Sunday, April 15, 2018

HOW THE WEST VIRGINIA TEACHER STRIKE WAS WON

Here is a link to a  transcribed talk by a West Virginia teacher who was one of several speakers at the Red & Black Party sponsored by the Labor Sector of Black Rose/Rosa Negra and which was held on April 7th at the 2018 Labor Notes Conference in Chicago.

I think West Virginia is the beating heart of where this new struggle is going to continue and now we’re seeing it happen in Oklahoma, we’re seeing it happen in Kentucky, we’re gonna see it happen in Arizona. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

California Federation of Teachers Convention (CFT) votes to adopt Resolution: “Support academic status of UC Librarians.”

CFT Resolution adopted: “Support academic status of UC Librarians”

Good news!  At the California Federation of Teachers Convention on 3/25/18, CFT voted to adopt Resolution 9: “Support academic status of UC Librarians.”  UC-AFT members in attendance caucused to decide our top three priority resolutions for which we would cast our votes in the Higher Education resolutions committee, and Resolution 9 was in our top 3.  On 3/23/18, we made a strong enough case to persuade the Higher Education committee–mainly composed of Community College faculty–to likewise include the UC Librarians’ resolution within its top 3 (of 15) resolutions to move forward to the general convention floor on 3/25.   Following a moving speech by Miki Goral, the convention delegates voted unanimously to adopt the resolution. Go librarians!
This victory should strengthen our negotiating team’s arguments–centered on academic status and freedom–on April 17 in Berkeley.  The resolution follows.
Solidarity,
Roxi Power
VP for Organizing, UC-AFT

Support academic status of UC Librarians
Submitted by University Council of the American Federation of Teachers
Whereas it is the policy of the State of California to encourage the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, and learning through the free exchange of ideas among the faculty, students, and staff of the University of California; and
Whereas the Legislature recognizes that joint decision-making and consultation between administration and faculty or academic employees is the long-accepted manner of governing institutions of higher learning and is essential to the performance of the educational missions of these institutions, and declares that it is the purpose of state law to both preserve and encourage that process, including the stipulation of peer review of appointment, promotion, retention, and tenure for academic employees shall be preserved; and
Whereas California’s public higher education system (University of California, California State University, and community colleges) recognizes librarians as academic appointees and faculty, with all the rights accorded by the people of the State of California regarding academic freedom and peer review; and
Whereas the University of California is increasingly transferring the work of its librarians to workers who have neither collective bargaining rights, nor academic freedom, nor the right to advance via peer review; and
Whereas the University of California fails to respect the right accorded to its librarians by the people of the State of California to advance in accordance with the principles and traditions of academic peer review; and
Whereas the University of California fails to honor the academic freedom accorded to its librarians by the people of the State of California;
Therefore be it resolved that the University of California ensure that the duties assigned to its Libraries in advancing its tripartite mission be performed by librarians who possess the academic freedom required to better fulfill this mission; and
Be it further resolved that the University of California honor and respect the right accorded to its academic librarians by the people of the State of California to advance in accordance with the principles and traditions of academic peer review; and
Be it finally resolved that the University of California honor and respect the academic freedom accorded to its academic librarians by the people of the State of California.

Emily Drabinski shares concrete strategies for organizing

Emily Drabinski was on the front lines of an organizing effort for a fair labor contract at LIU Brooklyn. When negotiations broke down between the union and the University, faculty and staff were locked out of their jobs. Drabinski will share concrete strategies for building power, developing and maintaining lists, assessing allies, and holding organizing conversations in a free TPL Webinar “An Organizer’s Tale: LIU Brooklyn’s Lockout and Union Contract Negotiation” on Wednesday, April 11 2018 at 1pm Central.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Iowa Labor Collection and Iowa Labor History Oral Project, State Historical Society of Iowa was unanimously selected as the 2018 winner of the John Sessions Memorial Award.



The Iowa Labor Collection and Iowa Labor History Oral Project, State Historical Society of Iowa was unanimously selected as the 2018 winner of the John Sessions Memorial Award.

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CHICAGO-The Iowa Labor Collection and Iowa Labor History Oral Project, State Historical Society of Iowa was unanimously selected as the 2018 winner of the John Sessions Memorial Award.
The Iowa Labor Collection, housed in the Special Collections department of the State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI) in Iowa City, currently consists of more than 1,200 oral history interviews collected via the Iowa Labor History Oral Project (ILHOP) and 1,500 linear feet of labor documents, images, and artifacts. The carefully stewarded collection has spawned several public history displays, served as the basis for scores of scholarly articles, dissertations, and monographs, and sustained a high level of engagement in labor history among Iowa labor leaders across multiple generations.
Shortly after the Iowa Labor History Oral Project (ILHOP) was initiated in 1974 by the Iowa Federation of Labor (IFL), the project forged a lasting partnership with the State Historical Society of Iowa. Through the late 1970s and 1980s, the IFL funded the collection of professionally conducted oral history interviews and worked with SHSI Collections Coordinator Mary Bennett to ensure preservation of materials recovered by the project which, taken together, now form the Iowa Labor Collection. Over decades, Bennett has facilitated accessions of union-donated materials to create a now extensive archive of labor union records, newsletters, newspapers, and other printed material to complement the oral history interviews.
In the late 1990s, Bennett coordinated SHSI’s work with the labor movement to secure federal funding to process, catalog, and index the oral history interviews—making it possible to identify individual interviews by name, union, town, employer, industry, race, or gender, and to search the collection for references to important themes, subjects, and important historical events. The resulting collection covers all industrial cities in the state and many smaller communities, particularly near coal mining regions. Most recently, Bennett assisted in curating interviews and artifacts from the collection for “Speaking of Work,” a 2017 exhibit that reached over 35,000 visitors while featured in the University of Iowa’s Mobile Museum.
The Iowa Labor Collection is widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive labor history collections in the world, and ILHOP is one of the only large-scale oral history projects initiated and funded by labor unions themselves. ILHOP and the Iowa Labor Collection represent an enduring partnership between Iowa labor unions and the State Historical Society. While the Iowa Federation of Labor remains the project’s primary institutional partner, dozens of individual unions maintain close relationships to ILHOP and the Labor Collection. The resulting archives have garnered international recognition as a unique example of successful long-term collaboration among librarians, academics, and the labor community.
The John Sessions Memorial Award, sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, consists of a plaque and recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States.

Monday, March 19, 2018

UC-AFT, a union representing lecturers and librarians on the UC Davis campus, held a rally on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

UC-AFT, a union representing lecturers and librarians on the UC Davis campus, held a rally on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Tabling in front of the Silo and Sproul Hall, union members were eager to talk to passersby about their concern regarding the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME. In this case, Illinois public employee Mark Janus is arguing that his requirement to pay fair share fees to his union —  although he is not a member — is a violation of his free speech. Fair share fees are dues that workers who are not members of a union pay to the union that represents them. Arguments for this case were heard by the Supreme Court the Monday before the rally took place.
“This rally is called WeRise and what we’re doing is getting all of our union members together and aware of this Supreme Court case that is happening right now, which is called Janus v. AFSCME, which basically is being viewed as sort of an attack on all public unions around the country,” said Katie Rodger, a lecturer in the University Writing Program. “All of us could be affected by this Supreme Court case. Today is an information campaign and also a launch of what we are calling a recommitment effort, where we are going to ask our existing members to recommit to staying strong and part of our union.”

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Graduate Employees Organization-U. of Illinois-Strike 2-26-2018

University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign-
Teaching assistants and graduate assistants with the Graduate Employees Organization plan to begin a work stoppage on Feb 26 unless they reach an agreement with the administration. They have worked without a contract for over 190 days, seeking terms that include guaranteed raises, better healthcare coverage, reduced academic fees and contractual protections that would continue to guarantee their full tuition waivers.
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Grosse Pointe Librarians Ratify New Contract

After hammering out a few details after the library board meeting on Feb. 5, the board and Grosse Pointe's librarians and support staff ratified a new contract. Library union president John Clexton says more negotiations are in store. "The contract is good until December 31, 2018. Although short, we hope to begin soon to work on working on negotiations for when that expires," he said.