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NYU and UCATS Local 3882 to Begin Negotiations

The+union+that+represents+a+number+of+NYU+staff+will+be+negotiating+contracts+with+the+university+on+Sept.+18.+%0A
The union that represents a number of NYU staff will be negotiating contracts with the university on Sept. 18.

The union that represents a number of NYU staff will be negotiating contracts with the university on Sept. 18.

Anna Letson

Anna Letson

The union that represents a number of NYU staff will be negotiating contracts with the university on Sept. 18.

Mark Sheffer, Contributing Writer

The union that represents 1,400 clerical, administrative and technical staff at the university, UCATS Local 3882, will begin contract negotiations with NYU Sept. 18. The current six-year contract between the union and NYU expires Oct. 31.

UCATS Local 3882, which stands for Union of Clerical, Administrative and Technical staff, has had its current collective bargaining agreement in place since November 2011.

“We’re hopeful,” UCATS President and Administrative Assistant Stephen Rechner said. “The indicators appear that both President Hamilton and Sabrina Ellis, the Vice President for Human Resources, are interested and concerned about all members of the community.”

However, relations between UCATS and NYU have not always been amicable. The last time UCATS met with NYU at the bargaining table was in 2011.

“2011 was an extremely difficult year for us,” Linda Wambaugh, a lead organizer for UCATS, said. “Our team was treated very disrespectfully.”

In 1988, UCATS staged a three-week strike against NYU.

“Prior to the strike, the university did lots of legally hostile things to our members, almost as if to say that this union is temporary,” Rechner said.

According to Rechner, who served as a captain during the 1988 strike, NYU was forced to “change its tone” and “accept that this union was here to stay.”

UCATS leadership said that affordability of living, job security, family and childcare leave are some of the top priorities for the bargaining team as negotiations approach.

“On childcare, NYU offers six weeks parental bonding leave to their administrators and research professional staff, but they don’t to their clerical and technical staff,” Rechner said. “We have to ask the question, are our families worth less? Are our children less deserving? We believe they’re not. If they know how to implement it for one group of workers, they shouldn’t have a problem implementing it for ours.”

Nearly 40 percent of current UCATS members are either current NYU students or alumni — including Rechner — who serves as an academic aid at NYU Law.

“Most of them are in graduate school, which means their tuition remission benefit, while generous, is treated by the IRS as imputed income,” Rechner said. “So if you’re getting $20,000 of tuition, you are paying $5,000 in tax on them, in addition to regular taxes on your earnings. It’s as if you’ve added $20,000 to your income, so it significantly reduces their take home pay.”

UCATS members work in all schools and divisions at NYU except for the School of Medicine.

“Even before you get here, you have dealt with our members. We work in the admissions office, the bursar’s office, the financial aid office, the bookstore, as secretaries andassistants, in the labs,” Rechner said. “Everywhere you go, you’re dealing with UCATS members. We deliver educational services to the students. We don’t stand in front of the classroom and teach you, but we do virtually everything else. We’re proud to do it well.mOur members can move mountains for a student, for a faculty member, or a manager because we know all the systems.”

Sandy Dubin, NYU’s Associate General Counsel & Director of Labor Relations, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Correction: Sept. 11, 2017

A previous version of this article misstated the name of the Vice President for Human Resources. Her name is Sabrina Ellis, not Sabine Alice.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 11 print edition. Email Mark Sheffer at [email protected]

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6 Comments

6 Responses to “NYU and UCATS Local 3882 to Begin Negotiations”

  1. brian mecca on September 12th, 2017 11:56 am

    what percentage raises are union looking to negotiate for

  2. sarah nobs on October 3rd, 2017 9:22 pm

    What?

  3. sarah nobs on October 3rd, 2017 9:26 pm

    what

  4. Curtis Maison, NYUCOD on October 18th, 2017 2:34 pm

    I would also like to see some sort representation for the employees of NYUCOD.

    Secondly, our raise must be greater than the previous years our contract binder, we also expecting to get our raise, being due since September, as well retroactive.

    Thirdly, we must also be seen fit for the parental time guaranteed to administration, no child is less of a human because of what their parent does at the university.

    FURTHERMORE, OUR HEALTH COVERAGE OR BENEFITS MUST BE EXPANDED TO A REASONABLE COVERAGE THAT WILL SUSTAIN EMPLOYEE DURING MOMENT OF LIFE UNCERTAINTIES, WHILES THEY ARE ACTIVELY EMPLOYED BY THE UNIVERSITY.

    CURTIS MAISON
    718-838-4031
    [email protected]

    I TRULY STATE FROM THE ECHOING VOICES OF THE PEOPLE THAT WE REALLY NEED A REPRESENTATION AT THE TABLE NOT A DELEGATE WHO IS NOT AN EMPLOYEE

  5. Ann Garriques on October 18th, 2017 4:50 pm

    It is my understanding that contract negotiations are in progress. I am very concerned about the manner in which this extremely important event is being processed. I have been a member for almost 2 years and I have never seen a representative from the union come to the shop to discuss any issues that we may have or to inquire of us what changes we would like to see made; or even arrange a combined union meeting with the members. Therefore, my question is how can our representatives effectively represent us?
    Please correct me if I am wrong, but most unions do have members present at the negotiating forum to learn, observe and also to report back to the members in their shop, this union does not allow its members this privilege, therefore the members are ignorant as to what the contents of the contract is and left to ignorantly speculate on how it will affect their lives.
    Without strong union representation at the negotiating table management controls the narrative, resulting in the members suffering contractually, and the impact of the union weakens.

  6. CURTIS (On behalf of all signed petitioners of this affirmation.) on October 27th, 2017 5:31 pm

    Re: Re- Instate Ms. Una Smalls to the Contract Negotiating Table.

    To Whom it may Concern,

    We the members at NYU Collage of Dentistry were informed that the above shop steward was initially appointed to participate in the contract negotiations, was recently dismissed, due to her absence of missing one meeting, due to a personal/medical reason. We do understand the importance and seriousness of these negotiations; Nevertheless, the significance of having proper representation.

    As due paying union member it is our Contractual right to determine and appoint who we are sure will fairly represent us. Ms. Una Small has firsthand knowledge of the day to day issues, needs etc. that we may have, and will be our ambassador at the table. If Una is not available, we would like another repetitive from the Collage of Dentistry to fill her appointed place at the negotiating table.

    Therefore, we are demanding that Ms. Una Small be re-instated immediately without any further ado.

    [Enclosed are the members signed petition]

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NYU and UCATS Local 3882 to Begin Negotiations