Spring 2019 Week 10 Newsletter

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GTFF 3544 Newsletter

Upcoming Events ~ News

In the home stretch!

Upcoming Events

Keep an eye out for events through email, on our Facebook page, and on our calendar!
  • General Membership Meeting
    ALL MEMBERS -- PLEASE COME TO THIS GMM! We will give updates on bargaining and the strike pledge and plan for bargaining and the contract campaign through the summer. IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TO ANOTHER GMM, COME TO THIS ONE! All Full and Associate Members are welcome! 
    Day: Monday, 6/3 (Week 10) 
    Time: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
    Location: 150 Columbia Hall (1222 E. 13th St.)
    Contact: Ellen Gillooly-Kress (operations@gtff.net)

  • Bargaining Committee Meeting
    This is the group who will sit at the table with the University and write contract proposals over the next year.
    Days: Tuesday, 6/4 (Week 10)
    Time: 5:30pm
    Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    Contact: Mike Magee (president@gtff.edu
  • Mediation Session
    Day: Friday, 6/7 (Week 10)
    Time: 9:00am - 6:00pm
    Location: TBD
    Contact: Mike Magee (president@gtff.edu
  • Great Cover-Up/End-of-Year BBQ
    Free BBQ food! Bands in the park! ALL AGES! Bring a few $$ for donation to Food for Lane County!
    Day: Monday, 6/10
    Time: 5:30pm  - 8:30pm
    Location: Alton Baker Park (100 Day Island Rd.)
    Contact: Ellen Gillooly-Kress (operations@gtff.net)

  • 2019-2020 Executive Board Officers Take Over
    Day: Saturday, 6/15 (Week 11)

Opportunities Through LERC

LERC Summer School
As a result of the recent federal government upheaval, millennials are becoming activists, teachers are influencing politicians to fund public schools, and Oregon unions are overcoming right to work proponents’ prediction of organized labor’s demise. We are ready to cultivate an intergenerational labor movement for years to come!

Participants will choose either one CORE course that runs throughout the weekend OR choose three workshops from among the choices below. You can mix or match workshops from any track. 

Core Courses:
  • Internal Organizing to Build Union Power
  • Unions 101: What Unions Do, How They Do It, and Why They Matter
  • Advanced Advocacy Skills for Stewards
  • Change and Challenge in the Building Trades 
Workshops Workshop Track 1:
Engaging a Diverse and Intergenerational Labor Movement
  • Disability Justice for All
  • Engaging the Next Generation of Labor ACTivists from Day One •
  • Tangible Solutions to Grow an Intergenerational Labor Movement 
Workshop Track 2:
Fostering Gender Justice, Empowerment, and Inclusivity in the Workplace and in our Communities 
  • Building Inclusive Unions through Mentoring and Ally-ship
  • Facing Sexual Harassment and Microaggressions: Tools & Tactics
  • Assertiveness Skills on the Job and in Our Unions
Workshop Track 3:
Culture, Politics, and Policy
  • Bridges, Not Walls: Unions and Immigration
  • Climate Change: How Labor Can Help Save the Planet
  • More than Bread and Butter: Bargaining for the Common Good
See the core course and workshop descriptions here: 

In our annual tradition, AFL-CIO & LERC Summer School is not only educational and inspiring, it’s fun!
  • Casino Night! Awesome Prizes! 
  • GTFF Sponsored Social at McMenamin’s
  • Leadership Academy Graduation (Second Cohort)
  • Our annual Solidarity Picnic

Summer Institute for Union Women 2019
The Western Regional Summer Institute for Union Women, "Equity. Justice. Reconcili-action: Building worker power through Intersectional feminism and activism," will take place July 2-6, 2019, at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Core Courses:
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Anti-Oppression
  • Organizing
  • Leadership
  • Globalization and Immigration
  • Political Action
  • Strategic Campaigns
  • Occupational Health and Safety for Women
  • Advanced Leadership
  • Reconciliation
Learn more here: https://conference.bcfed.ca/siuw2019/

International GE
Bargaining/Strike FAQ

This document is to provide a guideline for concerns international students would have with union activity participations. 
Are there any restrictions on my ability to participate in union activities such as picketing, rallies, and leafleting?
Political activities such as picketing, rallies, leafleting, demonstrations, etc., are forms of expression and free association, which are protected for foreigners in the U.S. (including foreign students with visas) as they are for U.S. nationals. It is against the law for your employer (the University) to retaliate against you for participating in these protected activities. Under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." 

You will notice that this does not restrict the right to U.S. citizens or permanent residents only. While there are certain exceptions to this, as documented by U.S. Supreme Court cases, in general the exceptions would not be activities international students or scholars would be involved in. It is important that the activities remain peaceful and do not pose a threat to the physical well-being of participants, by-standers or observers.

Essentially, employees have the right to attempt to better their work experience. 29 USCS § 157 gives employees the right to join labor organizations, to bargain collectively, and to participate in concerted activity to better their work environments, pay, benefits, etc. The statute is open-ended and does not seek to strictly limit what is considered "concerted action," and therefore it does not seek to strictly limit protection for that action. Employees may join unions, but they need not, nor is joining a union necessary for there to be concerted action. NLRB v. Phoenix Mut. Life Ins. Co., 167 F2d 983 (7th Cir., 1948).

"Concerted activities" are indeed given broad leeway. Protected activities include almost anything in which an employee (acting alone), or a group of employees could be found to have a legitimate interest. NLRG v. Kennametal, Inc., 182 F2d 817 (3rd Cir., 1950). And, nearly any activity done even by one employee on behalf of another employee is likely a concerted action, and therefore protected by the statute. Pacific Electricord Co. v. NLRB, 361 F2d 310 (9th Cir., 1966). Employees are given broad rights by Title 29. This is by no means a full representation of protected, concerted action, but is meant to be a simple introduction to the idea of concerted action. Employees cannot be persecuted for being union members, nor can they be persecuted for the concerted actions of unions or other groups. This is the essence of 29 USCS § 157. 

Will my union membership or union activity affect visa applications that I might make in the future?
No. It is against the law for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ask you questions about your union membership or your legal union activities or to take them into account when reviewing your visa application. In the past there was a question on the visa application form asking the applicant about his/her union activities. But this question was removed from the application form several years ago.

Are there any other issues I should be aware of?
In nearly 40 years of graduate employee unionization, there is no reported instance of any international student having problems with the law or with their visa status as the result of their union activity. It is against the law for the university to retaliate against you for union activities. It is also highly unlikely that a university would charge you with violating university regulations as a result of your union activities. But if they did so, this would probably be found illegal. There is no known case of any international student being expelled from the university as a result of union activities, nor would such an expulsion be legal. There is one known case at Yale University, which charged two international students with academic misconduct for their participation in strike activities. The charges were subsequently dropped.

Are there any special precautions I should take?
Should you wish to participate in a protest or demonstration, it is not prohibited under U.S. immigration regulations or other laws. It is important that the activities remain peaceful and respectful. However, should the activities appear to become threatening in nature, disruptive or some form of violence appears to be starting, you should leave the area.  For example, engaging in civil disobedience actions that could result in arrests is not recommended for International GEs. This should not be the case in any of the demonstrations made by the GTFF but it is important to know because although International Students have rights to union and concerted activity, our situation is more precarious than for citizens. It is real than arrests, criminal charges, criminal proceedings, and convictions can impact your interactions with immigration officials, and if serious enough, your immigration status. As part of a collective voice we should feel free to participate in rallies and protests but also remain aware that if law enforcement is called is better to safely remove ourselves from the area.

GTFF Sweatshirts!

Just in time for spring! Please fill out the form below if you are interested in ordering a sweatshirt with our logo on it. It will be just like our tshirts, but as a black hoodie. 


Call for Bargaining Testimony

Why is R.A.I.S.E. is important for me, you, us?
We are asking Members to share their testimonies related to bargaining proposals put forth by the GTFF and by UO. Opportunities to share your story include video recordings of interviews, and signed or anonymous written reflections.

We are especially seeking input on the following areas:
Challenges of parenting as a GE
Challenges faced by International GEs
Challenges finding/affording quality housing

Your contribution is extremely crucial in furthering the bargaining process, since collective statements of our members are the main power in this journey.   
To share your story, contact: 
Hyunsoo Lee (equity@gtff.net)
Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@gtff.net)
Are you interested in helping out with bargaining?
Contact Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net) and Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@gtff.net)!
Know Your Contract

Our Collective Bargaining Agreement, in Article 18, Section 2, explains the classifications of GE appointments:

The classification of a GE appointment is determined by the nature of the majority of the duties performed by the position. Job titles are not indicative of proper classification. Placement of an appointment in a classification does not preclude duties generally associated with other classifications. 

a) Instructors: GEs classified as instructors spend the majority of their time performing duties that are designed to impart knowledge to students by teaching and assessing students’ performance. The remaining balance of their time is spent on closely related activities such as class preparation, recording grades, reviewing submitted work, and/or serving as mentors to students. Examples of duties commonly performed by GEs in this classification include solo instruction; leading discussion sections; lab instruction; instructional design; lesson planning; holding office hours; assisting faculty with instruction, grading, reviewing submitted work, recording grades, and providing feedback on assignments to students. In exercising the duties described above, GEs classified as instructors exercise independent judgment and discretion. Instructors are paid on a salary basis. 

b) Researchers: GEs classified as researchers primarily conduct tasks associated with performing research in a lab or clinical setting. Researchers are paid on a salary basis and are required to let their supervisor know in advance whenever possible whether their work schedule will deviate from an agreed-upon weekly schedule. Nothing about this section shall be construed as limiting a researcher’s grievance rights under Article 13. 

c) Administrative: GEs classified as administrative primarily conduct administrative or office tasks outside of a classroom, clinical, or lab setting. Additionally, GEs who do not fall into the other classifications will be classified as administrative GEs. Administrative GEs are paid on a salary basis and will be required to track their time on the timesheet provided by their supervisor. 

Except for GEs classified as Instructors, GEs agree to receive permission from their supervisor 38 prior to working more than forty (40) hours in a work week. GEs and their supervisors shall make every effort to ensure GEs work does not exceed twenty (20) hours in a work week whenever feasible. A work week is defined as the period of time between 12:00 am on Monday and 11:59 pm on Sunday. Researchers and Administrative GEs understand that except as otherwise required by law, the university will pay them a fixed salary every month regardless of the number of hours actually worked that month. Minimal salary amounts and overtime rate calculations are set forth in Article 22. 
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!
Sign up to give your testimony!

Caucus Corner

With the goal of creating more safe, inclusive, and "RAISE"d environment, our caucuses and diverse community members are working hard to present testimonies to bargaining sessions and bring together voices of underrepresented members.  

Survivor Support Caucus
The Survivor Support Caucus held their end-of-the-year party last Friday! Members came together to celebrate an amazing year ad to plan for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Interested in joining a caucus? Email the Caucus Chairs:
Disability Access Caucus Kylen Gartland
Environmental Justice Caucus Nick Theis & Sam Ault
GEs of Color Caucus Youssef Ait Benasser
International Caucus Sanan Moradi
Parents' Caucus Amy Rowland
Queer Caucus Tzula Propp
Survivor Support Caucus Emily Beecher
Women's Caucus Vacant
Workers’ Caucus Ricardo Friaz (interim)
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