Convention delegate nominee statements

Sarah Praskievicz
This is my third year of being active with the GTFF and, because of scheduling conflicts in the last two years, the first year in which I have had the opportunity to attend the AFT-Oregon convention.  My current position with the union is VP-External Relations, and before that I was co-chair of the Women’s Caucus for nearly two years.  I helped to organize volunteer events with the Women’s Caucus, including our annual Every Home a Safe Home campaign, in which we stand on street corners at rush hour holding banners on which is printed the crisis line number for Womenspace; a Naked Lady Party, where we collected used clothing to donate to women recently released from prison; and an event in which we assembled safe sex kits for the HIV Alliance.  As VP-External Relations, I am continuing to look for opportunities for GTFs to volunteer for local organizations, so that we can raise our profile in the community as we are seen contributing in a positive way.

The other role of VP-External Relations is serving as a liaison between the GTFF and the wider labor movement.  In this capacity, I serve on the steering committee of the Eugene-Springfield Solidarity Network (ESSN), a local chapter of Jobs with Justice, which builds solidarity between unions and faith and community organizations to fight for workers’ rights.  I also represent the GTFF on the Lane County Central Labor Council, and in September I was a delegate to the Oregon AFL-CIO convention.  Despite my experience working with labor community, I have had relatively few interactions with AFT-Oregon.  I hope to attend the AFT-Oregon convention this year so that I can make more contacts within our parent union, and I will represent the interests of the GTFF membership to the best of my ability.

Emma Slager
Fellow GTFF members: I’m eager to represent the GTFF at the AFT-Oregon Convention, and I hope you will consider voting for me. While this is my first year at UO and as a member of the GTFF, I have considerable experience with committee work and convention proceedings from work at other institutions and organizations, and I love Robert’s Rules of Order almost as much as I love the Ducks. I’m eager to become more involved with the GTFF and would very much appreciate your vote.

In solidarity, Emily (Emma) Slager

Steve McAllister
Greetings, fellow GTFs! I’m writing today to ask for your vote as a
delegate to the AFT-Oregon convention this year. This is my fourth year as
a graduate student at the UO, and I have been active in the GTFF that
entire time, ever since I discovered in my first term that, not only was I
IN a union, but that my department had no shop steward! Having spent a
great deal of energy before coming to graduate school involved with
progressive organizing, I did not hesitate for a moment before becoming my
department’s steward, where I served for three years. In that time, I did
a lot of cool things with the Union, but thanks to research requirements
taking me to the field every spring (and, in the interest of full
disclosure, an unsuccessful bid for a delegate seat last year), I’ve not
yet had the privilege of attending the AFT-OR state conference.

I currently serve you as Treasurer of the GTFF. The position has given me
the opportunity to work for the union in several ways, many of which I was
not expecting! Obviously, I manage our budget, making sure that our
programming expenditures stay in line with our income from dues, and that
we are spending money on essential things (like keeping the lights on at
the office) efficiently so we can fund valuable things, like sending our
members to conferences and providing funds for our caucuses to organize,
not to mention the general membership meetings and social events that help
build community within our union. But beyond the bookkeeping end, I sit on
the GTFF Health Care Trust, an organization that has to balance cost
fluctuations, changing regulations, and contentious contract negotiations
(I swear that all that rhyming was an accident!) to provide GTFs with
affordable, high-quality healthcare in a system that is not designed to
make it easy! I also participate in our Political Education Committee, and
serve on this year’s contract bargaining committee, where I am in an
excellent position to evaluate some of the…interesting…statements that
our employers make about the financial situation in the union and
University as a whole.

My position as Treasurer also requires me to interact with the financial
apparatus of AFT-OR, and it’s for this reason that I ask to be sent to the
AFT-OR convention as a delegate. One of the propositions being debated at
this year’s Convention is percap reform. “Percaps” are the dues that the
GTFF pays to our parent unions on our behalf, and contrary to popular
belief about the amount of beer we buy, AFT-OR percaps are actually the
biggest item on our budget, with fully 33% of our dues going up the pipe
right off the top! Historically, AFT’s percap setup has been very
regressive, with locals paying a greater proportion of their members’
salaries, the lower those salaries are. This has been of great concern to
the GTFF in the past, and as Treasurer of one of the lowest-paid AFT
locals in the state, I would like the opportunity to fight for progressive
reform of AFT-OR’s percap structure!

Thank you for your attention, and for allowing me the opportunity for
growth and service as your fellow unionist!

Scott “Charlie” Maguffin
I hope that you will consider voting for me to become a delegate at the upcoming AFT-Oregon Conference. I have recently taken on the responsibilities of Steward for the Department of Geological Sciences and I am looking forward to getting involved in other Union activities. This is a great opportunity for me to learn about Union operations, how to better represent my peers, and contribute to the already excellent coalition of students that are working to better your graduate experience.

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