Jersey City school crossing guards have ratified a tentative contract ending a five year impasse with the city.
Union President Santo Della Monica said that of 102 guards who voted, 102 voted in favor of ratification.
The guards will get an immediate raise of $1.00 per hour, bringing them to an hourly wage of $18.00 this year and receive retroactive raises going back to 2017.
Two weeks ago, their union, Jersey City Public Employees Local 245, took to the plaza in front of City Hall to call for a new contract. The crossing guards have been working without one since 2017.
According to the Memorandum of Agreement, the new contract will be retroactive to January 1, 2017 and run until the end of 2026.
The city will provide life insurance of $10 thousand per family and an optical plan of $225 per year.
The contract will retroactively set wages at $15.50 per hour beginning in 2017 with an increase each year, ending at $22 per hour in 2026.
The agreement also provides that crossing guards will get the hourly minimum established by any future raise given to city employees by way of an executive order. On June 16, Mayor Steven Fulop increased the minimum pay for full-time city workers to $20 per hour
Crossing guards currently work for 20 hours each week and are not covered by the mayor’s order. Under the new contract, beginning in 2024, the guards will work 25 hours per week and qualify for pay raises granted to full-time workers.
The city has agreed to study the “feasibility” of offering health care benefits to the guards beginning in 2024.