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Bard College reaches agreement with one union, while another authorizes strike

Oct 12, 2023 12:51 am

Maria M. Silva reports in the Times Union that environmental service workers at Bard College reached an agreement Oct. 11 with the school, but building and grounds employees voted unanimously to authorize a strike. The 45 environmental service workers will vote on the tentative agreement soon. During the pandemic in 2020, all Bard College employees agreed to no pay increases, and both the building and grounds workers and the environmental service employees extended their contracts. The environmental service workers, which includes custodians and janitors, get between $2.25 and $3.50 an hour raises under the new agreement, new hires going from $15.50 an hour to $19 and eventually up to $19.50 an hour. Bard College also agreed to lift a cap on length-of-service wage adjustments, added Juneteenth as a holiday, and increased the amount of paid time off workers accrue. Robert Dickson, chair of the union’s building and grounds chapter and a carpenter at the college for 13 years, said, “While we are very excited for our coworkers in environmental services, we are disappointed that the Bard administration will not also agree to a fair contract for our members in buildings and grounds.” Dickson said the union members have authorized a strike, but the union will only go on strike if negotiations fail. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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