Philadelphia Housing Authority Announces Second Union Agreement


AFSCME District Council 33, Local 934 Sign a Contract

PHILADELPHA, PA – February 14, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) today reached its second union agreement in as many weeks, and this agreement like the first includes a major change in the way employees’ pensions are funded. This agreement is with the AFSCME District Council 33, Local 934, PHA’s second largest union.“The announcement of the second agreement demonstrates PHA’s commitment to all employees who diligently serve the residents of the Philadelphia Housing Authority,” said PHA interim executive director Michael P. Kelly. “I want to commend everyone involved with negotiating this responsible contract. This assures that residents will continue to receive top quality services each of them deserves.”

As of April 1, 2011, workers represented by DC 33 will contribute 5.5% of their salary into a defined contribution pension and PHA will match that contribution (PHA will match 3.5% in the first year and 4.5% in the second year before matching the complete 5.5% in the third year and onward). Workers may select how conservatively or aggressively they want those funds to be invested, just as with a 401(k).

Current workers will maintain everything they have earned to date in their defined benefit plan but as of April 1 they will begin accruing their retirement money in their new defined contribution account.

“The changes in the pension system represent a solution for the long-term financial security of the men and woman in DC 33 at PHA. The agreement should also give piece of mind to the residents who depend on PHA to provide a quality, affordable place to live. As both a labor leader and a PHA commissioner, I see the necessity of these changes from both sides. Every labor situation is unique and this is the model that works best for PHA and its workforce at this time,” said Philadelphia AFL-CIO President and PHA board member Patrick Eiding.

Newly hired non-union employees at PHA have been enrolled in the defined contribution plan since 2004.

Other features of the new agreement with DC 33 include:

  • The contract term is five years, 2009 – 2014.
  • Employees will receive a 2.5% increase each year from 2009 until 2012 and receive 3% increase in 2013.
  • Effective April 1, 2011, employees covered under this agreement enrolled in the Keystone Healthcare Plan will contribute four percent of the cost of their premium.

PHA’s unionized employees have been working under the terms of a contract that expired in 2009.

DC 33 represents 83 employees at PHA. Last week, the Building and Construction Trades Council, representing 344 PHA employees, signed an agreement with similar changes to the pension program.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority is the nation’s 4th largest housing authority, serving more than 80,000 rental residents. PHA is also a major real estate developer.


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