Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist. Erik is a member of the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street and co-writer of the Occupy Wall Street’s Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. As a published freelance photographer, he has documented activist groups actions in NYC since 2011.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Rally outside the CUNY Graduate Center after CUNY fired Labor Organizer
New York, NY - Well-known New York City movement organizer and employee of The City University of New York, Marisa Holmes, is fighting for her job.
On July 10, 2017, she was joined for the second week by the support group, Resist CUNY TV, in a rally outside the CUNY Graduate Center demanding that she be rehired and that CUNY respect the right to organize.
Marisa Holmes is a CUNY alumni, and for the last four has been working as a Broadcast Associate at CUNY TV, the country’s largest university television station housed at the CUNY Graduate Center. Together with her coworkers she produced, shot, and edited video content for broadcast and the web. She was a key organizer for better working conditions and a delegate for her union, DC 37.
On the morning of Monday, June 26th, Holmes received an email from CUNY Central Office with a letter attached from Sonia S. Pearson, Director of Human Resources, which informed Holmes that her appointment would end on June 30th. Holmes' union, District Council (DC) 37, was not notified. She was not given notice or cause for her termination. This action by HR is clearly in retaliation for her organizing efforts. If this move is tolerated, it sets a precedent for how CUNY manages those who speak out.
“The right to organize must be exercised or we will lose it. This is not only a fight for my job. It is a fight for everyone at CUNY and every worker,” says Marisa Holmes
The same week that Holmes was terminated the CUNY Board of Trustees voted to increase salaries for top administrators to over 400K. There is money at CUNY, but not for the workers, who make the university run. This is the kind of issue that Holmes was drawing attention to, and why she was silenced by CUNY.