Boston: Council Stands with BU Residence Life Workers Union

~ On February 13, 2023, a majority of Boston University Residence Life workers signed authorization cards indicating their intent to unionize with SEIU Local 509. This union would comprise 280 undergraduate and graduate student workers responsible for providing care and responding to the needs of students living in on-campus housing.

The Residence Life workers are responsible for hosting events, holding office hours, and running on-call offices in residence halls, including some 24-hour on-call shifts. Resident Assistants (RAs) and Graduate RAs are paid in-kind with housing from the University but receive no monetary compensation. They must obtain University permission to take a second job to pay for food and other necessities.

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The Residence Life workers are often approached by students in need of major mental health support or difficult dispute resolution, and they are seeking paid training in crisis management and mediation rather than the current limited unpaid training. The Council adopted a resolution supporting the BU Residence Life Workers Union and calls upon Boston University to ensure a fair and accessible union election process.

The Residence Life workers at Boston University are seeking what every worker needs: reasonable compensation and protections, a fair way to address issues in the workplace without fear of retaliation, and a voice in the decisions that affect their work and their lives. With this unionization effort, they hope to achieve these goals.

Filed Under: Government, City

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