Thursday, October 19, 2017

University of Chicago Graduate Students Vote to Unionize


The University is one of a dozen schools to host graduate student unionization votes since an NLRB decision August before last reopened the possibility. Several of these universities have continued legal challenges and refused to bargain after successful union votes. The University had filed to block this week’s vote, in part because a new Trump-era majority on the NLRB might again move to block graduate student unionization.
Graduate Students United tweeted, “We have a union. And we have a room full of joyously crying @UChicago grad workers. #YESGSU”
The Maroon spoke to graduate students at the polls Tuesday and Wednesday.
A pro-unionization graduate student described how she viewed the stakes: “A lot of us are living in almost poverty conditions; we’re really overworked, the school’s not very supportive—it’s been great to have this group of grad students coming together.”
The administration argued for months that a union would not be in the best interests of graduate students. An e-mailfrom Executive Vice Provost David Nirenberg on Sunday cautioned that unionization would introduce a “third party” that could interfere with graduate students’ relationships with the University.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fact-finder report acceptable to union, but not management

Pennsylvania State Education Association members in the Deer Lake School District in western Pennsylvania voted to accept the terms of a fact-finding report issued in response to failed contract negotiations.  The school board, however, rejects the terms.

News report:

PDF of fact-finder report:$4eyZFXMofVipbazYFvYJtLALTVU4xRnIdl0TQd75FFq0wwMGY0lFLj3Tq2CntTQg573rVzOhfe3dIuoe$SE7JovEZhFAnhYfMRaAg--&CONTENTTYPE=application/pdf&CONTENTDISPOSITION=vnd-DeerLakesreport-101417.pdf

Faculty union demands refused in Ontario -- possible strike

Management has put forward its final offer in negotiations with the union representing faculty in 24 Ontario colleges.  The union charges management with "misinformation" and "double-speak" in their communications with the college community and public.

From the union:

From management:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Union Subcommittee of Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers

Union Subcommittee

Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers.
  • To investigate the extent of the presence and role of unions among library workers.
  • To report findings to the ALA-APA Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers.
  • To work towards the initiation of a relationship and dialogue among ALA, ALA/APA, and national unions representing library workers, in order to improve their salaries, working conditions and status.
  • To encourage ongoing research and publishing on unionization in libraries.
  • To develop union support and advocacy materials for the Better Salaries Task Force Tool Kit.
  • To be the permanent interest group within ALA/APA that would serve as a resource for both active and developing unions of library workers.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Advocating for Better Salaries Toolkit-Updated.

Members of the APA Salaries and Status of Library Workers (SSLW) Committee have updated the 6th Edition of the Advocating for Better Salaries Toolkit. The Toolkit was originally developed by ALA’s 2002–2003 President Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman’s Better Salaries and Pay Equity for Library Workers Task Force as part of the Campaign for America’s Libraries.
The toolkit is designed to provide library workers with the resources and strategies they need to improve their salaries. Over the years, the toolkit has been updated to reflect the economic concerns of library workers with sections for guidance on incorporating compensation issues into library advocacy campaigns, negotiations in a saturated labor market and the importance of recruiting, retaining and rewarding a quality library workforce.  For the readers’ convenience, the toolkit is divided into four parts: Building Your Case for Better Salaries; Pay Equity; Unions; and Speaking Out. This material is helpful for librarians, administrators, and support staff.
APA is grateful for the many previous members of SSLW who have updated this bibliography since the first version was created.  A special thank you goes to: Amy Bartholomew, Jennifer Dorning, Julia Eisenstein and Shannon Farrell for their efforts in updating the 6th Edition of the publication.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Working Class in the Library-R. Schroeder

Schroeder, R. (2017). Working Class in the Library. OLA Quarterly, 23(2), 14-18.

Working Class in the Library.


Portland State University is an urban, access university. This means that students don’t face nearly as many academic barriers, such as entrance exams, in order to attend PSU as opposed to other colleges. Nevertheless, students do encounter many hidden barriers that affect their chances of getting into, staying at, and graduating from PSU—barriers associated with race, gender, citizenship, abilities, and the topic of this article—socioeconomic status. We need to acknowledge that all of these characteristics intersect and play out differently, so it’s hard to look at just one of these characteristics at a time. “Working class” isn’t the same experience for students who identify as black or queer or immigrant or differently abled. By pulling on the thread of socioeconomic status, we can begin to unravel how many of these other characteristics weave together to form the warp and weft of students’ experiences in college. We have to start somewhere, and starting where you are is just as good as anywhere else—but while keeping in mind that we have no way of knowing where our journey might take us. For example, I am from a working class background, but I started off from a much more privileged place because of my race—white— and my gender—male—than many other working class students. But urban access universities that have lower barriers to admission, like PSU and the ones I attended back in Michigan, do seem to be a magnet for working class students. When working with all students in the library, but with working class students in particular, it is incumbent on us to understand, and perhaps even use in our own practice, critical theories and critical methods.

St. Paul Federation of Teachers -- Corporations & Tax Breaks

The St. Paul Federation of Teachers is gearing up for contract negotiations, and one item they want on the table is to have management collaborate with the union in doing something to address the fact that area corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes.

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