css.phpAll posts by Murphy Institute

Community Organizing with WE ACT

Last fall, the Murphy Institute launched a B.A. in Urban and Community Studies. The program focuses on public policy, the delivery of services, and improving the quality of life for communities and working-class populations. Students in the program use methods and perspectives from sociology, economics, political science, history, and anthropology to analyze the conditions of cities, neighborhoods, and communities within a globalizing economy and culture. Our students have opportunities for experiential and applied learning, including fieldwork and workplace-based projects in New York City — our classroom.

Etinosa Emokpae is one of our students and had a chance this summer to intern at a community-based organization in Harlem that engages residents to address environmental justice/public health issues and find solutions. In this piece, she shares some of her impressions.

I’d like to recount my amazing experience in the Urban Studies Fieldwork seminar, which was co-taught by Professors James Steele and Eve Baron. The seminar allows students to intern at a public agency or community organization that fits their interests. Continue reading Community Organizing with WE ACT

The Labor Question

By Joshua Freeman

In a Labor Day op-ed article in the NY Daily News, I argued that even as unions have suffered a series of setbacks and continue to slip in the percentage of workers they represent, labor issues are more prominent now than at any time in the recent past. What we are seeing might be called the re-emergence of “the labor question.” (New York is somewhat exceptional because, as the Murphy Institute’s Ruth Milkman and Stephanie Luce show in a forthcoming study reported in The New York Times, union membership in the city has been rising significantly of late.)

“The labor question” was once a common term, widely used in the early 20th century. On the simplest level, it asked how orderly relations could be maintained between employers and employees, preventing the outbursts of labor strife that had become common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Continue reading The Labor Question

New York State Nurses Association Administrative Assistant – Political & Community Organizing (Midtown West)

The New York State Nurses Association is a union of 37,000 frontline nurses standing together for strength at work, our practice, safe staffing, and healthcare for all. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses.


This position reports to the Director of Political Affairs and Public Policy and will perform administrative functions as directed by the department Director and other staff in the Political and Community Organizing Department.


• Health care and/or political/lobbying experience a plus.
• Screen calls, take clear, concise messages, transfer calls as appropriate and take call backs as necessary in a proficient and professional manner.
• Compose letters for signature from verbal instruction or brief notes.
• Correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, paragraphing and organization of letters and reports to assure accuracy. Review outgoing correspondence for completeness.
• Assist in making travel arrangements for professional staff.
• Attend meetings to take minutes when requested. Type, proof and edit handwritten notes from meetings in a timely manner.
• Obtain appropriate approval of content and format of minutes.
• Copy and distribute draft minutes to meeting attendees.
• Circulate draft minutes to Association directors and executive staff.
• Assist in keeping an up-to-date schedule of the activities of the departmental staff.
• Arrange meetings for councils and committees.
• Maintain an organized and concise filing system in a timely fashion and remove unnecessary material according to departmental guidelines.
• Review and consults with Manager, Administrative Support Services, regarding mailings and other work in which assistance may be required for timely completion
• Maintain current knowledge of overall association office policies, procedures and practices affecting all program activities.
• Accurately type, answer and/or respond to various types of letters produced by departmental program staff.
• Confirming that all members are available for meetings (via memo or telephone) and sends them written notification of that schedule.
• Making arrangements in consultation with Conference Facility Manager for room, room set-up, audio-visual needs and refreshments.
• Meet with the Director, and other Associate or Area Directors as needed, to discuss work assignments, changes in priorities, problems and plans for improved secretarial effectiveness.
• Draft responses to routine requests to expedite replies as directed by departmental staff.
• Inform departmental staff of changes in schedule.
• Mailing appropriate paperwork to attendees prior to meetings as assigned.
• Sort, organize and prepare materials to be sent to archives in accordance with Association policy and procedure.
• Notifying attendees, staff, and meeting and catering coordinator of any changes in schedule.
• Assist program staff in preparing program related materials for the NYSNA Annual Convention.
• Relieve other administrative personnel as requested.
• Schedule time off in consultation with the department Director.
• Performs all other related activities which may be required in advancing the mission, purposes and interests of the department as assigned.


To apply, please submit a cover letter of interest and resume to employment<at>nysna<dot>org

NYTimes: Union Rates Rebounding Over 18-Month Period

On Labor Day this year, Murphy faculty members Ruth Milkman and Stephanie Luce were quoted in a New York Times article entitled Study Suggests a Rebound for Union Jobs in New York. The article describes the pair’s research findings around trends in union membership in New York City, referencing their recent “State of the Unions” report — which notes a “pretty healthy uptick” in the number of union workers in New York City. 

Read the full report here.

CSEA SEIU Local 2001 (Hartford, CT) Seeks Staff Representative/Organizer

The Connecticut State Employees Association (CSEA) SEIU Local 2001, Hartford, CT, has an immediate opening for a staff representative. The successful candidate will serve as chief negotiator in contract negotiations on behalf of Local 2001 membership. This position entails organizing workers, grievance handling and contract negotiations. Relevant college course work will be considered when evaluating candidates for this position. CSEA, SEIU Local 2001 offers a competitive benefits package, including health and dental insurance, paid sick leave, paid vacation, tuition reimbursement, auto allowance, and retirement plan. The starting salary for this position is $42,781 annually, for a Masters level candidate, as established in the Staff Labor Organization collective bargaining agreement.

Strong organizational, interpersonal skills and computer skills are required. Bi-lingual Spanish/English ability is desirable but not a strict requirement. Qualified individuals should send their resume to: CSEA, SEIU Local 2001, 760 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106; Attention: Mike Nortz, Director of Administration. Email responses are encouraged to: mnortzcsea760com.

Use your labor relations background and experience to become an important part of the fastest growing labor union, Service Employees International Union – SEIU, in the nation. CSEA is an Equal Opportunity employer.

Cities Are Embracing the Worst Idea to Come Out of Ferguson

This article was originally posted in Quartz.

By Basil Smikle Jr.

Earlier this week, Missouri governor Jay Nixon ended the curfew imposed on the community of Ferguson over the weekend. Residents had been required to be indoors between midnight and 5 am.

It’s not surprising but it’s one of many moves authorities got wrong in their reaction to riots over the shooting death of Michael Brown.

The toxicity of curfews in the St. Louis suburb sparked additional and perhaps retaliatory unrest. The governor’s decision to restrict the movement of Ferguson’s mostly black population exacerbated long-simmering anger toward law enforcement, roiled community leaders, and extended confrontations with residents. Establishing this curfew was only one of many missteps by a clearly overwhelmed police department.

And yet, alarmingly, the tactic itself is gaining acceptance in major American cities.
Continue reading Cities Are Embracing the Worst Idea to Come Out of Ferguson