in the news for heroic actions throughout the years, including the massive evacuation of lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the rescue of passengers and crew from the US Airways plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in 2009.

 

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