The 4-year contract agreement , which formally recognizes the union at the Boathouse, includes a wage increase for employees, as well as health benefits for staff and their families.
“The Boathouse is a one-of-a-kind destination for New Yorkers and visitors, and throughout this process we were committed to its continued success for years to come,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Steel. “I want to congratulate Dean Poll and the New York Hotel Trades Council for reconciling their differences and coming to an agreement that is good news for the Boathouse, its employees and the City. Not only does the restaurant add to the vibrancy of the City in one of its most stunning settings, it also provides important City revenue, and this agreement will allow it to continue to thrive.”
The agreement is something of a victory for Mr. Steel after what has been a tough week for him that included a front-page story in yesterday’s Daily News that he lived a mansion in Connecticut, rather than in the west side apartment he claimed.
“He did a really good job of making sure he was fair and tough when he needed to be to make sure a deal got done,” said Josh Gold, the political director at the Hotel Trades Council which had been leading the strike.
Mr. Gold said that Mr. Steel led the two parties over a series of late-night meetings at Gracie Mansion that sometimes stretched into the early morning hours.
“I think we would still be on strike if Steel hadn’t been showed such skill at negotiation between the two parties.
The Boathouse is operated through a contract between its concessionaire, Dean Poll, and the city, and the HTC had been pushing for the administration to break the contract and find someone more amenable to labor to operate the restaurant.
The unions had previously scuttled Mr. Poll’s attempt to operate the Tavern on the Green, but today Mr. Gold sounded optimistic that an agreement could be reached there as well.
“We reached a deal with him there, I see no reason why we can’t reach a deal across the park.”
In a statement, Mr. Poll sounded equally conciliatory.
“This agreement is good for our staff, and will allow us to grow and prosper in the years ahead. I am grateful to Deputy Mayor Steel for his efforts in assisting to bring all parties together and develop a fair solution. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the members of the Hotel Trades Council.”