TEAMSTERS WIN STRIKE AT RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN
Workers Secure First Contract, End Two Week Strike
Teamsters at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) have secured their very first contract following a two week-long strike and 10 months of negotiations. Workers unanimously voted to ratify the contract.
The new six-year contract includes wage increases averaging 33 percent, with a 22 percent increase to take effect July 2023, wage retroactivity to October 2022, strong benefits, longevity bonuses, and more.
“After months of negotiations and multiple strikes, we are relieved to finally have a strong contract,” said Regina Santos, RISD custodian and Local 251 member. “We are very grateful to our Teamster leaders, RISD students, community members, and everyone who stood in solidarity with us on the picket line and helped us get a fair collective bargaining agreement.”
“Strikes work – and this victory makes that abundantly clear,” said Matt Taibi, Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer and Eastern Region International Vice President. “RISD workers stood side-by-side in unity and demanded higher pay and better benefits, despite pushback from RISD leadership. We are grateful to these workers for their commitment in holding the line and fighting for the contract they deserve.”
RISD Teamsters authorized a one-day unfair labor practice (ULP) strike in late March after Local 251 filed ULP charges against RISD for failing to pay a general wage increase and changing starting rates for workers without providing them with notice or an opportunity to bargain. When RISD continued to refuse to bargain with workers, they headed to the picket line indefinitely on April 3.
Teamsters Local 251 represents over 6,300 workers in a wide variety of industries throughout Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. For more information, go to teamsterslocal251.org/.