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NEWS ARTICLE: "As Strike Looms, UC Lecturers Raise the Stakes"

Here's an article about the the power of open negotiations: "As Strike Looms, UC Lecturers Raise the Stakes" (LaborNotes, 11/1/2021)

The union representing lecturers, UC-AFT, voted 96% in favor of strike authorization this summer, which gives them much needed leverage during an impasse with management. With negotiations with the university system in their final stages, the union's use of open bargaining has been especially inspiring -- nearly 400 members and supporters tuned in!

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Local Candidate Endorsements from AFT 1789 for Nov 2 Election

Election Day is Tues, Nov 2. As you may remember, our union went through an endorsement process before this year's primary elections. Good news! All our endorsed candidates made it through to the general election. We wanted to remind everyone of our endorsements as we get to the final stages of what is looking to be quite a close election. We hope that everyone votes, and that you consider your fellow union members, our students, and our working conditions when you do.

American Federation of Teachers Local 1789, representing faculty of the Seattle College District, is proud to make the following endorsements in this year’s elections:

Lorena Gonzalez for Mayor

Teresa Mosqueda for Seattle City Council Position 8

Nikkita Oliver for Seattle City Council Position 9

We know that these candidates are and will continue to be strong advocates for the needs of our members, our students, our community, and our siblings in organized labor. We look forward to working with them to fight for better working and living conditions in our city.

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New appointment to District Grievance Chair

An update from AFT Seattle 1789 President:

Libby Schoene has been appointed to the District Grievance Chair position. Many thanks to Libby for stepping up and bringing her union experience to the job. Libby will assist the campus grievance chairs and other officers who are contacted by faculty with concerns.  

North and Central are still looking for a grievance chair at last report. If you like the idea of assisting faculty and upholding our contract, this could be the role for you!

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Local Candidate Endorsements from AFT 1789

American Federation of Teachers Local 1789, representing faculty of the Seattle College District, is proud to make the following endorsements in this year’s elections:

Additionally, we are proud to stand with Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant against the campaign to recall her from the council. 

 

We know that these candidates are and will continue to be strong advocates for the needs of our members, our students, our community, and our siblings in organized labor. We look forward to working with them to fight for better working and living conditions in our city.

Amazon fights unionization: NY Times article

"Over two decades, as the internet retailer mushroomed from a virtual bookstore into a $1.5 trillion behemoth, it forcefully — and successfully — resisted employee efforts to organize. Some workers in recent years agitated for change in Staten Island, Chicago, Sacramento and Minnesota, but the impact was negligible."

Bill Hough Jr., the machinist at the Chester warehouse who led the union drive, was fired in 2016.

"Now Amazon faces a union vote at a warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. — the largest and most viable U.S. labor challenge in its history. Nearly 6,000 workers have until March 29 to decide whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. A labor victory could energize workers in other U.S. communities, where Amazon has more than 800 warehouses employing more than 500,000 people.

“'This is happening in the toughest state, with the toughest company, at the toughest moment,' said Janice Fine, a professor of labor studies at Rutgers University. 'If the union can prevail given those three facts, it will send a message that Amazon is organizable everywhere.'

"Even if the union does not prevail, 'the history of unions is always about failing forward,' she said. 'Workers trying, workers losing, workers trying again.'

"The effort in Chester, which The Times reconstructed with documents from regulators and the machinists’ union, as well as interviews with former facilities technicians at the warehouse and union officials, offers one of the fullest pictures of what encourages Amazon workers to open the door to a union — and what techniques the company uses to slam the door and nail it shut."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/technology/amazon-unions-virginia.html

Furlough bill heard in Senate Ways and Means

Jan. 28 — As the state looks to recover from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate Ways and Means Committee took up at its Thursday hearing a bill that would require most state employees to take 24 furlough days during the 2021-23 biennium. SB 5323 would also prohibit state agencies from granting salary and wage increases for exempt and Washington Management Service employees in the biennium. The bill comes at the request of the Office of Financial Management.

Testifying on behalf of the community and technical college system were Dr. Amy Morrison, president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Dr. Ed Brewster, interim president of Grays Harbor College, Dr. Bob Mohrbacher, president of Centralia College, and Glenn Johnson, a trustee for the Community Colleges of Spokane.

“At its core this bill is a pay cut. Just two years ago, this legislature made historic strides making long-overdue investments and operating and capital budget supports for our colleges, including pay increases to ensure that our hard-working employees were competitive with benchmark states,” Morrison said.

She also expressed concern that while the classified and exempt employees can choose their furlough days, faculty are not able to do so. Additionally, she said, faculty in-service days would be used as furlough days, eliminating opportunities for diversity, equity and inclusion professional development work, advising, and developing education best practices.

 

AFT 1789 Supports Protecting Personal Information of Electors

“The Executive Board of AFT Seattle Local1789 wishes to express our support for your efforts to get an exemption from disclosure of personal contact information for your 2020 candidates and campaign
personnel,” Stofer wrote. “We agree wholeheartedly that you have a right to protect the names and addresses of your members from those who may wish to cause harm. We also understand the necessity of upholding freedom of association and the right to privacy in those choices.
“We wish you success in your legal case. That success is important to all of us who might become the target of attacks on personal freedoms. We must defend the voice of awide variety of political opinions. It is intolerable thats ome seek to shut down political participation by threats and intimidation,”she said. 
Members of this AFT local are familiar with what is at issue. They’ve been fighting for years efforts by the notoriously anti-union Freedom Foundation to use the state’s disclosure laws to force college authorities to turn over names, addresses, ages and other personal information of campus employees. They say they want the information to try and get workers to quit the union.

Read the article: http://aftseattle.wa.aft.org/sites/default/files/article_pdf_files/2020-12/teachers_union_supports_swp_disclosure_fight_in_washington_-_the_militant_-_copy.pdf

Seattle Promise couldn’t have come at a better time.

Seattle Promise couldn’t have come at a better time. Despite the hurdles, the program has exceeded its pandemic-era enrollment projections. That’s even as nationally, community colleges saw a 22% dip; statewide, community college enrollment is down 13.5% this year.

This fall, Seattle Promise counted 846 students, including 699 in their first year, and 147 in their second. That represents about one-third of Seattle Public Schools’ class of 2020. And 62% are students of color.

https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/seattles-tuition-free-community-college-program-comes-to-the-rescue-during-the-pandemic/

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