Fall 2018 Week 8 Newsletter

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GTFF 3544 Newsletter

Upcoming Events ~ News

Current Membership Level: 79%

Upcoming Events

Keep an eye out for events through email, on our Facebook page, and on our calendar!
  • Contract Action Team (CAT) Meeting
    Join us at the third CAT meeting of the year! We'll be learning about the bargaining timeline and methods of communication and direct action surrounding our proposals. Please
    RSVP, even if you are unable to attend. All are invited!
    - Date: Thursday, 11/15 (Week 8)
    - Time: 5:30pm
    - Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)

    Contacts: Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net) and Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@gtff.net)
  • Disability Access Caucus Meeting
    We will be catching up on the status of disability access bargaining proposals and discussing how to grow the caucus. The meeting is open to everyone, and GEs with disabilities are welcome to send a friend or advocate if they are unable to attend themselves. Accommodation needs, questions, and concerns can be directed to disabilityaccessgtff@gmail.com.
    - Date: Friday, 11/16 (Week 8)
    - Time: 5:00pm - 6:30pm
    - Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    - Contact: Emily Sutton (disabilityaccessgtff@gmail.com
  • Bargaining Committee Meetings
    This is the group who will sit at the table with the University and write contract proposals over the next year.
    Days: Mondays
    Time: 5:30pm
    Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    Contact: Mike Magee (president@gtff.edu
  • Office Closed
    Our awesome staff members are taking some time off to spend with their families during this holiday season. Let's give thanks for all the great work they do!
    - Dates: Wednesday, 11/21 - Friday, 11/23 (Week 9)

  • Family GE Meeting
    Come meet other GEs with families, and discuss issues and future events!
    - Date: Tuesday, 11/27 (Week 10)
    - Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    - Location: Dean's Conference Room (141 Susan Campbell)
    - Contact: Kris Wright (familyge@uoregon.edu

  • E-Council Meeting
    All Stewards, Caucus Chairs, and other union leaders are invited to the last Executive Council (E-Council) Meeting of Fall Term. Snacks and drinks provided. 
    Date: Thursday, 11/28 (Week 10)
    - Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    - Location: GTFF Office 
    (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    - Contact: Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net)
    Does your department not have a
    Steward? Are you interested in becoming a union leader? Contact Nikki Cox and come to this meeting!


Since Last Time

Union Members have participated in the following events since the last newsletter:
  • E-Council Meeting
    We heard from Stewards and Caucus Chairs about updates in their areas. Stewards also received training on using the Knack database and prepared for the organizing blitz that occurred during Week 7. Thanks to everyone who helped with the blitz! We got to talk to a lot of members and hear about their successes and struggles!
  • Mathematics GE Happy Hour
    GEs in the Math Department enjoyed some fellowship at Falling Sky.

  • Disability Access Caucus Meeting
    The DA Caucus discussed methods by which they could support the Bargaining Committee's efforts to include 

  • Environmental Justice Caucus
    The EJ Caucus has been busy! They co-sponsored a talk by Vivien Sansour (founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Project), volunteered at the Churchill Community Garden, and planned collaborations with CAER and Beyond Toxics. Keep an eye out for more!
  • Organizing Committee Meeting
    Members of the Organizing Committee planned the upcoming CAT meeting, discussed organization of the union, and broke down plans for the forthcoming Communications Committee!
  • First Bargaining Session & 40th Anniversary
    So much happened this weekend! See below!

Member Organizer Institute

We are looking for members who are interested in using this development opportunity as a way to jump-start or deepen a long-term involvement with our local. Does that sound like you? Consider applying for the Member Organizer Position for this Winter!

AFT-Oregon’s Member Organizer Institute (MOI) is a training and development opportunity for emerging leaders who are ready to take their union organizing skills to the next level and build our local for the future. MOI is a 3-month intensive paid training program that teaches organizing skills through real-world experience in concert with staff and local leaders.

This program capitalizes on one of our most valuable resources--our members--to help build union power and activism. The goal of the institute is to train union members to build power, grow our membership, engage current members in our union and ensure the long-term sustainability of our local by having members trained to continue their organizing work and help develop other members after participating in the institute.


"Participating in AFT’s MOI was extremely rewarding and politically invigorating experience. I loved the opportunity to get to know other departments on campus and hear the ways in which GE across the UO handle the stress and challenges of our everyday lives. It also gave me the chance to meet new people and get to know the inner workings of our union a little bit better. Overall, it made me a better union member because now I know how to navigate the potential difficulties of organizing conversations and I can connect with members and nonmembers in a more genuine and personal way." 
- Rhiannon Lindgren, Fall 2018 Member Organizer

Program highlights include

  • A two-day organizing training with other member organizing institute/ academy participants
  • Real-world field experience under guidance from professional organizing staff
  • Regular team meetings with other MOI participants to compare and learn
  • Establishing and building organizing practices for our local


Admittance into the institute is competitive and will be based on an application and interview. Send your applications and questions to Jessica Foster (jfoster@aft.org). The application deadline is November 26, 2018, but it is recommended that you submit your application ASAP to be considered for the program.

More details about the program and the application can be found here.

Bargaining Updates
The first official bargaining session of this cycle was held on Friday, 11/9. About 100 GTFF members, alumni, and allies packed the room to support our Bargaining Committee as they gave an extensive presentation to the university on the proposals they have developed over the past months. 

Some Highlights of our Proposals: 
  • Summer funding for all GEs
  • 9.5% raises every year for three years
  • Improved childcare
  • 12 weeks of paid parental leave
  • Deferred rent at UO housing until you receive your first paycheck
  • Anti-ICE provisions
  • Stronger protections against discrimination and harassment
  • International GE travel support
  • Anti-workplace bullying article
  • Better training and professional development services
  • Many more!

The bargaining session was live streamed for those who could not be physically present, and we plan for  future sessions to also be streamed. We're still working on bugs in the system, so keep an eye out for the platform we decide to use. If you would like to asist with streaming, note-taking, live Tweeting, or photographing during future bargaining sessions, attend an upcoming CAT meeting and/or contact Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@gtff.net).

After the bargaining session, we joined with more allies and alumni at a rally in front of Johnson Hall. More than 75 people gathered to hear from Bill Ratteree (Chief Negotiator of the original contract); Mike Magee (current GTFF President); Paul Prew (past GTFF President); Michael Marchman (Staff Organizer); Michelle Dreiling and Larissa Petrucci (current Bargaining Team Members); members of sister union SEIU; Jane McAlevey (keynote speaker of the 40th Anniversary Celebrations); and more. Members were invigorated, alumni were proud, and passersby were educated about the union and the current bargaining cycle. The local press even came out! Check out the coverage in the Daily Emerald

Informed by the Membership and designed by the Bargaining Committee and the Contract Action Team, the proposed Bargaining Platform is

We R.A.I.S.E. each other up!

  • Recognition and Development
  • Accountability, Transparency, and Participation
  • International Student Advocacy
  • Safety, Equity, and Inclusivity
  • Economically Fair and Dignified Standard of Living

For more information on the bargaining platform, proposals, and Bargaining Committee, visit 

40th Anniversary Celebrations

Last weekend marked the GTFF's 40th year of fighting for GEs at the UofO. We were honored to host former GTFF members and allies from throughout its long history and hear about how GTFF--and the greater labor movement--have evolved.

If you were unable to attend, we will be posting videos of the panel discussions and banquet speakers soon!

Founding Members and Alumni from the 1970s: Bill Ratteree, Jerry Lembcke, Olivia Clark, Harry Humphries, Steve Johnson, Jeff Edmundson, and Bob Ginsburg

Past and Present Presidents: Jerry Lembcke, Allan Moore, Paul Prew, Chris Goff, Shawna Meechan, Jessica Neafie, Mike Magee, David Cecil, and Libby Schoene

Past and Present Staff Organizers: Amber Cooper with her child Taz, David Cecil, Michael Marchman, and Jon Silvermoon

Thanks to everyone who helped make this weekend possible! We look forward to another 40 years of union power and solidarity!

Solidarity Forever!

Involvement Opportunities

  • AFT-OR Co-Op Housing Workgroup
    At last year's convention, a resolution was passed by AFT-OR (one of our parent unions, the Oregon chapter of the American Federation of Teachers) to provide seed money for members to create housing co-ops. AFT-OR is looking for members to join a working group to implement this resolution -- especially those who have experience with co-ops. The full text of the resolution can be found here.
    Contact: Devin Hunter (president@hcu4671.org).
  • Office Cleaning
    Volunteers are always welcome to help keep our office and meeting space clean. Due to increased activity among our members, the office could use more cleaning than usual! Possible tasks include organizing, dusting, mopping, and dropping off cans and bottles at a nearby bottle drop. If you are interested, stop by during office hours and let someone know you'd like to help!

  • Shirley J. Gold Scholarship
    The Shirley J. Gold Scholarship of $1,500, awarded to an AFT-Oregon member who is pursuing higher education at an accredited higher education institution.
  • Carl J. Megel Scholarship
    The Carl J. Megel Scholarship of $1,500 will be awarded to an AFT-Oregon member’s child or grandchild who is graduating from high school and is enrolling in an accredited higher education institution.
  • Albert F. Shanker Scholarship
    The Albert F. Shanker Scholarship of $1,500, awarded to an AFT-Oregon member’s child or grandchild who is already attending an accredited higher education institution. 
  • Deirdre Mackey and Grace Misztal Scholarships
    Two $1,500 Scholarships for Post-Secondary Education. One awarded to members and the other available to a member’s dependent who are members of a marginalized community and/or demonstrate that their studies will work to advance the cause of social justice and the ending of discrimination. Click here to read more about Deirdre and Grace.
  • John Connor Memorial Award
    This award recognizes an individual member who exhibits the selfless, spirited enthusiasm and devotion to causes of the union which serve as an inspiration to fellow activists. These qualities were demonstrated in John Connor, a member of Local 2277 (PCCFFAP) and an active political action volunteer.
  • Outstanding Contribution to Public Awareness
    This award is open to any resident of Oregon, including AFT-Oregon members. This award recognizes an individual in Oregon who has contributed to the public’s general awareness or who has raised the level of public debate in furtherance of the goals of AFT-Oregon in matters of education, health, public services, labor or other current issues of importance to the membership. 
  • Local Awards for Excellence in Communications
    There are three categories:
    • General Excellence
      Recognizes general excellence in writing, editing, content, layout and design; including best story, editorial, photos, art or graphics.
    • Best Website 
      The site should be easy to maneuver, be graphically interesting, and provide valuable information to members and site visitors. 
    • Best Use of Social Media
      Engages members and provides valuable information for all site visitors.
Know Your Contract

Our Collective Bargaining Agreement, in Article 27, confers extra library privileges to GEs: 

For the term of this agreement all GEs shall have the same library borrowing privileges as doctoral candidates. Doctoral students will continue to have priority in the assignment of library carrels.
The rights and privileges of GEs at UO are fought for and won through bargaining! In order to best represent our members, we need input from everyone, including you! 
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