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News Briefs

Campus Police Association Files Charges Against MIT

The MIT Campus Police Association filed charges of unfair labor practice over wages against MIT this week. According to Joseph S. West, vice-president of the MIT CPA, MIT has refused to go back to the bargaining table and reopen wage negotiations. Director of Human Resources Jonathan E. Barnes, representative for MIT, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The campus police have not received a raise in two years, West said, while other union employees have received raises recently. MIT is offering a three percent raise to the campus police, but the association is asking for a five percent raise. Negotiations took place for the past couple of months. The base pay for campus police is $22.68 per hour, while the average base pay for campus police in Massachusetts is $25-26 per hour, said West.

“We’re not asking for anything major, we’re just asking for the same as other union employees,” West said. He also added that the MIT Campus Police is one of the lowest-paid police departments in Massachusetts.

If the CPA accepts the three percent raise, officers will receive retroactive pay from July 1, 2005 on. This date is when the raise should have been given, West said. If the CPA rejects the three percent raise, retroactive pay will be lost, he said.

According to a flyer that was handed out at 77 Massachusetts Avenue yesterday morning, “the National Labor Relations Board will fully investigate MIT’s conduct to determine whether it has engaged in trickery and threats at the bargaining table in violation of federal law.”

—Marie Thibault

Reserve Account Policy To Cap Interest

A new student reserve account policy drafted by the Association of Student Activities and Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict, effective this July, will cap interest for student groups at $1,200 yearly. Currently, Benedict pays 4 percent interest compounded monthly on student reserve accounts. There is no explicit upper limit on interest.

Under the new policy, 3 percent interest will be paid for the first $5,000 and 2 percent on the next $52,500, up to $1,200 in interest a year. The policy will be effective for the next two years, according to ASA President Jennifer D. Lobo ’07, as the ASA searches for better alternatives. One such alternative is to find a way for student groups to receive interest from the investment of the money rather than from payments made by Benedict.

Reserve account money is held in MIT’s interest-bearing Pool C account. In a change instituted when the Institute was in tough financial straits about three years ago, Pool C interest no longer goes back to account holders but instead goes towards paying for graduate student stipends, according to Philip A. Rolfe G, ASA Graduate Member at Large.

At that time, Benedict began to pay the 4 percent interest from his discretionary fund so that student groups would not lose out. This proved too costly as students began to build on reserve account balances. The target under the new system is to have Benedict pay between $10,000 and $12,000 a year, rather than the approximately $17,000 he paid last year.

Reserve accounts require a minimum balance of $5,000 and are designed for large, infrequent expenditures.

—Jenny Zhang

Renovations For Food Vendors to Begin in July

Renovations to add a Subway in Lobdell Food Court and a Dunkin’ Donuts on the first floor of the Student Center are scheduled to begin in July and will be completed in late August, according to Richard D. Berlin, director of campus dining. The three vendors currently in the food court will stay open for the duration of the renovations, while Alpine will be closed.

The new Subway location will serve lunch, dinner, and late night, while Dunkin’ Donuts will be open around the clock.

In an e-mail to undergraduates in May, UA Dining Committee Chair Sisi Zhu ’08 also announced the opening of Pacific St. Cafe at Sidney-Pacific and a possible Au Bon Pain kiosk at the Zesiger Center. Other vendors are being considered for the remaining space in Lobdell. “Thai food has been the primary suggestion, but recent feedback suggests that perhaps something else may be desirable,” Berlin said.

—Angeline Wang