April 6, 2015
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.”