The time has come to look ahead. Yale is beginning to re-open, and we must move to protect our jobs. While Yale has acted responsibly as an employer, maintaining our wages and benefits as we all scrambled to learn how to work under threat of COVID-19, now we have to think about the long term. We have begun opening talks with the University regarding our next contract.
On Friday, the Executive Boards of Local 34 and Local 35 met to discuss our preliminary goals in our upcoming negotiations. Our goals are clear:
Protect our jobs. No job cuts.
Protect our benefits.
Grow as Yale grows.
For the last several contracts we have entered negotiations with the same list. But this time is different. COVID-19 has decimated the economy and severely strained our community. Currently, although over 2700 of us are working fully either in our offices or at home, 500 are working less than half-time. Work will be different even after the pandemic. Yale is looking to cut costs and cut jobs.
The truth is, there is more work now than ever to keep Yale running. Our work will change. Yale will change, but our members have always been able to change and grow too.
If we are proactive now, we can ensure that every single one of us keeps a Yale job. And keeps the excellent wages, health care and retirement we’ve fought for. Our jobs are the best jobs in the region and our community needs that stability now more than ever.
THE TIME TO PREPARE IS NOW
As our leaders sit down with Yale, we must back them up with strength in the workplace, wherever that may be. We are launching an initial contract petition that makes clear, as Yale recovers, so should we.
Following this petition expect a contract survey, while our asks of Yale do not stray far from past negotiations, we still need your input. So get in touch with your union leaders in your department to begin discussions now.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS AND UNITY
We must be clear, this will be a difficult negotiation, Yale will hide behind the specter of a down stock market, devastating job loss across our region, and a possible remote student body. But we know that Yale has the means and the wealth to be a stabilizing force in our community. They prospered through the Great Depression and the recession of 2009 and will again. We call on the administration to do right by us and by our city.
It will take all of us to win a good contract in the face of COVID. Now is the time to step up. Now is the time to call your co-workers and start to talk about what it will take to win next contract that you can be proud of.