NYC Strikes Labor Deal, Settles Equal Pay Suit

NEW YORK (AP) -

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration agreed to a new labor contract with the union that represents school safety agents on Tuesday — and settled a discrimination lawsuit brought against the city by female members of the union.

The lawsuit charged that more than 5,000 school safety agents, the vast majority of whom are women, make about $7,000 less annually than their male counterparts.

“We want to make sure all people are treated equally,” said de Blasio, who announced the agreement in front of a school in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, on the so-called Women’s Equality Day. “It is the morally right thing to do.”

The $38 million settlement will provide equal pay by the end of the new labor contract, which extends seven years. One of the female officers who brought the suit last year said the settlement was proof that “inequality will not be tolerated in New York City.”

The union, Teamsters Local 237, had been working on an expired contract since 2010.

The new contract provides a 10 percent raise over seven years and a $1,000 ratification bonus, which follows the pattern set up by other recent labor deals.

When de Blasio took office in January, all unionized city employees were working on expired contracts. Now, he said, 62 percent have new deals.