solidarity across unions

Friday, June 24, 2005

Right To Bargain/ Intellectual Property "The Professional Staff Congress/CUNY (PSC) struck a blow for the right of public employees to have a say in their working conditions when, on June 7, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, 1st Department, unanimously held that City University of New York violated New York State law by refusing to negotiate with the union over a new policy governing faculty members’ ownership rights of their intellectual property. The court’s decision overturned a ruling by the State Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB”). The case now returns to PERB for the agency to formulate a remedy for CUNY’s violations."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Oregon: Ways to fight against recruiting for Iraq war "Controversial professor Ward Churchill will headline a local forum billed as a chance to support conscientious objectors in the Iraqi war, and to counter military recruiting pitches targeting students. One of the forum organizers, Marla Benoist, says the event Thursday at North Portland's Mississippi Ballroom is an important opportunity for war-resistance groups to share strategy and organize counter-recruiting in Portland."
KRQE News 13 - UNMH begins no confidence vote "Health care workers at the University of New Mexico Hospital have started a vote of no confidence against hospital CEO Steve McKernan....National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees staff representative Eleanor Chavez says results should be available early next week."
Reason: Science, Not Secrecy: Impeding research doesn't enhance homeland security "New restrictions on foreign students and researchers are also harming the American scientific enterprise. The ACLU report notes that more than half of the students enrolled in science and engineering programs in the U.S. are foreigners. Also, 40 percent of U.S. engineering faculty and engineering, math and computer science graduate students are foreign-born. American scientific research and our economy have benefited tremendously from this openness to foreign scholars. More than one-third of U.S. Nobel laureates are foreign-born; 38 percent of science and engineering doctorates in the workforce are foreign-born; and nearly 30 percent of the scientific and medical professionals at the National Institutes of Health are foreign nationals. Now various restrictive visa programs based on the notion that potential terrorists can be successfully profiled are choking off this source of future scientists. In 2003, foreign student enrollment fell by 2.4 percent, the first decrease in more than 30 years. In 2004, foreign applications to American graduate schools declined by 28 percent, and admissions fell by 18 percent."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Beacon Journal | 06/21/2005 | KSU union leaders rip contract "Leaders of Kent State's faculty union are advising their members to reject a proposed three-year contract....Cheryl Casper, president of the Kent chapter of the American Association of University Professors and an economics professor, declined to discuss the chance that faculty would strike."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Alaska: In protest of School of Engineering staff firings "We are students in the School of Engineering who are troubled that the school has decided to fire six staff members under the guise of “restructuring.” Because we care deeply about the quality of the university, the School of Engineering, and our education, we strongly object to this deliberate, unnecessary action."

Monday, June 20, 2005

Florida: Seminole Community College STUDENT GRABS PETA AWARD FOR DEFENDING FREE SPEECH "Eliana was initially forbidden by school administrators to set up an information table outside the school cafeteria and distribute information about cruelty to animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses. She was told that she could only address the issue in a 'free speech zone' -- a deserted area of campus far away from academic buildings. After Eliana enlisted the support of PETA and the educational group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the school sent Eliana a letter acknowledging her right to set up an informational table and distribute PETA literature in a more central location."
ZNet |U.S. | A new battleground on campuses "The increasingly polarized political climate on U.S. campuses was driven home to me in the last few weeks of the semester at my school, New York University (NYU) -- which saw an outpouring of activity at both ends of the political spectrum. The remarkably diverse array of progressive activism included a serious anti-racism campaign; a protest that resulted in the cancellation of a CIA recruiting event; a campaign to kick Coca-Cola off campus for its complicity in the murder of union activists in Colombia; a teaching assistants' union campaign; and protests against right-wing speakers, including a protest against Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia that received national attention when a law student asked Scalia (who supports anti-sodomy laws against homosexual sex), 'Do you sodomize your wife?'"
California: Palomar's part-time teachers get space "Thanks to a contract negotiated last year with the part-timers, known as the adjunct faculty, Palomar officials have spent $50,000 to renovate and furnish the former campus police building into a facility where [adjunct faculty] can work and meet with students."
Michigan: U-M committee recommends short-term extension of contracts pending followup by Coca-Cola "The University of Michigan's Vendor Code of Conduct Dispute Review Board has recommended that the University's contracts with Coca-Cola be extended on a short-term, conditional basis while the company is given an opportunity to respond to alleged violations of the University's Vendor Code of Conduct. On Nov. 30, 2004, Students Organized for Labor and Economic Equality (SOLE) submitted formal complaints in four areas of concern..."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Tampabay: Suit says missing smile cost job at Sam's Club "Molly Beavers lost her smile early on in her 19-year career of pushing food samples and collecting grocery carts she could barely see over. Her scowl may have cost her the job. A Sam's Club manager fired her in December 2003 for not smiling enough, she says. Beavers' face is partially paralyzed from surgery related to her condition as an achondroplastic dwarf. Beavers, 49, filed an Americans With Disabilities Act complaint in federal court Friday, alleging that Sam's Club and parent company Wal-Mart discriminated against her when they fired her. She claims they knew about her health problems and failed to accommodate her."
The Duke: Grad students take turn as professors in summer "Typically, the graduate students have served as teaching assistants for faculty members during the fall or spring semesters or previously taught summer classes, Baker said. The more-experienced TAs are given priority to teach in the summer in the psychology and economics departments to gain experience as the sole instructors in classroom settings."
Ohio: Kent State and faculty reach contract deal | "The settlement would provide a two percent raise in the first year, retroactive to last September, and three percent in each of the last two years. If university revenue increases, faculty members could claim an extra two percent in each of the last two years. The faculty members would pay more for health care."
California: UC clerical workers end strike on boisterous note "Striking University of California clerical workers wrapped up their three-day walkout Wednesday with a rowdy protest in front of UC headquarters in downtown Oakland, forcing police to block off traffic when picketers surged into Franklin Street."
Debunking myths about professional & scientific unionization "Many of us were new to the labor movement when we organized in 1998. Most of us were surprised that so many of our issues were the same, but we discovered that they really could be addressed in a contract. Protecting workers from exploitation and unsafe working conditions is not a thing of the past. We hear from many unorganized UI staff that they are exploited, required to work many hours of overtime or to be on call 24 hours per day and seven days per week, with no additional compensation."
Lakehead University strikers have contract "About 60 grounds, maintenance and other workers at Lakehead University have reached a three-year contract to conclude a nine-week strike. CAW Local 229 president Andy Savela said a tentative agreement had been reached late Friday afternoon and a ratification vote was being held in the evening." - Education - NYU Proposes Not Renewing Graduate Union Contract "New York University, the only private university in the country to recognize a union of graduate students, has proposed not renewing its contract with the union. In a memo to students, faculty and staff on Thursday, the school's executive vice president and provost said a team of deans and senior administrators who studied the issue proposed 'that we should no longer use a union as an intermediary with our students.'"

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Australia: Staff protest workforce bill "A UNION representative has told protesting university and TAFE staff the Federal Government's plan to scrap collective workplace agreements would deskill the nation. The unions believe the legislation would undermine the rights and academic freedom of university staff and would not improve staff conditions, class sizes, workloads or research."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Students for a Democratic University "We are a democratic rank-and-file organization of University of Missouri students who advocate the rejuvenation of liberal education, the removal of corporate influence and presence from the university, and the democratic administration of the university by and for students."
UC CLERICAL EMPLOYEES TO BEGIN 3-DAY STRIKE "Leaders of the union that represents 16,000 clerical employees at the University of California say their members will stage a three-day strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The Coalition of University Employees says its job action will affect UC's nine campuses and five medical centers across the state as well as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory."

Saturday, June 11, 2005

University of California Unions Demand Change; Third Union Strike to Hit UC Monday "The Coalition of University Employees (CUE), which represents 2000 clerical workers at UC Berkeley and UC Office of the President in Oakland, will strike at UC Berkeley on Monday, June 13 through Wednesday, June 15, as part of a systemwide strike called by the union at all campuses. CUE members voted by a margin of more than 93 percent to authorize a statewide strike last month when it became obvious that UC would refuse to budge on their 'no raises' stance relative to bargaining on a 2003-04 contract dispute that has never been settled. Also at issue are library assistants' wages, which lag 33 percent below market rates. This is the third time in the last three months UC has been battered by striking employees on the 10 campuses throughout the state."
Ontario: LU, union back at bargaining table "Lakehead University and the union representing its striking workers are heading back to the bargaining table today. The decision came after negotiators from the university and CAW Local 229, which represents grounds, maintenance and other workers, met with an Ontario Labour Relations Board mediator in Toronto Wednesday. “Both sides spent a lot of time trying to get the negotiations back on track,” said university spokeswoman Eleanor Abaya."
Ohio: Initial proposals show sides at odds "A reporter from The Vindicator made a verbal public records request Thursday and a formal written request Friday to the university seeking the initial contract proposals from the 400-member YSU Association of Classified Employees union and the YSU management negotiating team. The request was honored about 1:15 p.m. Friday. About two hours later, the YSU chapter of the Ohio Education Association, which assists negotiations with three unions at the university included ACE, filed a request in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for a temporary restraining order to stop YSU from releasing the document."

Friday, June 10, 2005

"NYSUT roars support for contract." June 9, 2005. New York Teacher. "For nearly four hours, a cheering crowd of some 20,000 UFT members and supporters filled the Garden to capacity, bringing a feeling of the playoffs to the world-famous arena that is home to the New York Knicks and Rangers.... As he did at Woodstock in 1969, singer-songwriter Richie Havens held the audience spellbound with his anthem 'Freedom.' Thousands of members of the audience responded by switching on and holding up their cell phones in the dimly lit arena, casting a soft glow over the crowd.... Facing their own long contract stalemates, members of the Professional Staff Congress, representing faculty and professional staff at the City University of New York, and the United College Employees of Fashion Institute of Technology joined their UFT brothers and sisters in pressing for a settlement." - Looming strike could halt fall sports "About 360 coaches who are members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties union are to vote Monday through Wednesday on whether to authorize the union's executive council to call for a strike. The coaches have worked without a contract since last June 30 and say talks with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which made its latest contract proposal in December, have not resolved issues of contention."
ABC News: Hong Kong Protesters Remember Tiananmen "Thousands of protesters in Hong Kong raised candles in the air and sang solemn songs Saturday to mark the 16th anniversary of China's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations on Tiananmen Square, while security was tightened in Beijing to block any memorials there."
U. of Akron, professors seek labor fact-finder "The Akron chapter of the American Association of University Professors does not plan a strike, although some faculty members are growing frustrated with talks that started late in 2003. This is the first contract negotiated by the union, which was formed in 2003 and represents 650 University of Akron faculty members."
AFT: Pentagon Proposed Regulations Attack Teachers' Rights "Teachers and school professionals working on American military bases overseas are getting swept up in a disturbing trend to deny union rights to civilians who pose no security risks, the American Federation of Teachers said today. 'The government is using the war on terror and terms like 'streamlining' and 'efficiency' as pretenses for taking democratic rights away from teachers in Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DODDS),' AFT President Edward J. McElroy said Saturday at the Overseas Federation of Teachers (OFT-AFT) Convention in Italy."
“Power in their unity” "IN AN unprecedented display of solidarity between the antiwar and labor movements, members of Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) No War and UNITE HERE Local 217 picketed and marched April 27 to demand a fair contract for the workers and an end to the war in Iraq."

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Chronicle: Alternative Careers for Adjuncts "Bradley N. Slosberg used the Social Security numbers of three students in the anatomy and physiology course he taught at the college last fall to obtain credit cards from Macy's and other department stores, the sheriff's office said. Mr. Slosberg had access to the students' Social Security numbers and dates of birth, according to an affidavit released by the sheriff's office."

Monday, June 06, 2005

Inside Higher Ed :: Did Cross-Dressing Cost Adjunct His Job? "Jeremy D. Kerr is a sociologist who uses cross-dressing to make points about gender and society. But Kerr, an adjunct who teaches at the University of Kentucky and who used to teach at Georgetown College, has been told by his department chair at Kentucky to stop cross-dressing in class, and Kerr has sued Georgetown, charging that he lost an adjunct position because of his cross-dressing in area restaurants."

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Farm-Subsidy Model of Financing Academia - New York Times "Increasingly, universities are being financed like farmers and military contractors, with legislative earmarks....A study by John M. de Figueiredo of the University of California, Los Angeles and Brian S. Silverman of the University of Toronto, which will soon be published in The Journal of Law and Economics, finds that universities receive a high return on their lobbying dollars. The researchers related the amount each university received in earmarks to its lobbying expenditures from 1997 to 1999, and other factors."

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

California: Regents postpone vote on fee increases for graduate students "Four months before the start of the fall term, a committee of University of California regents approved new, unanticipated fee increases for nearly 10,000 graduate students."
Iowa: ISU dining workers fear they will lose jobs "'We're all afraid of losing our jobs,' said Mary Coen of Zearing , a supervisor at Union Drive Marketplace who has worked with ISU Dining for 10 years. 'It's scary because you have bills to pay.'" - News - San Jose State Honors Black Power Salute "San Jose State University has taken take another step in honoring 1968 Olympic medal winners, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, by holding a ground breaking ceremony for the sculpture, which will commemorate their silent protest in support of civil rights. The ceremony was held on the Tower Hall lawn in the center of campus. The athletes received honorary doctorates at the university's 148th commencement ceremony. Smith and Carlos gained international attention at the Olympics when they raised gloved fists on the victory stand as symbols of black power and unity. Viewed as an unpopular action at the time, the pair are now regarded as important contributors to the American civil rights movement"
Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal "Striking Lakehead University staff will have to continue to set up their picket lines outside the campus. Superior Court Justice John Wright dismissed an application Monday that would have allowed CAW Local 229 members to move their strike information efforts on to the grounds of the university"
Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal "Lakehead University’s 60 striking maintenance workers chose the school’s graduation day to step up their picketing against LU administrators and show support to graduating students. Canadian Auto Workers Local 229 had seven of its strikers give carnations to new LU graduates just before convocation Saturday at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium."
MLA Recommendation on Minimum Per-Course Compensation for Part-Time Faculty Members "Part-time faculty members perform a valuable role in institutions, giving employers flexibility in scheduling and providing a high level of expertise without a substantial long-term commitment from the institution. These faculty members should be compensated not only for their expertise but also for the flexibility and convenience they offer. The Modern Language Association therefore recommends a salary range of $5,700 to $8,000 per course section, with fringe benefits and cost-of-living increases, as the reasonable minimum compensation for part-time faculty members."

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.