CUNY Struggle Stands With Marisa Holmes

Re-Hire Marisa Holmes at CUNY TV!

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*Emergency Response Rallies*
Wed, July 5, 12:30-1:30pm
Mon, July 1012:30-1:30pm
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Avenue, front steps
*Phone call/social media blasts for July 5 and 10*
Burton Sacks, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Operations: 646-664-2853
Sonia Pearson, Executive Director and Labor Designee of Human Resources: 646-664-3264
On the morning of Monday, June 26th, Marisa Holmes — CUNY TV Broadcast Associate and NYC movements organizer — received an email from Frances Correa at 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 30 days notice or cause for her termination.
This action by HR is in clear violation of Holmes‘ contract, and retaliation for her organizing efforts (outlined below). If this move is tolerated, it sets a precedent for how CUNY manages those who speak out.
We must not allow this silencing of dissent! We support Marisa Holmes remaining as Broadcast Associate at CUNY TV!
Marisa Holmes began working at CUNY TV as an hourly Broadcast Associate in the Fall of 2013. She works a regular 32 hour a week shift, which falls just below the full-time mark, and is considered part-time. Her work consists of producing, shooting, and editing video content for television and web distribution, with a focus on ethnic and immigrant communities in NYC.
Holmes is represented by DC 37, and has been an active union member and organizer. She helped members to address budget transparency, hour reductions, benefits, and diversity in hiring practices and promotions. Through her organizing efforts, dozens of workers received increases to their base pay, changes of title, expansion of benefits, and support for pay equity. Holmes also built cross-union ties between DC 37 and the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) in the process. DC 37 was so impressed by her efforts that they featured her on the cover of the public employee press.
For more info and press inquires, contact

One thought on “CUNY Struggle Stands With Marisa Holmes”

  1. From Jackie DiSalvo

    I accidentally re-sent an announcement of the rally to protest CUNY TV’s firing of Marisa Holmes for union organizing. What I had intended to send was the report, which follows here, on the demonstration, which already occurred yesterday.

    As I have previously reported, Marisa Holmes, a rank and file member of Local 375 of DC 37, was fired after organizing against cutbacks of jobs, wages, benefits and hours of workers at CUNY TV. Significant support has been developing to get Marisa rehired. At least 75 people rallied at the Grad Center (GC) on Monday, July 10 and then marched to the CUNY Chancellor’s office. Members of both DC. 37 and the PSC GC Chapter participated, as did others from CUNY Struggle and the CUNY Adjunct Project (formerly the First Fridays group). D.C. 37 also had official representatives while Luke Negri, Penny Lewis and Anh Tran represented the GC Chapter Executive Committee.

    Does anyone know if the PSC leadership has been asked to offer support? I think it should do so. This is clearly union busting. Moreover, Marisa, working as a rank and file activist, implemented exemplary strategies. She united D.C. 37 and the PSC, both of which have members working at CUNY TV, mobilized over a hundred members of both in a successful struggle to block cutbacks and also brought D.C. 37 members to PSC contract campaign rallies

    I have reached out to PSC members via various union groups: the Delegate Assembly, International and Solidarity Committees, as well as to my other labor contacts. Penny Lewis and I both spoke at the rally. I pointed out the lessons to be gained from Marisa’s strategies, put her firing in the context of the wider contemporary attack on workers/unions, noted how unions’ power must be strengthened through a simultaneous, wider class struggle against Wall St and the 1%, which Marisa and I promoted through Occupy, and mentioned the historic role played by the purging of the left in weakening the labor movement.

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