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🗣️ Call for AFT Negotiations Team RESEARCHERS and NOTETAKERS

AFT Seattle is forming our negotiations team, and we’re asking union members to apply for the roles of RESEARCHER and NOTETAKER! 

These roles are part of our union’s new negotiations team structure, which we’ve developed in line with our HIGH POWER, HIGH PARTICIPATION approach to collective bargaining. Our goal with this approach is to empower the experience and expertise of faculty as frontline academic workers at our colleges and to involve faculty in negotiations at ALL stages of the process: 

  • Stage 1: Identifying the issues via majority participation in our negotiations survey

  • Stage 2: Preparing our demands via our Contract Issues Teams (CITs) 

  • Stage 3: Meeting administration/management at the table with a new negotiations team structure and inviting all faculty to joint sessions as observers  

  • Stage 4: Engaging stakeholders (e.g. students, trustees) as necessary to win our demands via our Contract Action Team (CAT) 

Negotiations Team Structure 

Our new negotiations team consists of six positions: 

  • Negotiations leads: two positions at the bargaining table, filled by AFT Seattle’s Negotiations Co-Chairs 

  • Researcher: one position at the bargaining table, filled by two AFT Seattle members who can rotate in and out as needed 

  • Notetaker: one position at the bargaining table, filled by two AFT Seattle members who can rotate in and out as needed 

  • Contract Issues Team (CIT) members: two positions at the bargaining table, filled by AFT Seattle members involved with our union’s various Contract Issues Teams, depending on the issue that’s on the agenda at a given negotiations session 

We Need Your Skills to Help Faculty WIN A STRONG CONTRACT! 

Our union is looking for TWO AFT Seattle members who want to work as researchers and TWO members who want to work as notetakers during upcoming joint negotiations sessions with the District. Although only one researcher and one notetaker at a time will participate at the table, we want the workload to be manageable for individual faculty. Having two researchers and two notetakers on hand will allow individuals to tap in and out of these roles both within a single joint session, especially if it’s long, as well as over the duration of contract negotiations, which could extend for months. 

Position Details

  • Researcher 

    The researcher is our fact-checker and quick retriever of information who will help faculty’s case at the table. The researcher’s tasks include providing real-time support to AFT negotiations leads and Contract Issues Team members as they advance faculty’s demands; and double-checking facts and figures that administration presents at the table. 

  • Notetaker 

    The notetaker is our in-house journalist with a seat at the table. The notetaker’s primary task is to keep a written record of what was said at the table by both our union and administration, with an eye toward making the proceedings accessible to faculty. Because the notetaker occupies a position on our negotiations team, they can interrupt joint sessions to ask for clarification, especially on points that are relevant to faculty, who will be observing joint sessions synchronously as well as receiving an update about them from our union (in large part based on the notetaker’s record) within 24 hours of the end of each session.    


We’ll need researchers and notetakers to be available during joint sessions, which our union is trying to schedule with SCD to take place via Zoom on Fridays, so more faculty are able to observe. Sessions will begin in early to mid-March and our goal is to schedule them to occur weekly, for two hours, with an eye toward wrapping up by the end of Spring quarter. 


Our union will pay notetakers and researchers our hourly stipend rate for the time they spend preparing for and participating in joint sessions. We anticipate a time commitment of 5 hours per week once formal negotiations with SCD begin. Some of this time will be spent preparing with other members of the negotiations team and some of it will be spent at joint negotiations sessions.


Please fill out this form to express your interest in either or both positions:


Email AFT Seattle Negotiations Co-Chairs, Dave Ellenwood and Cristóbal Borges, at

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