top of page

No Raises, No Work! SPWU Members Authorize ULP Strike with 93% Vote

Today, 93 percent of SPWU members authorized the bargaining unit to call a three-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) Strike in June in response to Management’s refusal to bargain over end-of-year 2023 wage increases, and their subsequent leverage of retroactive pay increases only if the union accepted a contract by a given date – an illegal divergence from the status quo and bargaining tactic, and a clear violation of federally protected bargaining law. The formal ULP charge was filed with the National Labor Relations Board on May 1, 2024. You can read the charge here. In response to these unfair and unlawful bargaining tactics, our members have voted in overwhelming support for a ULP Strike. In-person, hybrid, and remote workers have committed to withholding labor and going without pay to urge Management to return to the bargaining table and bargain with us in good faith.

In a time when rising inflation and cost of living have skyrocketed, we remain disheartened that MDRC fails to recognize the real impact this has had on the lowest-paid staff at MDRC. In New York City, where many of our members live, the cost of living has increased overall by 3.8 percent since April 2023, and the cost of housing has increased by 5.3 percent. Over the past few years, our members have seen their wages fall behind historically high inflation, so going nearly a year and a half without any wage increases due to Management’s actions at the bargaining table is especially damaging. We remain shocked that MDRC continues to fail to recognize this hardship given its organizational mission. 

At the bargaining table, Management has repeatedly shown how out of touch they are; they don’t understand how it feels to live on our wages in New York, LA, DC, and Oakland. They think it's fair to withhold end of year raises because they make several times what most bargaining unit members make in one year. (Ginger Knox's 2022 salary was ten times what the lowest paid employee makes at MDRC.) Some of the longest time employees at MDRC remain the lowest paid. MDRC’s unlawful withholding end of year raises from them means that they are no longer even scraping by.

We would also like to take this opportunity to respond to claims MDRC President Ginger Knox made in a recent all-staff email. As employees at MDRC, we believe in evidence and the importance of documenting our claims. MDRC Management has claimed that their proposal is grounded in a market survey but has refused on multiple occasions to share the contents of or details about this survey with the bargaining team. They have, however, shared that within the “market range”, starting salaries have historically been pinned to the 25th percentile in the market. Second, MDRC claimed that this proposal would affect our competitiveness in proposals, but again, have failed to provide any evidence.

As union members, we have authorized a ULP Strike (with 91% turnout) because MDRC’s harmful pressure tactics are causing continuous harm to dedicated staff. Our members have gone nearly a year and a half without receiving raises due to MDRC’s coercive bargaining tactics, while the cost of living continues to skyrocket. While MDRC stalls, we still have rent checks to write, bills to pay, and groceries to buy. This is both unacceptable and unlawful. Additionally, the union is also investigating other behaviors by Management that we believe may be unfair labor practices, including other examples of bad faith bargaining. We call on MDRC to make whole the staff they have harmed through this unprecedented approach and to bargain with us in good faith. 

SPWU Leadership,

Jalen Alexander

Joel Alleger

Emily Brennan

Parker Cellura

Rani Corak

Lizzie Ederer

Grier Hall

Jenny Hausler

Colin Hill

Natalie Hussein

Erika Lewy

Livia Martinez

Sam Maves

Jose Morales

Gustie Owens

Diego Quezada

Sydney Roach

Daniel Rocha

Moises Roman-Mendoza

Cyrette Saunier

Makoto Toyoda

Benjamin Wallace

Keri West

Ellie Wilson


309 views0 comments


bottom of page