solidarity across unions

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Book promotesunion organizing "Jane Slaughter, an editor at Labor Notes, a Detroit publication that tracks labor unions and trends, has an answer for frustrated workers: Organize. Slaughter is the editor of a new 372-page handbook released by Labor Notes that promotes union organizing. The book, an update of a 1991 tome, is called, 'Troublemaker's Handbook.' It shows workplace activists how to fight abuse, bias, and other unfair practices on the job. The workbook includes tips and real-life examples from 72 authors and union activists. The book contains information on how to research multinational companies, track workplace hazards, supervise a union local, develop and train union leaders, build relationships with community leaders, and develop organizing campaigns. In editing the book, Slaughter included articles and other information about successful -- and not so successful -- organizing campaigns. For example, the book examines the 1997 U.S. Postal Service strike and the push by graduate students to organize campuses at Yale University and other academic institutions. For information on the $24 guide, contact Labor Notes at www.labornotes.org or (313) 842-6262."
Ontario: Union prepares response to LU offer "Lakehead University and its striking workers are poised to return to the bargaining table after the university put forward another offer Friday. The president of CAW Local 229, which represents the 60 striking workers, said Tuesday the bargaining committee and union members are examining the comprehensive package the university delivered, and a return to negotiations looks probable."
University of California lecturers and researchers stage one-day strike "University of California research and technical employees walked off the job for one day Thursday to protest what they called unfair labor practices. UPTE-CWA Local 9119, the union representing nearly 10,000 employees, has been bargaining with UC since May 2004. The union says UC hasn't responded to questions about researcher turnover or the amount of money available for raises."
Lake Country Reporter "Mei and the WCESSU's president, Teresa Grimm, said Tuesday's picketing is the unions' way of communicating to the board that union members are dismayed the board expects the unions to address the board's issue, but, at the same time, refuses to address these important union issues. "

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Michigan Daily -- 114 Years of Editorial Freedom - Kicking the Habit: University must terminate Coke contracts now "The University must act quickly to cancel its contracts with Coca-Cola or risk losing the power to change Coke’s unacceptable treatment of its workers. While complacency with the status quo may be the path of least resistance, issues like these must take precedence over the profitability and convenience of a long-term contract. Like Nike, Coke will only remedy its practices with significant pressure and the fear of a tarnished image, and the University must not delay in sending a clear signal."
Ohio: Area universities won't oppose labor pickets during graduation "Workers at Kent State and the University of Akron plan campus protests this weekend during graduation ceremonies at the two schools. Union officials said they don't intend to disrupt the ceremonies or prevent people from attending."
Western Washington University: Faculty to vote fall quarter on forming union "The administration wants to consider only full-time professors as eligible for joining a union, excluding the other groups from a chance to have a right to voice concerns in unionization efforts..."
Utah: Worker Killed When Wall at WSU Collapses "A construction worker has been killed after a wall at the Weber State University gym collapsed -- just three days after it closed for renovations."
Inside Higher Ed :: Ex-Grad Student Awarded $601,000 "A former SUNY graduate student was awarded $601,000 this month after a federal jury decided faculty members attacked him academically as retribution for discrimination complaints he made."
The Stanford Daily Online Edition "Doroteo García is a union steward at the Service Employees International Union Local 1877, which represents ABM workers on campus. He said the workers will be pleased that the contract has been awarded to ABM because it will secure some of the special programs the company offers, including the company-paid English tutoring program for employees."
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California: Wage Increases Fail to Appease Union Demands "Members of one union are preparing to strike this week despite receiving a new wage proposal from the University of California, while members of another will vote on whether they wish to do the same for their own wage increases."
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Monday, May 23, 2005

Oregon: Marchers demand certainty in pay plan "'This is a march for a commitment for affordable health care for everyone,' said Joe DiNicola, president of the local, representing about 20,000 state workers and the university system."
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Michigan: LEO demands promotions from LSA "Representing the concerns of LSA Lecturers who feel they are not receiving the full benefit of their contract, the Lecturers’ Employee Organization staged a demonstration outside the LSA Executive Committee meeting last Tuesday to show their disapproval of what they see as the administration’s lack of consideration for the Lecturers’ contract."
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Princeton's "Filibuster for Democracy" Protest Spreads to Campuses "A new form of student protest is spreading across the nation, with events in at least five states today and four more tomorrow (lists appended). In a “May miracle,” despite exams and the end of the school year, 56 mock filibusters in support of the filibuster have taken place or are being planned across 34 states."
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Oregon: Instructors enjoy strong job security "Having a union 'makes a big difference in terms of solidarity, experiences of justice,' Callero said. 'You get a more open faculty, a more open classroom, a more effective teaching environment when you don't have to be concerned about what an administrator's complaints are.'"
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Part-time faculty union to go forward pending certification - GW Hatchet - Campus News: "Under the supervision of two NLRB officials, adjunct union organizers and University officials, 28 contested votes from an October election were reconsidered and gave a slight edge to unionization supporters. Proponents of the organization of part-time faculty won by a vote of 341 to 331."
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AFT/AAUP AFFILIATION AT RUTGERS The 740 members of the Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter of the Rutgers (N.J.) University Council of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) voted May 13 for joint affiliation with AFT. Earlier this year, the 4,000 AAUP full-time faculty, graduate employees and counselors at Rutgers voted for joint affiliation with AFT. (From: "Work in Progress" )
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GW INSTRUCTORS VOTE SEIU Some 1,200 adjunct and part-time faculty members at George Washington University in Washington,D.C., won representation with SEIU Local 500 after challenged ballots from an October 2004 National Labor Relations Board election were opened May 17. The faculty members teach at most of the university's schools except the school of medicine. (From: "Work in Progress" )
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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Michigan: Calvin College faculty, grads, students protest Bush visit "A full-page advertisement as an open letter to President Bush signed by 823 people affiliated with Calvin College was published in Friday's editions of The Grand Rapids Press, protesting his planned appearance as the school's commencement speaker."
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Friday, May 20, 2005

WMU, union start contract negotiations "Western Michigan University administration and faculty had their first contract-negotiation session Thursday. The faculty contract, which covers more than 900 people, expires on Sept. 6. 'We would love to have a contract before the expiration of the current contract,' said Ralph Tanner, president of the WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors."
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The Chronicle of Higher Education: Faculty Hiring in Recent Years Has Focused on Part-Timers at For-Profit Colleges, Report Suggests "New faculty jobs in higher education went disproportionately to adjuncts, according to data for 2003 that were released on Wednesday by the U.S. Education Department's statistics arm, and a disproportionate share of the hiring was done by the for-profit sector. The data appeared in a report, 'Staff in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2003, and Salaries of Full-Time Instructional Faculty, 2003-04,' published by the National Center for Education Statistics. The report covers the most recent data available from an annual survey of colleges and universities that participate in the federal student-aid programs, more than 6,500 institutions, although not all of them award degrees."
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Thursday, May 19, 2005

California: UC threatens workers over May 26 strike "Researchers and technical workers at the University of California have called for an unfair labor practices strike on May 26, but UC officials say the strike is illegal and employees who participate could face disciplinary action."
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Columbia Grad Returns His Ph.D. to Protest Animal Cruelty "May 18, 2005 -- On the day before Columbia University’s 251st Commencement on Wed., May 18, Charles Patterson (Ph.D.‘70) returned his doctorate to the Office of President Lee Bollinger in Low Library, Rm. 202, to protest his alma mater's abuse of animals. "
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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

OPSEU: Canada takes labour fight to Mexico while ignoring workers at home "While Federal Labour Minister Joe Fontana is championing the rights of Mexican workers, he is ignoring the similar rights of 17,000 part-time college workers in his home province of Ontario."
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Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal "Professors walked the picket lines with striking CAW members Tuesday, as the Lakehead University Faculty Association called a day of action to show their support."
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Inside Higher Ed :: Early Exit "Yale University is getting rid of a popular anthropology professor, setting off protests from supporters who believe he is losing his job for being an anarchist and for visibly backing graduate student unionization. As the professor considers filing a formal grievance with the university, anthropologists and labor officials nationwide have already organized an online petition signed by 3,000 people."
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Michigan State: GEU settles contract with university officials "After seven months of negotiations, protests and talks of a possible strike, the MSU Graduate Employees Union reached a three-year contract agreement with university officials."
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Contract at UMass "After 14 months of battle, the Graduate Employee Organization, UAW Local 2322 reached a tentative contract agreement with the administration at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst May 10. A ratification vote is scheduled for May 19-20. A heartening and powerful labor-community-student alliance won this stage of the struggle. "
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Inside Higher Ed :: Outsourcing the Faculty "At Delaware State University, already tense relations between professors and the administration may implode over the issue. The American Association of University Professors, the faculty union at the university, has filed a complaint with the state labor board over plans to hire an outside company to offer a master’s degree online. The controversy comes at a time that alumni leaders are also angry over the direction of the university, which some fear is at risk of losing its identity as a historically black institution."
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News :: 27 WKOW-TV - Madison, Wisconsin "27 News has uncovered state records showing that providing cars for UW Chancellors is costing Wisconsin almost twice as much as it costs to put other state workers behind the wheel."
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Dateline Alabama "Students at one of the nation's better-known culinary schools are worried their education and careers could be hurt by the recent layoffs of 23 teaching assistants."
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UCSC faces another strike; tech workers plan walkout "Another union has announced a one-day strike at all UC campuses including UC Santa Cruz, claiming the university has stalled bargaining. The contract with University Professional and Technical Employees, which represents nearly 10,000 workers, expired in September. The union, which includes those who keep the computer systems running, plans to walk out May 26."
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Saturday, May 14, 2005

AAAUnite: David Graeber From an article in Zmag "[Anthropologist] David Graeber, was fired from Yale University a few days ago. Of course, that wasn't the official explanation. The official one reads that "his contract wasn't renewed" because of his lack of "collegiality". If you would allow me to translate this: the "lack of collegiality" that David had showed was when he was trying to defend his graduate students who were graduate union organizers."
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Friday, May 13, 2005

St. Paul Pioneer Press | 05/11/2005 | Teaching assistants file complaint Associated Press "University of Wisconsin-Madison teaching and project assistants have filed an unfair labor practice complaint, asking the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission to rule that state labor negotiators have been avoiding serious bargaining for the last two years."
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Piled Higher and Deeper, a grad scool comic strip
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College strike ends in Puerto Rico - JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM "SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Classes will resume some time this week at Puerto Rico's largest university, after students agreed to end a three-week-old strike to protest a 33 per cent tuition increase."
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The Chronicle: Daily news: 05/13/2005 -- 01 "The Fair Labor Association, an anti-sweatshop group that includes nearly 200 colleges, endorsed the workplace-compliance programs of six major apparel and footwear companies on Thursday, saying their labor practices around the world met the group's standards."
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Saturday, May 07, 2005

3,600 UI staffers take steps to unionize A local union filed a petition Thursday toward unionizing on behalf of about 3,600 University of Iowa professional and scientific employees -- one day after UI staff and faculty leaders pleaded for increased salaries that could help keep staff satisfied.
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President Bush Nominates Dennis P. Walsh to Serve on the NLRB

On April 27, 2005, President Bush nominated Dennis P. Walsh, a Democrat, to fill one of two vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board. He is nominated to serve a term ending December 16, 2009. Walsh served on the NLRB from December 2000 to December 2001 and again from December 2002 to December 2004.
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W&M disciplinary actions rescinded Published May 7, 2005 WILLIAMSBURG -- College of William and Mary President Timothy J. Sullivan apologized Friday and lifted the punishments of two workers disciplined last week for speaking to the press after two recent suicides at the college.
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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.