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Parity agreed to for Brandeis workers

By Elizabeth Eichel

Section: News

September 23, 2005

After months of negotiation between the administration and the Service Employees International Union Local 615, direct workers and contracted workers will receive the same pay. The old contract expires in August 2006.

The Brandeis Labor Coalition (BLC), along with several professors, began to campaign for parity for Brandeis workers last spring. This summer, the direct workers contract was up for negotiation. The Labor Coalition saw the contract as an opportunity to pay contracted workers the same wages as direct workers, said Julie Miller, 07, a representative of BLC.

The people contracted had fewer personal days, fewer sick days and were paid about $3 less an hour for the same job, Miller said. The BLC met with administration several times, with the goal of putting something saying, All people doing the same job get paid equally, Miller said.

Under the new contract, the administration is going to pay contracted workers the same as direct workers and all workers will be direct workers.

Workers who are no longer under contract are not guaranteed their old job in the next fiscal year, but the BLC is trying to make it easier for the workers to be re-hired, or recaptured, as it is put in the new contract. Our hopes are to speak with the administration and express our concern with getting workers recaptured, Miller said.

Another concern that the BLC wants to deal with is an English requirement for Brandeis workers. This might be a problem because contractors did not have an English requirement, Miller said. The BLC is considering getting the workers English classes.

“The labor coalition is pleased with how the contract negotiations turned out. The administration was ready to listen- when we brought in the Student Union, they started paying a lot of attention, Miller said.
We want to emphasize how happy we are with the settlement, Miller said. Were very thankful to administration and the Student Union.

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