Nerds, incidentally, are on winter break, which is why there is not much happening on the blog. But here are some news updates:

Local 94 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, the union representing maintenance staff in commercial buildings, has a contract which will expire on December 31st. They held a rally today in Midtown to call for a new contract--what they are asking for is a benefits package that does not require them to dig into their own pockets to fund their health care and pensions. The degree of organization and solidarity in this union are inspirational. announced that Governor-Elect Spitzer's appointee for Labor Commissioner, Patricia Smith, will step up enforcement against companies that take advantage of low-wage workers.

The Villager announced that Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has convened a task force on NYU issues that will have its first meeting in January. Development and community facilities issues top the list of items for discussion.

And the New York Times reports that NYU's fundraising campaigns involve Big Brother-like data collection tactics, as well as -- surprise -- Sexton's hugs.