Thursday, March 30, 2023

Rutgers AAUP-AFT Academic Workers Union- Letter to President

 Open letter from prominent scholars asking Rutgers president Holloway to rescind "the threat to use the power of injunction to punish, fine, & arrest workers taking job actions..." Rutgers AAUP-AFT.

We write to you as scholars of Labor, Social Justice, and the Black Freedom Struggle, who strongly support the right of Rutgers’ graduate workers, staff, EOF counselors, postdocs, adjuncts, lecturers, and tenure-stream faculty to bargain collectively and participate in job actions without facing the draconian power of a court injunction. We know that as an expert in African American history, you have thought deeply about how struggles for racial justice have consistently been aligned with the demands for jobs, labor rights, and democracy in the workplace.

Rutgers has a rich history of groundbreaking scholarship in African American history and literature, Women’s and Gender Studies, Philosophy, and a wide array of fields and departments. The Rutgers AAUP-AFT has been integral to nurturing this vibrant political culture for which Rutgers is known. Across its fifty-three-year history, the union has pioneered inclusive forms of intersectional organizing that bridge differences of race, gender, and national origin across a wide variety of job categories. In 2019, the union won $20 million for diversity hiring and a pay equity process to address structural inequalities.

More recently, the Coalition of Rutgers Unions (CRU) has embraced a wall-to-wall organizing vision that brings together a dozen locals (representing over 15,000 people), ranging from dining-hall workers to adjunct faculty and medical residents. The union coalition has also foregrounded the struggles of undergraduates and their families by demanding a $15-an-hour living wage for student workers, a rent freeze for all Rutgers rental properties and dorms, and debt forgiveness for students and alumni whose degrees are withheld because of outstanding fees and fines.

Given the importance of Rutgers AAUP-AFT and CRU to multiple campus communities , we ask you to rescind your administration’s threat to use the power of injunction to punish, fine, and arrest workers taking job actions. At a time when we are experiencing a full frontal assault on critical histories of the American past, academic freedom, tenure, and the right to organize as public-sector workers, we ask you to work with the campus unions toward a just and fair contract.

Here is the complete letter: Scholars Open Letter to Jonathan Holloway.pdf - Google Drive

The strike wave in higher ed marches forward.

Read latest update from Higher Ed Labor United

In New Jersey, thousands of full-time faculty, part-time faculty, medical faculty, librarians, postdocs, graduate workers, and EOF counselors of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, AAUP-BHSNJ, and Rutgers PTLFC have voted 94% for strike authorization after more than eight months without a contract. 

Excluded by state ruling, Miami University librarians launch own union efforts

Miami University 

In the wake of a recent rejection by a state labor board, Miami University librarians announced they are taking up their own petition campaign to form an employee union.

Earlier this month, Miami’s Faculty Alliance of Miami (FAM) saw the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) rule in its favor to allow the faculty group to include some Miami University employees in an upcoming union authorization vote but not others.

But among the Miami employees designated as not authorized were librarians at the university’s Oxford main campus and regional campuses at Hamilton and Middletown, which total 30 such staffers.

In a recent statement from FAM officials, they publicly endorsed the school librarians’ effort to form a collective bargaining group in its labor relations with Miami.

“FAM organizers originally sought to include all full-time faculty at Miami—including librarians—in their unit. However, the State Employment Relations Board decision excluded the librarians from the unit, in part as they were labeled by the university as staff and not as faculty as they are at most Ohio public universities,” said FAM officials.

“However, the ruling did not preclude them from filing to form their own unit.”

Teaching professors, clinical faculty and lecturers (TCPL) — longer-term contract faculty — were included in the possible new union unit along with tenured and tenure-track faculty, alliance officials said previously.

Also excluded by the state labor ruling were instructors, visiting assistant professors and those in hybrid faculty-staff positions.

The pro-union effort, which has been seeking to unionize the school’s faculty since spring 2020, at the time described the state’s early March ruling as a “mixed bag” and said they were disappointed about the Miami employees who are not allowed to vote on or join any newly formed union as sought by FAM.

But Miami University officials have previously said the ruling was not a positive for the school, which is Butler County’s largest employer with workers at both the main and regional campuses and a Learning Center in West Chester Twp.

On Friday, when asked about the school librarians’ efforts, Miami officials said they are aware of the move and will officially respond to state labor officials within the allowed 21-day timeframe.

“Our librarians play a critical part in furthering our university mission and delivering academic excellence to our students,” said school officials.

“While the Miami University administration does not believe unionization is the best path forward, we respect the right of our librarians to unionize. This decision rests solely in their hands. The university will continue to support and work openly with librarians on all campuses and ensure that they are informed of next steps on this and all university matters.”

Ken Irwin, a Miami University web services librarian, favors a union.

“We stand in solidarity with the classroom faculty — we are ready to win our own bargaining unit as part of the FAM family,” said Irwin.

Miami Science Librarian Ginny Boehme is confident that Miami librarians have the support they need to win their election when the time comes: “When we filed our original petition to bring our voices together with FAM, we meant it, and we have the full, enthusiastic support of our colleagues.”

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Academic Workers at Rutgers University in New Jersey Are Poised to Strike

 Unions representing grad workers, postdocs, and faculty at Rutgers University have been without a contract for almost nine months; earlier in March, they voted by 94% to authorize a strike.

the three core demands that the Rutgers adjunct union is making are for equal pay for equal work with our full-time nontenure-track teaching faculty colleagues, for longer-term appointments and work guarantees within those appointments — job security — and for subsidized health care, either in the form of participation in the state health benefits program, or through participation in the plan that’s offered to grad fellows at the university.

Academic Workers at Rutgers University in New Jersey Are Poised to Strike (

Thursday, March 23, 2023

“If They Strike, We Won’t Cross the Picket Line”: LA Teachers And Service Workers Unite


“If They Strike, We Won’t Cross the Picket Line”: LA Teachers And Service Workers Unite

In These Times

Several thousand showed out for the rally which was organized by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the tenacious union representing 90% of the city’s public schools teachers, and SEIU Local 99, which represents more than 30,000 cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, special education assistants and other service workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Both unions are negotiating new contracts with LAUSD. Over the last 10 months, UTLA has had more than 25 bargaining sessions with district officials, while Local 99 has been negotiating since April 2022, according to Blanca Gallegos, the union’s Communications Director. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Peoria citizens are behind library employees’ informational picket


Employees of the Peoria Public Library held a demonstration outside of the Main Library Branch of N.E. Monroe St. on Tuesday evening.(3/21/2023).

Leaders of the demonstration hope that the public will be informed of the current ongoing negotiations between employees and management regarding pay raises.

Karla Wilkinson is a programming librarian and union steward representing the AFSCME Local 3464. She hopes a public forum will encourage library board members to take action.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Statewide teachers union-Florida Education Association: Teachers, Librarians, Parents Challenge Censorship Agenda

 The Florida Education Association, the Florida Freedom to Read Project and Families for Strong Public Schools (“petitioners”) filed a petition

 Thursday, March 16, challenging the DeSantis administration’s actions that shutter classroom libraries and undermine public education. On behalf of teachers, librarians, students and families, the petitioners are seeking an order holding the rules unlawful and directing the Florida Department of Education (“FLDOE”) to halt enforcement of these rules and to notify Florida schools that the rules exceed the FLDOE’s authority and will not be enforced. The petitioners’ challenge seeks to alleviate the burden on teachers and library staff, mitigate the harm on students and parents, and enable the reopening of classroom libraries across the state....

more coverage: 

Statewide teachers union, other groups file lawsuit challenging Florida’s library book rules

FEA calls the provisions “costly and burdensome,” request a stay on state enforcement

'Shelves have been left barren': Florida teachers sue DeSantis' government over school library regulations.