LERA Dinner Panel - 5-14-15

LERA Boston’s Spring Dinner Explores Campus Contingent Faculty Organizing Success


Labor and Employment Relations Association

‘s Spring Dinner ~ May 14, 2015 at IBEW #103 Hall


LERA Dinner Panel - 5-14-15

LERA Boston Chapter Spring Dinner – May 14, 2015 – L-R. Jeremy Thompson, SEIU 509; Michael Loconto, Harvard University; at podium, Jonathan Kreisberg, Region 1, NLRB

Last evening, LERA Boston Chapter members and guests heard a lively and compelling panel discussion on the trend and significant momentum of organizing in higher education titled: “Adjuncts, Athletes, Interns;  Targeting New Populations  on Campus.”  

Led by LERA Chapter President Nick Anastosopoulos, Esq., Mirick O’Connell, the three excellent panelists were:

  • Jonathan B. Kreisberg, Regional Director Region 1, National Labor Relations Board
  • Micheal Loconto, Deputy Director for Policy & Compliance, Harvard University
  • Jeremy Thompson, Director of Higher Education, SEIU #509

    Jonathan Kreisberg briefly addressed the NLRB’s new rules that went into effect in December 2014. He then explained the history and evolution of campus jurisdictional matters since Yeshiva, for faculty, adjuncts and grad students. In recent years, Region 1 has received 13 New England-based petitions involving 8 schools. He described the decision ruling certain colleges’ scholarship football players as employees as “eye-opening” and a great read.

    Jeremy Thompson is leading SEIU #509’s vigorous organizing “Metropolitan Strategy” campaign here in Boston, that has made such tremendous advances.  In Eastern Mass, union density among adjuncts was 14% eighteen months age, and he and his team are closing in on 50% union density.  He discussed several success stories, and active campaigns.  Speaking personally rather than for his organization, Mike Leconto noted the commonality of issues driving this trend — sense of common threat, money, respect, the inequality in many institutions, year-to-year contracts, and a wish for basic benefits that regular employees receive.  The panelists exchanged ideas and the discussion continued and deepened during audience Q & A.

    All in all, consensus was clear. This was another excellent LERA panel discussion.  One of an excellent series including  LERA Boston’s Fall Marketbasket panel with Tom Kochan, Kris Rondeau, Chris Mackin and New Hampshire Marketbasket store managers, and the Winter Dinner’s session on the US’s Workers Centers Movement with Rutgers professor Janice Fine.


In other LERA Boston news, Lou Antonellis, President, IBEW #103 and Gerard (Jerry) Gomez, Arbitrator and former FMCS mediator, were elected to the Board. Both were nominated by the great Arbitrator Donn J. Berry, who is moving from the Board to the LERA Advisory Committee.


Sincere thanks to our hosts, IBEW #103, to Mary Cappadona for expertly wrangling all the details, and MNA for beautifully producing and mailing the organization’s promotional outreach.

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