On January 28th, following 10 months of failed negotiations, nearly 8,000 employees of Swedish Health Services, all members of SEIU 1199 Northwest—a union representing more than 30,000 nurses and healthcare workers throughout Washington State and Montana—walked out on a three-day strike. Right there on the picket lines with them was SLU alumna Mia Ragozino.
Ragozino, who earned her Masters in Labor Studies in 2019, recently joined SEIU 1199NW as an organizer. “SEIU 1199 was a good fit for me,” said Mia. “It’s an organizing union with a racial justice lens and a concernfor workers’ safety.” She said the strike was a last resort in the union’s fight for not just fair compensation, but for adequate staffing and patient safety. “Since corporate giant Providence took over the Swedish healthcare system, management has prioritized profits and executive pay over patients’ needs and workers’ rights.” She noted that three presidential candidates had tweeted in support of the walk-out, including Senators Sanders, Warren, and Pete Buttigieg.
Mia says her learning experiences at SLU prepared her well for her current role. “SLU prioritizes the education of people and workers of color. And learning about the history of the labor movement was a huge eye-opener for me.” After SLU, Mia attended Cornell ILR’s summer institute for strategic corporate research. While there, she learned about the job with SEIU 1199NW.
Mia credits Professor Stephanie Luce with not only inspiring her, but for recommending her for the position in Seattle. “She was a role model for me,” said Mia, “and she helped me get started in the career I always wanted to pursue. It all came together at SLU.”
Professor Luce returned the compliment: “It was a joy to have Mia as a student,” she said. “Her energy and passion for social justice inspired other students as well as me. Given her sharp mind and research skills, SEIU 1199NW is lucky to have her!”
Read more about the SEIU 1199 healthcare workers’ strike here.
On International Women’s Day, this networking event will be an opportunity for Murphy Institute students and alumni to speak with successful women (and men) from a variety of fields in order to help better understand how to improve their careers.
Light refreshments will be provided.
- Practice and Improve your networking skills
- Find out what potential employers are looking for when hiring
- Find out about potential job openings
Murphy alumni have been gaining some press as of late.
New York Taxi Workers Alliance staffer and Union Semester alum Ryan Richardson joined cab drivers Bill Lindauer, Victor Salazar, and Asim Akhtar as they heckled Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on the set of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert (via NY Daily News.) Meanwhile, another Union Semester alum, Liam Lynch, was featured on KUT.org for NYCOSH‘s work seeking out 9/11 responders and survivors in Texas and beyond.
Here’s to our vibrant and active alumni community!
The latest issue of the DC 37 newsletter features a column by Murphy Institute alum Moira Dolan singing high praise for Murphy programs, faculty and students. Dolan is senior assistant director at the DC 37 Research and Negotiations Department and recently graduated from the Murphy Institute, in part thanks to assistance from the DC 37 Education Fund. She writes:
Because of my work in the DC 37 Research and Negotiations Dept. the Labor Studies Program at CUNY was a perfect fit[…]
Some of my favorite teachers included Ed Ott, who taught public sector and public policy, and who told many fascinating anecdotes from the past; Ruth Milkman, who taught labor and immigration; Steve Jenkins from SEIU 32 B-J, who instructed us on corporate research methods; and Josh Freeman, who taught labor history.
As compelling as these educators were, my fellow students were even more interesting. Through them, I got to know what it’s like to work at other unions — or be represented by other unions.
To read the full article, click here.
Joseph S. Murphy Institute alum and MTA worker Richard Singleton successfully intervened in an attempted assault at his subway station at 28th Street and Park Avenue South on Sunday, March 22nd.
Richard has served as an MTA worker for almost two decades. He has graduated from the Murphy Institute with Masters of Arts in Labor Studies and Urban Studies.
Read more from the Daily News on this act of heroism.
This past summer, Tracye Hawthorne, graduate of Murphy’s Cornell/CUNY Labor Relations Certificate Program, was featured in DC37’s Public Employee Press. The article, entitled The Making of an Activist, describes Hawthorne’s journey to becoming shop steward at Clerical-Administrative Employees Local 1549.
From the profile, by Gregory N. Heires:
Arkansas – (a “right-to-work” for less state that prohibits union security agreements) – isn’t exactly a hotbed of union activity. Most workers there lack the job security and workplace protections that so many in New York City have.
So when Arkansas native Tracye Hawthorne moved to New York City over five years ago, she was only too happy to find a job as a unionized civil servant.
Continue reading Murphy Alum Featured in Public Employee Press