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Panic buttons, raises among perks in new NYC hotel labor contract

The Hotel Association of New York City Inc. and the New York Hotel Trades Council, AFL-CIO have reached a tentative labor agreement that will impact up to 30,000 unionized hotel workers in New York City.

The proposed seven-year contract — agreed upon five months before the current collective bargaining agreement expires — still must be ratified by union members, which is expected to happen February 13.The contract’s most unique provision is that employees including housekeepers and room-service waiters will receive personal panic buttons within a year.The contract, which will run from July 1 of this year through June 30, 2019, also includes wage increases totaling more than 29% over the life of the agreement. By June 2019, room attendants will be earning almost US$60,000 annually.Hotels will continue to pay the full cost of family health and dental care for the next seven years, and these benefits will not be reduced during the life of the agreement. The Hotel Association also agreed to increase pension fund contributions over the seven years from 9% of payroll to 10.5%.

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