All posts by Murphy Institute

University Council – American Federation of Teachers is Hiring In San Diego

The University Council – American Federation of Teachers is a statewide Council of nine Locals representing approximately 4,000 Librarians and Non-Senate Faculty (most of whom are Lecturers) at the University of California’s ten campuses and five medical centers.  We are currently seeking a: 

75% time Field Representative and 25% time Floater to support the UC San Diego campus.

(Contingent upon funding and the Harris vs. Quinn decision)


 Field Representative Responsibilities: The Field Representative will report to the statewide Executive Director, while working closely with the President of the UC San Diego Local 2034. The Field Representative will help build the San Diego campus-based Local 2034 and assist Local 2034 Union Officers with recruiting new members, organizing, contract enforcement (through formal contractual grievances and unfair labor practice charges, as well as informal mechanisms), and program development (e.g., coordinating events, political activity, and working on newsletters). 

 Additionally, the Field Representative will assist the Executive Director with a variety of tasks such as communicating information to the Local and maintaining a database of academic employees.

Floater Responsibilities: The Floater will report to the statewide Executive Director, while working closely with the Director of Communications and Education, the Field Representatives assigned to the other Locals, and the Executive Board. The Floater will obtain sufficient mastery of the Unit 17 Librarian and Unit 18 Non-Senate Faculty contracts to conduct steward trainings and mentoring stewards in both bargaining units and at all campuses, at all levels of proficiency. Additionally, the Floater will assist the Field Representatives at all campuses with meet and confer and meet and discuss negotiations about Local issues, and research to support Local or Statewide negotiations.

Desired Qualifications:

·     Experience in the labor movement and/or community organizing

·     Experience in higher education, optimally with librarians and non-tenure-track faculty

·     Experience handling grievances and/or unfair labor practices

·     Demonstrated ability to work independently in the context of a general plan

·     Good interpersonal and group communication skills

·     Good research, writing and computer skills

·     Enthusiasm, flexibility, and a sense of humor

Minimum Qualifications:

·     Bachelor’s degree or 5 years of experience as a Union staff person

·     Driver’s license

·     Proficient in using mac computers with PC and mac software. Knowledge of Gmail and other google applications a plus

 Starting Date: July 2014 (Contingent upon funding and the Harris vs. Quinn decision) 

Deadline for Application: June 15, 2014

Initial interviews: the week of June 16th through 20th

Salary: Pursuant to UFRE staff collective bargaining agreement; minimum full-time starting salary is currently $61,120 and maximum is $82,038. Salary placement will be commensurate with experience.

This position is exempt and requires travel and attendance at evening/weekend events. It includes employer paid health benefits, a 401(k), and 5 weeks paid vacation. 

 Please send a résumé, contact information for three references, and a cover letter via e-mail to:

Statewide Administrative Assistant

Katherine DeJesus


Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council Seeks Coordinator

The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council seeks a full-time Coordinator to facilitate the operations of the Caucus. This individual will be hired by the Caucus as a whole, and will be an employee of the New York City Council.
The Progressive Caucus was founded in 2009 as an advocate for social and economic justice within the City Council. The Caucus has been instrumental in the passage of a living wage, paid sick days, and police accountability reforms in New York City. After an influx of progressive Council Members in the 2013 NYC elections, the Progressive Caucus has grown in membership and influence this term.
The duties of the Coordinator include (but are not limited to):
Policy Advocacy
  • Develop, research and advocate for a progressive policy agenda
  • Act as a liaison with advocates requesting the support of the Caucus for ongoing issues
  • Disseminate information to Caucus members on upcoming events related to progressive issues
  • Organize events and activities of the Caucus such as rallies, town halls, forums, etc
Communications Strategy
  • Respond to current events via public statements, podcasts, video responses, etc.
  • Maintain an effective social media presence and regularly update the Caucus website
  • Send out a regular e-newsletter and build up the Caucus’ contact list
  • Utilize new communications tools to enhance engagement with NYC’s progressive community
  • Track Caucus press coverage
  • Field inquiries from members of the press
Internal Administration
  • Schedule monthly Progressive Caucus meetings and prep the leadership team to facilitate
  • Send meeting notices, confirm attendance of Members, and take minutes
  • Coordinate regular communication between the members of the Caucus’ leadership team
  • Connect key staff members to ensure cohesive strategies among Caucus members
  • Manage the Caucus’ email address
  • Plan regular social events for Caucus members
  • Execute an annual retreat for internal strategic planning
Preferred Qualifications:
  • At least 2-3 years of work experience in government, public policy, community organizing or other relevant fields
  • Knowledge of NYC politics, government and current issues
  • Detail-oriented, strong organizational skills, and the ability to coordinate multiple busy schedules
  • Experience with building and maintaining a strong communications strategy
  • Excellent writing and communications skills
  • Experience with NationBuilder a plus
  • A commitment to the Caucus of at least one year
Please send a resume and cover letter to with the subject heading “Coordinator Application” to apply.
Standard City Council employee benefits are provided.

South Asian Contract Workers at NYU’s Abu Dhabi Campus Exploited

Dr. Stephen Brier is part of the Consortial Faculty at The Murphy Institute

As if we needed yet another indication that New York University (NYU) exploits its employees (while also blatantly disregarding the needs and desires of its downtown neighbors), The New York Times reports on the deplorable conditions experienced by South Asian contract workers who were brought to build NYU’s glittering monument to its own hubris, the Abu Dhabi campus of the college in the United Arab Emirates. Being forced to pay labor recruiters as much as a year’s wages in order to gain the privilege of working 6 or 7 days a week, 12 hours a day (much like indentured servants in the 17th and 18th centuries), and to live in numbered “labor camps,” which are little more than prisons, led many contract workers to go out on strike for better wages and working conditions. Their efforts were met by stark repression by the Abu Dhabi government. Five years ago, NYU offered a fig-leaf when these conditions in Abu Dhabi were first revealed, claiming it had issued a “Statement of Labor Values,” which turns out not to be worth the paper it was printed on.

This system is a perfect example of who pays the price for academic and cultural globalization and exploitation, a system that NYU and its tin-eared leader, John Sexton, have proudly perfected over the past decade. If you are interested in learning more about conditions in Abu Dhabi, check out this online article by NYU journalism student Kristina Bogos, who visited one of the UAE labor camps.

Updated: 5/20 at 3:30 PM

Responding to the May 19 article in the New York Times, NYU offered “our apologies” to exploited Abu Dhabi contract workers, as reported in a follow-up article in the Times. The Times piece ends with a quotation from Ramkumar Rai, a Nepali immigrant who worked on the Abu Dhabi project who is still waiting for his final six months of pay 16 months after he left the UAE: “When will the money? If the money comes it will be O.K.”

Photo by Nick & Mindy Martin via flickr (CC-BY-NC).

A Great Place for News about NYC Unions and Working People

Dr. Stephen Brier is part of the Consortial Faculty at The Murphy Institute

The Labor Press is a regular, trustworthy source of news about NYC unions and working people’s struggles in the city and beyond. You can subscribe to it via email, which arrives weekly, and it’s a must read for anyone interested in workers’ battles for a fairer and more equitable world.

Two articles in the current issues are especially worthy of attention, focusing on the efforts to organize low-wage workers in the city:

  • A report on the challenge by a Haitian immigrant, Pierre Metivier, who works in the fast food industry, to Andrew Cuomo to switch paychecks for a day so the governor can know what it’s like to live in NYC on a hourly wage of $8.
  • A victory by “carwasheros,” who won a contract and a wage increase after three strikes at the Off Broadway Car Wash in Queens, the seventh victory in the campaign to improve the working conditions and pay of car wash workers.

Check out these and other reports and articles at  .