First, I want to say thank you for the great year that the GTFF has had, and how proud I am to have served as your President. It is thanks to you, the members that make this union possible, that we reached 80% membership this year!
Not only have we reached our highest membership number in years through organizing but we also won a number of grievances, including new office space for the Environmental Studies GEs who were crowded in more than two GEs per desk and lacked private meeting spaces; back-pay for GEs paid at the wrong level; and reimbursement for an international GE charged for the student insurance plan, among many other wins, big and small. These are wins for all of us, and it was the hard work of you the member, your department stewards, and the officers that made this all possible. We want you to come help us celebrate these wins at our End of Year Party on Saturday, June 9 from 12-3pm at Alton Baker Park; bring your family, your partners, and your friends to come eat free food and play games in the park!
While our year at GTFF has been nothing short of phenomenal, the national labor movement is under a well-funded, coordinated attack including through the Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSME. The case is part of a coordinated, well-financed assault on public sectors unions, like the GTFF, designed to strip unions of the right to collect “fair-share” dues. Legal precedent endorses unions’ right to collect these dues in order to avoid the “free rider” problem, but the anti-union forces bankrolling the case, and their allies on the Court, are primed to overturn this long standing precedent. A ruling against AFSCME means that the GTFF immediately loses the income we currently receive from the 20% of non-members through fair-share dues. Despite this, our union remains legally obligated to represent and support these non-members through the Collective Bargaining Agreement even though non-members contribute nothing towards the cost of representation.
To support our union and our members we are making preparations for the Janus decision. You should have already received a flier from your steward about what you can do to keep your union strong. Please take a moment to sign and post your “count me in” card and take a “count me in” picture. We are making solidarity posters filled with the pictures of our members who are showing that no matter what happens with the Janus case they are proud to be a union member and are sticking with GTFF!
We will keep you informed of the decision, and you’ll receive an “emergency call to action” email on the day that the decision is announced. The next day we plan to rally together with our UO union cousins, SEIU (the classified staff union) and United Academics (the faculty union), to show our solidarity, and support of workers across campus!
Please let me know if you have any questions! And I hope to see you all out at our end of year party!