Research Foundation Workers Ratify Contract

Updated: June 2, 2016
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NEWS RELEASE | SETTLEMENT HIGHLIGHTS | FULL SETTLEMENT SUMMARY

Congratulations and welcome to our newest PSC members—the CUNY Research Foundation workers at New York City Tech, LaGuardia Community College, and the Graduate Center. By a vote of 177 to 0, the RF workers voted to ratify their new contracts. The votes were counted and certified by the American Arbitration Association on Monday, May 23. The Board of Directors of the CUNY Research Foundation approved the contract at their meeting on May 25. The contract takes effect June 1. The 2% pay increases and the increase in the health insurance premium will appear in the pay period ending June 5 with a June 15 pay date.

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On Thursday, March 31, negotiators for the PSC and the CUNY Research Foundation management reached a tentative agreement on contracts that cover RF workers—full-time and part-time—at LaGuardia, City Tech and the Grad Center. The members of the bargaining units are now voting on contract ratification. The deadline for returning ballots or voting by phone has been extended to Monday, May 23. If you are an RF employee and did not receive a ballot, call Barbara Gabriel at 212-354-1252.

The settlement represents a tremendous step forward and the culmination of many hours of work by dozens of employees across the three campuses. While the contract does not include everything that RF workers might have wanted, it represents significant progress on a number of fronts.

Just a few of the gains in the contract are as follows:

  • Two-percent across-the-board raises in each of the 4 years of the contract with higher increases for those earning less than $25,000/year (pro-rated for part-timers). PIs and PDs will be free to give greater increases at their discretion;
  • Cash payment of $300 for those with 3-4 years of service and $500 for those with 5 or more years of service within 90 days of contract ratification. Payments will be pro-rated for part-timers.
  • Successfully pushed-back against management’s demand for an immediate 8 percentage point increase in employee contributions to health insurance premiums. Covered employees will reach the level currently paid by all other RF employees in the final year of the 4-year contract. Salary increases and increases in employee contributions to health insurance premiums go into effect on the same dates;
  • A “Lockbox” and other procedures to ensure that RF workers do not lose accrued annual leave from one appointment period to the next;
  • A Grievance Procedure, which includes binding arbitration, to enforce our contract; employees can grieve if their contractual rights are violated or their benefits are implemented incorrectly;
  • Tuition Reimbursement for undergraduate or graduate courses at CUNY: 2 courses per academic year for full-timers and 1 course per academic year for part-time As;
  • Guarantee of at least two weeks’ notice, or pay in lieu thereof, if position is eliminated before the end of the appointment period.

The agreement has been unanimously endorsed by both the PSC Executive Council (on April 14th) and Delegate Assembly (on April 28th) with a recommendation to ratify. As a result, ballots were mailed on April 29th to the homes of all RF workers in the bargaining units for a vote to ratify the contract. A settlement summary was made available the week of April 4th, and complete versions of the proposed contract language shortly thereafter. Meetings were scheduled on each campus at different times of day in April to give everyone a chance to ask questions.

The contract only takes effect if and when it is ratified by the workers. The tentative agreement is, however, an enormous achievement. The many RF workers who participated in getting us here—by attending a meeting, talking to their colleagues, or coming to a demonstration—should be very proud of what we have accomplished together.

To see the complete contract language, click here.