Part Time Jobs For Students In Boston – Chanda Jones, a part-time custodian at Boston University, talks about her experience working at BU and the lack of job support she feels from the university. Photo by Alex Massett/Daily Free Press Staff
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Boston University workers and union leaders gathered Wednesday at Marsh Plaza to demand a stronger and fairer contract from the administration. Protesters marched from the plaza to 1 Silver Way, where BU President Robert Brown has his office.
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Negotiations for a new multi-year contract between BU and 32BJ SEIU, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union and the nation’s largest real estate services union, began in August 2013.
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“In two weeks, the contract covering the working conditions of 700 Boston University workers will expire,” said Roxana Rivera, director of District 615 of the 32BJ SEIU. Get a better contract and 32BJ SEIU and Boston University are still without a contract. We are here to express the urgency of keeping good jobs here in Boston. “
About 100 workers who would be included in the new contract protested and marched down Commonwealth Avenue. Eugenio Villasante, deputy director of communications for SEIU Local 32BJ, said the current contract, which expires Oct. 31, is not enough to maintain a normal lifestyle in Boston for these workers.
“Like everyone who lives in the Boston area, the rising cost of living is an issue for workers,” he said. “Working families find it difficult to make ends meet. Health care is a big issue as health care costs continue to rise. We want to ensure that workers have access to quality care at an affordable price.
Chanda Jones, a part-time limited custodian at BU, shared her frustrations with Brown with the audience and discussed the many issues she and her 11-year-old daughter face with the current contract.
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“I don’t get any benefits. I’ve been here for nine months and I haven’t received anything,” he said. “President Brown made all that money but he forgot about the little people who helped him get it. He’s on the throne because of us. We’re the ones who sent him there.”
Senior custodian Tim Hall, who has worked at BU for 36 years, said the committee that worked on the contract did not honor workers.
“The commission does not want to trade anything for nothing,” he said. “I’m not insulting them by giving them a bonus instead of a percentage, it’s a prostitution of the system, it’s not that they don’t want to pay insurance, it’s a fact. He shows us no respect. We are the backbone of this university. They need us, but they don’t respect us.”
Maintenance workers aren’t the only BU employees competing for a contract. Adjunct professors or part-time professors do not receive the same salary as full-time professors.
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The pay is so low that many teachers qualify for Medicare and food stamps and rely on Massachusetts taxpayers to subsidize the low-wage work, said Bayla Ostrach, a BU assistant professor.
“If the adjuncts are making less than minimum wage and are entitled to state benefits, and the maintenance workers and gardeners who make this place a safe and clean place to learn don’t get a good deal, where is the money going to the Enrolment?” she said
After the protest, Maureen Sullivan, another assistant professor, went straight to Brown’s office on the eighth floor, followed by two police officers, and demanded that two small clementines be released for the president. Although he was not allowed to enter the office, officials took the fruit and placed it on the desk outside his office.
“This is my supper to-night, and I want Mr. Brown to have it,” said he. “He took everything else from me, so I want him to bring me the food too. He seems to need everything I have, so I give it to him.”
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Many BU students protested with the workers and supported them. Declan Bowman, a senior in the College of Engineering, said it was unfair that employees were mistreated given BU’s prestigious university status.
“It’s hard for him to study at one of the best biomedical engineering programs in the country, promoting health care in the U.S. Meanwhile, our adjunct professors and part-time maintenance employees don’t have access to health care “, he said. .
Tori Dutcher-Brown, a sophomore at CAS, said students have the ability to influence managers and help workers.
“As students, we have the power to stand with our activists. We pay tuition money. We have a big impact on the university,” he said. “As students, we have the power to stand up to what is wrong. We need to take action and fight back. We need to let the school know, especially President Brown, that we stand with the workers. At ResetBoston, we work with young adults .(18 -26), coaching them in various areas of life balance using the head, heart and body as a guide. We coach them on things like how to succeed in college, job hunting, nutrition and shopping, finance and fitness.
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