When I began working at Yale, my office was located on Long Wharf instead of on campus. I held a grant-funded position, and like many other research assistants, when the funding ran out, my job disappeared, and I was to be laid off. Being situated far from campus, my colleagues and I often felt like we were part of a group of misfit toys. It was during this time that I met Margaret, my organizer, who informed me about the benefits our union had fought for and won. However, it wasn’t until I was laid off that I truly understood the power of the union contract.
Our union fought for individuals like me who held grant-funded jobs, leading to the creation of the Interim Employment Pool (IEP). The IEP provided me with full pay and benefits for the three months that I searched for a new job within the university. It served as a strong safety net and ultimately secured me my current position in radiology.
In my current role, I interact with members from various departments. Currently, I am focused on building the committee in the Psychiatry department and conducting “know your rights” trainings to inform them about their rights under our contract. During these trainings, members ask insightful questions, gained knowledge about our union’s history and benefits, and some individuals have become more involved.
Yale is an esteemed institution, and we take pride in the work we do and its contributions to the world. I believe that we deserve exceptional benefits that align with the level of dedication we give to the university.