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Labor in Brief

NYSUT Leadership Change

Karen Magee, a veteran elementary school teacher and president of the Harrison Association of Teachers, is NY State United Teachers’ (NYSUT) new president. Magee and the “Revive NYSUT” slate of officers and at-large directors were elected this April by a majority vote at the union’s annual Representative Assembly in New York City. Magee is the first woman elected president of NYSUT. She replaces Dick Iannuzzi, who served as president for nine years.

News reports detailing why PSC delegates supported the new leaders and more about the new leadership team are online at Capital New York and The Journal News.

UPS Rehires 250 Workers Fired After Strike

In an about face, UPS reversed its dismissal of workers who took part in a spontaneous 90-minute strike in February. The workers were protesting the sudden firing of Jairo Reyes, a longtime UPS employee and union activist.

The unionized workers were based out of a Maspeth facility in Queens. The Atlanta-based company reversed its decision after public uproar over the mass firing. UPS announced in April that the terminations will be “reduced to two-week suspension[s] without pay.”

A petition circulated by the drivers and the Working Families Party drew over 100,000 signatures, and was delivered to UPS at a March 21 rally led by NYC Public Advocate Letitia James.

“The drivers delivered their message to UPS about unfair treatment,” said Teamsters Local 804 President Tim Sylvester. “Now every one of them will be back delivering packages.”

PSC Hosts Contingent Academic Conference

Activists fighting for better working conditions for contingent academics will converge at the 11th annual Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL) Conference. The two-day conference takes place in New York City this summer August 4-6.

The gathering will include activists from US, Mexico and Canada who are fighting for job security, livable wages, academic freedom and better working conditions for contingent academics, who include adjuncts and other precarious academic workers. This year’s theme is “Shaping an Equitable and Democratic Future for Higher Education: The Way Forward.”

Participants will work in groups, devising platforms in five areas: legal strategies, student issues, media advocacy, national agendas and bargaining.

This year’s COCAL conference takes place at John Jay College, from August 4-6. Early registration is $225; attendees registering after May 20 pay $250.