32BJ helps thousands of commercial cleaners get raises, avoid strike

Thousands of commercial cleaners in the tri-state region will receive substantial raises, thanks to an agreement brokered by 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union.

The agreement, which was announced Dec. 22, is expected to be formally ratified this week by the members. It calls for an average of 4% wage increases in each of the next four years and other benefits, including expanded access to pensions.

Kevin Brown, an executive vice president at 32BJ SEIU and the New Jersey state director, praised the agreement.

“We could not be prouder to have won this tentative agreement for 10,000 cleaners,” he said in a statement. “Here in New Jersey, we improved retirement security for 1,200 cleaners and expanded it for 5,000 cleaners. Working with our brothers and sisters across the tri-state region, we won.”

The deal ends the chance of a strike that would have left businesses across the area scrambling to find replacements.