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May 25, 2000

Pitt, custodians' union reach tentative contract

Pitt, custodians' union reach tentative contract

Negotiators for the University and Pitts- burgh campus custodians have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract, retroactive to Jan. 1.

Pittsburgh campus custodians, including cleaners, maintenance workers, groundskeepers and pool operators, are members of Division 29 of Local 585 of the Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO.

The union's contract expired Dec. 31. Employees have been working on monthly extensions since then.

University spokesperson Ken Service said the deal, if approved by the union membership, will include a 3 percent salary increase that goes into effect in January of each of the three years (2000-2002).

Like all Pitt employees, the service workers will be able to choose from among health benefits options offered by the UPMC Health Plan, Service said. In February, Pitt announced a three-year deal with UPMC-HP, effective July 1. Although the sign-up period for next fiscal year's health benefits ends tomorrow, May 26, "the union membership will be accommodated at the point the contract is agreed to," Service said.

Mike Salmon, Local 585 union representative and negotiator, declined to comment specifics. "We've reached a tentative agreement, yes," Salmon said. "We're putting together information for our membership and I can't go into any of the details publicly yet."

A simple majority of union members who vote is required to approve a contract. Salmon said no date has been set for voting.

–Peter Hart

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