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UC-AFT 1474 Candidate Statements Spring 2018 Executive Board Elections


Candidates for Collective Member

Ben Brown, Lecturer, Legal Studies

I am a continuing lecturer in Legal Studies. I have been in a variety of Unions for 27 years of my working life. I was on the organizing committee and the contract negotiation committee for non-tenure track faculty at Mills College, where we successfully won an election and approved a contract. I am looking forward to working for the needs of Lecturers and Librarians in AFT 1474. We need strong union spirit in the coming year with the additional burden that the Janus decision will put on us. I hope to provide some of that spirit and help protect the gains that we have won through Union participation.

Ramona Collins, Law Librarian

I am a proud Cal alum twice over, and I've been a librarian at the law school since 2002. As much as I love my alma mater and my colleagues, I wouldn’t work here for free. Collective bargaining is such an important tool and it’s most effective when union membership and engagement are high. I want to actively support our lecturers and librarians, so I’m taking action by joining the UC-AFT Local 1474 Board.

Anibel Ferus-Comelo, Lecturer, Goldman School of Public Policy (and Labor Center)

I am very pleased to be invited to submit my candidature for a seat on my union’s Executive Board. I have been a member of UC-AFT Local 1474 since August 2017 when I have started working at the UC Berkeley Labor Center with 20+ years of experience serving the labor movement in the US, the UK and in India. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in labor studies through the Ethnic Studies department and the Goldman School of Public Policy. I believe that labor education, leadership development and the promotion of rank-and-file leadership in unions are critical to transform the US labor movement, and cultivate global labor solidarity. I look forward to facilitating deeper praxis among our members through political education so that we may grow bigger and stronger as a union.

Kim Freeman, Lecturer, College Writing Programs

I’ve been a lecturer at Cal for five years now (coming up for review next year). While I’ve only been at Cal a relatively short time, I’ve taught a lot elsewhere and I’ve seen a variety of non-tenure line positions. What that experience has shown me is how much UC-AFT Local 1474 has done for lecturers and librarians at Cal, and how vital the union is to our positions here, from securing raises to professional development funding. I served on the PDF committee for a couple of years, which gave me the opportunity to see what great work so many of our members are doing, work that is hard to support without the resources UC-AFT fought for. While the union has done a lot, there is, of course, still more to do, and we cannot rest easy, especially given the current political climate and the looming Janus decision. That’s why I’m running for the UC-AFT board—to continue, and I hope build upon, the strengths organized labor affords us all.

Kendra K. Levine, Transportation Librarian

I’ve been a librarian at Berkeley for 10 years. I respect and appreciate the work the union has done over the years fighting for fair contracts and better working conditions. With the Janus decision looming on the horizon, this is a critical time for organized labor at UC. I’m running for the Executive Committee to further the work in organizing our local and to continue fighting for an accessible UC for all. I believe librarians, lecturers, students, and all workers on campus are in this struggle together and that we will win.

Joe Lough, Pre-Six Lecturer in Economics

Entering my third year on the executive board. As we face Janus, lecturers and librarians need to reach out to all organized and not-yet-organized employees on the UC Berkeley campus, not only for the numbers, but because a strong, healthy, and independent academic community achieves better outcomes than does one that is weak, precarious, and in fear that this semester might be their last. We will continue to actively exploit opportunities to further democratize UC AFT 1474, reaching out to other bargaining units, to achieve the best contract we can under very trying circumstances.

Margaret Phillips, Librarian for Education, Gender & Women's Studies, Psychology

I became involved with UC-AFT because the Union’s goals are nothing less that the goals of the University -- to provide quality public higher education and research in the State of California. To do that, all UC workers need a seat at the table including, of course, lecturers and librarians. UC works because we work.

Joanna Reed, Lecturer, Sociology

This past year, I was a member of the UC-AFT executive board and part of the effort to initiate the union's "site rep" program at UC Berkeley. This is a system-wide effort to build more connections and better communication between the union's local leadership and individual members, by finding members willing to be "site reps" for their departments and buildings. Site reps share information about union events and activities with their colleagues, and share information about working conditions in their sites with the local leadership. I would like to continue working on this project next year as a "site rep coordinator" and board member. I believe we have made a lot of progress so far, but there is still much to do to build a successful network. I would be proud to have your support to continue working towards a stronger, more democratic and participatory union. Thank you for your consideration.

Candidates for Co-Chair

David Eifler, Environmental Design Librarian

Unions are critical to lecturers and librarians maintaining their professional and academic status in the ever more privatized academy. Working in the union allows us to advocate for our ourselves, our students and our institutions with a collective voice that can’t be easily disregarded. And, in this current era, unions may also be the last, best hope for protecting the institutions we love and preserving the “public” in our public universities.  I’m running for the Executive Committee to continue the process of democratizing our union and ensure the best possible representation for our members.

Tiffany Linton Page, Lecturer,, International and Area Studies

This year the number of actively engaged members in our union has increased. We now have the capacity to expand our activities into new or underdeveloped areas that are important for demonstrating the value of having a union, as well as deepening and expanding member engagement. This will become even more crucial for the survival and strength of our union in the post-Janus Supreme Court decision context. With our recent bylaws revision, we have increased the size of the Local Board to ten positions and each Board member will be focused on fulfilling a specific role. Some of the areas that we aim to develop in the coming year include: developing a better communications strategy to reach out to both members and non-members, expanding the number of educational events (like the brown bag lunch series that we launched this March), developing and realizing a plan to further support Lecturers in their teaching (including the review process) and professional development activities, strengthening our relationships with other unions and groups on campus, and expanding social activities to further build and strengthen the community of Lecturers and Librarians. We will also continue to develop the site rep structure among Lecturers (which is key to building a strong union community) and working on membership recruitment (an on-going project given the high turnover rate among Lecturers). As Co-Chair, I will help coordinate these various activities and serve as a representative of our Local at the statewide level of our union, as well as handle any external requests that we receive. I look forward to continue to serve on the Board and work towards strengthening our union and the Lecturer and Librarian community on campus.