Strike Looming Against Affiliated Agencies of Federation of Jewish Philanthropies

Seven affiliated agencies of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Greater New York are facing a possible strike by 800 professional, clerical and maintenance employes, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today. The dispute in which the major issue is wages, has been under mediation by the State Mediation Service since Tuesday. The membership of Local 1707 of the Community and Social Agencies Employes, AFL-CIO, voted yesterday to authorize its negotiating committee to call a strike at its discretion, according to a spokesman for the union. Some 400 employes demonstrated and picketed outside of Federation headquarters for several hours on Monday. A spokesman for the Federation stressed that the philanthropic agency was in no way involved in the negotiations with the employes of its affiliated agencies which operate autonomously. The Federation provides the bulk of the philanthropic funds for their operations but the agencies have other sources of income from client fees and grants from the city.

The contract between the agencies and their employes provides for 14 days termination notice by either side after Feb. 1. I. Robert Feinberg, an attorney who is negotiating for the agencies told the JTA that they have received no termination notice from the union. Feinberg also disputed a statement by Eric Strong, a spokesman for Local 1707, that salaries paid by Federation affiliates are among the lowest of any public assistance agencies in the city. Strong told the JTA that employes of Federation supported agencies were paid less in many categories than employes of city agencies or agencies funded by Protestant philanthropies. According to Feinberg, they are among the best paid social service workers in the city. A strike would affect the 275 union members employed at Federation headquarters whose contract expires in June. It could possibly affect about 450 group workers employed by Federation supported “Ys” and other community centers who are negotiating separately for a new contract.

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