Thursday, June 24, 2010

FaDU summer reading!

Dear FaDU Friends and Supporters--
Over the summer, FaDU is having an open reading group on the university, race, and labor. We are very excited about these readings, and would like to invite anyone to come and participate in the discussions! The first meeting will be next Tuesday at 4 PM at Allegro Cafe. This is our planned time, but if people who really want to come cannot make it there's a possibility for change. We hope to see you there, and please e-mail FaDU if you have any questions! Feel free to invite any interested friends.

Act I: critiques of the university
June 29: "Like Being Mugged by a Metaphor," a feminist/woman of color critique of university (e-mail if you need this)
July 6: another university critique? (still working on this one!!)

Act II: effective organizations for movement building
July 13: The Tyranny of Structurelessness (along with a summary of it, perhaps?)
July 20: two chapters from Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement

Act III: workplace organizing
July 27: Don Hamerquist Workplace Papers
August 3: Punching Out - Martin Glaberman
August 10: Soldiers of Solidarity:,8599,1967324,00.html

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Members of FaDU Vote No on "Temporary Agreement"

As of June 1st, after at least 4 extensions, there has been a "temporary" 1 year agreement with management. Members of UAW 4121 have yet to see this agreement. Members of FaDU, as well as many other rank and file ASE's have decided to vote NO on this temporary agreement. See statement by FaDU below and distribute widely!
Members of the rank and file labor organization, For a Democratic University, vote NO on the proposed contract between our union, UAW 4121, and University of Washington. We vote no because:
- We feel this contract does not reflect the desires of members
- No substantial gains have been made, especially in terms of childcare
- This contract contains no wage increases or protections against fee increases
- A weak contract will set a precedent that will weaken the positions of other campus workers
- We feel contract negotiations lacked democracy and transparency
- We have not been given adequate time to read, analyze, and debate the proposed settlement
- A one-year contract gives UW a year to prepare to weaken our contract next year, when the state of funding for public education may be even worse

While we acknowledge the intensive work put forth by the bargaining team, we feel an important opportunity has been lost that reflects the state of labor at large in the United States. These contract negotiations show the inherent problems in business unionism, and the belief that change happens behind closed doors. Furthermore, we disagree with belief of the bargaining team that the power of the strike lies in the threat. FADU believes the power of a strike lies in an actual work stoppage.

On March 4th and May 3rd, the university was scared not just because Academic Student Employees took action, but because of cross-workplace organizing with custodians, construction workers, and trades workers. Our biggest (and only) gains came in the days before the contract was over, and were likely due in no small part to the mobilization of workers across campus. FADU believes we lost a great opportunity when UAW leadership decided not to strike on May 3 because the contract extensions marked the end of progress (as far as we can tell without direct access to meetings) in negotiations.

FADU does not take issue with individual members of the bargaining team but rather with the structure of top-down unions that can be undemocratic and tend to serve the interests of management more than workers. However, we do have critiques of the ways in which the bargaining team has acted during these negotiations, in particular not offering open meetings or full disclosure of bargaining sessions, and the series of unsupported ultimatums offered to the university. We demand access for rank-and-file to union resources. We will continue to fight for a democratic union and a democratic university. We will continue to build rank-and-file power to mobilize for a strong contract in the coming year.

In Solidarity,
For a Democratic University