solidarity across unions

Friday, April 29, 2005

Chicago Tribune | Slaying of union organizer is a whodunit despite arrest "SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- Who killed Jose Gilberto Soto? That mystery has shadowed El Salvador since Nov. 5, when Soto, a union organizer from New Jersey, was shot to death after returning to his native country to help its struggling truck drivers." Union votes for merger of state's teachers unions "ALBANY, N.Y. -- Representatives of the National Education Association of New York voted Saturday to merge with the much larger New York State United Teachers union. The state NEA has about 35,000 members, while NYSUT has about 525,000 including 130,000 in New York City. The two unions had been merged from 1972-76. "
Jewish Times: Madison TA Union Defuses Israel Divestment "Mark Goldberg of Houston is project assistant in UW-Madison's Chicano and Latino Studies department and a Jewish member of the TAA. He and several other Jewish members, including Jewish Law Students Association president Elizabeth Herman, organized against the resolution, encouraging people to attend the meeting and publishing a long letter to the editor in the April 12 Badger Herald, the other campus student newspaper, criticizing the resolution."

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Sacred Heart: Some Words for Those Who Are Left "But my source of frustration is directed at one source and one source only...not the faculty...not the broken cabinets in the lab...not the students...but at those who command this very institution...You!...the administrators! The hypocrisy that stems out of some you and your ears it is just oozing out because your insides have been corrupted by it...your very souls, your very hearts, and your very minds. You dare to use the Catholic faith as a backdrop to cover your wrong doings...the Pope would be rolling over on his grave if he knew what was being done in the name of Catholicism...and I will not charge all of you who are part of this group I know that all of you are not guilty...but those of you who are guilty of this charge, you know who you are...and this is your indictment."
Chicago Tribune: Harper College survey upsets part-time faculty "'It's a needed workforce that they treat like migrant workers,' said Jack Janezic, a union organizer with the Illinois Education Association. '[Part-timers] have been negotiating a contract for nearly a year and have yet to discuss salary, seniority, benefits and access to insurance--the issues with substance.'"

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

NLRB: helper or nemesis? The panels critics say its recent rulings have favored management too often. By Jane M. Von Bergen Philadelphia Inquirer April 27, 2005 (Registration required)

Graduate assistants at Yale and Columbia Universities staged a weeklong strike last week seeking the right to form unions.

Graduate students there and at other universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, look to accomplish in the public arena what they could not through the National Labor Relations Board: be recognized as employees entitled to a union.

With membership falling, union leaders want to encourage growth. Even as critics say the labor movement is outmoded, union leaders blame a political environment that they say is hostile to workers and unions.

Chief among the obstacles, they say, is the NLRB, an independent federal agency that resolves union issues. The president appoints all five members, three from his party and two from the opposition.

The board's critics say its rulings on union representation, strikes and labor practices have swung too far in favor of management and well beyond the shifts expected with changes in political power.

"We are seeing much more than the pendulum effect correcting the excesses of a Clinton board," said Jonathan Hiatt, general counsel of the AFL-CIO, a federation of labor unions representing 13 million workers.

Not really, said Robert J. Battista, the NLRB's chairman. Battista, who was appointed by President Bush, is a Republican who formerly practiced employment law on the management side in Detroit.

"If you are asking whether the board has gotten a political bias or an ideological bias, I'd say no," he said.

Most decisions favor workers, and those that do not, he said, are "reestablishing a long-standing precedent that we thought was improvidently overturned" during the Clinton era.

Because the National Labor Relations Act was created to promote and protect collective bargaining, NLRB cases tend to favor employees, Hiatt agreed. But 40 recent precedent-setting cases reveal a bias, he said.

"Why is it that in every one of these cases, they are coming out on the management side?" Hiatt asked. "Forget the unions. It's an anti-worker position."

Charles Craven, a labor law professor at George Washington University, said the decisions were typical of NLRB shifts that occur with changes in power. "It's more analogous to a pendulum in a grandfather clock," Craven said.

Members of the NLRB serve five years. Battista and Peter C. Schaumber are Republicans. Wilma B. Liebman is a Democrat. As is the case now, there are often vacancies. The terms of Republican Ronald E. Meisburg and Democrat Dennis P. Walsh expired in December. Typically, the most important cases are held until there is a full board.

Among the most important to business and labor are reviews of cases involving Dana Corp. and Metaldyne Corp., both of which challenge labor's most successful membership-building technique: persuading management to recognize a union when a majority of workers sign union cards.

The card method can replace the traditional NLRB secret-ballot election process, which unions say allows management to delay the process long enough to discourage organizing.

To promote harmonious labor relations, partially unionized companies sometimes agree to remain neutral for card campaigns at their nonunionized workplaces.

That is what happened at the 335-employee Metaldyne auto-parts-manufacturing plant in St. Marys, in Western Pennsylvania's Elk County. On Dec. 1, 2003, the company recognized the United Auto Workers union after workers signed cards.

Twenty-two days later, the National Right to Work Foundation helped some workers, who said they were pressured into signing cards, file an NLRB petition to oust the union.

Ordinarily, such a petition would be denied.

Case law allows a new collective-bargaining relationship to gel for a year without interference.

In both the Dana and Metaldyne cases, the NLRB will decide whether a request to oust the union can be filed more quickly in a card-check situation.

"Battista has been under a lot of pressure to do something about it because it is the one area where unions have been successful," Hiatt said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is filing an amicus brief in the cases, saying that requests to oust the union should be allowed more quickly.

"In recent years, there has been a wholesale attempt to eliminate the secret-ballot election," said Charles I. Cohen, a partner in the law firm of Morgan Lewis & Bockius L.L.P., who is filing the brief for the chamber.

Cohen, a Republican, was a Clinton NLRB appointee and is now chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce subcommittee on the National Labor Relations Act.

Neutrality in the card-check process "is, in reality, a gag order" imposed on the employer, said Cohen, who thinks the current board is righting Clinton pendulum swings.

One oft-cited "pendulum" case involves university graduate assistants who teach and conduct research.

Last year, the NLRB's Republican majority ruled that Brown University graduate assistants were students, not employees, and could not unionize. The Democrats dissented.

The Brown ruling overturned a 2000 decision written by two Democrats and a Republican that New York University graduate assistants were employees entitled to a union.

The NYU decision reversed a 1974 case heard during a GOP era, saying that case no longer reflected the work experience of graduate students.

Graduate assistants at many public colleges, including Temple University, are in unions.

Graduate assistants at Penn began a union drive in 2001, after the NYU case.

"Having a union changes the power dynamics at a school," said Christina "Tina" Collins, a leader of Get-Up, the Penn graduate assistants' group affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. Her group led a protest at the University of Pennsylvania on April 19.

In 2002, the NLRB's regional panel allowed Penn's graduate assistants to hold an election. The university appealed. The election took place in 2003, but the NLRB sealed the results. The Brown case, decided in July, upholds Penn's position, and weakens that of the assistants.

Now, Collins said, her group wants students, their parents, politicians, funders and professors to persuade the university to change its mind.

"The NLRB did not make it illegal for us to have a union," Collins said. "It left the question of recognition in the hands of the universities."

Union recognition is not likely, university spokeswoman Lori Doyle said. "It's a philosophical issue. They didn't come to Penn to take a job, they came here to get an education."

Doyle said the university had advisory groups to deal with graduate issues. "We don't need an outside union to represent graduate students," she said.

Contact staff writer Jane M. Von Bergen at 215-854-2769 or

NLRB Members*

Robert J. Battista

Party Republican

Appointed December 2002 (Bush)

Background Management lawyer in Detroit; was chairman of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Michigan Bar Association

Wilma B. Liebman

Party Democrat

Appointed November 1997 (Clinton).

Reappointed (Bush)

Background Counsel to the Teamsters and the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen; was executive with the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service.

Peter C. Schaumber

Party Republican

Appointed December 2002 (Bush)

Background Labor arbitrator; served as government attorney in the District of Columbia, as an assistant U.S. attorney, and as a trial lawyer in U.S. Comptroller's Office. In private practice in Washington, he specialized in litigation.

*Two seats, one from each party, are vacant.

SOURCE: National Labor Relations Board

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

GESO/GSEU Strike Coverage, continued USA Today, 4/25 "Ivy league teaching assistants strike" Harvard Crimson, 4/26 "Grad Student Strikes End" Stamford Advocate, 4/23 "Top Yale official refuses meeting with union organizers",0,6645553.story?coll=hc-headlines-local-wire City Limits (NY), 4/25 "Mad Grads: University teaching assistants and professors demand labor rights" Stanford Daily, 4/26 "Ivy League TAs call to unionize"

Monday, April 25, 2005

Brinkley Blacklist Memo at Columbia Below is a link to a leaked memo from Alan Brinkley, Provost of Columbia, detailing threats and punitive actions to be taken against graduate assistants on strike. Brinkley sent this memo to department chairs and deans and it was published online by The Nation. Ironically, Alan Brinkley is a well known liberal historian who has written about the New Deal. His, The Farewell to Reform: New Deal liberalism in recession and war, was published by Verso in 1996. Brinkley can be contacted at: E-Mail: Telephone: (212) 854-2403

Alan Brinkley 622 Fayerweather Department of History Columbia University 1180 Amsterdam Ave, MC 2527 New York, NY 10027

Below is also a link to an article by Jennifer Washburn in the most recent edition of The Nation about the memo and the recent strikes. Brinkley's memo: The Article:

Sunday, April 24, 2005

New College of Florida: Trustees, faculty reach agreement "SARASOTA - The New College of Florida board of trustees and faculty Saturday signed a three-year contract that increases salaries by 3 percent....The contract also adds sexual orientation as a nondiscrimination category to the list that includes race, color, sex, religious creed, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, political affiliation and marital status."

Saturday, April 23, 2005

San Bernardino County Sun - News "Cal State San Bernardino's 160 students employed as teachers' assistants or as tutors are joining a mission for better pay and benefits, tuition waivers and protection against excessive workloads."

Friday, April 22, 2005

Oxnard College: "Hell, No We Won't Go" "Nearly 200 students and faculty gathered at the end of the courtyard beneath the clock tower that afternoon in a campus walk-out to protest recent cuts made by the Ventura County Community College District Board of Trustees."
UNC: TAs set to lose if cuts succeed "Teaching assistants across the UNC system would lose significant amounts of money under the most recent proposal from state budget-writers. The UNC system would lose 348 filled and 407 unfilled teaching positions under that plan, released Monday. The $45 million rollbacks would only affect filled faculty posts — but TAs at every system school receive money from the unfilled faculty fund"
Columbia Spectator - GSEU Strike Enters Day Four at CU "The event, attended by several prominent labor leaders and city politicians, was the most visible show of solidarity to date in the coordinated week-long strikes of Columbia University’s Graduate Student Employees United and Yale University’s Graduate Employees and Students Organization." - Education - Jesse Jackson Joins Union Rally For NYU Grad Student Assistants "Activists, who say the union's right to exist is now threatened, rallied Thursday with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and graduate assistants from Columbia University, who are on strike with their Yale counterparts over their own unionization efforts."
Flint, Michigan: Area grad shakes the Ivy "A former Fenton woman has taken her Flint-area union sensibilities to the Ivy League...She and other graduate student teachers at Yale and Columbia universities are on strike this week, trying to win recognition as a union for better pay and benefits for themselves and others."
Students' Clout Helping Workers -- and Unions ( "Universities are one of the few bright spots for labor unions, which have been losing members and power for years now. More than a third of the U.S. workforce belonged to a union in the 1950s, and only about 13 percent do today. 'If we're going to grow as a labor union, we need to organize a million new members a year,' said John J. Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO. 'That's very difficult with the situation in our economy.'"
Academic Sharecroppers -- Author Addresses Exploitation of Adjunct Faculty and the Higher Education System "Many believe that adjunct professors are part of a special group of highly revered professionals; however, Wendell V. Fountain, D.B.A., in his new book ACADEMIC SHARECROPPERS: Exploitation of Adjunct Faculty and the Higher Education System (now available through AuthorHouse), maintains that leaders and administrators of higher learning are guilty of egregious moral and ethical breaches by exploiting adjunct faculty, students, and the general public in many ways."
University of California and Service Workers Reach Contract "The University of California has reached a tentative agreement with service workers who went on strike for one day last week. Details of the three-year agreement will not be available until workers approve it, but it includes a significant wage increase and guaranteed raises for the 7,300 workers, according to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees."
Columbia: GSEU Holds Rally on Academic Freedom "Approximately 200 GSEU members and supporters attended the one-hour rally on academic freedom and collective bargaining on the second day of the week-long graduate student strike. Protestors wore UAW stickers, GSEU pins, and held up signs that read “Job Security = Academic Freedom.”"
The Daily Collegian - GEO class boycott attracts hundreds "Hundreds of people converged on the lawn of the Student Union at the University of Massachusetts Thursday as part of a class boycott staged by undergraduate and graduate student groups. Meanwhile, Gov. Mitt Romney made an unannounced visit to the campus in the midst of a three-hour, campus-wide picket by members of the university's graduate student union." - Jesse Jackson rallies support for Yale grad students "To the sounds of drums and cheers the Reverend Jesse Jackson arrived on Yale's campus. The activist was there to lend his support to the week-long strike of Yale's graduate student teachers. Their union called, GESO, is fighting for better pay, health care and recognition by the university." Video Too!
At Yale, Jackson Backs Striking Grad Students "Jesse Jackson urged striking graduate students at Yale University Thursday to continue fighting for the right to unionize. 'When you fight back, good things come our way,' he told the crowd in front of the university's Sterling Library. 'Unless you fight back, nothing comes our way.'"
Washington University, St. Louis: Hunger strike ends, sit-in continues "The Student Worker Alliance (SWA) concluded their hunger strike Saturday night after meeting with Chancellor Wrighton and setting up a series of meetings about their proposed 'Code of Conduct.' According to the SWA, they ended their hunger strike after receiving verbal agreements from Wrighton on many of the points in their 'Code of Conduct.' SWA also claimed that Wrighton made a verbal agreement dedicating increased financial resources to workers' rights and benefits. "

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Chronicle of Higher Ed: Egyptian Professors Stage Rare Protests Against Government Interference in Academic Life "At Cairo University, the nation's largest, more than 100 faculty members gathered silently in front of the main administrative building on Tuesday, some carrying signs with pro-democracy slogans. They called for an end to interference by Egypt's state-security services in many aspects of academic life, including the content of lectures and hiring decisions by individual departments."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Student Gets 8 Years for SUV Arsons "A Caltech graduate student convicted of taking part in a string of arson attacks on SUVs was sentenced to eight years and four months in federal prison Monday and ordered to pay $3.5 million restitution."
The Chronicleof Higher Ed: Student Strike in Quebec Ends, but Some Instructors Plan a Walkout Today "Although all the striking university and college students in Quebec have agreed to return to their classes today, a number of junior colleges will be closed this morning because instructors plan to march on the premier's office to protest their lack of a contract. Faculty members at most junior and community colleges will also take part in rotating strikes until the end of the academic year. They have been without a contract since 2003. Other grievances include their growing class sizes and lack of resources. Most students in Quebec go through the college system before enrolling at a university."
Minnesota: Grad students reject union "University of Minnesota graduate student workers have rejected union representation by nearly a 3-2 margin. State officials Monday counted the 3,075 votes cast in elections last week, finding that 1,779 graduate students voted against unionization and 1,296 voted in favor."
Home News Tribune | Protesters pitch tents at Rutgers "'Education Not War' is the slogan for the third annual 'Tent State University' rally, where students will protest decreased funding for higher education and the government's increased military spending. But unlike typical rallies that come and go in a few hours, 'Tent State' will be a weeklong campout on the Voorhees mall off College Avenue."
Boston IMC: newswire/35208 "Over 1,000 students, professors and administrators gathered in support of ending discrimination against members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (GLBT) community at Boston College. As student organizers called for a university strike, hundreds of students opted not to attend classes, with dozens of professors expressing their solidarity by canceling their sections."
Strike shuts UCSC By JONDI GUMZ SENTINEL STAFF WRITER April 15, 2005 "At UCSC, pickets came from a variety of unions, including the Coalition of University Employees, which represents clerical workers; University Professional and Technical Employees, which represents network staff; the Students Workers Union branch of United Auto Workers, which represents teaching assistants; and American Federation of Teachers, which represents lecturers."
Daily Pilot: Workers picket at UCI "UC Irvine service workers joined in a statewide strike Thursday as they picketed for guaranteed pay increases, possibilities for advancement and other rights they claim the University of California has denied them."
Wisconsin: TAA: UW must cut ties with military outfitters "The Teaching Assistant's Association passed a resolution Tuesday for the UW System to divest from contractors who have military contracts with regimes around the world, as opposed to the original proposal which focused only on Israel."
Michigan: lecturers, adjunct faculty vow picket at commencement "The union of lecturers and adjunct faculty at the University of Michigan, trying to ratchet up pressure on the administration in a contract dispute, announced plans Tuesday to picket university buildings and hold a demonstration at spring commencement."
Lawsuit claims some Michigan prisoners denied possibility of release "DETROIT (AP) -- University of Michigan students and professors who have spent a decade researching life sentences have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of seven inmates who have been repeatedly denied parole." > News > Metro -- With contract talks at impasse, UC workers plan one-day strike "Thousands of University of California cooks, janitors and other service workers across the state are preparing for a one-day strike Thursday that they hope will bring urgency and attention to troubled contract negotiations that have dragged on for nine months."
Washington Square News "Well, they're at it again. Last Thursday evening, NYU administrators Cheryl Mills and Terrance Nolan used their access to NYU e-mail to begin their public campaign to bust the Graduate Student Organizing Committee, the graduate employees' union. The union's contract with the university is set to expire August 31. This action by the NYU administration is unfortunate but not surprising, considering NYU's recent pattern of hostility with campus unions. "
Web Llog: The Bush Yale Connection: "We know that generations of Bushes have passed through Yale's hallowed halls, but what are the other connections? Use this timeline to explore the events and people that bring Yale and the Bush Family closer together."
Curris >> “Public Higher Education: Is the Public Lost?” "There is an oft-repeated adage, probably derived from a Tarzan movie, that lions roar when food is scarce. Clearly for the higher education community food has been scarce, and we have bellowed our discontent. These unsettled times have led many policymakers and educators to re-examine the relationship between state government and public universities. Central to that examination is the recurring question whether this period of stagnant or reduced funding is ephemeral, or whether we have entered a new era of diminished public support. We ask: Is higher education being privatized? Is the “public” disappearing from “public higher education”?"
Michigan State: GEU continues protest, talks "After seeing no movement by the university toward a compromise in contract negotiations, members of the Graduate Employees Union took to the streets on Monday wearing sandwich boards with slogans such as 'MSU Bargaining Skills: F-' The union, or GEU, protects the labor rights of teaching assistants. Members have been negotiating with the university for a new contract since October. The current contract expires May 15."
Associated Press: Ivy League Teaching Assistants Strike "NEW HAVEN, Conn. Apr 18, 2005 — Graduate teaching assistants at Yale and Columbia universities kicked off a five-day strike Monday, an effort organizers hope will force Ivy League administrators to recognize them as a union."
The New York Times: Yale and Columbia Graduate Students Push for Union "In the shadow of an oversize inflated rat, graduate assistants at Columbia University marched in an oval yesterday to begin a five-day strike to support their efforts to form a union and win better pay and benefits. At Yale University in New Haven, graduate assistants were doing the same, refusing to teach undergraduate classes, write problem sets or conduct statistical research."
Boston IMC: Grad students and allies in Northeast fight back "These strikes are the first by 'Ivy League' graduate students since the National Labor Relations Board ruled in July 2004 that graduate students at private colleges are students, not workers, and cannot form unions. This latest ruling reversed a 2000 NLRB ruling that ruled graduate students had the right to organize as workers. Thus, at private universites the administration must agree to voluntary recognition. The administration at both Columbia and Yale staunchly refuse recognition."

Monday, April 18, 2005 - GESO looks to TA unions at other schools "While Yale's Graduate Employees and Students Organization continues to press for recognition from a University whose administrators say the existence of such a union will be detrimental to graduate student education, members look to other graduate employee groups across the country who have already achieved union status."
Inside Higher Ed :: AFT Playing Defense and Offense on Higher Ed Issues "Many union leaders complained about increased teaching loads (both number of courses and number of students in a section), requirements that papers be graded in certain time periods, new curricular requirements (imposed by administrators, not designed by professors) and the push toward distance education. Many professors said that the concept of “student as consumer” was at the root of many of these demands."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Labor Blog: Yale Workers May Strike (Yet Again) "Yale graduate student workers have shrugged off the NLRB's ruling that they are not protected by labor law and continue to organize, threatening a strike if the university does not improve conditions."
The State News: GEU might strike if MSU fails to meet contract negotiations "Graduate Employees Union members said a potential contract presented by MSU officials is less than satisfactory - and they are ready to strike if the university doesn't work toward a compromise soon. ... Missing from the university's suggested contract is a wage increase, a change in health benefits and parking rights, GEU members said. Under the proposal, wages would stay constant during the next three years, which is actually a decrease when cost of living and inflation is taken into account, said GEU President Deborah Wilson."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Students begin sit-in at Washington U. "'We are here to stay,' said Joe Thomas, a sophomore and one of the sit-in organizers. 'We will miss classes if necessary. We'll even go to jail. We will be here 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the chancellor decides it's better to pay his employees a living wage than to deal with us for another day.' "
Columbia: University Unions Meeting Focuses on Solidarity, GSEU "GSEU is planning a strike for the week of April 18, and Trade Workers Union 241, which covers facilities maintenance workers, is in the midst of contract negotiations with Columbia. The GSEU strike will come a year after its month-long strike for recognition last April, an event that saw some expression of inter-union unity; UAW 2110 partook in a day-long sympathy strike for the GSEU cause. But as David Wolach, a GSEU organizer in the audience, put it, the more the “our cause is your cause” philosophy is embraced, the more likely GSEU and other unions will succeed."
Yale: GESO strike vote to be held April 13 "Members of the Graduate Employees and Students Organization issued an ultimatum to Yale President Richard Levin this morning to grant the group union recognition within one week or face a five-day strike by hundreds of graduate teaching assistants beginning on April 18."
Michigan: LEO fights back against administration once more "The Lecturers' Employee Organization (LEO) took to the pavement again on Thurs., March 24 on both the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses for an informational picket. This time, the cause was regarding the implementation of their contract signed last June. 'There's no consistency among the departments,' said the UM-D campus chair Sheryl Edwards. According to Edwards, hiring and firing procedures have not been carried out in the manner agreed to in the original contract. All three campuses are having similar problems although the consensus of LEO members is that Flint is having the most success."
Carleton University sessional lecturers resume conciliation talks - hope to avoid strike "OTTAWA, April 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Sessional lecturers at Carleton University, represented by Local 4600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), will resume negotiations with the help of a provincial conciliation officer on April 7th, 2005, in a bid to prevent a strike at the university."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Florida: Graduate students get a raise "'It's a document that will protect the rights of working people here on campus,' said E.J. Ford, a graduate student and co-president of GAU. 'And the benefits will extend beyond graduate assistants. If their rights are protected, then you'll also see protections for every other contract for employees on this campus.'"
New York: Grad union awaits decision "The university will decide whether to renegotiate the graduate student union's contract in June, according to an official e-mail sent out to the university community Thursday. "
NTT faculty working toward first contract - The Alestle - News "'I am extremely optimistic and hopeful to negotiate a good contract for full-time instructors and part-time lecturers,' NTTFA President Alan Shiller said. 'I also appreciate the openness from the administration, especially (Human Resources Director) A.G. Monaco.'"
Privatization Brings Big Savings to Michigan's State Universities "Budget pressure in recent years has forced Michigan's public institutions of higher education toward cost savings and contracting out of services, according to news reports and a recent survey by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy." - Best way to end housing discrimination: democracy "When we first arrived in America, we heard a lot of talk about the values of democracy. Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived in Yale's Helen Hadley Hall, we began to experience something different: dictatorship and discrimination."
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society: Sigma Xi Postdoc Survey "The survey comes in the wake of a number of studies suggesting widespread dissatisfaction among postdocs over such things as low pay, long hours and minimal job benefits. Survey questions addressed these and other factors related to postdocs' research activities, career goals and perceptions of the policies and practices at their institutions."
The Western Herald - MSA aims to bridge gap between Islam, other faiths "'Our main purpose as an organization is to bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims,' he said. 'When you understand something you stop fearing it.' Kahn said MSA holds events throughout the year to further educate WMU's campus because it's such a diverse community. With a large population of international students, many of whom hold positions such as teaching assistants, he said it's important that there is understanding and not fear."
Toronto: CUPE 3903 will be bargaining soon "CUPE 3903, the union that represents York's contract faculty, graduate assistants, teaching assistants and research assistants, is heading for bargaining this summer. Issues of job security, wage equity and benefits were some concerns raised by their communications officer, Isabel Macdonald. "

Monday, April 04, 2005

World mourns Pope of greatness and contradiction "Yet Pope John Paul has also been seen as a highly significant advocate of freedom and human rights – in the world, if not the Church, to which he applied different standards. He denounced neo-liberal economics of the kind favoured in today’s White House as “savage capitalism”, and criticised the West for exporting “materialism, consumerism and super-development”. "
California: UC service workers vote to go on strike "Ninety-two percent of University of California union members who serve food, clean buildings, and help run the campuses and medical centers voted to strike UC for bargaining in bad faith and refusing to sign a fair contract."
Emerson: Faculty union, students team up for campus demonstrations "With orange scarves around their necks, students and faculty members demonstrated and met with both the Board of Trustees and the Board of Overseers last week about the lack of performance space on campus and the faculty union contract. "

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Michigan: GEO reaches contract with 'U' "After 15 hours of bargaining, negotiators from the Graduate Employees’ Organization and the University reached an agreement on a new contract for graduate student instructors early this morning. The tentative contract resolved two of the most contentious issues between the two parties and averted an open-ended strike that was tentatively scheduled to begin Monday."
Yale: Asian students allege racism "Students speaking at the rally, which was organized by the Graduate Employees and Students Organization, claimed that managers of the dormitory discriminate against Asian graduate students in their enforcement of housing regulations. After the rally, which drew about 75 people, a petition signed by approximately 80 people was delivered to managers of the building, who declined to comment on the issues presented at the press conference."
Pridesource: GEO stages one day walkout "Strike issues include insurance co-pays, the university's refusal to allow graduate employees to name a designated beneficiary rather than a spouse or domestic partner on health care coverage, and the university's refusal to change its MCare program to provide transgender-related health care coverage."

Friday, April 01, 2005

Teachers College - Columbia University: News "At a time when high-quality educational leadership is critically needed for the nation's schools, the quality of most preparation programs for principals, superintendents and other education leaders ranges from 'inadequate to appalling,' according to a major study by Teachers College President Arthur Levine." Report on line at
ZNet Blog "I took some time out from the great proletarian revolution today to join some smart student activists in lobbying some key Chicago media authorities to oppose the Drug Provision that was added to the Higher Education Act in 1998....."
CounterRecruiter: 'Educators To Stop The War' Tackle Recruiting In the Classroom "Lauren Bans of the Nation reports the newly formed Educators to Stop the War met earlier this month in New York. One item on the agenda -- military recruiting in the schools."
The Dominion: Qu�bec Students Strike, Occupy, Blockade "Over 230,000 students are now on strike in Québec, in opposition to $103 million in cuts to bursary programs by Jean Charest's Liberal government. Other demands made by the students include an end to tuition hikes for international students and an end to "the privatization of universities and CEGEPs."

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.