Workers at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) are currently on strike due to unfair labor practices. The custodians, groundskeepers, and movers represented by General Teamsters Local 251 were not given a general wage increase nor allowed to bargain. Regina Santos, a custodian at RISD for 10 years, stated that it is difficult to survive on her salary, especially due to medical bills. Negotiations for their first contract at the college have halted, leaving workers in a vulnerable position. Although RISD has offered a contract, the union believes it falls short of their needs. Matthew Taibi, the principal officer at Teamsters Local 251, claims that while RISD boasts about equity and inclusion, they have left out their staff members who deserve fair wages, contracts, and working conditions. However, RISD argues that the union wants benefits and wage increases exceeding their compensation philosophy, which seeks to maintain equity across the college. Despite the strike, RISD does not anticipate any impact on school access or students’ day.

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