After weeks of talks, employees of Strong Memorial Hospital and UR approved new collective bargaining agreements on Oct. 9. The contract agreed upon provides major gains in wages, health insurance and training for SEIU workers.

Under the unanimously approved new contract, all employees will receive at least a 10 percent wage increase during the term of the agreement. Hospital employees will receive their first raise retroactive to June 1, and UR River Campus employees will receive their first raise on Oct. 6. The SEIU had previously given the university a ten-day notice for a strike, which would have taken place on Oct. 11, coinciding with Meliora Weekend. They withdrew the notice when the tentative agreement was reached last week.

“We feel that this was a significant victory for the workers at Strong and UR,” SEIU representative Larry Alcoff said. “While there’s still a lot to be accomplished, this is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Employees will also keep their fully paid health insurance package with the 1199 National Benefit Fund. The loss of health care benefits under the original contract was an issue of central concern for SEIU employees.

Both union and management negotiators agreed to initiate cost saving programs in prescription or other areas in the contract’s second year. These measures will not affect the scope of coverage. All premium costs will continue to be paid by UR and Strong, making the plan free to union employees. They are the only employees at UR to have free health care.

UR also agreed to join the SEIU 1199 Upstate Training Fund to support educational, training and skills enhancement programs for union employees.

The settlements also achieved a common expiration date for both contracts. They will both expire in early October 2004.

Reporting by Dan Muhlenburg.

Administration halts Student Activities fee increase

Dean of The College William Green rejected a proposal to raise the student activities fee for the 2003-2004 academic year – a proposal that was created by the Students’ Association government.

The proposal was to raise the fee by $25, increasing the amount collected by nearly $100,000.

“The status of student government is a little uneven at best,” Dean of Students Jody Asbury said, referring to a controversal Senate election in March. “[Green] is unwilling [to raise the fee] until the future of student government is a little clearer.”

“We’re going to have to make substancal cuts, but we’ll still be funding over $600,000 in student organization events,” SA President and senior Lonny Mallach said. “The reason we didn’t get the raise in the activities fee is because the SA government isn’t meeting the bar.”

“This is a lot of money,” Green said. “We need to do this one step at a time.”

When the government is in trouble, you don’t raise taxes,” he said.

Reaction

SAAC Treasurer and sophomore Carolyn Kaminski agrees with the decision. “While there is no doubt that the SA groups would have benefited from more funding, I respect the reasons behind the decision not to increase the fee for next year,”she said.

“Dean Green was right in what he did,” Speaker of the Senate and Take Five Scholar Ashley Conner said.

Sophomore and Towers Senator Peter Nabozny feels the decision will negatively impact many groups.

“It is really unfortunate,” he said.

Reporting by Jeff Keesing

and Chadwick Schnee.

New security cameras raise questions from fraternities

UR Security has installed three surveillance cameras on the River Campus in an attempt to increase personal safety.

These cameras are near the footbridge on Wilson Boulevard, on Faculty Road near the Genesee River, and near Todd Union.

The cameras are intended for integration into the campus security system, and are “not intended to replace any [security] officers,” according to Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin.

The primary mission for these cameras is to discourage theft and more quickly identify trespassers and their escape routes.

Mauldin stressed that the cameras will not be looking directly at people on the Fraternity Quad. Fraternities showed some concern that the cameras would be used to monitor parties and drinking. Mauldin also said that the cameras would not be used for this purpose.

President of Delta Upsilon Matthew Groveman said there had been concern because the camera could “basically see into some windows,” but that members of his fraternity were not, in general, upset by the current placement of the camera.

“Campus safety is important,” Groveman said.

Reporting by Colin Brown.



Live updates: Wallis Hall sit-ins

Editor’s Note (5/4/24): This article is no longer being updated. For our most up to date coverage, look for articles…

UR Softball continues dominance with sweeps of Alfred University and Ithaca College

The Yellowjackets swept Alfred University on the road Thursday, winning both games by a score of 5–4.

The Clothesline Project gives a voice to the unheard

The Clothesline Project was started in 1990 when founder Carol Chichetto hung a clothesline with 31 shirts designed by survivors of domestic abuse, rape, and childhood sexual assault.