New developments emerge in negotiations between BSC, Employee Association

New developments in the legal negotiations between the Berkeley Student Cooperative and the Employee Association have surfaced since the BSC released its goals last Friday.

In an email sent on March 1 to cooperative members, BSC President Brenna Fallon outlined the BSC’s goals, stating that it desires to align employee benefits with those at comparable nonprofits.

“We have rigorously analyzed surveys of data from non-profits both nationwide and in Northern California, and strived to set generous benefits at a level that we can clearly justify with respect to our mission statement,” Fallon said in the email. “The ‘Fair Pay for Northern California Nonprofits: the Compensation and Benefits Survey’ data the BSC has been using is available to any member upon request.”

Betsy Putnam, housing supervisor and a negotiating team member of the Employee Association, counters, however, claiming that the study does not carry out fair comparisons.

“The board compared us to various nonprofits, but few were housing organizations,” Putnam said. “And many of the organizations are not like BSC, because they are transitional housing — they’re shelters.”

The BSC’s main concern is the “costly” benefits offered to the Employee Association under the current contract. The cooperative states that its “new offer to the Employee Association is still much more generous than the average offered by comparable organizations,” in Fallon’s email.

“If I’ve worked here for 32 years, and my benefit compensation package is cut by approximately $16,000, is that generous?” asked Putnam.

The current contract officially expired at the end of 2012 and has been temporarily extended as negotiations continue.

There will be an event Tuesday at 2415 Prospect St. at 7 p.m., at which the Employee Association and the BSC workers’ union will be hosting a discussion on this topic.

Contact Matt Trejo at [email protected].

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