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Readers Responses to: Thoughts on Union Structures, Labor History And Union Member Consciousness

Last week we posted a piece from Nick Unger about union structures, labor history and union member consciousness. Below, you can find seven responses from readers of The Murphy Institute Blog.  Stay tuned for Part 2 of Nick Unger’s Series, coming soon.

From Gene Carroll at The Worker Institute at Cornell

A few years back Rutgers professor Janice Fine expressed to a forum on worker centers that “labor unions are difficult to join.” Nick Unger’s deconstruction of the Wagner Act’s impact on working class mobilization and consciousness reminded me of her keen insight.  The new forms of labor organizations that have emerged (worker centers, alt. labor) with some support from but still largely independent of traditional unions, is one result of, and a reaction to, how the Wagner Act has painted unions into a corner…structurally and vision-wise.  How do we make these new organizational forms sustainable without actual collective bargaining contracts and its benefits, which exist alongside of the internal contractions Nick explores?  How can labor’s new forms of leverage help unions to become much less difficult to join?  What is the relationshiop between the previous two questions?  Thank you, brother Unger, for sharing your thinking labor.

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Recap of Last Night’s Diversity Scholarship Event at The Murphy Institute

John Mogulescu Is the Senior University Dean for Academic Affairs and Dean of the School of Professional Studies

Last night  the Murphy Institute hosted the second annual Promoting Diversity and Excellence in Union Leadership and Labor Scholarship Reception.  It was a wonderful evening.  Four emerging labor leaders received the 2014 Rising Leader Awards.  That was followed by the awarding of the first five Murphy Institute Scholarships for Diversity in Labor.  The scholarships had been initiated by former Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, who provided initial financial support of $100,000 in 2013, with the possibility of an additional $400,000 depending on our ability to raise matching funds.  The overall potential for scholarships assuming that we meet the match is close to $1 million.

Chancellor Milliken kicked off the evening with greetings.  He reinforced the commitment of the University to the scholarship program, congratulated the winners and Murphy Director Greg Mantsios, and emphasized the importance of the labor movement to the city of New York.  The Chancellor was gracious and supportive.

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Strategic Researcher at the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA)

The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) is seeking to hire a Strategic Researcher in its New York City office. NYSNA is a dynamic, progressive 37,000-member union and professional association that represents both public and private-sector nurses, throughout NYS.

We are committed to winning strong contracts, making legislative gains and building the public image of our dedicated, professional registered nurse members.

To meet our organizational goals, we need research professionals:

  • Excellent writing, analytical, computer and data skills required.
  • Experience in analysis of the health care industry, financing and/or economic development and labor research is necessary.
  • Knowledge of public and private sector health care and nursing is a plus.
  • BA required/Master’s preferred.
  • Our work environment requires individuals who can work as part of a team, take initiative on key issues and balance multiple projects, to meet the needs of our members in bargaining and organizing.

Interested individuals send letter of interest, resume and writing sample to Sonja Harris, Director, Human Resources, NYSNA, 131 West 33rd Street, 4th Fl., New York, NY 10001 or send email to employment@nysna.org.

NYSNA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.

Program Coordinator at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL)

See full posting and apply here. Note that NJ residency is required.

Work Week 37.5 hrs non-exempt
Job Description Reports to the Associate Director, Supervisor. The Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) is the global coordinator of the Post 2015 Women’s Coalition which is an international network of feminist, women’s rights, women’s development, grassroots and social justice organizations working through advocacy and movement, building to challenge and reframe the global development agenda. The Program Coordinator organizes, administers, and coordinates multiple facets of programs, projects, and/or processes with the planning, preparation, evaluation, and control of communications, events, records, statistics, reports, and documents. Oversees the administration of the Post 2015 women’s Coalition and facilitates the realization of women’s rights and gender equality. Facilitates the production of advocacy materials in multiple languages; shares relevant information, engages in informed advocacy at the national and regional levels, and feeds into the global process to ensure that women’s rights and gender equality are at the center of all discussions and goal settings. Works with the Communication Consultant to update and maintain the coalition’s website. Manages the coalition’s listservs, social media channels, and statements and resources on the Post 2015 sustainable development agenda. Assists with the undertaking of on-site evaluations of programs and services, assesses service levels and program progress, and prepares appropriate recommendations. Serves as liaison with various public and private institutions and agencies to determine special program requirements, modifications, or innovations. Work is consistent with an understanding of the mission, vision, role, and goals of the administrative, academic, or a research unit.
Job Requirements Requires a bachelor’s degree in international development, global affairs, or a related field or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience that demonstrates knowledge of development policy and the United Nations. Must have excellent writing, communication, planning, organizational and computer (web content management, listservs, and social media) skills and be able to manage multiple priorities with ease and build collaborative relationships with diverse partners. Also requires a minimum of two years relevant experience in international development or global affairs. A master’s degree and experience in women’s organizations, rights-based or social justice work, project management and knowledge of the Post 2015 process preferred.

Fall Labor Studies Classes at Murphy

The Fall 2014 classes for the MA in Labor Studies are up! Check them out below.

Collective Bargaining Theory and Practice (LABR604) 3c
Instructor: Josh Bienstock
Monday Evening

This course will provide students with a theoretical understanding of the collective bargaining process in the U.S. In addition to studying union and management theories of bargaining, students will analyze contemporary and historically significant bargaining scenarios in the private and public sectors and will develop advanced knowledge of labor relations in a variety of workplace environments. Students will examine the legal framework of collective bargaining and will study the evolution of public policy governing labor relations. In addition to studying the bargaining process and methods of contract enforcement, students will discuss alternative models of worker representation in a global economy. They will gain practical understanding by designing and participating in mock bargaining sessions.

Journalism, Media, and Labor (LABR669) 3c
Instructor: Ari Paul
Tuesday Evening

In this course will explore all aspects of labor and how it intersects with the press: How it is covered by the mainstream, how unions present their own message and how activists use new media formats in organizing campaigns. Students will be expected study, examine, and evaluate how news outlets ranging from the tabloids to business journals to public radio cover contemporary labor issues. From there we can examine how unions succeed and fail at messaging with the mainstream media. And over the course of the semester, students will be expected to follow one local labor story and cover it as if they were working journalist, rather than a union organizer.

Crises in the Public Sector (LABR669) 3c
Instructor: Ed Ott
Wednesday Evening

This course examines the contemporary issues and challenges facing the public sector workers and their organizations. In particular, the course will look at the recent state level attacks on public sector collective bargaining, privatization efforts in particular industries and the role back of the social safety net. Additionally, the course will examine the history and traditions of public employee unionism since the 1960s, review the present state of the public sector unions in the New York area, and consider possible organizational and political responses to today’s challenges.

Photo by ewe neon via flickr (CC-BY).

Operations Manager at ALIGN

ALIGN: the Alliance for a Greater New York unites labor and community for a more just and sustainable New York.
Formed by the merger of New York Jobs with Justice and Urban Agenda, ALIGN builds upon 20 years of creating good
jobs, vibrant communities, and a more accountable democracy for all New Yorkers. Successes include the “Trades and
Residents for Apprenticeship Development and Economic Success” (TRADES) project, which is creating over 300 careers
in construction for local public housing residents through New York City Public Housing Authority capital repairs;
securing one of the nation’s first municipal green buildings policies, which has eliminated over 200,000 metric tons of
harmful greenhouse gas emissions; and leading the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding that has successfully worked with the
de Blasio administration to expand the Build It Back program to rebuild hundreds of homes in Sandy-impacted
communities while hiring local for these projects. For more information about our work, visit www.alignny.org.

Position Description and Responsibilities
We seek a talented and dedicated person to join our team as Operations Manager. This position will report to the
Executive Director and be responsible for (but not limited to):

Office Management: Oversees smooth functioning of the office servicing ALIGN staff and subtenants; Leads and
supervises office processes and systems including vendor management and building and space management; Develops
benchmarks to maintain or improve overall efficiency; Develops and maintains efficient file systems with emphasis on
consistent records management; Develops and maintains general office procedures; Coordinates logistics for and records
key organizational meetings and events; Maintains office supplies; Manages office calendaring, visitor requests and visitor
desk assignments; Works with staff to address daily needs, maintain office cleanliness and organization.

Financial Management: Works closely with external accountant to manage daily financial activities including accounts
payable, expense policies, income tracking, invoicing and petty cash; Performs basic bookkeeping functions in Quickbooks;
Maintains consistent accounting records; Works with external accountant to prepare regular financial reports and bank
reconciliations; Works with accountant, lawyer, and consultants on internal control policies; Tracks subgrants and
coordinates with other nonprofits regarding collective reimbursements and invoicing.

Human Resources: Works closely with outsourced payroll and benefits provider (PEO) to manage payroll and benefits;
Establishes and tracks employee records; Provides administrative assistance in addressing personnel concerns; Creates and
implements onboarding and exit procedures; Maintains HR policies according to policy manual;

Administration & Technology: Manages the IT Consulting firm to troubleshoot technology issues; Manages and maintains
tech inventory; Provides basic tech support and database support; Administers the database (CivicCRM) to keep consistent
data on donors and stakeholders; Creates and organizes mass mailings from conception to completion; Creates and posts
website and email content for funders and stakeholders.

Special Projects: Manages special projects by Executive Director including creating request for proposals for new
outsourced vendors, assisting with the revision of the policy manual and implementing recommendations from financial
and legal consultants; Assists staff members on projects requiring administrative tasks, mailings or due diligence.

Event Planning: Coordinating annual event including working with staff to pull together guest list, book event venue and
organize and assign event logistics.

Executive Support: Provide direct administrative support to the Executive Director as needed including keeping track of
appointments on calendar, some scheduling and meeting logistical support; Records quarterly board meetings and helps to
implement Board resolutions.

Qualifications:
• At least four years of experience in non-profit sector or job areas similar to those outlined above
• Demonstrate initiative and work as a team player
• Handle detailed, complex tasks and problems and make rapid decisions regarding management and development issues
• Ability to manage multiple tasks in a deadline-driven office
• Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
• Self-directed, detail-oriented, able to handle multiple projects and responsibilities, proven problem-solving skills
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and experience using database systems for fundraising. Experience using
CiviCRM a plus
• Commitment to our organizations’ mission, broader social and economic justice movement, and understanding of how
race, class, gender, and other equity issues are part of the work

Application Process:
Operations Manager is a full-time position with full-time position with generous salary and benefits package depending on experience. Please send cover letter, resume, and three professional references to employment<at>alignny<dot>org with “Operations Manager” in the subject line of the email.

ALIGN is an Equal Opportunity Employer. People of color, women, and LGBTQ persons are strongly encouraged to apply.