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IN THE NEWS: "SCC faculty considers strike after 3 years without salary increase" (Seattle Collegian)

A snippet from a recent article from The Seattle Collegian, the student paper at Central:

Strike or not, the funds given to faculty affect everyone, including the student population. “It’s not just about the salary, but our working conditions and student learning conditions, which are one in the same,” says Ribeiro. How we are taught and the environment we get to learn in is directly impacted by the resources given to our teachers, and, according to Stofer, “[instructors] work really hard to put all the pieces in place to make it the best for students… but we need people to know how low pay is affecting [faculty] to even stay here.”

“It’s hard for faculty to inspire students for upward mobility when they, themselves, are having a tough time,” adds Knutson. While faculty have been battling in negotiations with administration for the past three years, Ribeiro reveals who could really make a difference. “But you know who [administration] will listen to? Students.”

Link to the full article: "SCC faculty considers strike after 3 years without salary increase," by Mo Dulitz, Seattle Collegian, Nov 23, 2022

IN THE NEWS: "Seattle Colleges Professors Protest Stagnant Salaries While Inflation Soars" (South Seattle Emerald)

A snippet from the article about the April 24 rally:

On Tuesday, April 24, a group of Seattle Colleges professors protested outside the Broadway Performance Hall before walking to their district headquarters, Siegal Center. Inside, union leaders, who professors say aren’t fully representing their needs, were bargaining. Their salaries for the next three years hung in the balance between the 0% raise professors say was initially offered by Seattle Colleges, the 15% raise the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Seattle Local 1789 is bargaining for, and the 40% raise they say is necessary to keep them afloat during historic national inflation in a city where the cost of living is over 50% above the national average.

Professors and some of their students chanted phrases like “Let us in” and “Work with us, not against us,” “We will win,” and “At the table, not on the menu.” They held up signs to passersby and honking cars reading “0% is not enough,” “Fund Faculty Raises,” “AFT Worker Solidarity,” and “SCD Says Faculty are Worth 0%.” 

Link to the full article: "Seattle Colleges Professors Protest Stagnant Salaries While Inflation Soars," by Ari Robin McKenna, South Seattle Emerald, April 28, 2022

IN THE NEWS: "Catholics, Colleges and Collective Bargaining" (The Spectator)

A snippet from the article:

As the cost of living in Seattle rises, collective bargaining activity amongst university faculty members is heating up across the city. 

On Feb. 7, the AFT 1789, the union representing the faculty of the Seattle Colleges system, held a rally ahead of negotiations for faculty wage increases. 

Annette Stofer, the AFT 1789 district president, underscored the grassroots nature of the rally. 

“A group of members who have been really energetic and well organized are the ones who get to take responsibility for the rally,” Stofer said. 

Link to the full article: "Catholics, Colleges and Collective Bargaining," by Myrea Mora and Andru Zodrow, The Spectator, February 16, 2022 

IN THE NEWS: "Seattle Central College teachers call for higher pay in negotiations with admin" (Real Change)

A snippet from the article: 

The first rounds of negotiations were held behind closed doors, with the rank and file members (RAF) kept in the waiting room. The legality of the practice of closed-door negotiations is ambiguous and not settled case law, Stofer said. First rounds of negotiations are held between the two negotiating parties “[p]er standing practice,” Bonaccorso wrote.

Regardless, the decision to be kept out of the room is not sitting well with many union members.

 “The most successful union actions in the last 5 years have been in open negotiations,” said Dr. Jay McLean-Riggs, a RAF member.

As RAF member Dave Ellenwood put it, “Transparency resonates with everyone unless you have something to hide.”

Link to the full article: "Seattle Central College teachers call for higher pay in negotiations with admin," Real Change, March 30, 2022

IN THE NEWS: "Seattle educators rally for a ‘Thriving Wage’" (Socialist Resurgence)

Thank you to Socialist Resurgence reporter, Steve Leigh, for attending and reporting on AFT 1789's Rally for A Thriving Wage.

A snippet from the article: 

"Beyond this, the workers are demanding a 40% wage increase. As one member put it, “We have faced a total pay cut. Our wages have not kept up with the cost of living.” This demand seems radical to many, but union members said that especially since 2008-9 they have lost that much in real wages. They need this increase just to get back to where they were decades ago. This is an issue nationally. An English teacher noted that in 2019, 25% of part-time college teachers across the country had to rely on public assistance just to get by! After COVID, the situation is likely worse. The cost of living is very high in the Seattle area, which aggravates this problem. One teacher noted, “We can’t afford to live on Capitol Hill!” (where Seattle Central College is located)."

Link to the full article: "Seattle educators rally for a ‘Thriving Wage’," Socialist Resurgence, Feb 8, 2022

Statement on White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville, VA

The torches, Nazi salutes and flags, weapons, and racist words expressed by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend are yet more incidents signaling that institutionalized and individual racism is alive and well in our country. The terrorist act of a young man resulting in the death of Heather Heyer and the injuries of 18 others demands that we finally, fully acknowledge the extreme threat posed by white supremacy. from Karen Strickland, President of AFT Washington, AFL-CIO

Statement by Randi Weingarten on AFT Amicus Brief Filed in Janus Supreme Court Case

On Friday, January 19, AFT filed an Amicus Brief in support of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) that lays out an argument citing the role of collective bargaining in improving public sector workplaces, repudiating plaintiff’s constitutionally flawed warping and weaponizing of the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in February and make a decision by June. [read more]

We Lose, Wealthiest Win in GOP Tax Reform Bill

Statement by Karen Strickland, President 
American Federation of Teachers Washington

December 20, 2017

Today Congress passed a devastating tax plan in which 83 percent of the benefits will go to the top 1% percent by 2027, and where Americans earning less than $75,000 a year will be paying more so tax cuts can go to the wealthiest, big corporations, and foreign investors. 

This is greed pure and simple. President Trump and members of Congress passed a bill that will benefit their coffers at the expense of our communities and working families. This unpopular bill was not supported by the majority of Americans and independent economists’ analyses found the middle-class will be hurt. [cont'd]

Statement on GOP's Higher Ed Reauthorization

Dec. 1, 2017

AFT President Randi Weingarten and United University Professions President Frederick Kowal issued a statement today condemning House Republicans’ plan to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. According to the statement, “This is not how we, as a nation, should reauthorize crucial civil rights legislation. We will fight it tooth and nail, and we will work with responsible members of Congress to design a real bill that puts students first, not unaccountable for-profit corporations.” [read the full statement].

Related article, GOP Begins Rewrite of Federal Aid Law, Insider Higher Education, 11/30/17