solidarity across unions

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

"While most students headed home for the winter holidays, for the second year in a row Charles Shen, a citizen of China studying in the United States, decided not to leave the country. Like many foreign science students, Shen's status as an international student has been increasingly threatened by recent changes in American attitudes toward foreign citizens studying and working within U.S. borders. To some, he is a potential terrorist or source of information about weapons technology. To others, he's a threat to native-born workers looking for jobs." Columbia Spectator Online - Foreign Students Confront Visa Woes
"Labor unions representing nearly 200,000 workers across Massachusetts have endorsed same-sex civil marriage in recent weeks, as the organizations lobby to expand workplace benefits for their gay and lesbian members." Boston.com / News / Local / Mass. / Unions lend voice, might to back gay marriage:
From: CAASE/UAW Sent: Jan 8, 2004 5:57 PM To: caaseuaw@earthlink.net Subject: CSU Academic Student Employees Call For Union Recognition 1/8/04 The California Alliance of Academic Student Employees /UAW (CAASE/UAW) filed a petition today with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) calling for the CSU Administration to recognize CAASE/UAW as the Union for Teaching Associates, Graduate Assistants, Tutors and Graders at Cal State. In support of this call for recognition, an overwhelming majority of the 5,300 academic student employees (ASEs) at CSU filed Union authorization cards with PERB in Los Angeles. We're excited to be joining the rapidly growing Union movement at both public and private universities throughout the United States, and proud to be organizing with the UAW because of its long progressive tradition and expertise in collective bargaining. The UAW represents over 16,000 ASEs in the US, including more than 11,000 ASEs at the University of California. Unionization and collective bargaining give us more rights and power to negotiate for improvements in our working lives. Through collective bargaining, we can improve the working conditions of ASEs and thus the learning conditions of our students. We look forward to sitting down, without delay, across the bargaining table from the University Administration to negotiate an equitable contract for Cal State ASEs. CAASE/UAW Organizing Committee

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Unless there is a major breakthrough in negotiations scheduled for today, Rutgers University's 2,500 full-time professors and 1,800 graduate and teaching assistants will return to class next week for a second semester without a contract." New semester without pact looms for Rutgers and profs

Friday, January 16, 2004

Found this weblog, which I think is of interest to folks. Invisible Adjunct

Thursday, January 15, 2004

"there's a reason most departments and schools don't keep data on attrition--the numbers and the reasons behind the numbers are truths they just don't want to know." Invisible Adjunct: Followup to PhD Attrition

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

UVic 72 - hour strike notice VICTORIA – After months of bargaining, including an attempt at mediation in December followed-up recently by an offer to accept binding arbitration—an offer rejected by university administration—teaching assistants, language instructors and computing staff at UVic have tendered their required 72-hour notice before taking strike action. “It seems pretty clear to us,” says Sherwin Arnott, chair of the CUPE local 4163 bargaining team, “that strings are being pulled beyond this campus administration. While the union has done everything, including offering to accept binding arbitration, to avoid job action, the University is steadfastly offering us nothing. At this point we have no choice but to exercise our right to strike.” CUPE members expressed concern about a campus-wide shutdown during the Monday night meeting where the decision to give the 72-hour notice was taken. “We’re students, and we want what’s best for students,” said Kristin Atwood, a graduate student in the department of Sociology. “ Even at this final hour we hope the University will address the key issues of tuition and wages before we’re forced to put up picket lines.” CUPE 4163 members have been hit with major financial hardships in the last two years. Tuition has increased 70% yet with no corresponding wage increases for TAs. Currently UVic TAs earn $17 per hour, while TAs at UBC and SFU earn $25 and $27 per hour respectively. Negotiations have been underway since August but no wage offer has been made to offset tuition fee increases. opeiu491 ========================= Derek Blackadder Organizing Representative CUPE/scfp Ontario Regional Office 1-800-362-0974 (416) 292-3999x255 (416) 292-2839 fax www.cupe.ca

Sunday, January 04, 2004

""That's excellent," said Matthew Smith, a philosophy graduate student and the union's former volunteer lead organizer on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. "I don't know if they're finally hearing us, but I believe this wouldn't have happened had workers not been organizing."" newsobserver.com - Raises coming to state workers
UVic TAs on verge of strike Mediator books out of UVic negotiations. Campus on the brink of strike. VICTORIA – Mediator Grant McArthur has booked out of negotiations between the University of Victoria and its teaching assistants, language instructors and computing staff. According to the union (CUPE 4163) representing those workers, the university must decide if it wants to resolve the contract dispute or risk campus-wide job action. The University, which posted an $18-million budget surplus during the last fiscal year has, so far, refused to make a reasonable offer during the current round of negotiations. Union negotiators requested mediation before Christmas as a means of moving negotiations forward. “We thought that mediation could help to resolve our differences by the New Year,” said Sherwin Arnott, chair of the local bargaining team. “However, it became clear on December 29th that the university has been told by the government to give the TAs zero percent wage increases. Our own University of Victoria president David Turpin who, himself, recently received a $60,000 wage increase, sits on the Public Sector Employees Council (PSEC) board,” said Sherwin, “and PSEC seems to be calling the shots.” CUPE 4163 members have been hit with major financial hardships in the last two years. Tuition has increased 70% yet there has been no corresponding wage increases for TAs. The university has offered workers nothing in terms of tuition protection and tuition is scheduled to increase again this spring. “The university’s offer does not even address tuition fee increases and would not amount to a wage increase,” says Arnott. Perplexed and frustrated CUPE 4163 has offered to accept binding arbitration in order to resolve the contract dispute without shutting down campus. Peter Hampton, the union’s strike coordinator says “Our members are becoming increasingly frustrated, they see through the smoke and mirrors that what management is putting forward as a proposal. It’s crap,” says Hampton, “management knows it and so do our members.” opeiu491 ========================= Derek Blackadder Organizing Representative CUPE/scfp Ontario Regional Office 1-800-362-0974 (416) 292-3999x255 (416) 292-2839 fax www.cupe.ca

The Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions is a loose-knit coalition of labor unions in the USA and Canada that represents graduate students employed as teachers, researchers, and administrative staff.