UCATS in L.A.! American Federation of Teachers Convention See Page 6 SEXTON S $2.5 MILLION BONUS PAGE 2 BOYCOTT STAPLES MAXIMIZE YOUR NYU BENEFITS

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1 Union of Clerical, Administrative & Technical Staff at NYU, Local 3882, NYSUT, AFT, AFL-CIO Volume Issue 3 UCATS in L.A.! American Federation of Teachers Convention See Page 6 SEXTON S $2.5 MILLION BONUS PAGE 2 MEET OUR NEW UCATS ORGANIZER PAGE 4 BOYCOTT STAPLES PAGE 5 MAXIMIZE YOUR NYU BENEFITS PAGE 10

2 PRESIDENT S LETTER Let s Persuade Sexton to Decline His $2.5 Million Bonus Stephen Rechner, Law School There is a sufficiency in the world for man s need but not for man s greed. Mahatma Gandhi UCATS will very shortly be unveiling a totally new website. This will be the first complete overhaul of our website since 1995 and we hope you take a look. Unfortunately, it wasn t quite ready for prime time when we went to publication with this issue of Momemtum, so a postcard announcement will be sent to you soon. Our intention is to offer more timely content of interest to you. Among the things you will find there are links to the collective bargaining agreement, current and past issues of Momentum, discounts exclusive to union members available through our state and national federations (NYSUT, AFT & NEA), as well as news of our latest activities, and upcoming events. You can also add your address to our system from the website (but please do not use your NYU address). Even if you have been on our list, please go to the website and enter your current non-nyu address as the list I have maintained manually is out of date so we did not upload it into the system. There is also a link to a new petition you should sign. The petition asks NYU President John Sexton to decline to accept the $2.5 MILLION bonus that the NYU Board of Trustees will give him on January 15, 2015, and direct that money to student financial aid. Since there may be contractual reasons that prevent the NYU Board of Trustees from just rescinding the bonus, we thought it best to try to persuade President Sexton to take the high road and decline the bonus instead. You can help by adding your name to the petition. Two-and-a-half-MILLION dollars is an awful lot of money to give to one person whose salary has already increased from $800,000 to $1.5 MILLION per year during his 12-year tenure as NYU President. That s an increase of over 87%! If our wages had gone up at the same rate as President Sexton s over the last twelve years, a grade 10 UCATS member would have an annual salary of $75,000. In terms of financial aid, that money could provide 2,500 students with $1,000 EACH. President Sexton s scheduled bonus is symbolic of everything that has gone wrong with our country. The NYU Board of Trustees is soaking those least able to pay their students to provide one already excessively-compensated individual with still more money. President Sexton also has a long-outstanding loan from NYU in the amount of $600,000. Having reviewed several years of NYU s IRS tax forms, it appears that President Sexton has paid back NOTHING on the loan. Fortunately, there is a growing national conversation about the damage today s corporate kleptocrats are doing to our economy, our nation, and our society. You can make your voice heard by signing our petition. I believe with enough signatures, President Sexton will take the high road and decline the bonus in favor of financial aid. Furthermore, we can send a message to the NYU Board of Trustees that if they believe this institution has an extra $2.5 MILLION they don t know what to do with, NYU students and staff can give them plenty of suggestions more appropriate for a not-for-profit university than a bonus for the president. Momentum Union of Clerical, Administrative & Technical Staff at NYU, Local 3882

3 UCATS has posted a new online petition Financial Aid, Not Golden Parachutes To be delivered to John Sexton, NYU President BACKGROUND: New York University is one of the most expensive private universities in the country whose students graduate with crushing debt. On January 15, 2015, outgoing NYU President John Sexton will be receiving a bonus of approximately $2.5 million dollars. During his 12-year tenure as NYU President, John Sexton s annual salary has increased from $800,000 to $1.5 million, which NYU also grosses up, meaning they pay his income taxes for him. As a not-for-profit university, NYU s tax-exempt status was called into question by U.S. Senator Charles Grassley last year when the New York Times reported that NYU Senior Executives and faculty were the recipients of sweetheart loans and mortgages that do not have to be repaid. President Sexton has an outstanding loan of $600,000. THE PETITION: President Sexton, decline this unseemly $2.5 million bonus, pay back your loan, and ask the NYU Board of Trustees to direct that money to student financial aid. Sign the petition at: Follow us on SAVE THE DATE! UCATS General Membership Meeting Monday, October 13 Details to follow 636 Broadway, Room 606 New York, NY Momentum is published quarterly by and for the members of the Union of Clerical, Administrative & Technical Staff (UCATS) at NYU, Local 3882, New York State United Teachers, AFT, AFL-CIO. Local 3882 Office: (646) address: President Stephen Rechner Vice Presidents Diana Corzen Christopher Crowe Treasurer Sharmaine Griffin Secretary Rob Lesko Organizers Corey Edmonds, Linda Wambaugh Newsletter Christopher Crowe David Langkamp Momentum Volume Issue 3

4 A New Organizer in Town Christopher Crowe, Bobst Library For the first time in over a decade, our union hired a new professional organizer this summer, welcoming Corey Edmonds into the UCATS fold. She replaces Greg Succop, who retired this spring, and comes to us all the way from progressive Seattle, Washington, in the midsts of a varied career that s been characterized at every step by a fierce advocacy for vulnerable at-risk youth, persons accused of crimes, and unionized employees. After graduating from the University of Washington, where she majored in psychology, Corey s first job out of college was as a counselor in a residential facility for formerly homeless youth. By her own account she did a bit of everything there, from cooking and cleaning to helping clients access educational resources and providing assistance to them as they moved on to more independent living. She took the job because, as she says, I wanted to support kids at a critical juncture, trying to transition into adulthood, and she s proud of the good she was able to do there. Even then, at a relatively young age, she realized she was really interested in ideas about justice interested in achieving justice in our society, which led to her decision to become a lawyer. Corey is a graduate of the Seattle University School of Law. In law school she interned with the King County Office of Public Defense, which became a full-time job once she graduated. She specialized in misdemeanor cases low level theft, low level assault, DUI, reckless driving, trespassing, etc. I felt good about providing advocacy for people going through a rough time, she said. EVERYONE deserves support and advocacy. She enjoyed the work itself, but what she remembers most fondly is the people she worked with: They cared about the work and cared about trying to change the system where we could. That led to her first taste of union activism: Eventually, as a group, we decided to improve our own circumstances, and the circumstances of our clients, by organizing a union so we could participate in decision making. She was a leader on the organizing committee. To form a union it s very difficult! she said, and adds, like a good organizer: It s important to remind people who are hired after the union is established of the tremendous effort it took to get the union and all that is in the union contract. It was a long process, taking almost a year, but ultimately the lawyers in her office joined the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 925, a cool local with a cool history. After the organizational battle was won, Corey remained active in her chapter, serving for a time Corey Edmonds, our new UCATS Organizer as a steward. She helped establish the King County Public Defender Council which successfully lobbied the local government for changes in the funding mechanism for felony defense and on other issues affecting public defenders. Having helped organize her own workplace, she eventually decided to take her experience directly into the labor movement and began to work for SEIU 925 as an external organizer to help others form unions in their workplaces. This was not just a job for her but an expression of her passion for social justice. It s important for anyone who wants to have a voice in their workplace to have a union, she says. It s consistent with believing in democracy. It (continued on page 8) Momentum Union of Clerical, Administrative & Technical Staff at NYU, Local 3882

5 Boycott Staples: It s That Easy Diana Corzen, Student Health Center It is that special time of year when parents scramble to purchase the required school supply list for their children. Then suddenly their commercial comes on the television to remind you that they have everything: Staples. Whether it is the one with the parent skipping down the aisle with miserable kids in tow, or the new ones where Staples presents themselves as the school supplier supreme, my question to you is, do you want Staples to be your mail carrier? Staples recently cut a deal with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to put post offices in Staples stores. This continues a misguided trend by governments at all levels to reduce spending by contracting out work that has long been performed by unionized government workers to non-unionized private business. There s no secret to how the governments save money. These businesses aren t lowering costs through the efficiencies of better technology or organization; they are simply allowed to replace a well-paid union worker with a low paid non-union worker. It is classic union busting, plain and simple, and it is destroying the middle class in this country. Here is a little history about the USPS: On March 18, 1970, postal workers in New York City, upset over low wages and poor working conditions, and emboldened by the Civil Rights movement, organized a strike against the United States government. The strike initially involved postal workers only in New York City, but it eventually gained the support of over 210,000 United States Post Office Department workers across the nation. While the strike ended without any concessions from the federal government, it did ultimately allow for postal workers to unionize and negotiate a contract with the federal government--which gave the union most of what they wanted--as well as the signing of the Postal Reorganization Act by President Richard Nixon on August 12, The Act replaced the cabinet-level Post Office Department with the independent United States Postal Ser- vice, and took effect on July 1, (Wikipedia) With all that history, to then have hard-won union jobs suddenly be replaced by non-unionized, lowwage retail employees is unacceptable. This is another example of some billionaires dream of using public resources to improve their bottom line. So on July 12, after our regular business at the 2014 AFT Convention in Los Angeles, we took to the plaza in front of the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles and we protested with members from around the country and Mark Dimondstein, president of the (continued on page 10) Johanna Tyson and Diana Corzen protest Staples with fellow AFT Convention delegates Momentum Volume Issue 3

6 The AFT Convention: Jasmin Smith, Bobst Library When I was first approached about being a delegate to this year s AFT convention, which was held in Los Angeles, CA, I was sure that I wouldn t be attending. Being one of the newest stewards in our local, I felt that I was not experienced enough to fully understand what the convention would be about. Like some of you reading this article right now, my understanding of what the AFT was and how they related to my life and my job could be described as vague at best. In hindsight, I m happy I decided to take a chance and become a delegate to this year s convention. I learned so much about the issues facing organized labor in our country today and gained a deeper appreciation for the democratic process. The American Federation of Teachers is a national federation of unions which represent workers in the fields of healthcare and education (K-12 and higher education). Our local is affiliated with the AFT through NYSUT, New York State United Teachers, which is a state level federation of smaller unions representing workers in the education sector. AFT conventions take place once every two years. The purpose of the convention is to elect AFT leaders, set AFT policies for the following two years, and to build awareness of labor issues impacting our locals as well as camaraderie amongst union members from around the country. The theme of this year s AFT convention was Reclaiming the Promise, meaning the promise of a quality public education for all children. Speakers at the convention included labor organizers, AFT officials, politicians, and others who are at the frontlines of the labor movement. This year one of the speakers was Asean Johnson from Chicago, who even at the tender age of 11 has become an outspoken advocate for public school education in his hometown. At a time when public school education is under attack, most notably by proponents of the charter school model, Asean spoke out in support of public schools and public school teachers. He was the youngest person to ever speak at an AFT convention and he was also one of the most inspirational. Asean reiterated one of the main themes of the convention which was fighting forward and fighting together with union members and the community at large for better working conditions for educators, healthcare professionals, and support staff. The main work of the convention is to set AFT policy for the next two years. Each delegate to the convention can select a committee to be a part of, or one is assigned to him or her. Each committee is then responsible for debating, amending, and passing a specific set of resolutions based on issues facing local unions around the country. The top three resolutions from each committee are then debated, amended, passed or rejected on the floor in the main convention hall by all in attendance. Robert s Rules of Order are followed during the parliamentary proceedings both in committee and on the main floor; the AFT president, Randi Weingarten, is the one who presides over the proceedings on the floor. As a union of clerical and technical staff at an institution of higher education, our issues may not always seem, on the surface, to fall in line with the main agenda of the American Federation of Teachers. However, listening to the debate on the floor reminds you of how much we all have in common as union members and how much we all stand to lose if we do not stand together. After all, even though we may not be K-12 teachers ourselves, many of us are parents with children in public schools. We may not be healthcare professionals, but all of us have been in the care of a healthcare professional at one point in our lives, or have loved ones who are. As one of the other delegates, David Langkamp, puts it: The more you listen to the debates and conversations happening with our fellow unions across the country, the more you realize that their big Momentum Union of Clerical, Administrative & Technical Staff at NYU, Local 3882

7 A First-time Delegate s View issues are the same as ours. We all want to be treated as professionals in our workplace; we all care about the students (and patients) we serve; we all want to live in a more fair and just society. There was one resolution, which had been put before the Labor and the Economy Committee, called Reclaiming the Promise of a Safe and Modern U.S. Infrastructure, which proposed that the AFT help advocate to rebuild our nation s infrastructure systems, which inspired a lively debate on the main floor late in the final day of the convention. There was one delegate, a small, soft spoken individual, who stood up and proposed an amendment to the resolution which emphasized that the AFT would oppose the Keystone pipeline and also commit to supporting environmentally safe and sustainable infrastructure systems. This was not a particularly popular amendment another delegate said that the proposed amendment was the result of wordsmithing, inappropriate for the main debate, and should have been handled in committee. People were loudly booing the delegate for proposing such an amendment. After an initial vote, which was extremely close, President Weingarten said that the amendment had been rejected, but another delegate stood up and called for another vote, and for us to stand up and be counted. He made the point that in this time of extreme climate change, and in a state such as California which is known for its innovative approaches to green living, it would be a mistake to say the amendment (continued on page 8) AFT President Randi Weingarten rallies the convention delegates Public school advocate Asean Johnson, age 11, addresses the AFT convention (Photo credit: Michael Campbell) Momentum Volume Issue 3

8 New UCATS Organizer (continued from page 4) fundamentally feels insane to me that in our society we pay lip service to democracy and then we go to work and it s accepted that it s a democracy void. What good is democracy if forty hours a week is an exception? Later, she moved from SEIU 925 to SEIU Local 775, a local representing 40,000-plus home health care workers. There she was responsible for contract bargaining and grievance handling for certain bargaining units within the local. That last being particularly important quite simply, grievances are the way we enforce what is in the contract. She adds, though, that some goals you can t achieve through the contract. And so she also prioritized direct member actions, including marches on the boss, petition drives, and informational picketing, because a strong union isn t just strong at the table, it s also strong in the streets. When her partner got a job in New York she decided to make the big move across the country. Luckily for UCATS, that coincided with our need to hire a new organizer-- and Seattle s loss is our gain. We received numerous applications, interviewed several strong candidates, and Corey emerged as the strongest and best match for our union. I m really excited to be here, I really enjoy advocacy, and I really believe in unions, she said. She began work for us in July. Hopefully it s the beginning of a long and successful tenure. AFT Convention (continued from page 7) had been rejected when it may not have been, just because some people were in a hurry to go home. Those who voted for the amendment stood up and were counted, as were those who opposed the amendment. In the end, the amendment was passed. I was struck by the courage of the delegate who proposed the amendment and stood his ground in spite of very vocal opposition on the main floor. Chris Crowe, who attended this year s convention as a delegate, came away feeling that the time has come for our local to start putting itself forward a bit more...many of the resolutions that get proposed deal with the issues faced by [the K- 12] constituency. Since no one else is likely to put our issues forward, we need to start putting them forward ourselves...by drafting resolutions and sending them in for consideration. He went on to say that if we are all more involved in looking over the proposed resolutions in advance, we can be better prepared to amend them and speak about them on the floor, which would have the effect of pushing the interests of our local forward and increase our visibility. As large as the AFT convention was, and as overwhelming as it may seem to someone who has never attended before, I would definitely recommend attending at least once if possible. It s one thing to hear about how one person can make a difference or that we are stronger together it s quite another to see it in action. First time AFT Convention delegate Barbara Bova put it this way: I learned how one person or small group can lead others towards change. I would love to be a delegate again because it is a very positive experience...all good and fun while getting work done that can help all of us. We must continue to participate and not leave anything to others we can move America. UCATS delegate David Langkamp speaks on an amendment from the convention floor Momentum Union of Clerical, Administrative & Technical Staff at NYU, Local 3882

9 Member Shopping Program powered by PayCheck Direct As NYSUT members, you work hard every day! Shouldn t buying what you want be easy? Well, now it can be... The Member Shopping Program powered by PayCheck Direct allows eligible NYSUT members to purchase what they want now and pay interest-free over 12 months. Choose from either 12 or 26 payments via automatic checking account withdrawals. Through PayCheck Direct, all eligible NYSUT members have access to thousands of name-brand products such as appliances, computers & tablets, electronics, furniture, jewelry & watches, home & garden items, children's toys, and recreation & fitness items. PayCheck Direct offers a 30-day in-home trial on many products; flexible return policy; no interest fees, credit checks, down payments, or finance charges; and toll-free customer service representatives located in the U.S. NYSUT members are encouraged to shop and compare prices before making a purchase with this program and consider it as an alternative to using their credit card. Please note that PayCheck Direct will have access to certain information from NYSUT s membership files to verify levels of eligibility for those NYSUT members that choose to participate in this program. For more information about PayCheck Direct, call toll-free or visit memberbenefits.nysut.org. For information about contractual endorsement arrangements with providers of endorsed programs, please contact NYSUT Member Benefits. Agency fee payers to NYSUT are eligible to participate in NYSUT Member Benefits-endorsed programs. Sept./Oct. '14 Momentum Volume Issue 3

10 Tips for Maximizing Your Union-Negotiated NYU Benefits During Open Enrollment Stephen Rechner, Law School Health Insurance Questions Every year, health care choices become more complicated and therefore pose more questions for employees. Questions like: What is the difference between the HMOs and the Point of Service plan (POS)? Which health insurance plan will best meet my health care needs in the coming year? Are the health insurance options available from the employer of my spouse/partner a better value than the plans offered by NYU? Will the health care plan I currently have continue to cover my specific needs in the coming year, as they did this past year? Do I need any of the optional benefits that NYU offers? Health Insurance Costs How you use your health insurance benefits can impact the actual cost to you beyond the monthly premiums. For example: if you are a gym rat, Oxford will pay you $100 twice per year if you go to the gym 50 or more times during any contiguous six month period (that s only 2-3 times per week). Oxford is the only insurance provider that has this benefit. Another example: while the POS plan has cheaper monthly premiums, you may be on the hook for unanticipated out-of-network costs. The reason is that the law treats POS providers differently than HMOs. Here s an example of how: suppose you have done everything you can to stay in-network, but one of your doctors sends your tests to an out-of-network lab for analysis, or, you are wheeled into the operating room and your in-network doctor unexpectedly informs you that s/he will be assisted by Dr. X, who happens to be out-of-network. The POS plan can hold you responsible for those costs, but with an HMO, you are held harmless under these types of circumstances. Furthermore, if you have ongoing health issues that require tests, procedures, and/or special devices, you should make sure that your health insurance provider will continue to cover those costs in the coming year. Even if they were covered last year, you should reconfirm with your provider that they will be covered this year. You can do this at one of NYU s Benefit Fairs. Health Advocate This is a benefit NYU provides to all employees and your family at no cost. If you are having difficulty deciding which health insurance plan will best meet your needs, Health Advocate representatives will review your needs and compare/contrast the benefit choices available to you. Review Your Benefit Choices Some benefit selections roll over from year to year if you do nothing and some do not, so be sure you go to the benefits enrollment webpage and confirm that all of your choices are in place. NYU Benefit Fairs Your best resource for getting the information you need to make your choices is at one of NYU s benefit fairs where you can ask representatives of the benefit providers directly. Representatives from Health Advocate will also be at the benefit fairs and you can call them any time, toll-free, at Boycott Staples (continued from page 5) American Postal Workers Union. We are urging our members to shop elsewhere for your back to school supplies. So remember, while neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these [union] couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds, don t think you can expect the same dedication from the Staples corporation. Rethink where you shop, because while it may be the postal workers who are outsourced today, it may be your job that is outsourced tomorrow. 10 Momentum Union of Clerical, Administrative & Technical Staff at NYU, Local 3882

11 UCATS in Action June 16 Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) annual awards event, New School. For over five years, GVSHP has been leading the opposition to NYU s 2031 Plan to over-develop their real estate in the West Village. Attending the event were Christopher Crowe, Diana Corzen, Pat Forry, Joan Randolph and Stephen Rechner. July American Federation of Teachers Convention, Los Angeles. UCATS delegates to the convention were David Langkamp, Diana Corzen, Barbara Bova, Christopher Crowe, Johanna Tyson, Jasmin Smith and Stephen Rechner. Convention Delegates reelected AFT President Randi Weingarten and Secretary-Treasurer Loretta Johnson for another two-year term. Also elected for the first time was Mary Cathryn Ricker as Executive Vice President. Ricker replaced retiring EVP Francine Lawrence. The convention is a governance event whereby delegates set the agenda of the AFT leadership team through the debate, amendment, and adoption of resolutions that are proposed by AFT locals in advance. August New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Local President s Endorsement Conference, Latham. Local presidents from around the state gathered at the Desmond Hotel (near NYSUT HQ) to decide which, if any, candidates would be endorsed in the upcoming elections. The voting records of incumbents were evaluated, their relationships with NYSUT local presidents were discussed, and the campaign platforms and backgrounds of incumbents were reviewed. Stephen Rechner attended. August NYSUT Tarrytown Summer Leadership Conference, Parsippany, NJ. Sharmaine Griffin and Stephen Rechner attended a variety of well-presented workshops over the two days. Newly elected NYSUT VP Paul Pecorale was the keynote speaker. August 18 AFL-CIO Endorsements Conference, NYC. At this event, NYSUT attempted to align the slate of endorsements we established at our Local Presidents Endorsements Conference with that of the other unions throughout the state, such that, as frequently as possible, labor speaks with one voice in the upcoming elections. While we succeeded in most instances, there were a few races in which we had to agree to disagree. Christopher Crowe and Stephen Rechner attended. UCATS Vice President Christopher Crowe and Shop Stewards Joan Randolph and Barbara Bova at the Student Move In Day action Momentum Volume Issue 3 August 24 Student Move In Day. UCATS kicked off our campaign Financial Aid, Not Golden Parachutes, in which we are asking NYU President John Sexton to decline the $2.5 MILLION bonus that the NYU Board of Trustees plans to award him on January 15, 2015, and for him to ask the trustees to redirect that money to student financial aid. Over 1,000 postcard petitions were distributed to parents and students. The postcard petitions will be distributed and collected throughout the fall semester and delivered to President Sexton at holiday time if it is not announced that he will decline the bonus. There is also an online petition at 11

12 UCATS Bulletin Board ADOBE SOFTWARE BARGAIN NYU ITS has arranged an agreement with Adobe for NYU employees to purchase a one-year license of Adobe Creative Cloud for use on your home computer at a deeply discounted price of just $9.75. The Home Use option permits NYU faculty and staff to purchase Adobe s Creative Cloud through a third-party vendor at a much reduced price. Faculty and staff can go to: You may be asked to log in with your NYUHome credentials (NetID and password). This software is for use on personal machines. The participating staff member will be responsible for abiding by any terms and conditions. NYU is not responsible for your participation in this agreement. BOYCOTT STAPLES Our state federation, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), calls on its more than 600,000 members and their families to support the American Postal Workers Union and join a nationwide boycott of office supply giant Staples. NYSUT said the U.S. Postal Service s decision to contract mail service to Staples with postal counters staffed with low-wage, high-turnover Staples employees rather than unionized postal employees wrongly puts profits ahead of people and will further erode the middle class by lowering the standard of living for all. OFFICE MAX DISCOUNTS The OfficeMax Customer Perks discount card provides NYSUT members and agency fee payers with a 5% discount on technology items such as electronics and business machines and 10% off office supplies, furniture, ink/toner and OfficeMax ImPress services. Follow these 3-easy steps to be eligible to use the OfficeMax Customer Perks 1. Go to and click on Member Exclusive to visit the unique OfficeMax Customer Perks website 2. Once there, click on Join Customer Perks. 3. Fill out the application and click on Submit. It s that easy... once the application is submitted, OfficeMax will send your Customer Perks membership card via . Just bring your card and proof of employment to any OfficeMax store and start saving! SAVE THE DATE! The UCATS fall General Membership Meeting will be on Monday, October 13, Location TBA. At this meeting we will take nominations for, and elect, our delegates to the NYSUT Representative Assembly (RA), May 1-2, 2015 (Fri.-Sat.) in Buffalo. All UCATS members are entitled to make nominations, and/or be nominated, for delegate slots. Although it is not a requirement, we ask that you contact the union office in advance of the meeting if you would like to be a delegate to the convention. The election will be conducted by secret ballot at the meeting. Please call the UCATS office with any questions, The RA is a governance event where delegate members set the agenda for the NYSUT leadership team for the coming year through the process of submitting, debating, and passing resolutions. CATS

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