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RF CONTRACT

CUNY RF WORKERS HOLD ONE-HOUR ACTION

 



the web  
psc-cuny.org

UPDATES: 9/24/09 | 10/5/09 | 10/19/09 | 10/22/09 Picket Line
PHOTOS:  9/14/09 Walkout

Research Foundation Workers Walk Out For a Fair Contract

By John Tarleton, Clarion Associate Editor


Photo credit for all pictures on this page: Gary Schoichet

Frustrated by months of deadlocked contract talks, members of the PSC at the CUNY Research Foundation (RF-CUNY) Central Office held a one-hour walkout at the beginning of the workday on Monday, 9/14.

The action began at 8:30 when the PSC began picketing at the front and back entrances to the RF-CUNY’s West 41st Street headquarters. After an hour of boisterous chanting and marching, the workers entered the building with PSC President Barbara Bowen to seek a meeting with RF-CUNY President Richard Rothbard. But the RF turned off the elevators to prevent Bowen from reaching Rothbard’s office.

Rothbard, who recently received a 44% raise, did not meet with the PSC union members, who have been without a new contract since the beginning of the year. But Bowen did convince RF-CUNY Chief Operating Officer Jerry Steele to commit to convey the workers’ main question – “Why 2%?” – to Rothbard.

CUNY-RF Central Office Chapter Chair Anthony Dixon said that more than 90% of his 84 colleagues participated in the walkout. In addition, many PSC Executive Council members attended to support the workers.

To date, management’s proposed wage increase stands at 6.5% over three years. The workers know, Dixon told the PSC's “This Week,” that the low offer is not driven by the recession. “The Research Foundation is not being affected by the economy. They have enough money to give higher increases, but they just choose not to.” He said that the demonstration sent “a strong message to management. As our tee-shirts say, ‘Workers are the Real Foundation of CUNY.’ We are fighting together for the respect and recognition we deserve.” The members pledged to do whatever it takes to win a fair contract.


UPDATES: 9/24/09 | 10/5/09 | 10/19/09 | 10/22/09 Picket Line
PHOTOS:  9/14/09 Walkout

9/24/09 UPDATE --  RF WORKERS VOTE STRIKE AUTHORIZATION
PSC members at the RF-CUNY Central Office voted 91% "yes" for a strike authorization on Thursday, 9/24 with 83% of the workers voting. The story is in on page 2 of this week’s Chief-Leader. (Read it here; subscription required.)

“This is about respect,” explained Chapter Chair Tony Dixon. “By all indicators, RF-CUNY has plenty of money. It’s hard for us to watch as they spend it on a 44% raise for President Rothbard and on an expensive anti-union law firm, when they could be putting that money toward a fair contract for us. So it’s really about respect.”

Fisner Antoine, chapter vice chair, watched as the “yes” votes piled up. “It was amazing. The turnout and the 91% yes vote shows we are united in our struggle for a fair contract,” he said.

The vote – which authorizes the bargaining committee to call a strike if and when they deem necessary – came 10 days after workers held a one-hour walk out

10/5/09 UPDATE -- RF Workers Continue to Mobilize for a Fair ContractPSC members at the central office of CUNY’s Research Foundation (RF-CUNY) have met RF-CUNY management at the bargaining table once since the union members voted to authorize a strike. RF-CUNY made some encouraging moves, but maintains its proposal to increase the employee contribution to the health insurance to 19% in the third year and keep it at 19% in a newly proposed fourth year. 

There are two more bargaining dates scheduled for this month, and PSC members continue to mobilize for a fair contract. “This is about respect,” Chapter Chair Tony Dixon told “This Week.” “By all indicators, RF-CUNY has plenty of money. It’s hard for us to watch as they spend it on a 44% raise for President Rothbard and on an expensive anti-union law firm, when they could be putting that money toward a fair contract for us. So it’s really about respect.”

To join other PSC members in supporting the RF workers, or with any questions about their mobilization, please email Kian Frederick or call her in the PSC office, 212-354-1252.

10/19/09 UPDATE --  Rally with RF Workers for a Fair Contract.   PSC members at the central office of CUNY’s Research Foundation (RF-CUNY) have met RF-CUNY management at the bargaining table twice since the union members held a one-hour walk out and voted last month to authorize a strike. Join the call for a fair contract by attending a rally on Thursday, 10/22 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm outside the RF-CUNY Central Office, 230 W 41st Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in Manhattan. Please email Kian Frederick or call her in the PSC office, 212-354-1252, to let her know you’re coming.


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MONDAY, 9/14/09 WALKOUT


Anthony Dixon, RF Chapter Chair, addressing RF Chief Operating officer, Jerry Steele, outside of the office of RF president Richard Rothbard.  Rothbard refused to meet with RF workers and sent Steele instead.

UPDATES: 9/24/09 | 10/5/09 | 10/19/09 | 10/22/09 Picket Line
PHOTOS:  9/14/09 Walkout


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