It took a while, but building workers, handypersons, porters and others, it’s finally here.

32BJ SEIU have agreed to a tentative deal with the Realty Advisory Board (RAB) that would take the agreement. 

Some details of the deal include almost a 12.6% increase in wages over four years (one of the highest increases ever in the union’s history), a $3,000 bonus for essential workers to combat high inflation, maintaining paid sick leave and vacation, and ensuring “no premium share and 100% employer-paid health care.” 

In a statement on Tuesday, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said that the post-pandemic deal is a game changer.

“Today is a tremendous day for 32,000 of New York City’s hardworking building workers who successfully secured a fair, just, well-deserved, and long overdue contract,” the statement read.  “As the daughter of two union workers, I am proud to join the fight for fair wages and benefits for essential workers who kept our city running and our residents safe throughout the pandemic, despite the health risks posed to them and their families. 

“They are there for us during our toughest moments, so we must stand up in solidarity for them. This deal shows we appreciate our dedicated superintendents, doorpersons, porters, handypersons, and concierges, guaranteeing they all can live with respect and dignity in New York City.”

This is the result of years of organizing and raising virtual hell to anyone who would hear them and raise awareness of their situation. Doorpersons, superintendents, resident managers, handypersons, concierges and porters continued to travel and work during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide for tenants in luxury apartments. Workers have talked to the AmNews recently about how places such as 432 W. 52nd St. in Manhattan were paying doorpeople, porters and concierges as little as $16.50 per hour in a building where the average sales price for a condo is more than $1 million.

According to 32BJ Union President Kyle Bragg, those workers can now rest easy a bit.

“This contract honors the indispensable contributions that 32BJ members made throughout the pandemic and includes pay bonuses—a powerful recognition of our members’ sacrifice,” stated Bragg. “They were there, keeping our buildings running and our communities safe, when the city needed them most.”

With some workers catching or even dying of COVID-19, members of 32BJ SEIU wanted a reward for their hard work. Realty Advisory Board President Howard Rothschild was late in an agreement but he was on time.

“The agreement builds on the important work RAB and 32BJ accomplished together throughout the pandemic—protecting jobs and maintaining solid health benefits—and further shows the industry’s respect and appreciation for our essential workers with a substantial bonus,” stated Rothschild. “We would like to thank all residential building service workers for their tireless dedication and commitment during a tremendously challenging period.”

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