President Tetlow: Recognize the Fordham RA Union Now!

76% of Fordham Resident Attendants have come together to create their union!

Send an email to Fordham President Tania Tetlow today to show your support and tell Fordham to recognize their union now!

Over 76% of the nearly 100 Resident Assistants at the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University signed a union recognition petition that was delivered today to President Tania Tetlow, announcing the formation of their union with OPEIU Local 153 and demanding voluntary recognition of their union by the university.

Fordham University Resident Assistants (RA’s) are undergraduate student workers who have been hired by the College to live in the dorms and support the health and safety of anywhere between 20-70 residents.

“As an RA I have been put in many high stress, challenging and occasionally dangerous situations. While these situations are a part of the job, Fordham University and Fordham Residential Life express a disregard for RAs well-being and a lack of support for RAs doing critical work. Fordham’s lack of respect is also emphasized in inconsistent and unprofessional communication to RAs. This is why we organized a union to improve the quality of life for residents through greater support for RAs.” - Peter Wolff, Fordham Senior Resident Assistant

Despite their challenging work, many RAs are not paid for the work that they do.

Instead, the University compensates RAs with a dorm room and a meal plan or a stipend for food, all together this is called an RA Award. The RA Award is deemed financial aid and because of this it can reduce an RA’s financial aid package. Many students find themselves losing pieces or large chunks of their financial aid package to work this job, which means that not only is RA compensation unfair but unequal for RAs doing the same amount of work. Some RAs are essentially unpaid for their work because of their financial aid reductions.

“Almost unanimously in my conversations with RAs, they have expressed that they feel financial aid should not be impacted by their RA Award. I have been lucky that I did not lose all of my need-based financial aid when I became an RA. However, I know RAs that receive little to no compensation for working because they lost most of their aid. We believe that everyone should be compensated for working, that is why we decided to unionize to make this work better for students who have financial need.” - Tarchithaa Chandra Sekharan, Resident Assistant.

Fordham RAs are part of a growing movement of Resident Assistants to organize a union with OPEIU Local 153, joining RAs at Wesleyan, Barnard and Tufts who have all unionized in the past year. OPEIU also represents hundreds of clerical and administrative workers at Fordham.

There is a rally scheduled for Friday, February 3 at 2 pm in Keating First where Fordham RA’s will be speaking out about their working conditions and demanding that Fordham administration recognize their union with no delays.

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