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May 18, 2022

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Members at BioBus Celebrate First Contract
Updated On: Apr 20, 2022

Local 153 members at BioBus have their first contract! The employees at this non-profit began organizing in December, 2020 and won recognition the following month after a unanimous vote to join Local 153. At the time, Li Murphy, a community scientist at BioBus and a member of the union’s organizing committee, said, “Unionizing allows our non-managerial staff to give a collective vote of confidence in the organization’s future. We now all have the logistical and legal grounds to lift each other up and hold each other accountable to our mission-centric work.”

The successful organizing drive and subsequent contract negotiations at BioBus paid off on February 11 when the Local 153 members voted unanimously to ratify their first contract. 

BioBus is a science education nonprofit that helps minority, female, and low-income students across New York City explore and pursue science through mobile labs, internships, and support with scientific research projects. Workers in the BioBus unit includes community scientists, drivers, and workers in development, IT, and more.

Here are some of the gains in their first contract:

- Just cause and progressive discipline—the end of at-will employment

- Substantial base salary increases, regular cost-of living increases

- Five weeks of vacation time, with a payout of up to 5 days of unused time and salary premiums based on experience each year

- Increases to paid holidays, personal days, and bereavement leave

- Paid sabbatical

- A retirement plan with a 1% (one percent) automatic contribution and 2% (two percent) matching from the employer

“Today, we voted unanimously to ratify our first contract” Joseph Parziale said on Twitter on February 11. “It has some huge wins for us as non-profit education workers and makes sure our passion for our work is rewarded fairly!”

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