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Smith College withholds standard merit raises for SCLWU members

On June 13, 2024, The SCLWU Bargaining Committee had its first bargaining meeting with Smith College management. At this meeting, Vice President for Human Resources Anne-Marie Szmyt and Smith’s attorney Nicholas Anastasopoulos asserted SCLWU members would NOT be receiving standard merit raises in July 2024.

Furthermore, on Monday, June 17, non-unit SCL employees received notification letters that they WOULD be receiving cost of living increases, merit raises, and, in some cases, even bonuses in July. With this information, the bargaining committee, in consultation with SCLWU’s attorney, decided to file an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge against the college.

Withholding raises for members while awarding them to non-unit and contested members directly violates section 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act.

When the union does not have a contract, its workplace enters a state of status quo. During this time, the college must maintain the same wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment for bargaining unit employees that existed before the union was created, until an agreement with the union is reached.

Prior to the formation of SCLWU, all Smith College Libraries staff received pay increases at the start of every new fiscal year (July 1). Therefore, status quo dictates that all SCL staff should receive merit raises in July. Human Resources is awarding merit raises to only those outside of the unit and to the four contested SCLWU members.

The Bargaining Committee is meeting with management again on Thursday, 6/20 — updates to come!

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