March 1, 2023

Dear Pitzer Community,

I write to update you on Pitzer College’s negotiations with UNITE HERE Local 11, the exclusive union representative of Pitzer’s non-supervisory Dining and Facilities bargaining unit employees.

The College voluntarily recognized UNITE HERE as our employees’ union representative in August 2022, and we began Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations in October. Today I am pleased to report very positive movement toward an agreement that we feel is fair to our employees and mindful of the College’s mission as we proceed in these negotiations.

To date, Pitzer and UNITE HERE Local 11 have worked through 29 pages of agreements in our draft CBA. Some areas of discussion remain, and they are common ones in negotiations of this kind. They include:

  1. Total wage increase
    A final amount that is significantly higher than what California requires and that exceeds local averages is strongly supported by both parties, but that exact amount is still in discussion.
  2. Duration of the CBA
    The parties differ on the term of the CBA. Pitzer proposes a lengthier agreement, believing it provides all of us the best opportunity to plan for the futureUNITE HERE Local 11 proposes a shorter CBA for its members.
  3. Status of subcontracted workers
    Like many employers, Pitzer relies on employees supplied by contractors to navigate fluctuations in staffing, remain operational in critical areas, and fully serve our community throughout each year. Pitzer’s practice going forward is in discussion.
  4. 12- or 10-month work schedules for Dining staff
    Pitzer’s full dining operations are available only during the academic year, so a few years ago we began hiring all new Dining employees on a 10-month schedule. The College proposes to continue this practice and to continue to “grandfather-in” all Dining employees who currently work a 12-month schedule.

Pitzer and UNITE HERE Local 11 have agreed to engage an arbitrator to help us resolve the last points of negotiation and move toward finalizing our agreement.

I see and appreciate the care our community has for all staff on our campus, whether employed by Pitzer, by a contractor, or by another source. The trustees and I hear your concerns about the unfair labor practice (ULP) that is currently allegedTo be clear, Pitzer is not the employer in this situation, and therefore we did not and could not dismiss staff. The ULP relates to employees of our Dining contractor. The College has neither involvement nor authority in non-Pitzer staff employment matters. The ULP is in the hands of the National Labor Relations Board, which is responsible for resolving it appropriately.

Your deep care for these employees reflects Pitzer’s core values. And your desire to speak out in support of this community is as strong as ever. Please know that you are heard, and your voices are valued. I pledge to keep the community apprised and look for appropriate and effective opportunities to address questions. We invite you to submit your questions via this link: Together, let’s continue our work and strive to uphold the strong commitment to our employees that has remained unchanged since Pitzer’s founding.

Provida Futuri,

Jill A. Klein

Interim President