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StoryCorps Employees Call on Management to Voluntarily Recognize Union,
Stop Anti-Union Campaign

Brooklyn, NY - A large group of non-managerial staff at StoryCorps is calling on management to voluntarily recognize their union, indicating that they have a majority who wish to unionize with Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1180. The workers cited a commitment to StoryCorps’ mission to promote humanity’s stories for a just and compassionate world, and the need for equitable wages, job security, better benefits, and clarity and transparency around organizational changes.

Management at StoryCorps has not agreed to voluntary recognition, unlike many of their industry peers such as Democracy Now and Amnesty International. Instead, they pushed the staff into a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election, and have been running an active anti-union campaign. Since refusing the request for recognition, management punctuated an all staff summit with denunciations about the union, held mandatory anti-union meetings, and used a union-busting lawyer to dispute the workers’ petition to join CWA in front of the National Labor Relations Board. Employees have had to go to court to defend under testimony their work and value to the organization. Meanwhile, management distributed multiple anti-union emails to staff, labeling the union a third party and threatening not to make any changes through bargaining.

When employees attempted to represent their perspectives during these anti-union meetings, StoryCorps management refused to engage in dialogue, despite dialogue being the signature trademark of the organization. Justin Williams, Facilitator at StoryCorps, explained, “During these meetings, management made clear that they didn’t want us to have an equal voice to define the issues. That not only contradicts the principle of dialogue that StoryCorps embodies, but is symbolic of the power dynamics we are unionizing to correct.”

“We’re committed to making StoryCorps the best it can be. We believe in uplifting everyday stories, and hope management calls off the union busting so we can come to the bargaining table and address our concerns together,” said Alletta Cooper, Production Assistant at StoryCorps.

The employees on the front-lines, the ones that make it possible for hundreds of thousands of Americans to record and preserve the stories of their lives, are looking for dignity and respect on the job. Many are paid below market wages for their hard work, with the CEO making nearly five times the amount of some of the lowest paid employees. StoryCorps is a household name, most famous for its broadcast segment during NPR’s Morning Edition. At the grand opening of the first recording booth in Grand Central Terminal, the famous oral historian Studs Terkel, a mentor to StoryCorps and lifelong labor activist,implored the public listen to the stories of the workers -- "to celebrate the uncelebrated."

<http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4967712>   Haley Shaffer, Senior Associate in Custom Services, says, “As the workers who keep the mission of StoryCorps alive, we’re just looking for recognition and respect for the important and influential work we do.”

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Local 1180 Sues City After Administrative Employees Discover They are Underpaid

On December 21, PIX11 broadcast a segment on Local 1180's ongoing fight to obtain equitable pay for women and minorities. To see the broadcast, click here.

For 33 years, Lourdes Acevedo has worked hard for the city, starting as a traffic enforcement agent and moving her way up to an administrative manager position. Her salary has climbed since she started, but over recent years she’s discovered she’s grossly underpaid, especially when you compare her $60,000 a year salary to the $125,000 a year salary her white male counterpart is allegedly making.

Sadly, it appears Acevedo is not alone. In fact more than 1,500 minority women who hold administrative managerial jobs across virtually every city agency are making similar claims. CWA 1180, the union representing these women, said they were left with little option and just last week filed a notice of claim against the city, demanding retroactive pay amounting to $243 million ... to read the entire story and to watch the broadcast, click here.

City Workers Now Entitled to Four Hours of Excused Leave
for Prostate and Breast Cancer Screenings

City of New York employees now are entitled to excused leave to undertake a screening for breast or prostate cancerEffective July 21, 2016, City employees can take an excused absence for prostate cancer screenings under Chapter 96 of the Laws of 2016. Effective September 25, 2016, City employees are entitled to an excused absence for breast cancer screenings according to Chapter 74 of the Laws of 2016. Both laws were enacted to include City employees among public employees entitled to take excused leave for these cancer screenings. These provisions permit employees to take a paid leave of absence for a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours, on an annual basis to undertake either of these screenings. The entire period of leave is excused leave, not to be charged against any other leave that the employee is entitled to receive. 

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