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that began back in July, management has been
demanding massive changes throughout our contract, all aimed at reducing
compensation and eroding long-standing rights and protections that have given
Scholastic its now questionable reputation as a decent employer.
For instance, management wants to have overtime pay
begin after 40 hours worked in a week, instead of the current 35, a serious pay
cut for many members. Overtime after 35 hours is a benefit that was won after a
long, hard battle in the late 1980s. There is no reason management should be
asking Guild-represented employees for this huge giveback.
Some of what
management wants is both pernicious and petty. One proposal would snuff a
little-used provision that requires the cash value of deceased employees’
unused vacation time to be paid to their survivors. Jay Krupin, a Scholastic
outside attorney, actually laughed at the notion that members would be offended
by the company’s denial of a few extra dollars to grieving families who have
just lost a loved one and a breadwinner.
continues to unilaterally reclassify employees, changing their job titles to deny them Guild protection
and to reduce the size of the company’s Guild-represented workforce.
Management’s new anti-union strategy was illustrated
by its recent attempt to limit the Guild’s access to members in the workplace,
despite a long-standing practice of Guild reps
visiting members at work. After the Guild filed an unfair labor practice charge
with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB),
management rescinded its new restrictive access policy.
These are among
many examples of management behavior that points to a dramatic change for the
worse in its once-amicable relationship with
the New York Guild’s governing Executive Committee has approved a budget of up
to $100,000 for what could potentially become a wide-ranging mobilization
campaign aimed at winning a fair contract at Scholastic.
While the Guild
bargaining committee hopes management will move off of its hardline stance, the availability of this funding
should make clear that the Guild is determined to fight to make certain there
is no erosion of jurisdiction, wages, benefits or
working conditions at Scholastic.
for the money include advertising, banners and buttons designed to create
awareness that Scholastic management no longer values the employees who create
the educational content used in schools across the country. The funds also may
be used in joint efforts with teachers unions to inform schools and parents
that Scholastic is no longer the worker-friendly employer we’ve come to know and
respect for so many years.
felt $100,000 was enough at this time, if we decide to escalate our struggle at
Scholastic,” said New York Guild President Bill O’Meara. “If it becomes
apparent that we need more, we’ll revisit the matter.”
continues to insist on hurtful changes and givebacks,
we are ready and willing to step up our efforts with a comprehensive,
well-funded corporate campaign. With your help and support, your co-workers on
the Guild bargaining committee will continue to fight for a fair and equitable
contract negotiating session is scheduled for February 28 at 1 p.m. at
Scholastic. The negotiating committee welcomes any Guild members who would like
Scholastic Unit Bargaining Committee
Kathy Wilmore, Chair Winnie Whipple, Vice Chair Eric Russ Suzanne Bilyeu Bob Daraio, Local Representative