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RISD, Technical Association Agree to New 3-Year Contract


 Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) today announced the end of a three-day job action by 44 members of the school’s Technical Association. The work stoppage ended after association members ratified a contract agreement first presented to them in October 2014. Technical staff immediately returned to work to re-open workshops and student activities in those areas has resumed.

The Technical Association indicated to RISD that its members had ratified the three-year contract this afternoon. Earlier today, RISD President Rosanne Somerson and union leaders signed a memorandum of understanding that reiterates RISD has no intention of reducing pension benefits for the technicians or any eligible staff at RISD.

“Our respect for our technicians has never been in question, nor was the value we place on their service. We have deep respect for our technicians and all members of our faculty and staff,” said President Somerson. “This memorandum reiterates the offer RISD made to the technical union prior to the strike and offers the exact assurances we made to them at that time.”

President Somerson also acknowledged that these events have raised important questions within the RISD community that she and her leadership team intend to address in the near and long term. “Our unwavering focus remains on our students and their educational experience. These recent events have demonstrated to me that many faculty, staff and students on our campus have questions about how we operate as an institution. I am committed to transparently addressing those issues so that we can collectively move forward in a way that continues to provide an exceptional educational and working environment for our students, faculty, staff and administration.”

About Rhode Island School of Design

Known as the leading college of art and design in the United States, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is ranked #1 in Business Insider’s survey of The World’s 25 Best Design Schools. Approximately 2,450 students from around the world are enrolled in full-time bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in a choice of 19 majors. Students value RISD’s accomplished faculty of artists and designers, the breadth of its specialized facilities and its hands-on approach to studio-based learning. Required courses in the liberal arts enrich the studio experience, equipping graduates to make meaningful contributions to their communities. Through their creative thinking and problem solving in a broad range of fields, RISD’s 26,000 alumni exemplify the vital role artists and designers play in fueling global innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. For more information, visit and


The façade of the Chace Center, a new multipurpose hub that opened
in 2008, offers an interesting contrast to the historic campus
buildings that surround it.