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      BREAKING NEWS

President Gloria Middleton makes national news with equal pay agenda and EEO case

Sarah Taddeo, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 23, 2019

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Gloria Middleton spent the last six years negotiating for equal pay for city-employed administrative managers in New York City, after research showed a salary gap that reached nearly $100,000 among individuals working the same jobs. 

Black and Latina women were some of the lowest earners. The city settled for about $15 million in April, with paycheck bumps coming for employees later this year.  The difference those bumps will make cannot be understated, said Middleton. 

“It will allow them to afford an apartment in New York City,” she said. “It’s putting food on the table. They can actually take a vacation every now and then.” 

Middleton, a Harlem resident who took the helm of the 9,000-member Communications Workers of America 1180 last year, joined the public sector as a young single mother because it provided solid benefits and union representation, allowing her to raise her child without worry. As she rose through the ranks over a decades-long career, wage disparities faced by fellow women of color in New York became apparent.

“Even the minority men would get paid more than the women...the excuse was, ‘Well, they have a family they have to take care of,’” she said of the situation at one of her first jobs. “But I had a family I had to take care of, so what were they talking about?” 
That is the moment — when a woman of color recognizes a disparity between people working similar jobs — that change could be made, but often it’s not, said Yversha Roman, 34, of Rochester. She co-chairs the local Pay Equity Coalition and learned through her work about the barriers still facing women looking for pay equity. 

(Read More)

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2,000 to Split $15M

ADMIN. MANAGER BIAS PAYOUTS DUE IN DEC

By BOB HENNELLY,  "The Chief", Aug 30, 2019

More than 2,000 current and former Administrative Managers with Communications Workers of America Local 1180 will be getting their share of the $5 million the city has agreed to pay out to settle a long-pending employment discrimination lawsuit before Christmas, according to union President Gloria Middleton.

The payout is part of a $15-million settlement with the de Blasio administration.

Another $5.5 million will go to annuity payments and $4 million has been earmarked for pay increases going forward.

In April, the de Blasio administration and Local 1180 announced the settlement of a lawsuit that was filed in 2013 against the Bloomberg administration.

(Read More)

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GLORIA MIDDLETON: Long fight finally bearing fruit.
Photo: Erin Lefevre 

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Local 1180

Mourns the passing of
President Emeritus 
Morty Bahr

August 2019


Morton Bahr, who led CWA during the most turbulent years of the communications industry and made the union a powerful force for working people, died earlier this week at age 93.

 
Bahr was elected CWA president in 1985, serving in that position for 20 years. He successfully led CWA through the turbulent technological and structural revolution that transformed telecommunications. His vision ensured that the union would continue as an effective advocate for working men and women long into the future, across communications, information technology, and other sectors.
At this week's CWA Convention, CWA President Chris Shelton paid tribute to Bahr. "Not only CWA members, but the entire labor movement, lost a giant last night. Morty was comfortable whether he was in the company of Presidents of the United States, in the halls of Congress, or on a picket line," Shelton said. "He was not only a great president but he was a member's president. Morty loved fighting alongside members in organizing drives and on the picket line almost more than anything that he did as president of this union. He will be sorely missed."

Those wishing to share condolences and memories of President Bahr may do so here. Submissions will be shared with his family.

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Local 1180

Mourns the Loss of
Staff Rep 
Kevin Hines

July 2019


It is with an extremely heavy heart and deep regret that we inform you of the passing of Local 1180 Staff Representative Kevin Hines on July 22, 2019. "Kevin was not only a great Staff Representative, diligently serving the members of Local 1180 and giving it his all, but he was a great friend, a team player, and an all-around genuinely nice person," said Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton." He always had a bright smile on his face, laughter to share, and advice to offer. He will truly be missed by so many. We are all in shock and in mourning from this news."

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FINALLY

A Level Paying Field Union & City Settle EEO Case

March 2019

For two years, the City of New York and the Communications Workers of America Local 1180 have worked to settle claims to compensate members who were paid unfairly based on their gender and race. A stipulation of settlement has finally been signed between parties to settle the litigation. CWA Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton said that close to 1,600 Administrative Managers — mostly women and minorities represented by the Union — were found by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to have been paid less than their white, male counterparts, after the Union filed a complaint in 2013 during the Bloomberg administration.

“Our journey for justice just took a big step forward, and our Administrative Managers, who have stood with the Union during this long fight, will finally get the recognition and restitution they deserve. Our members have served for decades, delivering important public services without the recognition or compensation they were and are entitled to. The fact that someone is female, or black, or Hispanic should make no difference in what they get paid. This case was about equal pay for equal work. We are proud to have represented our members in helping to achieve this important victory in the battle for pay equality,” Middleton said.

The Union and the City, along with the Representative Plaintiffs, have spent the past two years in settlement efforts with the help of the Court’s Magistrate Judge, and parties have recently hashed out the final details that brought about the settlement agreement. With all legal i’s dotted and the t’s crossed on the stipulation of settlement, Middleton said the parties will jointly submit to the Court a motion for approval of the settlement, which is set to give approximately $5.5 million in back pay, $5.5 million in annuity payments, additional retroactive pay estimated at approximately $4 million, and pay increases for members.

Additionally, the settlement will include a host of equitable reforms meant to ensure equal pay practices moving forward, including an oversight committee to ensure non-discriminatory pay practices, and annual disclosure of pay data tied to race and gender along the lines of legislation the City Council passed late last year and became law on January 20, 2019.

(Read More) (Download & Share)

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Local 1180 Works With City Council To Pass Int 633 Putting An End To Racial And Gender Pay Inequality

Bill Signed into Law on January 20, 2019

January 20, 2018

There is no disputing the fact that women and minorities earn significantly less than their male counterparts with the same title doing the same job in New York City government. This type of racial and gender inequality is the driving force behind legislation in the City Council that would halt pay discrimination throughout City agencies. CWA Local 1180 has been the outspoken voice of the working people to make sure the bill became a reality.

 

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Int 633 requires City agencies to annually report their data on gender, pay, and titles, to make sure there are no instances of pay discrimination. The bill, sponsored by Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, requires the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) report on an annual basis, aggregated data from every City agency looking at gender, ethnicity and race at $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 pay bands to find instances of pay disparities. After receiving the data from DCAS, MODA would issue a report to the Mayor and the Speaker, and post this same report publicly on the MODA and Open NY websites. The Council, on an annual basis, will be given 90-day access, through a computer application, to employment level data for all City workers to conduct its own statistical analysis to find instances of pay disparities across City agencies. (Read More) (Download & Share)

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Books and Rattles Daycare Center Contract Fight

February 2019

Hardworking teachers at Books and Rattles Daycare Center have been fighting for nearly two years for a new contract and now they are almost there! They are ready to ratify and stay #unionstrong. Update coming soon.

 

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StoryCorps Workers Continue the Fight

November 2018

Workers at StoryCorps have been bargaining for their first contract for more than a year. Sick of management inaction, the workers have been hard at work making sure management knows that they’re united and willing to fight for a fair contract. (Read More) (Download & Share)

 

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Union Forms Bargaining Committee to Prepare for Contract Talks with City

November 2018

Shop Stewards attended two days of Bargaining Council sessions in early November to review and summarize the 1,066 surveys that members returned seeking input on contract demands for the upcoming bargaining session. (Read More(Download & Share)

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Local 1180 and City Reach Agreement on EEO Case

September 2018

Local 1180 and the City met with the Magistrate on October 3, 2018, regarding our EEO case for Administrative Managers. We are pleased to announce that we have come to an agreement on terms of the settlement, which are the terms discussed at the Admin Managers meeting held in September 2018. Attorneys for both sides are now drafting the details into a written agreement, and both sides submitted the final document to Judge Schofield, the Federal Judge, in early November. The final kinks are being worked out now. We will notify Administrative Managers in writing of the final agreement, at which time you will have the opportunity to opt out. We will continue to update members as the case progresses.  (Download & Share)

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 Labor News

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Boeing Hit With Labor Charges in High-Stakes Union Fight

Hassan A. Kanu/BLOOMBERG: August 20, 2019

A machinists union scored a partial but significant win in a high-stakes battle to unionize Boeing’s South Carolina facility, thought to be a bellwether for labor’s potential to organize workers in the southern U.S.

Federal investigators concluded there’s merit to nine unfair labor practice charges filed by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers against Boeing Co., according to the union. The list includes allegations that six workers were illegally fired last year in retaliation for openly supporting the union, according to IAM officials.

The IAM won a union election on a 105-64 vote last year to represent a smaller group of technicians after losing a previous bid to unionize most of the more than 2,000 employees at the North Charleston plant. That was considered by advocates to be a significant achievement for labor, illustrating the potential for organizing even under “right-to-work” laws that limit union finances in much of the South. Boeing is still fighting that election, arguing that the union “gerrymandered” a slice of the plant’s employees after failing to persuade a majority of workers across the facility to organize under the IAM banner.

A National Labor Relations Board regional director’s decision to approve the charges isn’t a final ruling on the allegations. However, it indicates that the federal government found evidence supporting IAM’s claims and believes the company may have committed legal violations. The two sides will now go before an NLRB judge, who’ll hear arguments and issue a ruling.

The long-running dispute and Boeing’s decision to fire certain known union supporters after the successful election has become a political lightning-rod, drawing attention and input from lawmakers in South Carolina and other states, the largest business groups in the country, and members of Congress.

(Read More)

 

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Tiffany Caban concedes Queens District Attorney race to Melinda Katz

Eyewitness News: August 7, 2019

QUEENS, New York City (WABC) -- Public defender Tiffany Caban has conceded the Queens District Attorney race, more than a week after Queens Borough President Melinda Katz was declared the winner.
The race had been the subject of a court challenge involving some of the dozens of contested ballots cast in the primary race between Katz and Caban.

Cabán told supporters on Tuesday night that her campaign was conceding after a judicial review of disputed ballots didn't significantly alter Katz's slim lead in the tightly contested race.


99 of the 114 unopened and invalidated affidavit ballots were reviewed Tuesday by a judge at the Board of Elections in Queens.
That includes 42 ballots that Caban challenged during the manual recount and 28 that Katz challenged. Caban had said if the more than 100 invalidated paper ballots are counted she could come out ahead in the end.

 

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U.S. Senate Votes to Refund & Extend the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Through 2090; President Signs Bill into Law

July, 2019

The Senate voted to pass the bipartisan Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act 97-2. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, were the only two senators to vote against the bill. The legislation was signed into law by the President the following week, and extended and fully funded the VCF through 2090. The signing of the bill renewing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund means there will be continued financial support for those stricken with World Trade Center-related illnesses, and there are more of these patients every day.
As the Fund was running out of money prior to this bill being signed into law, many 9/11 First Responders received reduced awards for their illnesses.

The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act requires that beginning on October 1, 2019, the Special Master make whole victims who received reduced awards as the Fund was running out of money.

Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya recently announced that she plans to pay all victims who received reduced awards in full before September 11, 2019, which is the 18th anniversary of the attacks.

 

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Stop & Shop strike ends after 11 days

The Middletown Press: April 21, 2019

As of Sunday night, the Stop & Shop strike has ended.

According to a statement from Shop & Shop, the grocery chain “has reached fair new tentative agreements with UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459, which represent our 31,000 associates in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.”

The company said it will be happy to see its employees return to work “as the strike has ended.”

Stop & Shop said they are three-year agreements, subject to ratification votes by members of each local union. These agreements include: increased pay for all associates and continued health coverage for eligible associates. They also include pension benefits for all eligible associates. “Our associates’ top priority will be restocking our stores so we can return to taking care of our customers and communities and providing them with the service they deserve,” the statement said. “We deeply appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers during this time, and we look forward to welcoming them back to Stop & Shop.”

There were no additional specifics provided.

Employees went on strike 11 days ago.

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Photo: Matthew Brown, Hearst Connecticut Media

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A Strike, Deferred: Did NYC Nurses Win Safe Staffing Ratios?

PORTSIDE: April 21, 2019

While NYSNA's headlines claim a historic win, a groundswell of rank-and-file nurses are staunchly opposed to the deal.

On April 9, over 10,000 nurses employed at Montefiore, NY Presbyterian and Mount Sinai hospitals received news of a “groundbreaking TA” after six months of negotiation. The union’s e-blast described a four-year tentative agreement with $100 million towards “enforceable staffing ratios.” In a New York Times article released the following day, NYSNA Vice President Anthony Ciampa called the deal “historic.” He states, “We now have a voice in the process and a real say and a real mechanism in which to challenge patterns of staffing shortages and to get those rectified.” A telemetry nurse, Ciampa has been on union release for the last few years, working full-time for NYSNA. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Ciampa is on the executive and bargaining committee of New York-Presbyterian Columbia Hospital.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was released to members on April 12 and is pending ratification by vote. Contrary to the union’s messaging, the MOA does not outline specific ratios or grids. Instead, it sets terms for the creation of ad-hoc “Allocation Committees” of NYSNA executive committees and hospital management. The committees would meet five days afterratification to negotiate the placement of new positions. In addition to an estimated 643 new RN positions, the TA includes terms for 807 vacancies spread across five hospitals. (Read More)

 

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Nurses picket outside Mount Sinai Hospital in Harlem, February 18, Photo by Luigi Morris

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Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans, and the 2020 Elections

PORTSIDE: April 20, 2019

All candidates for political office in 2020 must speak to the issues of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans for a terrible injustice continues unabated.

Since 2006 there has been an accelerated outward migration of Puerto Ricans from Puerto Rico. By 2017, the Puerto Rican population in the United States had grown to 5.5 million U.S. citizens, significantly out-numbering 3.5 million Puerto Ricans who remain on the island. Puerto Ricans today reside in every state of the union. These Puertorriqueños could become active advocates for ousting the Trump administration from the White House come 2020 national elections. And if progressive activists make an effective connection between the island’s crawling recovery from the ravages of Hurricane Maria, with the colonial status of the U.S. territory, the decolonization of Puerto Rico can be better perceived as a viable alternative both by the people of Puerto Rico and the people of United States. (Read More)

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Disaster Averted: How Unions Have Dodged the Blow of Janus (So Far)

IN THESE TIMES: January 10, 2019

Months after the Supreme Court’s June 2018 Janus v. AFSCME decision, public-sector unions are not teetering on the brink of collapse, as their detractors may have hoped. The consensus is that good preparation softened the initial blow.

“Anyone writing our obituary is going to be sorely disappointed,” Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), tells In These Times. “We don’t believe we are going to get hurt nearly as badly as people thought by Janus.” (Read More)

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NYC Council Passes Bill to Close Race, Gender Pay Gap

Metro US, December 21, 2018

The color of our skin, our gender or our sexual orientation should not determine how we get paid," said Gloria Middleton, president of the Communication Workers of America union's Local 1180 branch. "Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. New York City's talent pool is not comprised of just White men. (Read More)

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Three Lessons for Winning in November and Beyond

The New York Times, October 10, 2018

Prognosticators are wildly confused about which “side” will benefit from the highly contentious process around Brett Kavanaugh. Whose anger will prevail? they ask. On the left, some ask, what’s the point? Nothing matters, it is all stacked against us now and forever. Unions are deeply familiar with this reality.  (Read More)

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Lois Gray, Mentor to Unions and Women Who Work, Dies at 94

The New York Times, October 2, 2018

Lois S. Gray, who as a professor and mentor for seven decades delivered college-trained women, immigrants and members of racial and ethnic minority groups into the ranks of American organized labor, died on Sept. 20 in Manhattan. She was 94.

Bonnie Beavers, a niece, confirmed her death. Professor Gray joined the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University in 1946, barely a year after it was founded.  (Read More)

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Workers Overdose on the Job, and Employers Struggle to Respond

The New York Times, September 21, 2018

Jimmy Sullivan prepared for his job as a bricklayer the same way every morning for years: injecting a shot of heroin before leaving his car. The first time he overdosed on the job, in 2013 at a Virginia construction site, a co-worker who is his cousin stealthily injected a dose of Narcan, an opioid antidote, into Mr. Sullivan’s leg. He woke up and went straight back to work.The second time, in 2014, his cousin revived him again, and after resting for an hour in his car, Mr. Sullivan was back on the job. His boss told him not to let it happen again. But within a month, Mr. Sullivan had again overdosed on the job site. This time, another worker called 911. After a few hours at the hospital, he went back to work.  (Read More)

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Supreme Court Deals Blow to Public-Sector Unions

Politico, June 27, 2018

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that public-sector unions may not charge non-members mandatory fees, dealing a financial blow to organized labor on the eve of a competitive midterm election campaign. In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that forced collection of so-called agency fees violates public employees’ First Amendment right not to back union activity. All five of the court’s Republican appointees joined in the ruling, with the four Democratic-appointed justices dissenting. The decision overturns a 41-year-old precedent in which the court unanimously found that such charges did not run afoul of the Constitution’s free-speech and free-association rights.  (Read More)


Supreme Court deals blow Union

In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that forced collection of so-called agency fees violates public employees’ First Amendment right not to back union activity. | Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images

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NYC Agrees to Paid Sick Leave For 9/11 Responders

October 23, 2018

Mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed to grant unlimited sick leave to New York City civilian workers who were exposed to 9/11 dust at Ground Zero when became ill after participating in rescue, recovery and cleanup operations after the terror attack. (Read More) 

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Working Class People are Underrepresented in Politics

Politico, October 29, 2018

The president is the billionaire head of a global business empire, and his mostly millionaire Cabinet may be the richest in American history. His opponent in the 2016 election was a millionaire. Most Supreme Court Justices are millionaires. Most members of Congress are millionaires (and probably have been for several years).

On the other end of the economic spectrum, most working people are employed in manual labor, service industry, and clerical jobs. Those Americans, however, almost never get a seat at the table in our political institutions. Why not? In a country where virtually any citizen is eligible to serve in public office, why are our elected representatives almost all drawn from such an unrepresentative slice of the economy? (Read More)

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