Statement from Virginia Knox, President of MDRC, on the Status of Negotiations with AFSCME/SPWU, MDRC’s Staff Union

June 14 update: AFSCME/SPWU and MDRC have agreed to resume negotiating by working with a mediator. I am hopeful that we can come to agreement on the issues that are still outstanding. 

June 6, 2024

I am disappointed that AFSCME/SPWU, MDRC’s staff union, has today begun a three-day strike over wages, when we are close to finalizing a first collective bargaining agreement.

Since voluntarily recognizing the Union nearly three years ago, MDRC has negotiated in good faith with ASFCME/SPWU. The MDRC and AFSCME/SPWU negotiation teams have reached tentative agreement on 40 provisions, including many of the union’s priorities. The only outstanding issue is wages.

AFSCME/SPWU’s charge that MDRC is refusing to bargain over 2024 salary increases (also known as end-of-year 2023 raises) for employees in the bargaining unit is not true. MDRC and AFSCME/SPWU have been negotiating since January 2024 about a compensation proposal that includes the 2024 increases.

MDRC has offered a fair and generous proposal for 2024 wages that demonstrates our commitment to the well-being of our employees. Under MDRC’s proposal, the average 2024 salary for a bargaining unit member would be nearly $79,000. MDRC shares the union’s goal of increasing wages for our lowest-paid staff; in MDRC’s proposal, no one would make less than $58,000 a year, an increase of $4,500 over the current wage floor. Our proposal will also allow MDRC to remain competitive with its peers in bidding for the contracts and grants that fund our work. 

I am proud of what MDRC and AFSCME/SPWU have been able to achieve through this collective bargaining process. MDRC is eager to continue negotiating in good faith with the union.

MDRC’s greatest asset is unquestionably the people who work here, and I fully support the right of all MDRC employees to organize and be heard. It’s time to come to an agreement for union salary increases, and MDRC remains committed to reaching an overall agreement with AFSCME/SPWU.