Collective bargaining talks between the MIT Campus Police Association and MIT remain stalled. Despite participation of a federal mediator in on-going negotiations, MIT continues its unexplained refusal to address reasonable quality of life and economic issues presented by the Association. Nonetheless, the Association remains committed to a successful outcome. The Association leadership will continue to meet with MIT for as long as it takes to achieve the important goals it has set to improve the standards of employment for its members. In the meantime, the Association will soon be announcing plans for more aggressive public action designed to educate the MIT community about the issues under consideration, and to bring moral pressure to bear upon the leadership of MIT.
Arbitrator Rules Against MIT
For the second time in fourteen months, an outside arbitrator has ruled that MIT violated its collective bargaining agreement with the Association by imposing an unreasonable sick leave policy upon its officers. In April of 1998, Arbitrator Robert O'Brien had ruled that MIT could not punish its officers for legitimately using sick time which they had earned while working at MIT. In an effort to get around that decision, the MIT Police Department created a new policy to use against officers who had to use sick time for legitimate reasons. Last week, Arbitrator Marsha Greenbaum ruled that this new policy was also unreasonable in several important respects. She has ordered MIT to rewrite its policy once again so that it is fair to the officers.
It is this same persistent unfairness found by these arbitrators that has made contract negotiations so difficult for the Association. Simply stated, MIT's labor relations policies are not geared to solving problems in a constructive manner. Rather, they are geared to punishing and controlling employees in ways which are unfair and serve no constructive purpose. Although we have been complaining about this behavior in prior editions of the Labor Relations Update, you no longer have to take our word for it. If you would like to review the decisions written by these outside arbitrators, feel free to ask any member of the Association you see, and he or she will take your name and get a copy to you. If you believe that MIT's labor relations policies are unfair and should be changed, please call or write the following MIT representatives and indicate your support for change.
Charles M. Vest
John R. Curry
Robert J. Lewis
Director of Personnel
Chief, MIT Police
The Power of the Press
The MIT Campus Police Association hopes that the MIT Campus Community has found the Labor Relations Update informative and helpful. MIT clearly has not. Although the right to free speech through leaflets and other means of communication, without reprisals, has been a cherished right under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution since colonial times, MIT apparently feels that this part of the Constitution does not apply to it. The Association has uncovered evidence that MIT Campus Police supervisors have been engaging in the covert surveillance of police officers who have exercised their lawful right to distribute copies of the Labor Relations Update to members of the Campus Community. Furthermore, those supervisors have apparently been creating lists with the names of officers who have been handing out the Labor Relations Update. This surveillance can only be described as an attempt to intimidate officers from engaging in their rights to free speech. The Association and its members will pursue another charge against MIT at the National Labor Relations Board with respect to this conduct. In the meantime, the Association finds comfort in its brotherhood with Peter Zenger and other champions of free speech. And shame on MIT for its boorish behavior.
Thanks to the Campus Community
The Association has learned that a large number of students and other members of the Campus Community have petitioned MIT President Charles Vest and other MIT leaders for an end to the unreasonable intransigence of MIT's negotiating committee in contract talks with the Association. The petition urges MIT to constructively address the Association's quality of life bargaining agenda. The Association and its members greatly appreciate the time taken by these petitioners to review and understand the important issues at stake in these negotiations, and the unsolicited gesture of support given by them in support of the Association's cause. Thank You!
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